Triple Sunscreen SPF 40 hits some high notes, but it isn't quite a slam dunk—particularly not for those with sensitive skin due to its highly fragranced formula (see More Info on how that kind of irritation pro-ages skin).
While the fragrance factor is a gamble for skin, we do give Laneige credit for some things they did very well with this formula. If you're looking for a sunscreen that imparts a luminous glow, Triple Sunscreen SPF 40 does so, in a noticeable, yet not overly sparkly, way. The slight white cast dissipates as the formula absorbs into skin, and you're left with a healthy glow that brightens and enlivens skin.
The lightly hydrating, fluid-cream texture is best for those whose skin falls somewhere between dry and oily, due to the fact that this formula won't be moisturizing enough for someone with very dry skin and the luminosity can be overkill for those with already excessively shiny skin. Triple Sunscreen SPF 40 initially leaves skin looking dewy, but eventually absorbs down to a natural, non-greasy finish.
As far as other notable traits go, we appreciate that Triple Sunscreen SPF 40 comes in an opaque, air-restrictive tube to maintain the stability of the sensitive ingredients in the formula. Unfortunately, it has a few substantial flaws that lead to its lower rating: an unusually strong fragrance and (to add insult to injury) a lack of broad-spectrum sun protection (see More Info for details on its lack of UVA/UVB protection). For superior options that do provide broad-spectrum sun protection and that do not have the shortcomings of this formula, see our top-rated Moisturizers with Sunscreen.
Sunscreens Not Rated "Broad Spectrum": Although this sunscreen may contain ingredients that have the potential to provide broad-spectrum sun protection, it also bears the following warning as part of the Drug Facts labeling: "Skin Cancer/Skin Aging Alert: Spending time in the sun increases your risk of skin cancer and early skin aging. This product has been shown only to help prevent sunburn, not skin cancer or early skin aging."
This product's label indicates that the formula did not meet the broad-spectrum testing requirements of the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 2012), so it isn't as anti-aging capable as many other SPF-rated products.
To ensure your sunscreen provides both UVA and UVB protection, it must be labeled "broad spectrum" and must also contain one or more of the following UVA-protecting ingredients listed as "active": avobenzone, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, Mexoryl SX (ecamsule), or Tinosorb (Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 2005).
Strengths: SPF-rated products provide broad-spectrum sun protection; utilization of some intriguing melanin-inhibiting ingredients.
Weaknesses: Highly fragranced formulas put skin at risk of irritation; use of see-through bottles and jar packaging weakens the potency of the beneficial ingredients; claims for “mineral water” don’t stand up to the research; despite a higher-than-average drugstore price point, Laneige products aren’t superior to their competitors.
Laneige is a South Korean brand owned by high-end cosmetics company, AmorePacific. Launched in 1994, the story behind this brand centers around mineral water—which they tend to label “Optimal Mineral Water”—harvested from the snow-clad peaks of the Himalayas. They allegedly spent 20 years perfecting its scientifically engineered properties for skin and, according to Laneige, this “superior water” is the secret to hydrating, protecting, and revitalizing skin.
Here’s what we really know: All water that’s included in cosmetics, regardless of the source, must go through a rigorous purification process, and there isn’t any research showing that water from any one source is better for skin than water from any other source. More to the point, repairing and hydrating skin is not as simple as adding water. Even Laneige’s highly touted mineral water won’t retain moisture in skin unless the outer barrier is reinforced with ingredients like antioxidants, emollients, and skin-repairing ingredients—all of which are required or the water just evaporates. So, does Laneige deliver in that regard? Yes and no.
The problem is that their products tend to include beneficial ingredients right alongside potentially irritating ingredients (including fragrance), which detracts from what the good ingredients would otherwise be able to do for skin. In some cases, the jar or clear bottle packaging further impedes the potency and stability of the formula because many of the superstar ingredients break down in the presence of air and/or light.
As far as Laneige makeup goes, at the time of this review they sell only a BB cream in the United States, but it is also plagued by the inclusion of potentially irritating ingredients.
In the end, despite their highly touted Korean brand prestige and steeper-than-average mass-market price point (the line is sold at Target stores in the United States), Laneige ends up being more about marketing fluff than what’s actually good for skin. Beyond the mineral water, Laneige products would have merit for their anti-aging prowess, but their inclusion of potential irritants and the use of packaging that compromises the stability of the beneficial ingredients renders the products generally unworthy of consideration.
For more information about Laneige, visit www.us.laneige.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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