Drat! There's so much to like about Almay's Age Essentials Lip Treatment™ SPF 30, that it pains us to not be able to rate it higher. Like taking off a Band-Aid very fast, let's get the bad news out of the way first: The formula contains skin-sensitizing menthol, and you'll feel its tingle as soon as this balm touches your lips. We wish the tingle was your lips telling you they're being helped, but it's actually a sign they're being aggravated.
Housed in an oversized, twist-up lipstick-like component is an opaque white stick with a pale pink center. The highly emollient, non-sticky formula goes on clear, and imparts a youthful-looking glossy finish that feels ultra-smooth rather than too greasy.
For anti-aging benefits, you get broad spectrum sun protection from this balm's in-part avobenzone sunscreen and an impressive amount of replenishing ingredients, restoring peptides, and antioxidants. Few lip balms go the distance to include such ingredients, and we're thrilled to see them from a drugstore brand.
The fragrance-free formula does contain flavor, but the taste is best described as "neutral" and the balm has no discernible scent, which is great for healthy lips.
The only other drawback of note isn't about any specific ingredient; rather, it's Almay's overstated claims that Age Essentials Lip Treatment™ improves the vertical lines on and around the lips. It doesn't do that, at least not any better than most other emollient lip balms or lip glosses. The glossy finish doesn't really over-emphasize lip lines, but it doesn't blur them, either! See our list of Best Lip Balms & Treatments for lip-protective SPF products that are more worthy of your beauty dollars.
Active Ingredients: Avobenzone 3.0%, Homosalate 5.0%, Octinoxate 7.5%, Octisalate 5.0%, Oxybenzone 5.0%. Inactive Ingredients: Polybutene, Diisostearyl Malate, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Ozokerite, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Petrolatum, Polyethylene, C10-30 Cholesterol / Lanosterol Esters, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Paraffin, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Dimethicone, Synthetic Wax, Nylon-12, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Portulaca Pilosa Extract, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38, Tripeptide-29, Tocopherol, Soluble Collagen, Sucrose Cocoate, Sodium Chondroitin Sulfate, Atelocollagen, Hyaluronic Acid, Diisoproyl Dimer Dilinoleate, Phospholipids, Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate, Sorbitan Isostearate, Sodium Saccharin, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Menthol, Aroma (Flavor), BHT, Benzoic Acid. May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891) Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090), Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140), Red 6 Lake (CI 15850), Red 7 Lake (CI 15850), Red 33 Lake (CI 17200).
Strengths: An excellent assortment of mascaras; several exceptional foundation options to choose from; a phenomenal liquid eyeliner; a selection of good makeup removers.
Weaknesses: Some of the Intense i-color products do the exact opposite of enhancing eye color; mediocre blushes; “Smart Shade” products don’t automatically adapt to skin’s color as claimed.
Long a standby for those with sensitive skin seeking hypoallergenic products (though that term is unregulated and can be applied to any product, regardless of ingredients), Almay continues to refine its comprehensive makeup line. In early 2006 the company repackaged its old favorites, and also relaunched several new makeup items. Everything now has a sleek new look and color-coded packaging. We admit, the makeover is effective, not just product-wise but visually too.
Shopping this drugstore line is now much easier because of the clearly defined product and color family groupings. Lamentably, testers and trial sizes of the makeup are still scarce regardless of where you shop. Almay has always been a reliable line for foundations, powder, and mascara. Within its current lineup you'll find that remains true. Their foundations are better than ever, and still offer full, broad-spectrum sun protection and a mostly neutral palette. We also found their concealers and mascaras have improved, as have the pencil options. When it comes to shopping for makeup staples with state-of-the-art formulas, Almay has many winners, and some innovative surprises that its competitors would be wise to learn from.
For more information about Almay, owned by Revlon, call (800) 992-5629 or visit www.almay.com.
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