DermalogicaOil Free Matte SPF 30
1.7 fl. oz. for $48
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Expert Reviews

The first word in the name of this daytime moisturizer with sunscreen is misleading because there's nothing medical about this product. However, it does contain some ingredients that work to reduce inflammation from acne, and one ingredient (zinc gluconate) that has antibacterial action, so the "Bac" portion of the name makes sense.

The plant extract (Enanti-a chlorantha) contains components that have exhibited antibacterial action, but there's no research related to this extract's ability to fight acne-causing bacteria, which requires a very specific type of antibacterial activity (Sources: Planta Medica, June 2012, pages 1020–1030; and Pharmaceutical Biology, March 2010, pages 349–356). Moreover, this plant is most often used to treat malaria, not acne (Source: African Journal of Traditional, Complementary, and Alternative Medicines, November 2006, pages 191–198). Instead, if anything in this product were to reduce the bacteria that leads to acne, it would be the zinc gluconate because of its effect on reducing the inflammation that triggers an excess of acne-causing bacteria (Sources: Journal of Investigative Dermatology, January 2011, pages 59–66; and European Journal of Dermatology, November-December 2005, pages 152–155).

The oleanolic acid in this product is a fatty acid that may play a role in reducing the inflammation that leads to acne (at its heart, acne is an inflammatory disorder), but none of these ingredients are medicinal.

Despite not being particularly medical or state-of-the-art for reducing acne-causing bacteria, this has a lightweight lotion texture and soft matte finish that should please those with oily, breakout-prone skin. It provides critical UVA (think anti-aging) protection via avobenzone and contains a good range of ingredients that help skin function in a more normal, healthy manner.

Unlike many Dermalogica products, this contains grapefruit oil, which is a potential skin irritant. In this case, however, it's only one problem, as Dermalogica usually includes several potentially irritating ingredients. Beyond the high price, this is the only blemish (sorry, we couldn't resist) on an otherwise well-formulated product for oily skin.

  • Lightweight lotion texture and soft matte finish are ideal for oily, breakout-prone skin.
  • Contains ingredients that help skin function in a more normal, healthy manner.
  • Helps reduce redness and inflammation from acne.
  • Provides broad-spectrum sun protection.
  • Expensive, which may keep you from applying this liberally enough to get the stated amount of sun protection.
  • Contains grapefruit oil in an amount that's potentially irritating.
Last Updated:03.03.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Community Reviews

Protects your skin from sunburn and sun damage without clogging pores or leaving a greasy finish. The lightweight lotion absorbs quickly to provide lasting sun protection.


Active: Avobenzone (3.0%), Homosalate (8.0%), Octisalate (4.0%), Oxybenzone (5.0%), Other: Water, PPG-3 Benzyl Ether Ethylhexanoate, Butylene Glycol, Nylon-12, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Arachidyl Alcohol, Leuconstoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Stearic Acid, Polysorbate 80, Enanti-a Chlorantha Bark Extract, Oleanolic Acid, Niacinamide, Yeast Extract, Aesculus Hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut) Seed Extract, Ammonium Glycyrrhizate, Panthenol, Zinc Gluconate, Caffeine, Biotin, Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate, Sodium DNA, Tocopherol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Carbomer, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Oleosomes, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Limonene, Tocopheryl Acetate, Behenyl Alcohol, Arachidyl Glucoside, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Sorbitan Stearate, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Isohexadecane, Polysornate 60, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA

Brand Overview

Dermalogica At-A-Glance

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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