Youth Code Skin Illuminator Tinted All-in-1 Moisturizer SPF 20
Getting brighter skin, moisture, and broad-spectrum SPF protection from one product sounds like a pretty good deal when it comes to skincare. Those are the claims that come with L'Oreal's Youth Code Skin Illuminator Tinted All-in-1 Moisturizer SPF 20, but it just can't live up to all of them!
Things actually start off well with this product because of its packaging. It comes in an opaque squeeze tube, so its beneficial ingredients are protected from light and air. The moisturizer itself is a creamy lotion that starts out white, then changes to a sheer tint as you apply it. Though the tint isn't quite "universal," it will look natural on a variety of skin tones because it's so sheer. If you have any skin discolorations or other imperfections, you'll have to use another product to cover them, which should give you a good idea of how much this tint won't hide! This feels moisturizing, and dries to a slightly dewy finish that's best for those with normal to dry skin.
The reason this isn't getting a better rating is twofold: First, it has a strong perfumey scent that's apparent as soon as you open the tube. Though fragrance is the very last ingredient included, there's enough here to create a scent that lingers. Several hours after we applied it, we could still smell this! Fragrance isn't skin care, and a pervasive, lingering scent like this poses a risk of irritation when used every day.
The second issue is that although L'Oreal did include a few antioxidants, along with skin-conditioning ingredients and emollients, this product falls short when it comes to providing sufficient sun protection. In order to provide adequate sun protection, a product must be rated SPF 30 or higher, and this is only SPF 20.
Even though it feels moisturizing and has an attractive tint that will work on quite a few skin tones, the strong scent and low level of sun protection mean Youth Code Skin Illuminator Tinted All-in-1 Moisturizer SPF 20 doesn't get our enthusiastic recommendation. You'll find better options on our list of Best Tinted Moisturizers.
- Packaged in a container that will protect its light- and air-sensitive ingredients.
- Sheer tint works on a variety of skin tones.
- Has a strong fragrance that lingers.
- SPF 20 is too low to provide adequate sun protection.
L'Oreal Paris At-A-Glance
Strengths: Budget-friendly prices; good makeup removers; wide assortment of self-tanning options; one of the best, most comprehensive makeup collections at the drugstore, with superb options in almost every category; the mascaras are a tough act to follow.
Weaknesses: Jar packaging hinders some of the skincare formulas; many of their skincare formulas contain problematic amounts of fragrance and/or other irritants; exaggerated anti-aging claims.
L'Oreal's extensive makeup collection retains its stature as one of the better selections at the drugstore, though they have stiff competition from Revlon and, in some cases, sister company Maybelline New York. In recent years L'Oreal has made significant strides with foundation shades, powder textures, concealers, and, of course, superlative mascaras that rarely fail to impress. Their lipsticks are excellent and you will find many L'Oreal makeup products have a Lancome counterpart, and that the differences are minorif there are any at all.
L'Oreal's displays in many drugstores reflect better-organized products and shade categories (though testers are still scarce). Given the number of lipsticks they sell, it only makes sense to put them in color families so consumers have a better shopping experience. Their True Match products are also sensibly laid out, but the rest of the foundations aren't as organized, likely due to the smaller selection of shades. Speaking of foundations, L'Oreal has made further strides by offering more that provide sufficient UVA protection. Revlon still has the edge for consistently launching impressive foundations with sunscreen, but at least L'Oreal is (finally) catching up.
The bottom line is that every category of L'Oreals makeup has some winning (and in some cases, benchmark-setting) products.
Unfortunately, despite the brands enormous presence in the beauty industry, L'Oreal's moisturizers and treatment products are a nearly all unremarkable and repetitive. When it comes to moisturizers or serums, just about anything from Dove, Olay, Neutrogena, or Aveeno is preferred. L'Oreal does well with most of their cleansers, along with scrubs and self-tanning products, but given the widespread availability and financial resources of this line, they could be doing so much more. The good news is their makeup has made major strides and now ranks as the best overall color collection at the drugstoreimagine the results if their skin care followed suit.
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.