This lightweight moisturizer with sunscreen doesn't list any active ingredients, yet it contains several, including avobenzone (listed as butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane). Because Decleor is a European line, we suspect the ingredient list on this product is what's seen throughout Europe, where sunscreens are not required to call out percentages of actives as they are in the U.S. and other countries. That's disappointing because those amounts are important for a consumer to know. Still, we're confident this provides broad-spectrum protection because of the sunscreen ingredients included in the inactive ingredient listing.
This product has a light, silky texture that sets to a slight matte finish, but one that won't hold up over oily areas. It contains vitamin C (as ascorbyl glucoside) in an amount likely to have an impact on skin discolorations, assuming you store the translucent bottle packaging away from degrading light.
Despite the positives of sun protection plus vitamin C for skin lightening, this expensive daytime moisturizer is not recommended because it contains several fragrant ingredients known to be irritating. The prime offender is eugenol. Eugenol is known to cause irritation that may include redness, dryness, scaling, and swelling (Sources: Toxicological Sciences, October 2011, pages 501–510; Immunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology, July 2011, Epublication; Collegium Antropologicum, March 2011, pages 83–87; Toxicology In Vitro, August 2009, pages 789–796; and Toxicologic Pathology, August 2007, pages 693–701).
Eugenol is a major component of clove oil, and research has shown the eugenol content of clove causes skin-cell death, even when low concentrations of clove (0.33%) were applied to cultured skin cells (Source: Cell Proliferation, August 2006, pages 241–248). It is best to avoid products that contain eugenol, and it's definitely a fragrant ingredient to check on before buying cosmetics.
It is also a problem that this product is on the expensive side because you have to apply a sunscreen liberally to get the SPF benefit on your skin, and you aren't likely to apply this liberally given how much it costs. Besides, there are better daytime moisturizers with sunscreen that cost less and treat skin to an array of beneficial ingredients.
Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin's ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way to go for all skin types. If fragrance in your skin-care products is important to you, it should be a very low amount to minimize the risk to your skin (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135, and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22).
This light and silky emulsion provides hydration, a matte appearance and protection. It combines the White Focus plant complex with highly stable Vitamin C, with anti-oxidant properties and the ability to regulate the skin's pigmentation process.
Water, Isononyl Isononanoate, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Butylene Glycol, PEG-8 Beeswax, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Glycerine, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Triethanolamine, PEG-100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Tamarix Chinensis Flower/Leaf Extract, Saxifraga Sarmentosa Extract, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Paeonia Suffruticosa Root Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Dimethicone, Phenylbenzimidazole Sulfonic Acid, Propylene Glycol, Palmitic Acid, Acrylates/ C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Cetyl Alcohol, Fragrance (Parfum), Alcohol, Potassium Hydroxide, Stearic Acid, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Benzyl Salicylate, Eugenol, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben.
Strengths: None of note.
Weaknesses: Expensive; pervasive use of volatile essential oils that have limited to no benefit for skin and are known irritants; almost all the sunscreens lack the right UVA-protecting ingredients; no product to address acne or skin discolorations; inappropriate jar packaging.
What can you say about a skin-care line where almost 85% of the products contain volatile, fragrant plant oils that have research showing they are irritating to skin? Few lines in this book received so many unhappy faces for this reason alone—yet those very oils are Decleor's claim to fame. This spa-oriented company was begun in 1975 by a massage therapist and is now owned in part by Japan-based Shiseido (whose sunscreens trounce Decleor's by leaps and bounds).
Decleor is all about aromatherapy for skin. They speak freely of the purity of the essential oils they use and the distillation processes that keep them active, but that's precisely the cause for concern. Yes, lavender, bitter orange, rose, geranium, neroli, and other "essential" oils smell wonderful, but the very ingredients that create those intoxicating scents are what is responsible for causing skin irritation, inflammation, and, in some cases, phototoxic reactions. These essential oils have active constituents but, because they are not regulated as such, any company can use whichever ones they like in any concentration. Moreover, companies don't have to indicate the quantities that were used, leaving the consumer to guess. The concept of aromatherapy has well-established benefits concerning inhalation of scents and the effects they have on one's mood and, sometimes, physiological function. But enjoying these oils via inhalation (where they really can be beneficial) is different from applying them to skin, where hypersensitivity is well-documented and topical usage is cautioned (Sources: Current Pharmaceutical Design, December 2006, pages 3393–3399; Phytotherapy Research, September 2006, pages 758–763; European Journal of Oncology Nursing, April 2006, pages 140–149; The Journal of Nursing, August 2005, pages 11–15; and www.naturaldatabase.com).
Not only are most of Decleor's products a giant step backward for your skin, they're also a real misfortune when you consider Decleor's terrible sunscreens and lack of truly state-of-the-art ingredients. In short, experiencing these products in a relaxing spa environment may make you feel refreshed or invigorated—but if your goal is establishing a sensible, effective skin-care routine, you’ll need to keep shopping.
For more information about Decleor, call (888) 414-4471 or www.decleor.com.
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