This water-resistant sunscreen begins creamy then softens to a lightweight, very smooth lotion that feels elegant, not thick or greasy. You get reliable broad spectrum sun protection and sufficient UVA screening from stabilized avobenzone. This sets to a slightly moist finish that leaves a sheen on skin, which can heighten the appearance of shine in oily areas of the face or body.
The reason this sunscreen isn't rated higher is because it contains fragrance plus the fragrance ingredient isoeugenol, which is a known irritant (Source: Collegium Antropologicum, March 2011, pages 83–87). Sadly, the fragrance this contains tends to linger on skin, but fragrance isn't skin care (see More Info for details). This also contains a potentially irritating amount of alcohol, but we suspect the fragrance poses a bigger risk.
Last, for an allegedly "advanced" formula, this contains little in the way of antioxidants, which research has shown helps make a sunscreen even more effective not to mention the good those ingredients do for skin. From almost every angle except broad spectrum protection, this sunscreen is more miss than hit—and there are lots of other water-resistant SPF products out there.
Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin's ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way to go for all skin types. If fragrance in your skin-care products is important to you, it should be a very low amount to minimize the risk to your skin (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135, and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22).
Non-Greasy, 8 hour hydration, water resistant (80 minutes)
Active Ingredients: Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (5%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (7%), Oxybenzone (6%,) Inactive Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Propanediol, Alcohol Denat., Dimethicone, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Cyclopentasiloxane, PEG 100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Arachidyl Alcohol, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Silica, C13 14 Isoparaffin, Arachidyl Glucoside, Behenyl Alcohol, Isoeugenol, Fragrance, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Extract, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, P-Anisic Acid, Disodium EDTA, Tocopherol, Laureth 7, Xanthan Gum, Polyacrylamide
L'Oreal Paris At-A-Glance
Strengths: Budget-friendly prices; good makeup removers; wide assortment of self-tanning options; one of the best, most comprehensive makeup collections at the drugstore, with superb options in almost every category; the mascaras are a tough act to follow.
Weaknesses: Jar packaging hinders some of the skincare formulas; many of their skincare formulas contain problematic amounts of fragrance and/or other irritants; exaggerated anti-aging claims.
L'Oreal's extensive makeup collection retains its stature as one of the better selections at the drugstore, though they have stiff competition from Revlon and, in some cases, sister company Maybelline New York. In recent years L'Oreal has made significant strides with foundation shades, powder textures, concealers, and, of course, superlative mascaras that rarely fail to impress. Their lipsticks are excellent and you will find many L'Oreal makeup products have a Lancome counterpart, and that the differences are minor—if there are any at all.
L'Oreal's displays in many drugstores reflect better-organized products and shade categories (though testers are still scarce). Given the number of lipsticks they sell, it only makes sense to put them in color families so consumers have a better shopping experience. Their True Match products are also sensibly laid out, but the rest of the foundations aren't as organized, likely due to the smaller selection of shades. Speaking of foundations, L'Oreal has made further strides by offering more that provide sufficient UVA protection. Revlon still has the edge for consistently launching impressive foundations with sunscreen, but at least L'Oreal is (finally) catching up.
The bottom line is that every category of L'Oreal’s makeup has some winning (and in some cases, benchmark-setting) products.
Unfortunately, despite the brands’ enormous presence in the beauty industry, L'Oreal's moisturizers and treatment products are a nearly all unremarkable and repetitive. When it comes to moisturizers or serums, just about anything from Dove, Olay, Neutrogena, or Aveeno is preferred. L'Oreal does well with most of their cleansers, along with scrubs and self-tanning products, but given the widespread availability and financial resources of this line, they could be doing so much more. The good news is their makeup has made major strides and now ranks as the best overall color collection at the drugstore—imagine the results if their skin care followed suit.
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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