For a line targeted at sensitive skin, this sunscreen misses the mark. It does contain the gentle mineral-based active sunscreen ingredient zinc oxide, but it also contains synthetic sunscreen actives as well. Synthetic sunscreen ingredients aren’t bad; it’s just that someone with sensitive skin has practically zero risk of a skin reaction to zinc oxide or titanium dioxide (another mineral-based sunscreen agent), but the risk of a reaction is much higher with a synthetic sunscreen ingredient. So, while the sunscreen itself isn’t the best for sensitive skin, it is still a reliable formula that provides sufficient broad-spectrum sun protection in an impressively formulated lightweight cream base. What messes things up for this product is that this otherwise well-done sunscreen contains a fairly high amount of balsam resin, a known skin irritant that shouldn’t be in a product meant for sensitive skin. As for anti-aging, the sunscreen supports that claim, but that’s true for any well-formulated sunscreen.
The balsam resin in this product is called copaiba balsam, which is derived from plants that grow primarily in South America. According to the research presented at www.naturaldatabase.com, when used topically, this form of balsam can cause contact dermatitis, redness, spotty rashes that leave brown marks on skin once the rash subsides, and “is considered obsolete for medicinal purposes.” You’re putting your sensitive skin at risk by using products that contain any form of balsam, and this form is especially troublesome. This product also contains feverfew extract, which presents a risk of irritation if one of its constituents (known as parthenolide) isn’t removed. First Aid Beauty confirmed that the feverfew they use is free of this irritating component; however, that doesn't change our rating due to the aforementioned balsam.
The ultimate multi-tasking face cream formulated to help prevent and combat the signs of aging while moisturizing, nourishing and protecting the skin. It is the ideal all-purpose anti-aging moisturizer for all but all the driest skin types.
Active: Octinoxate (5.6%), Octocrylene (7.5%), Zinc Oxide (4.8%), Other: Water, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Caprylyl Methicone, Copaifera Officinalis (Balsam Copaiba) Resin, Phenyl Methicone, Enteromorpha Compressa Extract, Caesalpinia Spinosa Gum, Bisabolol, Alpha Arbutin, Phyllanthus Emblica Fruit Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Chrysanthemum Parthenium (Feverfew) Extract, Hydroxylated Lecithin, Polysilicone-11, Methicone, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate, Copolymer, Isohexadecane, Polysorbate 60, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Glyceryl Polyacrylate, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol
First Aid Beauty At-A-Glance
Strengths: Several fragrance-free products; relatively reasonable pricing; sunscreen provides broad-spectrum protection; wonderful fragrance-free body wash.
Weaknesses: AHA pads contain a low amount of glycolic and lactic acids; some products contain fragrant plant extracts; every product contains feverfew extract, which has benefits, but also can be an irritant; jar packaging; for a line meant for sensitive skin, their use of common irritants is disappointing.
With a name like First Aid Beauty (FAB for short), it's obvious this line is meant to rescue your skin from distress, and, indeed, these products are targeted toward those who have sensitive, easily irritated skin, but who still want an elegant, department-store flair. Ironically, FAB falls short on both ends of the spectrum.
Despite the company's claims of providing "therapeutic action" for "tough skin conditions," some of the products contain irritating ingredients that are extremely problematic for any skin type, especially for those with sensitive or compromised skin. It was disappointing to see known irritants like sulfur, balsam resin, and witch hazel in products claiming to calm your skin and reduce redness. "What were they thinking?" was a question that came up more than once while reviewing this line!
On the bright side, First Aid Beauty does have a very good fragrance-free body wash. There are also a few products that omit the fragrance, which is a definite must for sensitive skin, although, in fact, all skin types do best with fragrance-free products. Unfortunately, the fragrance-free formulas in this line come up short on important ingredients, like antioxidants and skin-repairing ingredients.
It is best to avoid their Ultra Repair Cream, the SPF 30 sunscreen, Detox Eye Roller, Blemish Eraser, and the Anti-Redness Serum because they all contain enough irritating ingredients to make conditions like acne, redness, and sensitivity worse.
For more information about First Aid Beauty, visit your local Sephora or Ulta or call (800) 322-3619 or visit www.firstaidbeauty.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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