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Lancome

Teint Idole Ultra Cushion Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50

0.45 fl. oz. for $ 47.00
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Brand Overview

Several brands are offering cushion foundations, with mixed results. Some are exceptional, bringing something new to the table, while others are lackluster or contain problematic ingredients. Unfortunately Lancome's Teint Idole Ultra Cushion Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50 falls into the latter category!

This product's packaging involves a thick plastic compact with a mirrored top and an interior lid that covers the foundation beneath. You can insert or take out the foundation component, and refills are available (which does cut down on the cost of repurchasing).

The foundation itself isn't in a saturated sponge as with most cushion compacts; instead it's dispensed through a mesh filter. This doesn't really make much of a difference in application, as you still need to use a sponge, brush, or your fingers to tap down on the product to dispense for application.

The good aspects of this foundation are short: It provides robust broad spectrum SPF 50, and is easy to apply and blend.

The first negative is apparent as soon as you open the compact: There's a very strong scent of rubbing alcohol. That's because alcohol is the fourth ingredient in this foundation, which is a big problem for your skin, not only because it's potentially drying but because it can impact the way skin renews itself (see More Info for details).

As if that wasn't enough of an issue, this also contains some fragrance ingredients, including peppermint extract. These can aggravate skin, especially if you apply this on a daily basis—which is the norm for how often most people use foundation. The fragrance of this product lingers for a long time, which is also unpleasant if you prefer your makeup not to have a scent.

Performance-wise, this isn't a blockbuster either; even though it dries to an initially attractive soft matte finish, over time this finish emphasizes imperfections like pores, wrinkles, and fine lines.

It's a shame, especially since Lancome-owned L'Oreal has a cushion foundation (albeit one without sunscreen) that's excellent, less expensive, and avoids all these pitfalls. Check that out instead or look to one of the better options on our list of Best Foundations With Sunscreen.

Pros:
  • Provides broad spectrum sun protection.
  • Easy to apply and blend.
Cons:
  • Contains a high amount of potentially drying alcohol.
  • Contains fragrance ingredients that could aggravate skin.
  • The finish eventually emphasizes pores, wrinkles, and lines.
More Info:

Alcohol-Based Skincare Products: Alcohol's effect on your skin is similar to its effect on the rest of your body: it steals the good (hydration) and leaves the bad (dryness, redness, and discomfort). Research has made it clear that alcohol as a main ingredient in any skincare product you use repeatedly is a problem.

When we express concern about the presence of alcohol in skincare or makeup products, we're referring to denatured ethanol, which you'll most often see listed as SD alcohol, alcohol denat, denatured alcohol, or isopropyl alcohol on the ingredient label.

When you see these names of this type of alcohol listed among the first six ingredients on an ingredient label, without question they will aggravate and be cruel to skin. No way around that, it's simply bad for all skin types.

These types of volatile alcohols give products a quick-drying finish, immediately degrease skin, and feel weightless, so it's easy to see their appeal, especially for those with oily skin. But those short term benefits lead to negative long term outcomes!

Consequences include dryness, erosion of skin's surface (that's really bad for skin), and a strain on how skin replenishes, renews, and rejuvenates itself. Alcohol just weakens everything about skin.

We are often challenged on this information based on a study in the British Journal of Dermatology, July 2007, issue 1, pages 74-81 that concluded "alcohol-based hand rubs cause less irritation than hand washing…" The only thing this study showed is that alcohol was not as irritating as an even more irritating hand wash containing sodium lauryl sulfate. Think about it this way, if you test to see whether or not you'll get burnt by a flame or slowly boiling hot water, you will quickly get damaged by the fire. You will eventually be damaged by the slowly boiling hot water it will just take longer, but burned you will be.

There are other types of "alcohols", known as fatty alcohols, which are absolutely non-irritating and can be exceptionally beneficial for skin. Examples you'll see on ingredient labels include cetyl, stearyl, and cetearyl alcohol. All of these are good ingredients for skin. It's important to discern these skin-friendly forms of alcohol from the problematic types of alcohol.

