This hand cream with sunscreen deserves praise for including broad-spectrum sun protection, though many professionals would argue that mineral sunscreens are preferred when brown spot prevention is the goal.
The indication in the name that you can use this on your body (including the décolleté area) is true for any SPF-rated product. What counts are the active ingredients providing the sun protection and the formula’s base. In the case of this product, the base is a lightweight cream that contains some good emollient ingredients and a decent amount of antioxidants for additional protection.
This product is not fragrance-free; it contains fragrance chemicals that add a scent, though they’re not present in a high amount.
The niacinamide this contains may help fade brown discolorations, though it’s questionable whether the formula contains enough of it to impart that benefit. Still, even in low amounts niacinamide is a great ingredient for all skin types.
Note: This product was recently downgraded from our top rating to three stars, which is considered good. The reason for the change is due to the prevailing recommendation that your daytime sun protection product be rated SPF 30 or greater. This revised recommendation is due to the fact that most people are not applying sunscreen liberally enough to earn the stated level of protection on the label; therefore, a higher SPF rating will be more advantageous. See the More Info section for additional details.
Sunscreen Downgraded Due to Low SPF (SPF 15-20): This product was recently downgraded from its previous rating to two stars, which is still considered average. The reason for the change is due to the prevailing recommendation that your daytime sun protection product be rated SPF 30 or greater, with SPF ratings between 25 and 30 falling into the acceptable range.
This revised recommendation is because most do not apply sunscreen liberally enough to earn the stated level of protection on the label; therefore, a higher SPF rating will be more advantageous.
While this sunscreen will provide the SPF number on the label and has UVA-protecting ingredients, no sunscreen with an SPF lower than 20 will rate higher than two stars in Beautypedia. For more information on our criteria for rating sunscreens, please visit the Best Sunscreens or Best Moisturizers with Sunscreen section of the site.
Applying an SPF 15-rated sunscreen under a foundation, tinted moisturizer, or BB cream that offers broad-spectrum SPF 25+ will take far better care of your skin. This layering approach ensures your skin gets sufficient sun protection even if you're not applying liberally.
This is an amazing, age-defying wonder thanks to two superfruits and other superstar ingredients. Minimizes the appearance of crepiness and helps skin look firmer. Hydrates and supports the skin barrier, helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Active: Octisalate (5%), Oxybenzone (3%), Octocrylene (2.20%), Avobenzone (2%) Other: Water, Glycerin, Distearyldimonium Chloride, Butylene Glycol, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Cetyl Alcohol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Dimethicone, Steareth-21, Niacinamide, Dipropylene Glycol Dibenzoate, Phenoxyethanol, Punica Granatum Sterols, Tocopheryl Acetate, Silica, PPG-15 Stearyl Ether Benzoate, Methylparaben, Disodium EDTA, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Ethylene Brassylate, Ethylparaben, Sodium Chloride, Propylparaben, Triethanolamine, Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Extract, Isobutyl Methyl Tetrahydropyranol, Methyl Linalool, Methylenedioxyphenyl Methylpropanal, Phenylisohexanol, Cyclamen Aldehyde, Caprooyl Tetrapeptide-3
Mary Kay At-A-Glance
Strengths: Most of the products are fragrance-free; packaging that keeps light- and air-sensitive ingredients stable during use; a handful of well-formulated moisturizers; very good eye-makeup remover; effective wrinkle filler; excellent cream blush and several other impressive makeup products.
Weaknesses: The overall collection is a mixed bag of exciting and disappointing products; several outdated moisturizers and cleansers; no AHA or acceptable BHA products; the CC Cream doesn't provide good enough UVA protection; some lackluster makeup products.
The last few years haven't been glamorous for one of the world's largest direct sellers of cosmetics. Mary Kay lost a lawsuit filed by TriStrata, the company whose founders hold over 100 patents on the use of AHAs in skin-care products. It was revealed that Mary Kay's former AHA products infringed on three of these patents, and, after some back-and-forths in court, Mary Kay ended up paying royalties of over $40 million (interest included) to TriStrata. Perhaps because they're still licking their wounds after this defeat, the company has not launched any new AHA products, and no longer sells the ones that were in question during the legal battle (Source: www.bizjournals.com/dallas/stories/2006/04/03/daily26.html).
However, the company's spin on the issue of AHAs is that they no longer use them because skin-care technology has advanced. That's an interesting twist, but the fact of the matter is that AHA products, when well-formulated, are still considered advanced and capable of doing far more for skin than the alternatives Mary Kay has devised (including an at-home microdermabrasion scrub and products with vitamin C derivatives).
Although they're not a company for you if you are looking for exfoliants (though you should be looking for a good exfoliant), Mary Kay has recently developed a surprising number of excellent products. With over 1.6 million Mary Kay consultants selling products in 30 countries, this family-owned company (founder Mary Kay Ash passed away in 2001) has slowly been proving that they intend to remain competitive with the best of the best. A refreshing change of pace is the omission of fragrance from almost all of the products. Now that is what we call progress!
Despite its size and capital (wholesale figures were $3 billion in 2012), Mary Kay still has a lot to learn. For instance, although their guiding philosophy of empowering women is admirable, the assortment of products still leaves much to be desired. Yes, things are looking up, but there are several weak spots that keep Mary Kay from being in the same league as
If improvements like those in Mary Kay's latest products were translated to the entire line, it would be standing much taller, at least as far as what current, substantiated skin-care research indicates is optimum for creating and maintaining healthy skin. As is, this is a line to approach with a keen understanding of what to focus on and what to avoid. One last bit of good news: Mary Kay offers well-packaged samples of selected products, either directly or from your consultant.
Unless mentioned otherwise, all Mary Kay products are fragrance-free.
Note: Mary Kay is categorized as a brand that tests on animals because their products are sold in China. Although Mary Kay does not conduct animal testing for their products sold elsewhere, the Chinese government requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals, so foreign companies retailing there must comply. This requirement is why some brand’s state that they don’t test on animals “unless required by law”. Animal rights organizations consider cosmetic companies retailed in China to be brands that test on animals, and so does the Beautypedia Research Team.
For more information about Mary Kay, call (800) 627-9529 or visit www.marykay.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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