Moisturizes skin with squalane and shea butter
Includes retinol for a result that gets better over time
Leaves skin balanced, hydrated, and dewy
Drier skin types may need more moisturizer
Not ideal for particularly sensitive skin
Paula's Choice PC4Men Nighttime Repair Moisturizer with Retinol
We put Paula's Choice PC4Men Nighttime Repair to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.
When it comes to men’s skincare, potent actives like retinol can be quite rare, so I was all too happy to take Paula’s Choice PC4Men Nighttime Repair for a test drive. Packed with retinol, various antioxidants, and skin-soothing ingredients, it seemed like the perfect treatment to restore and re-hydrate my 30-something skin overnight.
But before we change gears, let’s tackle that age-old question: is night cream really that important? And by “night cream,” I’m referring to any treatment intended specifically for use at night rather than the day, be it a cream, gel, serum, oil, or lotion. The answer lies in your individual skincare goals: if your only concern is to deal with dry skin, by all means slap on the same moisturizer anytime you like. But if you’re more concerned with addressing signs of aging or other aspects of your skin's condition, then the answer is absolutely, without a doubt, yes. At night our body goes into “repair” mode—this includes your skin—so supplying it with antioxidants and nutrients may help restore damage, while including an ingredient like retinol may boost collagen production and even out skin tone and texture.
Got all that? Great. Keep reading to see what I thought of PC4Men Nighttime Repair.
Best for: All skin types, including normal to dry and combination skin.
Uses: Addresses the signs of aging and other common skin concerns by diminishing fine lines and wrinkles, healing sun damage, and firming skin.
Active ingredients: Retinol, adenosine, squalane
Byrdie Clean? Yes
About the brand: Paula's Choice is a no-nonsense, ingredients-driven brand created by Paula Begoun, whose mission to educate people on the science behind skincare has led to her eponymous line of high-quality, high-performance products.
About My Skin: Dry with surface oiliness, sensitive, early signs of aging
My skin has its moods. I can wake up looking even-toned and well-rested, but end up blotchy and irritated by noon with no explanation. I experimented with multiple actives throughout my 20s and early 30s, all in the name of prevention, but a recent visit to the dermatologist revealed my skin certifiably falls into the “sensitive” category. I’m somewhat dry but can experience quite heavy surface oiliness, so I need to stick with products that don’t dry me out or end up being too aggressive or occlusive. I’m big on serums and lightweight moisturizers that hydrate and fortify my skin without making it act up.
The Feel: Lightweight, yet emollient
PC4Men Nighttime Repair earns extra points for texture. Silky and lightweight, the lotion-y formula spreads nicely over the skin with a cool, refreshing feeling. It doesn’t immediately sink in either, which gave me a chance to massage it gently over the focus points of my face—namely around my eyes, which is where my fine lines are most prominent. Once it does sink in, skin feels smooth and soft, not tacky or greasy. PC4Men Nighttime Repair is also fragrance-free.
The Ingredients: Retinol and antioxidants
One thing I love about all Paula’s Choice products is that the website teaches you how each ingredient functions, so you know exactly what you’re getting and what it does. Thanks to this strategy, the PC4Men Nighttime Repair formula sounds a lot like a skincare wish list:
- Adenosine: Derived from yeast, adenosine soothes skin and contributes to restoring proper barrier function. It's been shown to help minimize the appearance of wrinkles.
- Retinol: Retinol is as close to a “do-it-all” ingredient as we’ve got, helping to even out skin tone and restore collagen production, thus smoothing over fine lines and wrinkles, erasing sun damage, and addressing other inconsistencies in tone and texture.
- Squalane: Mimicking a compound found in our natural sebum, squalane helps moisturize skin by replenishing fatty acids and antioxidants.
- Shea Butter: Famous for its super-moisturizing and barrier-boosting abilities, shea butter is great for keeping frequently shaven skin in tip-top condition.
- Antioxidants galore: A full spectrum of powerful antioxidants including pomegranate extract, green tea leaf extract, vitamin E, and soybean extract help fight free radical damage and keep skin functioning at its highest capacity.
The Results: Balanced, smooth, and clear skin
The first thing I noticed after using PC4Men's Nighttime Repair was how balanced my skin felt. I applied it at 8 p.m., and by 11 p.m., my skin felt hydrated and dewy, but not oily. By the following morning, my skin was bright and the lines around my eyes were already less noticeable—an effect I could chalk up to the hydration, rather than the retinol, which typically takes at least six weeks to see a noticeable effect. After a week, I can officially say PC4Men Nighttime Repair lives up to its every promise, resulting in smoother, hydrated skin that looks and feels healthy and bright.
The Value: Worth the money
PC4Men Nighttime Repair features a bevy of super high-quality ingredients that appear noticeably high in the ingredients list—including retinol, which can be rare in men’s skincare—explaining why it works so effectively. It does exactly what it says and then some. The texture is awesome, and a little goes a long way, so its $33 price tag, in my opinion, is completely justified.
Similar Products: You've got options
Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Regenerating Anti-Wrinkle Cream + Hyaluronic Acid: This drugstore favorite from Neutrogena ($32) is one of the best in the business, famed for its combination of retinol and hyaluronic acid that promises to renovate tired, dehydrated skin with moisture and smoothing action.
Kate Somerville +Retinol Vitamin C Moisturizer: Formulated for intensity, Kate Somerville's heavy-duty treatment ($88) is packed with retinol and vitamin C meant to deliver serious anti-aging benefits.
Ceylon Facial Moisturizer: From much-hyped men's skincare brand Ceylon, this daily moisturizer ($30) is driven by alpha hydroxy acids, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide, rather than retinol, meant to keep skin smooth, soothed, and even-toned.
If you’re looking for a product that will give your skin a noticeable boost, not just instantly but long-term, your search could easily end with PC4Men's Nighttime Repair. With just the right ingredients and a texture almost any skin type could get on board—or rather, in bed—with, this men’s night treatment is, quite literally, the stuff of dreams.
- Product Name Nighttime Repair Moisturizer with Retinol
- Product Brand Paula's Choice PC4Men
- Price $33
- Weight 1.7 oz.
- Full Ingredient List Water (Aqua), Dicaprylyl Carbonate (emollient), Glycerin (hydration/skin replenishing), Ethylhexyl Stearate (emollient/texture-enhancing), Cocoglycerides (emollient), Butyrospermum Parkii Butter (shea butter/antioxidant/emollient), Squalane (emollient), Sodium Polyacrylate (texture-enhancing), Lecithin (skin-restoring), Adenosine (skin-restoring), Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 (skin-restoring), Ceramide NP (hydration/skin replenishing), Retinol (skin-restoring), Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract (antioxidant), Camellia Oleifera (Green Tea) Leaf Extract (antioxidant), Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract (licorice extract/skin-soothing), Tetrahydrodiferuloylmethane (antioxidant), Tetrahydrodemethoxydiferuloylmethane (antioxidant), Tetrahydrobisdemethoxydiferuloylmethane (antioxidant), Tocopheryl Acetate (antioxidant), Chamomilla Recutita Matricaria Flower Extract (chamomile extract/skin-soothing), Glycine Soja Seed Extract (soybean extract/antioxidant), Glycine Soja oil (soybean oil/emollient/antioxidant), Butylene Glycol (hydration/texture-enhancing), Propylene Glycol (hydration/texture-enhancing), Glyceryl Polymethacrylate (texture-enhancing), Xanthan Gum (texture-enhancing), Phenoxyethanol (preservative).