The irony of using alcohol-based products to control oily skin is that the damage from alcohol can lead to an increase in bumps and enlarged pores. Alcohol can actually increase oiliness because of the irritating feeling it creates, so the immediate de-greasing effect is eventually counteracted, prompting your oily skin to look even shinier.

References for this information:

Dermato-Endocrinology, January 2011, issue 1, pages 41-49

Experimental Dermatology, June 2008, issue 6, pages 542-551

Alcohol Journal, April 2002, issue 3, pages 179-190

Aging, March 2012, issue 3, pages 166-175

Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77-80

Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, November 2008, issue 3

Clinical Dermatology, September-October 2004, issue 5, pages 360-366.

Why Fragrance is a Problem for Skin: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes a chronic sensitizing reaction on skin.

This leads to all kinds of problems, including disruption of skin's healthy appearance, worsening dryness, redness, depletion of vital substances in skin's surface, and generally keeps skin from looking healthy, smooth, and hydrated. Fragrance free is always the best way to go for all skin types.

A surprising fact: Even though you can't always see the negative influence of using products that contain fragrance has on skin, the damage will still be taking place even if it's not evident on the surface. Research has demonstrated that you don't always need to see or feel the effects on your skin for your skin to be suffering. This negative impact and the visible damage may not become apparent for a long time.

References for this information:

Biochimica and Biophysica Acta, May 2012, pages 1,410-1,419

Aging, March 2012, pages 166-175

Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77-80

Experimental Dermatology, October 2009, pages 821-832

International Journal of Toxicology, Volume 27, 2008, Supplement pages 1-43

Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446—475

American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, issue 11, pages 789-798

Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008, issue 4, pages 191-202

Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: Yes
High coverage, longwearing liquid foundation in a portable cushion compact. This oil-free, lightweight liquid foundation gives you the buildable coverage you need, plus refreshing hydration, SPF 50 Sunscreen, and a natural matte finish. The technology: three years of research in the making, this ultra-innovative cushion foundation gives you buildable full coverage and refreshing hydration that lasts the first of its kind. Its patented Polar Cushion Technology is tailor-made for longwear and coverage. Unlike a sponge cushion, the ultra-absorbent fiber network was specifically crafted to lock in high coverage textures. Plus, its touch-activated filter dispenses the perfect amount of formula with every application the result is liquid foundation, without leaks or spills. The perfectly portable compact comes with a customized puff applicator for a high coverage result, making Teint Idole Ultra Cushion your easy-to-use, quick, on-the-go companion. The formula: the oil-free liquid formula glides easily and comfortably onto the skin, while delivering a refreshing cooling effect upon application. The result is a lightweight, hydrating formula with a natural matte finish.
Active: Octinoxate 5%, Titanium Dioxide 10.59%. Inactive: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Isononyl Isononanoate, Alcohol Denat., Phenyl Trimethicone, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Glycerin, Bis-PEG/PPG-14/14 Dimethicone, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Water, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Extract, RNA, Zea Mays (Corn) Kernel Extract, Rosa Centifolia Flower Extract, Sorbitol, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit Extract, Talc, Arginine, Pyridoxine HCI, Alumina, Aluminum Hydroxide, Phenylalanine, Magnesium Sulfate, Mannitol, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Nylon-12, Tyrosine, Disodium Adenosine Triphosphate, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Propylene Gycol, Acer Saccharum (Sugar Maple) Extract, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Malitol, Gentiana Lutea Root Extract, Pentylene Glycol, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Histidine HCL, Ethyhexyl Hydroxystearate, BHT, Pentaerithrityl Tetra-di-t-butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Sorbic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance, Linalool, Eugenol, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Hexyl Cinnamal, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Salicylate. May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Bismuth Oxychloride, Iron Oxides.

Lancome At-A-Glance

Strengths: Some good cleansers; well-formulated scrubs; foundations with beautiful shades for almost every skin color; great concealers; several outstanding mascaras; the Artliner liquid eyeliners perform well; impressive powder eyeshadows; some fantastic lipsticks and automatic lipliner.

Weaknesses: Expensive for what amounts to mostly mediocre to below-average skincare products; lacking in effective treatments for blemishes or fading skin discolorations; average toners; moisturizers that are short on including state-of-the-art ingredients; jar packaging; some foundations with sunscreen do not provide complete UVA protection.

