Protect All Over Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30
This is one of Beautycounter's few sunscreen products; unfortunately, it has a lot of problems, making it a less-than-desirable option for skin.
This creamy formula's sole active sunscreen ingredient is zinc oxide, which provides excellent broad-spectrum protection and is gentle enough for even sensitive skin. There are also enough emollients that this should feel moisturizing, but not heavy.
That's where the positives end, though. For a facial sunscreen to be the best it can be, it must contain antioxidants to enhance its effectiveness in preventing sun damage, and there aren't a lot of beneficial antioxidants to be found here. Instead, there are quite a few fragrant (and potent) plant oils that can serve as skin irritants; we're talking two types of orange oil, lemon oil, tangerine oil, and peppermint oil! The potential for irritation these can cause is a problem for skin. Particularly bad is the lemon oil, which has chemicals in it that can be phototoxic, meaning they can cause a reaction on skin when it's exposed to sunlight. (In all fairness, though, this risk is significantly reduced with sunscreen—but really, why is it in here at all?!)
While all the plant oils might make this sunscreen smell great, they're not doing your skin any favors! Definitely skip this one, and check out one of the options on our list of Best Sunscreens instead.
Note: Because this product is regulated in the United States as an over-the-counter drug, its inactive ingredients are listed in alphabetical order rather than in descending order of content. Although this may be allowed by law, we have more respect for companies that choose instead to list their inactive ingredients in descending order of concentration, so you know more about what you are putting on your face, just like with any other skincare or makeup product.
- Provides broad-spectrum sun protection with the gentle mineral active zinc oxide.
- Contains emollients that will make skin feel moisturized without a heavy, greasy finish.
- Doesn't contain the variety of antioxidants needed to boost this product's sun protection and provide enhanced anti-aging benefits.
- Contains several potentially irritating fragrant plant oils.
Beautycounter is the brainchild of self-described serial entrepreneur Gregg Renfrew, a woman who is perhaps best known for serving on the board of Martha Stewart Living after selling her bridal registry company, The Wedding List, to Stewarts media empire. Renfrew has worked as a consultant on cosmetics lines from celebrities like Kate Hudson and Jessica Alba.
Renfrew says she decided to start her own cosmetics line after learning that not all the ingredients used in cosmetics were safe, so Beautycounter was launched in 2013. The brands primary focus is provide what it calls safe skincare to consumers, with its website stating that a rigorous ingredient selection process is used to ensure nothing harmful is used.
For all the interest Beautycounter has stirred up, the line is by and large lackluster, and in many cases overpriced for what you get. Many of the formulas start out with potential, but are ultimately derailed by either the inclusion of potential skin irritants or the jar packaging, which will render many of their beneficial ingredients ineffective over time.
Beautycounter products can be purchased through its website or through product consultants who do home sales parties. For more information, visit www.beautycounter.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.