Dermalogica's skinperfect primer SPF 30 has many strong points but one considerable weakness, that being the inclusion of lavender and eucalyptus oils in amounts that lend this primer a potent scent. What if you like the smell of lavender and eucalyptus? We do too, but we've also seen the research that shows how irritating both of these fragrant oils can be when applied to skin. What makes your nose happy isn' t always pleasing to skin!
We discuss the issues specific to lavender in the More Info section below. Eucalyptus oil has antimicrobial and antifungal activity, but it also has the potential to be a potent skin irritant due to its chemical components. Truly a mixed bag, this oil has benefits and risks. Low amounts of eucalyptus oil do not seem to pose a risk of allergic contact dermatitis in the general population, but its fragrance components are known irritants, and skin can be very good at concealing when it's being irritated (Contact Dermatitis, 2015 and Basic Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, 2006).
All that fragrance is a shame, because otherwise this would be a great primer for combination to oily skin! Its initially thick texture quickly morphs into a silky, powder-like cream that sets to a matte finish. You get gentle broad-spectrum protection from mineral actives titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, plus the formula has a sheer, universally flattering peachy tint that offsets the white cast these sunscreen ingredients tend to have.
The silky, satin matte finish makes an effectively smooth base for enhancing makeup application and wear, and the satin portion kicks in a subtle brightening effect that's not shiny enough to make those with oily skin nervous.
Along with a great texture and sun protection comes green tea-boosted antioxidant protection along with cell-communicating peptides and repairing ingredients. In short, this is a well-rounded formula that offers many benefits!
Unfortunately, all of that enthusiasm is squashed because of the aforementioned fragrance ingredients. As nice as lavender and eucalyptus oils smell to many, fragrance isn't skin care. Despite the strong positives skinperfect primer spf 30 brings, including gentle sun protection, a sheer, flattering tint and anti-aging ingredients, we simply cannot recommend it. See our list of Best Foundation Primers for our latest picks.
Lavender Oil: In-vitro research indicates that components of lavender, specifically linalool and linalyl acetate, can be cytotoxic, which means that topical application of as little a concentration as 0.25% causes cell death (Cell Proliferation, June 2004). This study was conducted on endothelial cells, which are cells that line blood pathways in the body and play a critical role in the inflammatory process of skin.
As linalool and linalyl acetate are both rapidly absorbed by skin and can be detected within blood cells in less than 20 minutes, endothelial cells are an ideal choice for such a test (Journal of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists, 1992). The results of this research also demonstrated that lavender has a damaging effect on fibroblasts, which are cells that produce collagen.
The fragrance constituents in lavender oil, linalool and linalyl acetate, oxidize when exposed to air, and in this process their potential for causing an allergic reaction is increased (Contact Dermatitis, 2008).
If you're wondering why lavender oil doesn't appear to be problematic for you, it's because research has demonstrated that you don't always need to see it or feel it happening for your skin to suffer damage (Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008).
Active ingredients: Titanium Dioxide (4%), Zinc Oxide (14%). Other ingredients: Cyclopentasiloxane, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Diisopropyl Adipate, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Silica, Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Polyglyceryl-3 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Water/Aqua/Eau, Arginine/Lysine Polypeptide, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Palmitoyl Dipeptide-5 Diaminobutyroyl Hydroxythreonine, Palmitoyl Dipeptide-5 Diaminohydroxybutyrate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Silanetriol, Hydrolyzed Pearl, Lavendula Spica (Lavender) Flower Oil, Lavandula Hybrida Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Sodium PCA, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Stearic Acid, Aluminum Hydroxide, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, PEG/PPG-20/15 Dimethicone, Glycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tin Oxide, Iron Oxides (CI77491), (CI77492), (CI77499).
According to company history, Dermalogica products came into being because founder Jane Wurwand could not find a spa-oriented skin-care line that met her criteria. She was dismayed that so many skincare lines aimed at the aesthetics market had products that contained alcohol, artificial colors, fragrance, mineral oil, and lanolin, ingredients he believed had a well-documented history of problems. That's true for fragrance and alcohol (and artificial colors to a lesser extent), but mineral oil and lanolin have no documented history of causing skin problems.
The line is positioned as a no-nonsense, no frills take on skincare, with clinically-inspired packaging that does protect its beneficial ingredients from light and air. Speaking of ingredients, Dermalogica does include a lot of beneficial ones in its skincare, though there are a number of formulas in the line that also make the misstep of including potentially-irritating fragrance ingredients.
For more information about Dermalogica now owned by Unilever, call 1-800-345-2761 or visit www.dermalogica.com.
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