Weightless Defense Oil-Free Hydrator with Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 45
Weightless Defense Oil-Free Hydrator with Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 45 has been completely reformulated, and it's a big improvement! As with the original formula, the latest version—best for normal to dry or combination skin—provides broad spectrum protection. In fact, only a couple of relatively minor issues kept it from earning our top rating.
Packaged in an opaque container and dispensed via an attached pump, this daytime moisturizer with sunscreen's name is misleading: It isn't weightless! Although not greasy or heavy-feeling, the thickening agents this contains (which also hydrate) are felt on skin. That's why we're not recommending this for oily or breakout-prone skin.
Along with the hydrating ingredients that create this product's non-weightless texture, the formula contains several vitamin-derived antioxidants, an anti-irritant, and a couple of noteworthy replenishing ingredients. All told, a very good mix that nicely complements the sun protection this provides.
Of course, getting the stated amount of sun protection depends on liberal application, and that's where price comes into play. Weightless Defense Oil-Free Hydrator UV Moisturizer SPF 45 isn't exorbitantly priced, but we're concerned its cost might lead to under-application, which cheats your skin. This isn't a deal-breaker, just something to keep in mind if you decide to purchase this.
A minor quibble is DDF claiming that this product contains a retinyl propionate, a form of vitamin A that's a derivative of pure retinol. Instead, this daytime moisturizer contains retinyl palmitate. That form is also a derivative of retinol, just not the same thing (Clinical Interventions in Aging, December 2006). Just like the name, it's misleading, although retinyl palmitate is a skin-beneficial ingredient.
- Provides broad spectrum protection.
- Fortified with several vitamin-based antioxidants.
- Good ability to hydrate skin.
- Fragrance-free formula.
- Not a weightless formula as the name states.
- The claims misrepresent the type of vitamin A in the formula.
Strengths: Several good water-soluble cleansers; excellent Photo-Age sunscreens and every DDF sunscreen includes sufficient UVA-protecting ingredients; some truly state-of-the-art moisturizers and serums; a few good AHA and skin-brightening options; a good benzoyl peroxide topical disinfectant.
Weaknesses: Expensive; products designed for sensitive skin tend to contain one or more known problematic ingredients; several irritating products based on alcohol, menthol, or problematic plant extracts; more than a handful of average moisturizers, many in jar packaging.
This skin-care company's Web site has it right with the statement that "before the beauty world discovered dermatologic skincare brands, there was DDF." Launched in 1991, well before it became common practice for "known" dermatologists to create their own skin-care lines, pioneering dermatologist Dr. Howard Sobel began and is still behind this brand. This is a long-standing line that has the backing of a dermatologist (and later that of nutritional consultant Elaine Linker), so you would expect DDF to be just what the doctor ordered. In some respects, it is. However, more often than not, products from dermatologists are just as prone to outlandish claims, exorbitant prices, and use of unproven ingredients as products from any other cosmetics line. A founder's medical background isn't a guarantee that every product he or she creates will do exactly what it claims or even be sensibly formulated. In that sense, DDF falters more than it succeeds. Sobel's credibility for creating treatment-based skin-care products is diminished when inappropriate ingredients (alcohol, menthol, and others) are included in products positioned as prestige products with a medicinal slant. Still, there are some very impressive options available (particularly in the moisturizer and serum categories) that, price notwithstanding, are worthy of consideration.
It will be curious to see what the future holds for this line, as its ownership has recently changed hands. Consumer product giant Procter & Gamble bought DDF in 2007 to expand the line's global reach, but has since sold it to UK-based Designer Parfums. Designer Parfums says it intends to bring Dr. Sobel on board to play a larger role in the company's marketing and development of both current and future products. Sobel himself says he looks forward to "Playing an active role in rebuilding this brand." (Source: www.wwd.com) We'll have to see exactly what that means as DDF moves ahead!
For more information about DDF, call1-800-818-9770or visit www.ddfskincare.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.