Luminesscence CC Cream SPF 35
It seems almost every cosmetics company has their version of a CC Cream these days, and Armani is jumping on the bandwagon – sadly, with an effort that's all wrong (we give it a D minus)!
Before we reveal why this earned a "POOR" rating, a little background on BB and CC Creams – they're nothing more than marketing hype. For the most part, BB creams from U.S. cosmetics brands are similar to a tinted moisturizer, whereas BB creams from Asia are generally thicker and have a high SPF rating. CC creams are more like liquid foundations, but that's not always the case. BB and CC creams typically but not always provide sun protection and may or may not include beneficial ingredients like antioxidants or skin-lightening agents. Neither BB nor CC creams are as revolutionary as they are made out to be, and there is certainly no consistency among products from different brands, making sorting through them tricky!
As for Armani's Luminesscence, it starts off on the right foot by providing broad spectrum sun protection with an in-part titanium dioxide sunscreen. The texture is lightweight and creamy, and it applies easily. The finish is sheer, semi-matte, and very natural-looking, and it comes in a good range of shades for fair to medium-dark skin tones. So far, so good, but then the other shoe drops.
This CC cream is billed as a product that will enliven your face, make you look refreshed, and keep your skin moisturized, but some of the ingredients it contains are likely to do the opposite! This has a high amount of alcohol, which can dry skin out and cause cell death. On top of that, this also has a lot of fragrance – in fact, fragrance is listed ahead of most of the beneficial ingredients in this formula, yet fragrance isn't skin care – it's a skin care headache. See More Info for details on why alcohol and fragrance are two of the last things you want in a makeup or skin-care product!
Armani also added the menthol-derived ingredient ethyl menthane carboxamide, likely because its cooling sensation on skin will reinforce their "refreshed skin" claim, even though it's likely to be as problematic for skin as menthol because of the irritation it can cause.
Avoid this CC cream and instead check out one of the far superior options on our list of Best Tinted Moisturizers/BB Creams.
- Provides reliable broad spectrum sun protection.
- Creamy, lightweight formula that applies easily.
- Natural-looking semi-matte finish that comes in a good range of shades.
- Contains a high amount of alcohol, which can cause dryness and damage skin.
- Contains strong fragrance, which can impair skin's ability to heal.
- Menthol-like cooling agent ethyl menthane carboxamide will likely cause further irritation.
Alcohol in Skin-Care Products
Alcohol in skin-care products causes dryness and free-radical damage, and impairs the skin's ability to heal. The irritation it causes damages healthy collagen production and can stimulate oil production at the base of the pore, making oily skin worse (Sources: Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, May 2012, pages 1,410–1,419; Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research, January 2011, pages 83–90; "Skin Care—From the Inside Out and Outside In," Tufts Daily, April 1, 2002; eMedicine Journal, May 8, 2002, volume 3, number 5, www.emedicine.com; Cutis, February 2001, pages 25–27; Contact Dermatitis, January 1996, pages 12–16; and http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh27-4/277-284.htm).
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).
Giorgio Armani At-A-Glance
Strengths: Outstanding foundations; superb powder textures; a brilliant shimmer fluid; perfect bronzers; some excellent lip color options; a neutral palette makes this line a must-see.
Weaknesses: Expensive; the skincare is underwhelming, especially given the cost (though the claims sound good!); some of the SPF-rated products do not supply adequate broad spectrum protection; most of the mascaras aren't as impressive as they should be.
Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani is credited with giving tailored elegance, power, and sex appeal to standbys like men's suits, and turning Hollywood's A-list stars into fashion icons as they parade through countless award ceremonies adorned in his simple yet elegant creations. According to Armani, "Elegance doesn't mean being noticed, it means being remembered." That statement has been parlayed into the designer's makeup collection, where the products are replete with the textures, colors, and flawless application that assure your natural beauty will be memorable rather than masked.
Because Armani has always been passionate about textures, it's no surprise that his makeup (which is the main reason to check out this line)presents an impressive collection that features some of the smoothest, lightest textures you're likely to find. From foundations to powders, eyeshadows, and mascaraseven pencilsthe makeup selection includes some truly stellar products. According to the brochure for Armani's makeup, the supreme textures and silky application are the result of Micro-fil technology. This supposedly allows for a precise blending and layering of select ingredients, offering a heightened sense of color that fits like a second skin.
Regardless of how that technology is labeled, almost all of the makeup contains standard silicone polymers along with ordinary ingredients like nylon-12. Of course, many cosmetics companies have their equivalent version of Micro-fil, but Armani seems to have taken it one step further, though not always toward desired results. For example, the eyeshadows, while very smooth and easy to blend, aren't much for intensity, a point the counter personnel made clear.
There are a few other instances where the pricey products aren't all they're made out to be, but this is the world of cosmetics, and although the fantasy is for every product to be perfect, that's hardly ever the reality. Still, there are many compelling reasons to explore this collection. Although not fully distributed across the United States, it has a presence in most major cities and the products may be purchased on Armani's Web site. Makeup is where it's at for Giorgio Armani's cosmetics line. The skin care was a blatant, exceedingly overpricedafterthought and is not worth considering.
For more information about Giorgio Armani, owned by L'Oreal, call (877) ARMANI-3 or visit www.giorgioarmanibeauty-usa.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.