Paula’s Choice Discoloration Repair Serum

Product Claims:

“3% tranexamic acid, 5% niacinamide and 0.5% bakuchiol work together with pure tocopherol (vitamin E) and milk thistle to target and steadily improve the look of dark spots and discoloration through distinct pathways in skin. Together, the blend promotes an even skin tone and fades the look of stubborn, diffuse discolorations and spots.” – Paula’s Choice Website.

Ingredients: Water/Aqua, Niacinamide, Glycerin, Tranexamic Acid, C13-15 Alkane, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Ethyl Macadamiate, Behenyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Butylene Glycol, Silybum Marianum Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Lactobacillus/Coconut Fruit Juice Ferment Filtrate, Lecithin, Bakuchiol, Xanthan Gum, Caprylyl Glycol, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Allantoin, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Hexylene Glycol, Boerhavia Diffusa Root Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sterols, Citric Acid, Sodium Phytate, Malic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin.
Price: $52
Size: 30ml


Paula’s Choice Discoloration Serum claims to visibly reduce patches of discoloration, help to control/fade stubborn dark spots, even skin tone and discourage further discolorations. Its star ingredients are Tranexamic Acid (3%) Niacinamide (5%) and Bakuchiol (0.5%). This is a very disappointing serum.

According to research, Tranexamic acid can help even out skin tone but is not as effective on other forms of hyperpigmentation like post-inflammatory inflammation (dark spots/acne scars) and age spots. A few studies have found that it is most effective when used between 3-5% and in combination with other depigmenting ingredients like Kojic Acid, Licorice Extract etc; it is not as effective when used alone. I would have expected Paula’s Choice to at least use 5%, as there are no other depigmenting agents in the serum.

Niacinamide & Bakuchiol are not depigmenting agents. They can help even out skin tone over time, but they are not “strong enough” to deal with stubborn discoloration. They’re typically used as supporting ingredients for other depigmenting agents.

The other beneficial ingredients in this serum are humectants (for hydration), antioxidants (help fight free radicals that cause skin damage) and emollients (for moisturizing).

In my opinion, it is a waste of money. You can get more effective discoloration serums for that price.

Photo Credit: Paula’s Choice

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