Protect + Hydrate Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50 for Face
Aveeno’s Protect + Hydrate Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50 for Face was recently retooled, and we’re happy to say for the better! In fact, if not for the inclusion of fragrance and fragrance ingredients that linger on skin (posing a risk of irritation), this would easily earn our recommendation for its beautiful lotion texture and broad-spectrum protection.
The water-resistant formula is packaged in an opaque squeeze tube that nicely protects the oat-derived antioxidants it contains. Speaking of antioxidants, we’re happy to see them included in this sunscreen but disappointed the amounts are low; the formula contains more fragrance than beneficial ingredients, but fragrance isn’t skin care.
In use, this applies smoothly without a greasy or thick feel. It’s definitely a comfortable sunscreen whether applied to face or body, and how it feels once it sets is likely to foster liberal application and reapplication, both necessary to reach and maintain the stated level of sun protection. It’s a nice change of pace from some of the thicker, pasty, difficult-to-blend mineral-based sunscreens we’ve seen lately.
As for hydrating skin, the core ingredient blend of glycerin, dimethicone, and beeswax work well to keep skin smooth and soft while working to prevent moisture loss. This sunscreen is suitable for all skin types, and also wears well under makeup.
- Provides broad spectrum protection.
- Smooth, beautifully light lotion texture is easy to apply.
- Doesn’t feel thick, greasy, sticky, or occlusive even when applied liberally.
- Contains several forms of soothing, antioxidant oat.
- Water-resistant formula.
- Wears well under makeup.
- Amount of fragrance poses a risk of irritating skin.
- Contains more fragrance than the called-out oat ingredients.
A face sunscreen that hydrates for 24 hours? How refreshing. Enriched with anti-oxidant oat, this moisturizing formula leaves skin feeling soft, smooth and nourished. Meanwhile, the broad spectrum SPF 50 delivers UVA and UVB protection so you’re protected all day long.
Strengths: A few good cleansers and sunscreen products; fantastic Skin Relief Healing Ointment and soothing bath wash products; a handful of well-formulated baby-care products.
Weaknesses: Well-intentioned but ineffective anti-acne products; reliance on a single showcased ingredient (typically soy) that makes their anti-aging products less enticing than the competition; ineffective products to address hyperpigmentation; formulas packaged in a jar wont remain stable.
Beginning with its first product in 1945, Soothing Bath Treatment, still sold today as part of the company's Baby line of products, Aveeno has prided itself on using natural ingredients. In some ways, they were a pioneer in the field, though for years the only natural ingredient of note in their products was oatmeal. Consumer products giant Johnson & Johnson purchased the brand in 1999, and wasted almost no time expanding it. A handful of bar cleansers and bath products were spun off into complete collections of facial-care products and an ever-growing number of body lotions and washes, not to mention shaving gels (Aveeno is one of the few companies whose shaving gels are truly fragrance-free).
Not surprisingly, many of the facial-care products from Aveeno are similar to those from Johnson & Johnson-owned Neutrogena. The differences typically lie in the natural ingredients each brand promotes. A cornerstone ingredient for Aveeno is soy, while Neutrogena has experimented (with varying degrees of success) with copper, retinol, salicylic acid, and melibiose. Overall, Neutrogena has a much larger and more comprehensive selection of products, though their formulas are also more problematic. Aveeno would do well to diversify a bit, or at least acknowledge that it takes more than a single star ingredient to provide superior skin-care products. As is, most of their anti-wrinkle products don't compete favorably with the more well-rounded options, not just from Neutrogena but also from Olay, Dove, and, in some respects, L'Oreal.
Getting back to the issue of soy, you'll see from the reviews it is indeed a helpful ingredient for skin, just not in the same multifaceted, does-everything manner Aveeno touts on each soy-containing product's package. A big proponent for Aveeno's use of soy is dermatologist Dr. Jeannette Graf. She is quoted on Aveeno's web site, stating that "It is now clear that the ability of natural soy to deliver multiple benefits to skin plays a lead role in high performance skin care." That sounds great but it doesn't explain why Aveeno ignores research on countless other antioxidants, skin-identical ingredients, or cell-communicating ingredients, all elements Dr. Graf uses in her separate, namesake product line. Interestingly, with Graf's own products relying on a blend of efficacious ingredients, including soy, it's a good question why she decided to endorse Aveeno's one-note soy products.
The bottom line is that when it comes to shopping for skin-care products at the drugstore, Aveeno, for all its talk of being a leader in "Active Naturals," doesn't have the all-inclusive product assortment needed to take the best possible care of your skin. However, paying attention to their top offerings is time (and money) well-spent!
For more information about Aveeno, owned by Johnson & Johnson, call (866) 428-3366 or visit www.aveeno.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.