Drugstore brand Simple has done a great job of revamping much of their products, but Protecting Light Moisturizer SPF 15 is not among those that have improved with this recent retooling.
The reason? This is just a basic, fragrance-free daytime moisturizer that leaves you skin wanting a lot more, especially when it comes to a longer amount of sun protection. Though it feels great on skin and provides light moisture without being greasy, this is billed as an SPF product, and it falls very short in that regard.
It's not because of the ingredients: The ones included here can provide broad spectrum protection. The issue is that the SPF is on the low side for a modern-day sunscreen. Experts both in the U.S. and abroad now agree that using a product rated SPF 30 or higher is the minimum you need to be shielded from the sun's UV rays.
As for the other components of this moisturizer, it contains some good skin conditioning and soothing ingredients such as panthenol, allantoin, and bisabolol (your skin will likely feel better instantly after applying this). Still, this is short on a more state of the art beneficial blend of ingredients, like antioxidants and skin restoring ingredients.
All told, it's a pretty basic moisturizer that just doesn't make the cut when it comes to its chief purpose: Serving as your sole source of daily sun protection. Skip this, and choose one of the far superior options on our list of Best Moisturizers, Daytime With Sunscreen instead.
Sunscreens Rated Lower than an SPF 30: An extensive body of research and a growing number of medical organizations around the world have determined that a sunscreen rated SPF 30 or greater is mandatory to ensure adequate sun protection.
While a sunscreen will provide protection at the SPF number on the label and may claim broad spectrum protection, we will always point out when it doesn't meet the standard of being an SPF 30 or greater because of how important it is for the health of your skin.
References for this information:
Journal of Clinical Oncology, September 2016 , ePublication
Photodermatology, Photoimmunology, and Photomedicine, August 2014, issue 4, pages 212-219
Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, May 2008, issue 5 supplemental, pages S149-154
Active: Avobenzone 2%, Ensulizole 1.5%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 1.3%. Inactive: Water, Glycerin, Stearic Acid, Glycol Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Dimethicone, Tocopheryl Aceate, Panthenol, Allantoin, Bisabolol, Glyceryl Stearate, Potassium Stearate, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Carbomer, Cetyl Alcohol, BHT, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Stearamide AMP.
Launched in the United Kingdom in the 1960s, the general philosophy of the Simple skincare brand is, well… simple, though not necessarily unique. Back the and presently, the brand’s claim to fame is that all its products are designed with sensitive skin in mind (as all skincare products should be), omitting fragrance and other ingredients that can potentially cause reactions.
For the most part, we’re happy to say Simple gets it right. A series of reformulations in 2015 resulted in a nearly across-the-board improvement in its products. Although they remain decidedly no-frills, they are indeed suitable for sensitive skin.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t a few missteps in the bunch (you can learn more about this in our individual reviews), but for the most part Simple is a good, reliable, inexpensive line, particularly for facial cleansers and makeup removers.
Note that if your sensitive skin is accompanied by redness, Simple simply doesn’t go far enough. Minimalist formulas are one thing if you’re operating on the principle that for sensitive skin, fewer ingredients are better; however, to alleviate redness you need proven soothing ingredients present in concentrations that are highly likely to make a visible difference. That’s one area where Simple falters. Maybe the next revamp will correct this deficiency—what’s been done to date has us encouraged, but we wouldn’t go so far as to agree that the team behind Simple are “Sensitive Skin Experts” just yet!
For more information about Simple products, owned by Unilever, visit www.simpleskincare.com. Note that Simple does not provide a Customer Service phone number on their U.S. website.
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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