Review: Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Invisible Finish Moisture Gel | Hello Pretty Bird! - A beauty and not-so-glamorous lifestyle blog

08 October, 2014

Review: Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Invisible Finish Moisture Gel

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Got oily or combination skin? Have trouble with creamy moisturizers? Enjoy reading blog posts? Then I highly recommend you read this review of Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Invisible Finish Moisture Gel, (phew, what a mouthful) because (a) I think it's a product worthy of a look and (b) this is definitely a blog post. Yup.

Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Invisible Finish Moisture Gel tube

Product description:
Zen, skin. This silky gel moisturizer hydrates without feeling slick or greasy. Dries to a matte finish. You get that healthy glow. Without the shine.

Awesome, wow. Sounds nice. For my face.

Water, Cyclopentasiloxane (silicone slip agent), Butylene Glycol (slip agent), Glycerin, (skin-identical ingredient) Laminaria Saccharina (Seaweed) Extract (water-binding agent), Camellia Oleifera (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract (antioxidants), Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil (emollient plant oil/lubricant), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E/antioxidant), Niacinamide (Vitamin B3/cell-communicating ingredient), Phenyl Trimethicone, Dimethicone, Bis-Phenylpropyl Dimethicone (silicones/slip agents), Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate (licorice/anti-irritant), Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (Vitamin C/antioxidant), Sodium Hyaluronate (skin-identical ingredient), Phospholipids (cell-communicating ingredient), Superoxide Dismutase (antioxidant), Isohexadecane (emulsifier), Panthenol (Vitamin B5/water-binding agent), Propylene Glycol (slip agent), Sodium Carbomer (gel-based thickener), Sodium Acrylate/Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer (film-forming/water-binding agent), Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer (silicone film-forming agent), Polysorbate 80 (thickener), Hydroxyethylcellulose (gel-based thickener), Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben (all preservatives)

As the name would suggest, Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Invisible Finish Moisture Gel (GEEZ THAT NAME) is meant to be a very lightweight moisturizer that absorbs quickly and doesn't leave behind a greasy sheen. There's nothing on this ingredients list that is of personal concern to me, however I will note that it contains wheat germ oil (Triticum Vulgare) high up in the ingredients list, as well as some silicones, which can be acne triggers for some people. Proceed with caution if you're acne-prone and unsure if these are problem ingredients for you.

The product comes housed in a fairly ordinary squeezy tube:

Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Invisible Finish Moisture Gel dispenser

I doubt that Paula's Choice will win a design award for their packaging anytime soon, but it works.

The texture of this moisturizer is sort of slippery and gel-like. Sorry to be gross, but it reminds me a bit of thick, cloudy snot? Yum. Thankfully it's not made of snot though, and it absorbs into the skin without feeling sticky. There is no distinct odor to speak of.

Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Invisible Finish Moisture Gel texture consistency

I'm in a weird place, skin-wise: I would generally describe my skin type as combination, but depending on the season and hormones and whether or not I fall under the spell of an ancient skincare curse (and other factors), my skin sometimes leans more dry than oily or vice versa. Thus, I've tried quite a few creamy and gel-type moisturizers. Keeping that in mind, I think Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Invisible Finish Moisture Gel (ahhh!!!) is one of the better gel-type moisturizers in my collection. It hydrates the skin surprisingly well, leaves my skin feeling silky, doesn't break me out, and doesn't make me any shinier when I'm having an "oily" day.

With that said, I don't think this is a year-round moisturizer for me: I sometimes get really dry/flaky patches in the winter, and I don't think this moisturizer is rich enough to deal with them year-round. I bought this in late August, and I wish I had picked it up a bit earlier in the year, as this is perfect for my skin in the spring/summer when I'm not being parched to death by cold wind and indoor heating.

One comment about this product drying to a "matte finish": Yes, it does, but as far as I can tell this product doesn't have any oil-control properties. It will be matte when you put it on your face, but you may still need to use blotting papers or powder if you want to stay matte throughout the day. Just saying.

Bottom line:

Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Invisible Finish Moisture Gel is worth a try if you have oily or combination skin, assuming you're not sensitive to one of the potential acne triggers I've highlighted above. Extremely dry skin types should probably steer clear.

What do you think of Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Invisible Finish Moisture Gel? Do you have any favorite gel-type moisturizers?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. For more information, check out my full disclosure policy.


  1. Sarah @ bitsandboxes.comOctober 9, 2014 at 2:06 AM

    I love Paula's Choice and have several of the Skin Balancing products. I don't have this one, though. I've sort of got distracted from them my kbeauty stuff. No making fun of names when you get Memeboxes, there's a lot of crazy in some of those product names, for sure! ;)

  2. I've heard so much about Paula's Choice, and the website is great for checking out other product ingredients. I'm in the same place as you at the moment - typically dry, but for some reason it's also oily, but gel moisturisers don't seem to cut it for me. It's a very confusing place for me. The great thing about this brand is that you can order sample size products from the website to try without committing to full size. Great review; I might give this a go :)

    Madame Raptor x

  3. I have oily/combo skin and whenever I try something like this, I always get the same results that you've gotten here. It works okay, but I've never really found a product that truly helped with oil control.

  4. I have some moisturizers that have a similar silicone feel to them, and I have to be careful with them. They make certain areas of my face break out, so I can't put them all over my face. This product sounds like it would be better described as a retexturizer than a moisturizer.

  5. Do you have any "loves" from the Skin Balancing line? And true about the names, haha. Skin Balancing Invisible Finish Moisture Gel is no glyoopy tea. :P

  6. Yes, the samples are a definite plus! I often try sample packets of their stuff before I buy, but for the most part I've had good luck with Paula's Choice products.

  7. Well truthfully, I don't think this is actually supposed to help with oil control. The product description is a bit confusing though because it makes it sound like you'll be matte forever if you use this, but that's not really the case. But on the subject, I got some serum from Memebox that's supposed to have oil control properties ... I guess I should test it and see if it works!

  8. Yeah silicones do make some people break out for sure. This is definitely a moisturizer though, no question about it - it looks like a silicone primer or something in the photo, but it absorbs completely into the skin, and is actually pretty hydrating considering how light it is. Just not hydrating enough for super-dry skin, probably.

  9. Wish more companies did this! I spend a fortune one moisturisers, only to find them irritating, not moisturising etc. and I end up with a full product of stuff I have no use for D: x

  10. I use the Philosophy Gel Moisturizer but this one sounds interesting...

  11. If you generally do well with gel moisturizers, it's worth a shot. As I said in the post they sell sample packets if you're not sure, and I think this is actually a bit cheaper per ounce than the Philosophy moisturizer.

  12. yeah, samples might be a good start.