Prevage Anti-Aging Triple Defense Shield Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 50
This is a good, though overpriced, daytime moisturizer with sunscreen that's best for normal to oily or combination skin. It has a lightweight lotion texture that is dispenses from the tube via an attached brush composed of tightly packed synthetic bristles. Brushing on your SPF moisturizer may seem convenient at first, but ultimately doesn't make application any better or easier; in fact, after a few uses the brush gets gunked up with product, and washing this is tricky as you don't want water or cleanser to seep into the fresh product remaining in the tube.
True to its broad spectrum name, this provides reliable UVA and UVB screening, with stabilized avobenzone on hand for robust UVA protection. The active ingredients do pose a risk of causing a sensitized reaction, especially when applied around the eyes, and this risk is compounded because the product contains fragrance ingredients known to be irritating. We really wish more products like this were fragrance-free, as it's truly better for skin. Still, the amount fragrance is low—just don't consider this if you have extra-sensitive skin.
In terms of antioxidants, there are some good ones here, including the highly touted idebenone (listed as hydroxydecyl ubiquinoyl dipalmitoyl glycerate). Also known as "idebenone complex" there is only one study showing how this antioxidant worked to improve signs of sun damage on skin, but it wasn't a comparative study and the doctor involved has ties to the ingredient complex, so it was in his best interest to make sure the results were good (Source: Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, February 2011, page AB21).
We're not disputing that this idebenone complex is a good antioxidant, but are questioning why Elizabeth Arden alludes to it being among the best out there when there's so little to go on? And, in the study referenced above, the participants were using a complete, pre-selected skin-care routine that included SPF 30. It's entirely possible that the sunscreen alone is what brought about most of the anti-aging changes—daily sun protection, especially for those not in the habit, can bring about remarkable improvements in wrinkles and brown spots because skin is finally able to begin repairing itself rather than constantly being beaten back by UV exposure. The bottom line is that idebenone isn't the only or best antioxidant around. Clearly, Elizabeth Arden doesn't think so either, or why does this Prevage product contain other antioxidants? Wouldn't the idebenone complex be enough?
- Provides broad-spectrum sun protection.
- Lightweight, silky lotion texture.
- Contains a good mix of antioxidants.
- Works well under makeup.
- Expensive, which may discourage liberal application necessary to achieve this product's SPF rating.
- Contains fragrance ingredients that pose a risk of irritation, and this is compounded by the sunscreen agents.
- The attached applicator brush is tricky to keep clean, yet that's the only way to dispense this product.
Elizabeth Arden At-A-Glance
Strengths: Some excellent serums and a few noteworthy moisturizers; praiseworthy concealers; a handful of well-formulated makeup products including foundation, blush, eyeshadow, and lipstick.
Weaknesses: No products for those battling blemishes; several products whose sunscreen lacks sufficient UVA protection; most of the foundations with sunscreen fail to provide sufficient UVA protection; lackluster eye and brow pencils; some problematic lip color products; jar packaging weakens some otherwise great formulas.
Former nurse Elizabeth Arden was a pioneer in the beauty industry. At the turn of the 20th century, Arden began her legacy when she opened her first salon, with the now-familiar red door. Over the next several years she introduced new products and services to women unaccustomed to such choices, and almost single-handedly made it acceptable for modern women to wear makeup. And while Arden understood and met these beauty needs, she was also adept at self-promotion and packaging, helping to solidify the idea that what holds the product should be as beautiful as the woman who uses it. She was the front-runner in the cosmetics industry for quite some time, until another young go-getter by the name of Estee Lauder began her own empireone that would eventually lead to the Elizabeth Arden line being almost an afterthought in the mind of many consumers.
Not only has Arden's image been diminished over the years due to odd distribution patterns (consumers were getting mixed messages as this prestige line began showing up in drug and discount chain stores), but also through their own formulary mistakes and seeming unwillingness to pay attention to current research. Given the history of this line and several outstanding products they've produced in the past, it's very frustrating that what's offered today is such a mishmash of good and bad, with a hefty dose of average. Arden still has several sunscreens that fall short by leaving out sufficient UVA protection. In contrast, Estee Lauder and the Lauder-owned lines have their sunscreen acts together and consistently impress by including other state-of-the-art goodies to amplify the environmental protection of their moisturizers.
Many of Arden's products also contain potentially problematic ingredients or are packaged in a way that puts the light- and air-sensitive ingredients at risk of breaking down shortly after the product is opened. Given Elizabeth Arden's (the woman) pioneering, innovative spirit,we can't imagine her being completely pleased with the state of her namesake skin-care line (Arden passed away in 1966). Having the gorgeous Catherine Zeta-Jones as a spokesmodel for most of theearly 2000smay have raised more interest in this brand than in years past, but a pretty face and eye-catching ads don't always translate to good skin care, as evidenced by the reviews on this site. There are some very impressive products in this line, but it's definitely one that demands careful attention to what you're buying lest you put your skin at risk.
For more information about Elizabeth Arden, call (800) 326-7337 or visit www.elizabetharden.com.
Elizabeth Arden Makeup
Cosmetics trailblazer Elizabeth Arden may have been single-handedly responsible for bringing modern makeup to American women (she opened the famous Red Door Salon in 1910 and formulated the first blush and tinted powders in 1912), but today's lineup of Arden makeup has far more disappointments than its pioneering namesake would have liked.Most of the Arden foundations with sunscreen either leave out the five prime UVA-screening active ingredients or because their SPF numbers are unnecessarily low. Either way,only oneof the foundations with sunscreens can be relied on as your sole source of facial sun protection.
In contrast to the mostlydisappointing foundations, you'll be pleased with what Arden offers for concealer, eyeshadow, lipstick, and mascara. Each of these categories has some brilliant products to consider, and they serve to prove, at least to a modest extent, that Elizabeth Arden makeup is not to be counted out just yet. The remaining products have little to extol, either because they are truly ineffective or because the competition has Arden beat by a mile.A continual bright spot for Arden is that their tester units are typically well organized and the colors are grouped so it's easy to zero in on what you like.
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.