One unique aspect of this daytime moisturizer with sunscreen is its inclusion of avobenzone and zinc oxide, two active ingredients the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not permit to be combined in one product. This combination is approved for use in most other parts of the world, and we suspect the FDA will permit it (along with titanium dioxide plus avobenzone) at some point, but for now, it appears Kiss My Face goes against FDA regulations. We called the company numerous times to ask for an explanation of its choice of actives in this product, but we didn't get an answer.
Other than the regulatory issue mentioned above, which is really only a problem for regulators, not for your skin, there is one factor about this product that is a problem. Despite the fact that it contains broad-spectrum sun protection, the formula is rather ordinary, except that it also contains lavender oil. This fragrant plant oil is a problem for all skin types, even in small amounts, as is the case with this product. All in all, this is not something you want to kiss your face with. See More Info to learn why lavender oil makes this product one to avoid.
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 (0.25% or less) are problematic. It is a must to avoid in skin-care products, although it is fine as an aromatherapy agent for inhalation or relaxation (Sources: Psychiatry Research, February 2007, pages 89–96; and www.naturaldatabase.com).
Face Factor is rich in antioxidant Green Tea and Licorice extracts to help fight damaging free radicals. Anti-aging peptides help reduce wrinkles and a remarkably effective Linoleic Acid helps decrease sensitivity to sunscreens, naturally. Natural Hyaluronic acid, Aloe and Cucumber extract hydrate and soothe for beautiful skin every day. This fragrance free formula is water resistant, fragrance free.
Active: Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (6%), Octinoxate (7.5%), Octisalate (5%), Zinc Oxide (2.5%) Other: Water, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Polysorbate-20, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dimethicone, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Glycerin, Glycol Stearate, Acrylates Copolymer, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Saccharide Isomerate, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, a- Lipoic Acid, Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C), Sodium Hyaluronate (Hyaluronic Acid), Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Oil, Lecithin
Kiss My Face At-A-Glance
Strengths: Inexpensive; generous sizes; some very good sunscreens, occasional use of antioxidants without troublesome plant extracts; some fragrance-free products.
Weaknesses: Nearly all products contain one or more problematic plant extracts or volatile plant oils; the Obsessively Organic line is a dud; no products to treat acne or lighten skin discolorations; several bar soaps; no reliable AHA or BHA products; irritating toners; problematic self-tanner.
Lining the shelves of many health food stores and the "natural" skin-care aisles of quite a few national grocery store chains is this sweetly named line of skin-care products. Similar to competitor Burt's Bees (where Burt himself sold handmade products out of the back of his pickup truck), the owners of Kiss My Face are also vegetarians. (What does dietary preference have to do with skin care? We don't know, but it's mentioned several times in the information about this company.) Also similar to Burt's Bees, the founders of Kiss My Face started on a farm and took their products and concept to the big city, where it was well received.
Of course, the farm setting juxtaposed with the urban success speaks to the company's desire to maintain their natural image, despite using several ingredients that aren't natural in the least. If anything, many of the natural ingredients Kiss My Face chooses are a problem for skin because they cause irritation. Even more upsetting is that they do so without exerting a benefit. The company claims to use the latest scientific research mixed with the best nature has to offer, saying that doesn't leave any room for "unnecessary chemical additives," but there is a lot of research about all kinds of ingredients, natural and synthetic, that indicates they are excellent for skin. Kiss My Face must be doing some inadequate or extremely limited research.
What Kiss My Face lacks is a product range that keeps up with state-of-the-art options from neighboring lines in the mass market. We are leery of any skin-care company that claims to be using the latest research and yet sells sunscreens without reliable UVA protection, toners with irritants, and far more bar soaps, which are also a problem for skin, than water-soluble cleansers. Again, what research are they using? Although the natural slant here is more a front than factual, there are some winning products to consider, and the price point is very attractive, as is the simple packaging. Shopping Kiss My Face carefully can result in some great beauty bargains.
For more information about Kiss My Face, call 845-360-2060 or visit www.kissmyface.com.
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