Clear Start Mattifying Moisturizer Clearing Defense SPF 30
Dermalogica’s Clear Start Mattifying Moisturizer Clearing Defense SPF 30 provides broad-spectrum protection from skin-damaging UV light. Regrettably, it doesn’t mattify skin or make it look poreless as claimed, and because it contains multiple sources of irritating fragrance, isn’t a top choice for those with breakout-prone skin.
The opaque tube packaging makes this easy to dispense, and does double duty protecting the pollution-neutralizing antioxidants from light and air exposure, keeping them effective during use. Primary skin-protecting antioxidants include green tea (Camellia sinensis), willow bark, vitamin C (sodium ascorbyl phosphate) and vitamin E (tocopherol).
This daytime moisturizer’s texture begins creamy, but quickly thins out. It’s easy to spread, and the absence of mineral sunscreen actives means no worry about a gray or white cast on skin; however, we’re worried about the impact the numerous fragrant ingredients will have on your skin. Coriander and orange peel oils, thymol, terpineol (a fragrant component of pine oil), and limonene (which makes skin more sun-sensitive and is pro-oxidant) are the worst offenders, creating a potent, medicinal scent that lingers. See More Info for details.
Dermalogica added some absorbent ingredients such as tapioca starch and silica, but this still has a shiny finish so clearly in this case the absorbents do little to keep oily skin under control. If anything, oily areas become more shiny shortly after application.
You can get broad-spectrum UV protection and a lightweight feel that helps minimize excess oil from other sunscreens for oily skin. Those we recommend omit the problematic fragrance ingredients because, simply put, fragrance isn’t skin care.
Why Fragrance Is a Problem for Skin: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes a chronic sensitizing reaction on skin.
This reaction in turn leads to all kinds of problems, including disrupting skin’s barrier, worsening dryness, increasing or triggering redness, depleting vital substances in skin’s surface, and generally preventing skin from looking healthy, smooth, and hydrated. Fragrance free is always the best way to go for all skin types.
A surprising fact: Even though you can’t always see or feel the negative effects of fragrant ingredients on skin, the damage will still be taking place, even if it’s not evident on the surface. Research has demonstrated that you don’t need to see or feel the effects of irritation for your skin to be suffering. Much like the effects from cumulative sun damage, the negative impact and the visible damage from fragrance may not become apparent for a long time.
References for this information:
Biochimica and Biophysica Acta, May 2012, pages 1410–1419
Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80
Experimental Dermatology, October 2009, pages 821–832
Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008, pages 191–202
International Journal of Toxicology, Volume 27, 2008, Supplement, pages 1–43
Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446–475
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, pages 789–798
This ultra-lightweight SPF 30 formula acts as a barrier, protecting skin from UV rays, pollution, free radical damage, and oily shine. Willow Bark and Green Tea calms irritating effects on pollution on breakout-prone skin, while Tapioca helps reduce shine, leaving you with a poreless, matte finish.
According to company history, Dermalogica products came into being because founder Jane Wurwand could not find a spa-oriented skin-care line that met her criteria. She was dismayed that so many skincare lines aimed at the aesthetics market had products that contained alcohol, artificial colors, fragrance, mineral oil, and lanolin, ingredients he believed had a well-documented history of problems. That's true for fragrance and alcohol (and artificial colors to a lesser extent), but mineral oil and lanolin have no documented history of causing skin problems.
The line is positioned as a no-nonsense, no frills take on skincare, with clinically-inspired packaging that does protect its beneficial ingredients from light and air. Speaking of ingredients, Dermalogica does include a lot of beneficial ones in its skincare, though there are a number of formulas in the line that also make the misstep of including potentially-irritating fragrance ingredients.
For more information about Dermalogica now owned by Unilever, call 1-800-345-2761 or visit www.dermalogica.com.
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.