Solar Defense Booster SPF 50
This lightweight daytime moisturizer with sunscreen has a lot going for it, but it also has just as many drawbacks. The price is probably the major issue because sunscreens must be applied liberally to get the stated level of sun protection on the label, and you are unlikely to apply a product that retails for almost $50 liberally.
Even if the price doesn't faze you, the formula is a mixed bag of good and potentially irritating ingredients. On the plus side, you'll get broad-spectrum protection that includes avobenzone for reliable UVA (think anti-aging) screening. Solar Defense also contains some very good antioxidants, which are essential to any well-formulated sunscreen.
On the downside, this contains some problematic fragrant plant extracts and lavender oil, which, despite its calming aroma, isn't skin caring (see More Info for details). Without the troublemakers, this would be a product we'd review favorably, but as is, you can find superior formulas that cost less and omit the problematic ingredients.
- Provides broad-spectrum sun protection.
- Lightweight, hydrating formula.
- Expensive, which may discourage liberal application.
- Contains fragrant plant extracts known to be irritating.
- Lavender oil is a problem in any amount, especially in a leave-on product.
Research indicates that components of lavender, specifically linalool, can be cytotoxic, which means that topical application causes skin-cell death (Source: Cell Proliferation, June 2004, pages 221–229). Lavender leaves contain camphor, which is a known skin irritant. Because the fragrance constituents in lavender oil oxidize when exposed to air, lavender oil is a pro-oxidant, and this enhanced oxidation increases its irritancy on skin (Source: Contact Dermatitis, September 2008, pages 143–150). Lavender oil is the most potent form, and even small amounts of it (0.25% or less) are problematic. It is a must to avoid in skin-care products, although it's fine as an aromatherapy agent for inhalation or relaxation (Sources: Psychiatry Research, February 2007, pages 89–96; and www.naturaldatabase.com).
Protects your skin with broad-spectrum sunscreens for the prevention of sunburn and sun damage that can lead to premature aging. It also features antioxidants to defend the skin against free-radical damage associated with sun exposure. The lightweight lotion formula absorbs quickly into the skin for complete coverage.
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.