Review: Paula’s Choice – Clinical Ceramide-Enriched Firming Eye Cream

Where to purchase: Paula’s Choice: LINK / Cult Beauty: LINK / Sephora (UK): LINK / Selfridges: LINK

Price: £45

Volume: 15ml

Made in: The USA

What is it?: A rich eye cream containing 5 types of Ceramides (Skin-identical Ingredients), Vitamin C Derivatives (4 types) and a Retinol Complex (supposed to deliver to the skin more efficiently), forming a ”Collagen Support Complex” (Retinol + Ceramides + Vitamin C Forms) i.e. to keep Collagen from breaking down around the eye area, thereby slowing down skin-ageing. It aims to reduce the look of fine lines and moisturises the eye area.

Why ”Clinical”?: This Sector of Paula’s Choice products are meant to be more effective and targeted.

Aims to: Improve the skin’s tone + texture + smooth fine lines by moisturising and providing antioxidant protection.

Supposedly Good for: Those with ”Advanced Signs of Ageing”, Dehydration and/or Sun Damage.

What I think: I would agree, as the science to back up Vitamin C + Retinol is there. In terms of Skin Type: I do think Normal-Dry Skins would enjoy the creamy texture of this > Oily Skins.


Vegan?: Yes

Cruelty Free?: Yes

How long does it last after opening?: 12 Months

Packaging: Sturdy tube with a cap and a pump-mechanism. Easy to travel with.

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Directions: You’re meant to melt this product between the fingers to soften it first. Then massage around the eyes gently. Follow with an SPF in the AM.

Note: Paula’s Choice Recommend using this alongside their Ceramide-Enriched Firming Facial Moisturiser HERE. They’ve supposedly adjusted the actives in the eye cream to work alongside their moisturise and not sensitise the eyes.

How I use it: As instructed, I apply in the PM (and I do melt between the fingers). I apply this after my Niod Fractionated Eye Contour Concentrate (watery) serum (Review HERE), to hydrate the skin. Then I use this cream to moisturise the skin. I find one pump is enough to cover both eyes.

Key Ingredients: 5% Vitamin C Derivatives e.g. Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate and Ascorbyl Glucoside + Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate + Glyceryl Ascorbate – Helps with well-ageing (reduces the look of fine lines and helps stimulate collagen production). Helps even out the skin tone / 0.01% Retinol – A very low amount (eye creams usually have a lower % of active) Helps with well-ageing i.e. reduces the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Also provides antioxidative benefits to the skin (also helps with sun damage) / Ceramides – They help retain water in the skin (prevent trans-epidermal water loss) Note: lack of ceramides can lead to irritation, dryness and redness.

Note: This also contains 2 peptides to help with fine lines around the eye area: Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5 and Acetyl Tetrapeptide-5. These two peptides help stimulate collagen production in the skin and reduce puffiness. Squalane is also included (emollient), Bisabolol (Soothing), Liquorice (Brightening), Panthenol (Soothing).

Why 5% Vitamin C and 0.01% Retinol?: In order to not sensitise the eye area.

Full Ingredients: Aqua, Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate (emollient), Cetyl Alcohol (texture enhancer), Butylene Glycol (hydration), Glycerin (skin-replenishing), Glyceryl Stearate (texture enhancers), PEG-100 Stearate (texture enhancers), Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer (texture enhancer), Ascorbyl Glucoside (vitamin C/antioxidant), Potassium Cetyl Phosphate (emulsifier), Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (vitamin C/antioxidant), Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2 (emollient), Polyglyceryl-10 Dioleate (emollient emulsifier), Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (vitamin C/antioxidant), Ceramide NS (skin-replenishing ingredient), Ceramide EOP (skin-replenishing ingredient), Ceramide AP (skin-replenishing ingredient), Ceramide EOS (skin-replenishing ingredient), Ceramide NP (skin-replenishing ingredient), Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5 (skin-restoring ingredient), Acetyl Tetrapeptide-5 (skin-restoring ingredient), etanorulayH muidoS (hydration), Caprooyl Phytosphingosine (skin-replenishing ingredient), Caprooyl Sphingosine (skin-replenishing ingredient), Cholesterol (skin-replenishing ingredient), Squalane (olive-derived emollient), Retinol (skin-restoring), Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract (antioxidant), Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract (skin-soothing), Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Fruit Extract (antioxidant), Dunaliella Salina (Algae) Extract (hydration/skin-soothing), Pongamia Glabra Seed Oil (non-fragrant antioxidant plant oil), Tocopheryl Acetate (vitamin E/antioxidant), Allantoin (skin-soothing agent), Bisabolol (skin-soothing agent), Carnosine (skin-restoring), Panthenol (hydration), Sodium PCA (skin-replenishing), Pullulan (film-forming agent), Glyceryl Ascorbate (vitamin C/antioxidant), Behenic Acid (fatty acid slip agent), Dimethicone (hydration/texture enhancer), Sodium Citrate (chelating agent), Sodium Polyacrylate (film-forming agent), Caprylyl Glycol (emollient), Ethylhexyl Stearate (texture enhancer), Ceteareth-25 (texture enhancer), Sodium Hydroxide (pH adjuster), Trideceth-6 (emulsifier), Propyl Gallate (antioxidant), Polysorbate 20 (emulsifier), Disodium EDTA (chelating agent), Mica (coloring agent/pigment), Phenoxyethanol (preservative), Chlorphenesin (preservative), Sodium Benzoate (preservative).

