This water-resistant facial moisturizer with sunscreen is a runny liquid dispensed via a needle-nose applicator. Although its fluidity takes some getting used to, this feels super light and very silky. You get reliable broad spectrum sun protection and sufficient UVA screening from stabilized avobenzone. This sets to a nearly weightless matte finish that is ideal for those with normal oily, combination, or breakout-prone skin. As you might expect, its silky, primer-like finish works beautifully under makeup.
The reason this sunscreen isn't rated higher is because it contains a potentially irritating amount of alcohol, but likely not enough to warrant a POOR rating—not when most of the other attributes are positive, including the price. See More Info for details on why denatured alcohol is a problem in skin care.
Last, for an allegedly "advanced" formula, this contains little in the way of antioxidants, which research has shown helps make a sunscreen even more effective not to mention the good those ingredients do for skin. From almost every angle except broad spectrum protection, this sunscreen is more miss than hit—and there are lots of other water-resistant SPF products out there.
Alcohol in Skin Care: Alcohol in skin-care products causes dryness and free-radical damage, and impairs the skin's ability to heal. The irritation it causes damages healthy collagen production and can stimulate oil production at the base of the pore, making oily skin worse (Sources: Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, May 2012, pages 1,410–1,419; Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research, January 2011, pages 83–90; "Skin Care—From the Inside Out and Outside In," Tufts Daily, April 1, 2002; eMedicine Journal, May 8, 2002, volume 3, number 5, www.emedicine.com; Cutis, February 2001, pages 25–27; Contact Dermatitis, January 1996, pages 12–16; and http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh27-4/277-284.htm).
This exclusive patented UV filter system delivers long-lasting broad spectrum protection with a unique, luxuriously sheer formula. It's infused with powerful antioxidants like vitamin E and white grape seed to help keep skin healthy and youthful-looking. This virtually weightless lotion is instantly absorbed and layers invisibly under makeup, leaving skin silky soft and smooth for a clean, fresh finish.
Active Ingredients: Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (15%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (5%), Oxybenzone (6%) Inactive Ingredients: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Alcohol Denatured, Silica, Dicaprylyl Ether, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, PEG 30 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Dimethicone, Cyclohexasiloxane, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Nylon 12, PEG 8 Laurate, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Dodecene, Methylparaben, Sodium Chloride, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium EDTA, Poloxamer 407, Tocopherol, