Formerly known as Moisturizing Sunscreen SPF 30 when this brand was still sold as Alpha Hydrox, the Moisturizing Facial Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30 is a fairly good (and definitely inexpensive) facial sunscreen for those with normal to dry skin—though it's a mite too creamy-thick for those prone to breakouts.
The formula provides broad-spectrum protection and includes stabilized avobenzone for critical UVA screening (UVA rays are the sun's most aging rays). Dispensed from an opaque squeeze tube, the creamy texture sheers out quickly, but leaves a satin sheen on skin that provides lasting hydration and a supple feel. No question, this is not the SPF product for those who want a shine-free finish or have oily areas—but those with dry skin will likely be love how this feels.
In addition to the anti-aging benefits sun protection provides, you're also getting a few skin-repairing ingredients such as sodium hyaluronate and glycosaminoglycans. Unfortunately, antioxidants are in short supply, with only a small amount of vitamin E (tocopheryl acetate) on board for free radical protection. If this has more than a token amount of vitamin E, it would've earned a higher rating; as is, it doesn't compete as strongly as it could with today's best sunscreens.
In the end, Moisturizing Facial Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30 has its strong points, those being broad-spectrum sun protection and a smooth, moisturizing feel those with dry skin will appreciate. The repairing agents are also a welcome addition! On the other hand, the lack of a mix of antioxidants is disappointing and keeps this from being as fully anti-aging as competing products, including some that are also sold in drugstores and come in larger sizes (Exhibit A: the CeraVe line). Still, this is worth a look if you haven't found the ideal mix of sun protection and moisture—after all, you can always pair this with an antioxidant-rich serum!
How We Rate Sunscreens vs. Daytime Moisturizers with SPF: Sunscreens are judged based upon whether they provide broad-spectrum sun protection, their SPF rating, potential for irritation, packaging and aesthetics. Additional qualities that push it into three or four star (best-rated) category are the inclusion of meaningful amounts of repairing, cell communicating or antioxidant ingredients as well as unique characteristics that enhance its wearability.
"Sunscreens" are differentiated from "Daytime Moisturizers with SPF" by three primary qualities.
• They must be marketed as "sunscreens" only by the brand.
• They lack specific anti-aging claims.
• Their size is greater than 2 ounces, unless it is specifically called out as a sunscreen for the face and is not positioned as a facial/daytime moisturizer with SPF.
For more detail on how we rate this category of products, see the Best Sunscreens section of Beautypedia.
Active Ingredients: Homosalate (10.0%), Octocrylene (7.0%), Octisalate (5.0%), Oxybenzone (4.5%), Avobenzone (3.0%) Inactive Ingredients: Water, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Glyceryl Dilaurate, Glycerin, Stearic Acid, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Glycosaminoglycans, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sorbitan Stearate, PEG-40 Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Silica, BHT, Triethanolamone, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Disodium EDTA, Carbomer
Known primarily for their well-formulated AHA products, Alpha Skin Care (formerly Alpha Hydrox) recently got an impressive image update. Along with a new name, they've also revamped their products. Although the improvements were more visual and packaging-related than formulary-driven, the fact remains that Alpha Skin Care has a formidable range of effective AHA products, all with definitively researched glycolic acid. Kudos to the company for continuing to be direct about the AHA content (and pH) of their exfoliants, something most other lines selling AHA products prefer to keep a mystery.
Should the folks behind this brand choose to go back to the drawing board once again, they would do well to reconsider their current jar packaging if they intend to keep adding antioxidants and other beneficial ingredients to their efficacious but still predominantly basic products. Until then, you can rely on Alpha Skin Care for supplying AHA products that really work, and a few other surprises too, all affordably priced and readily available.
For more information about Alpha Skin Care, call 1-800-447-1919 and select option 1 or visit www.neotericcosmetics.com/.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
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