NOTE: The Incidecoder have a full ingredient breakdown HERE

Texture: A smooth, creamy (almost too-thick) eye cream that’s moisturising. The company explains the product is more emollient and rich for the eye area (as it’s drier than the rest of the face), however I do find it almost too rich.

Sticky?: No.

Greasy?: No, but this is very creamy (emollient).

Balls up?: No.

  • As you can see this has a yellow tint to it which is present in most retinol-containing products.
  • Hopefully you can see the creaminess of this product. It’s moisturising and feels smooth (not that hydrating).

Swatch Comparison: No Product (Left) VS Product (Right)

Hopefully you can see how well-moisturised the skin is


The Finish:


Does this Sting if the Skin has been Irritated / Sensitised by Shaving/Heavy Retinol Use?:

Summer or Winter?: Dry Skins: All year round / Oily Skins: In the Winter

Layerable?: Yes


Video Swatch:

  • As you can see, this is a creamy eye product!

Fragrance?: No added Fragrance / Essential Oils. However this does have a potent smell due to the Retinol + Vitamin C (not the nicest scent).

Good Under Makeup?: Yes but this should be used in an Evening Skincare Routine.

How long have I been using this?: 3 Months.

Will I use until Completion?: Yes (I like the actives in here and also because this was expensive).

How Long will that take?: ~2 Months.

The Effect?: Immediately: Moisturised Skin. In the longer-run: I think this in combination with my Niod Fractionated Eye Contour concentrate has been good at preventing the further development of fine lines around the eyes and helping with the texture (less rough) of the skin. I must say that I haven’t noticed a huge difference in terms of dark circles, and I can’t attest to sun damage, but I hope that the retinol + vitamin C together has been helping with any imminent damage.

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What I like:

  • Fragrance + EO Free
  • Sturdy, Travel-Friendly Packaging
  • Cruelty-Free
  • Moisturising
  • Good preventative (for me) of deeper fine lines

What I don’t like:

  • Almost too thick for me
  • Pricey
  • Not that hydrating

Overall Rating and Conclusion: 4/5 – I have enjoyed this eye cream. I find it moisturising and effective at preventing the deepening of fine lines. I like the actives included and the added skin-beneficial ingredients. My biggest issue is the overall thickness of this product. It’s almost too uncomfortably thick for me, and I do wish it was slightly more hydrating than it is moisturising. That’s why I do think Dry Skins might appreciate this > Oily skins.

Would I repurchase?: I would because the actives have been effective for me and I like the % and combination of ingredients together. HOWEVER I wish Paula’s Choice would release a Gel version or at least a thinner version because this does feel ALMOST too thick for me (and it’s the Winter currently for me!).

Dupe?: Other Retinol-Containing Eye Products: The Inkey List Retinol Eye Cream: LINK / The La Roche Posay Retinol Eye Cream: LINK. For more sensitive skins, the Wishful Bakuchiol Eye Cream: REVIEW. For Dry Skins who want to use a thicker retinol cream for the whole face, then the Kiehl’s Retinol Micro-Dose Serum (Cream) is a good dupe: LINK.

My Skin Type: I am acne prone and have slightly dehydrated combo skin. My skin is usually tight where the cheeks and eye area is and the outer parts of my face. My T zone is oily. My skin isn’t a fan of thick/heavy formulas so I opt for lightweight formulas to prevent it from clogging up. My skin doesn’t like essential oils either and I try to avoid fragrance when I can.

Disclaimer: I am a skincare enthusiast and not a skin expert. I am not qualified to give out dermatological advice. This type of advice should only be given by a medical practitioner. Upon trying / using any of the reviewed products on the blog, please follow the manufacturer’s instructions and warnings and please seek medical advice if needed.

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