Reading the claims for this moisturizer from BareMinerals and you'll find words like "protect" and "defend" to describe what it can do for your skin. Unfortunately, after looking at the ingredient list, another word sprang to mind for us: "problems!"
This contains bergamot oil, which can be phototoxic, meaning it can trigger irritation when skin is exposed to sunlight (Sources: www.naturaldatabase.com; Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, September 2001, pages 458–461; and Journal of Dermatology, May 1994, pages 319–322). There's also the preservative methylisothiazolinone, which can irritate sensitive skin, and lavender oil, which can kill skin cells and encourage oxidative damage! See More Info to learn why lavender oil is such a problem, even tiny amounts.
We always give credit where it's due, however: Advanced Protection does provide broad-spectrum sun protection with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. There are also antioxidants sprinkled in, though it's hard to determine exactly how much of those you're really getting. That's because this product is regulated in the United States as an over-the-counter drug, so cosmetics brands have the option to list their inactive ingredients in alphabetical order instead of in descending order of content. Although this is allowable, we have far more respect for companies that choose instead to list their non-active sunscreen ingredients in descending order of concentration, so that we, and you, know more about what you are putting on your face.
Add to this the fact that the "ActiveSoil Complex" in this moisturizer is no more than basic minerals, which, in all likelihood, cannot penetrate the skin, so you're left with a daytime moisturizer that can protect the skin from sun damage, but at the risk of causing other problems from the ingredients it contains. For far better options, please see our list of Best Moisturizers With Sunscreen.
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.
Protect skin day after day with this incredibly nourishing moisturizer that delivers powerful SPF protection to shield against the sun's harmful rays. Powered by our proprietary ActiveSoil Complex with essential antioxidants and nutritive minerals, this lightweight lotion defends against environmental damage. Our extra-gentle formula provides balanced moisturization for combination skin, leaving your skin unbelievably soft, smooth, and healthy-looking.
Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide 5.0%, Zinc Oxide 3.0%. Inactive Ingredients: Acacia Dealbata Flower/Stem Extract, Alumina, Aluminum Stearate, Aspalathus Linearis Extract, Aspalathus Linearis Leaf Extract, Bambusa Arundinacea Stem Powder, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Caprylyl Methicone, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan) Extract, Citric Acid, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Seed Extract, Cymbopogon Martini Oil, Dicaprylyl Ether, Ectoin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Geraniol, Glycerin, Glyceryl Isostearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Jojoba Esters, Laminaria Ochroleuca Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Lavandula Hybrida Oil, Limonene, Linalool, Methylisothiazolinone, Phenoxyethanol, Phyllanthus Emblica Fruit Extract, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Propanediol, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Silica, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Soil Minerals, Spiraea Ulmaria Extract, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Water (Aqua), Xanthan Gum.
Bare Escentuals At-a-Glance
Makeup is what this San Francisco-based cosmetics line is primarily about, and they use the pure and natural marketing angle to entice consumers. Founded in 1976 by Diane Ranger, who left the company in the early '90s Bare Escentuals was one of the first brands to introduce the concept of loose powder foundation. Since then, they have moved beyond it to include liquid foundations and tinted moisturizers and an ever expanding line of color cosmetics as well as skincare products.
The products are sold in most Sephora boutiques and Ulta stores, though the full selection of skincare products is most often found at the Bare Escentuals freestanding stores scattered throughout the United States.
We should note that loose powder makeup does take some practice to get the hang of—yet there is no denying that this type of foundation has its fan base. There is a lot to love about Bare Escentuals, even if mineral makeup isn’t your thing (especially their price ranges, which have remained affordable in comparison to many of their neighbors at Sephora).
Strengths: Good makeup removers; a few well-formulated powders with SPF; some nice eyeshadows and impressive mascaras; some impressive foundations; several elegant brush options; not too expensive.
Weaknesses: Some of the loose powder products have texture and finish concerns; some of the skincare contain potentially problematic ingredients.
For more information about Bare Escentuals, call 1.888.795.4747 or visit www.bareescentuals.com.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
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