Cellular Radiance Emulsion SPF 30
The chief danger of this daytime moisturizer with sunscreen is that it is so absurdly overpriced that you are not likely to apply it liberally. With liberal application to face and neck, you’ll be replacing this every two months, if not more frequently, which adds up to more than $2,500 per year! Without question you can get the protection this product provides for significantly less money, and better formulas, too!
This could’ve been a decent broad-spectrum sunscreen for normal to dry skin, but the problems add up to issues for your skin that you shouldn’t ignore. Though it does contain avobenzone for UVA protection, it isn’t stabilized with octocrylene or any other suitable ingredient, which means it is unlikely to give you the stated level of UVA protection after you apply it.
While this does contain some interesting ingredients for skin, the amounts are not impressive, especially given the cost (and that’s an understatement). An additional problem is the irritating plant extracts as well as fragrance, both natural and synthetic (see More Info to learn why irritation and fragrance are bad for skin).
The radiance this product adds to your skin is from mica, not from gold. Mica is an ordinary, inexpensive ingredient used throughout the cosmetic industry to add shine, but that’s not skin care, it’s a makeup effect. One other point: Although we often do not comment on the presence of dyes, this product contains red and yellow synthetic dyes to give it a gold cast. That’s to make the cream look like it has a large amount of gold—it doesn’t; there is only a trace amount. But, even if it were all gold and nothing else, that is about jewelry, not skin care.
When it comes to skin care, it almost goes without saying there are far better and far less expensive sunscreens than this. Our team’s one regret is that the women who really should be reading this review most likely aren’t, so if you can pass this info on to them, you will help them save their skin and their money, too!
- Provides broad-spectrum sun protection with avobenzone for UVA protection.
- Contains antioxidants for additional environmental protection.
- Vastly overpriced.
- Cost is likely to discourage liberal application, which is essential to achieve the amount of sun protection stated on the label.
- Several ingredients in this moisturizer pose a risk of irritation, which keeps skin from looking and acting younger.
- Numerous fragrance ingredients increase the risk of irritation from the other problematic ingredients.
Why Irritation is a Problem for All Skin Types
Irritation, whether you see it on the surface of your skin or not, causes inflammation and as a result impairs healing, damages collagen, and depletes the vital substances your skin needs to stay young. For this reason, it is best to eliminate, or minimize as much as possible, your exposure to known skin irritants, especially when there are brilliant formulas available that do not include these types of problematic ingredients (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).
Irritation from Fragrance
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).
Cellular Radiance Emulsion SPF 30 improves natural glow immediately, while working to help prevent age spots and discoloration over time. Firmness and moisture increase, giving the look and feeling of younger skin while SPF protection helps minimize skin-aging damage.
La Prairie At-A-Glance
Strengths: Most of the makeup categories present at least one good, though needlessly expensive, option.
Weaknesses: Very expensive; overreliance on jar packaging; many products contain a potentially irritating amount of astringent horsetail extract; no effective skin-lightening options; poor options for anyone dealing with blemishes (though La Prairie is concerned primarily with selling wrinkle creams anyway).
La Prairie has been at the forefront in the introduction of expensive anti-aging products for more than three decades. Many of the products in this originally Swiss skin-care line are called "cellular treatment." After a while, it all starts sounding silly. The attempt to align these products with the concept of being able to affect skin at the cellular level is over the top, although when it comes to making the ordinary sound extraordinary, La Prairie excels.
Assuming your skin could improve with these products, the prices alone might cause premature aging! So what do the women who can safely afford these products get for their money? The prestige of knowing they can afford them, period. High-priced skin-care lines attract women who think that the dollars they spend will buy them something special that most other women can't afford. To some extent, they're right: most women can't afford these products. Yet anyone who reads and understands the ingredient lists would find that price doesn't reliably translate into having better skin. What you're really getting from this line is a barrage of look-younger-now claims not backed up by one shred of substantiated scientific evidence, and a group of unimpressive formulations.
A particularly egregious error appears in the number of La Prairie moisturizers (and my goodness, does this company love moisturizers!) that arrive in jar packaging. La Prairie is in-the-know about the importance of antioxidants and cell-communicating ingredients for skin, yet almost all of their products that contain such ingredients ignore their vulnerability to oxidation. Containers like these ensure that these products will deteriorate shortly after you begin using them. Considering the premium prices, that is an almost unforgivable offense. At least the company gets their facial sunscreen right by including sufficient UVA-protecting ingredients. However, it's interesting to find that a visit to the La Prairie counter involves a lot more discussion about their moisturizers, ampoules, and other "treatment" products, while all the time you know that the only reliable antiwrinkle product everyone needs to use is sunscreen.
For more information about La Prairie, owned by Beiersdorf, call (800) 821-5718 or visit www.laprairie.com.
La Prairie Makeup
The brief makeup section in La Prairie's catalog poses the question "Consider the number of hours a day you wear makeup. Shouldn't the foundation you wear be an extension of your treatment program?" Well, calling most of La Prairie's skin-care products a "treatment" is a bit of a joke as what they seem to mean by "treatment benefit" has to do with the company's Cellular Complex, but that isn't complex in the least. This complex is primarily glycoproteins. Although it's true that glycoproteins are an integral part of the skin's intercellular matrix, they are far from the only element skin needs to look and feel its best. Functioning primarily as water-binding agents, glycoproteins won't firm, lift, or rejuvenate skin cells in the manner La Prairie would like you to believe. Further, of the makeup products below, only the ultra-pricey foundations contain a significant amount of this complex, and they have drawbacks of their own.Overall, La Prairie's makeup leaves much to be desired, especially given the high to ludicrous prices for what amount to ordinary cosmetics. A few of the products have supple, silky textures, but the expense is hard to justify when similar items are available for substantially less from so many other lines. Many of the products below earned happy face ratings, but keep in mind that you do not have to acquiesce to La Prairie's prices to beautify your face.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.