French flair, free gifts with purchase, constant magazine ads, and attractive packaging impel women to seek out the Lancome counter. Once you're there, though, unless you're captured by the enticing claims, the skin-care products are resoundingly dull, and we mean really, really dull (the makeup is a different story). With new research and developments in skin care many cosmetics companies typically improve their formulas, even if just in a small way. Thats not the case with Lancome, which tends to raise their prices while producing lackluster, ordinary formulas with little benefit for skin.

Even more shocking is that their most expensive skin-care items tend to be the most disappointing, usually for what they lack rather than for what they contain. It's startling to realize that their priciest moisturizer is remarkably similar to dozens of other Lancome creams priced more reasonably (but still too high when you consider what you're getting for the money). It seems that all it takes to justify the excessive prices is a good story based around a rare ingredient and claims of delivering a younger look. What a shame so many consumers are taken in by this kind of marketing mumbo jumbo.

L'Oreal-owned Lancome, along with L'Oreal's own skin-care products sold at the drugstore, has fallen well behind their competition. For all their lofty claims and beautiful models, many other companies leave them in the dust. Most of the Lauder companies (Clinique, Estee Lauder), along with Dove, and Olay have skin-care formularies that consistently outperform those of Lancome and L'Oreal in terms of what substantiated research has shown is necessary to have healthy, more wrinkle- and age-resistant skin. Lancome claims to understand women, and they certainly know how to entice them with pretty packaging and scientific-sounding claims. It would be far better if they had an intimate understanding of what it really takes for skin to look its best and function optimally.

The biggest improvement Lancome has made is that almost all of their sunscreens now include the right UVA-protecting ingredients. Who knows why it took them so long to get this straightened out (L'Oreal is no stranger to this issue, as they have developed and patented new UVA filters throughout the years), but it is now easier than ever to find a reliable sunscreen from Lancome. Given their prominence and presence in department stores around the world, Lancome isn't easy to ignore. Our suggestion is to look beyond most of the skin care and focus on what they do best: makeup (especially foundations and mascaras).

Note: Unless mentioned otherwise, all Lancome products contain fragrance.

For more information about Lancome, owned by L'Oreal, call (800) 526-2663 or visit www.lancome.com.

Lancome Makeup

L'Oreal-owned Lancome is a stellar, French-bred collection of makeup that remains the best reason to shop this line. Because most of Lancome's skin-care products have problematic elements (be it jar packaging, insufficient sun protection, or dated formulas), it is a relief to find that, for the most part, the colorful side of their business has more than its share of innovative products. We enjoyed the fact that no matter where we shopped, Lancome's counter personnel were friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful. There's a lot to keep track of, and Lancome deserves credit for keeping their salespeople so well informed.

If you're looking for a force to reckon with for foundations, Lancome is a must-see. They continue to offer some of the most elegant, silky formulas anywhere and in a color range that is overwhelmingly neutral, whether your skin is porcelain or ebony. The only troubling aspect is that most of Lancome's foundations with sunscreen do not contain adequate UVA protection or the SPF rating is too low. Lancome obviously knows about the risks with these issues (after all, they market ecamsule, their version of the UVA-protecting ingredient Mexoryl SX, and brag about its UVA range). And considering that, we are not recommending as many of their foundations as we have in previously have. Beyond this major gripe, you will discover that Lancome has a well-deserved reputation for their fantastic mascaras, and that their latest powders and eyeshadows apply with a silkiness that makes them gratifying to work with. The rest of the makeup encompasses many valid choices, but before you commit to Lancome, consider the similar options available for less from sister companies L'Oreal and Maybelline New York. Striking a balance among the best of each of these lines will give you first-class makeup that beautifies without breaking the bank.

Note: Lancome is categorized as a brand that tests on animals because its products are sold in China. Although Lancome does not conduct animal testing for its products sold elsewhere, the Chinese government requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals, so foreign companies retailing there must comply. This requirement is why some brands state that they dont test on animals unless required by law. Animal rights organizations consider cosmetic companies retailed in China to be brands that test on animals, and so does the Beautypedia Research Team.

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.

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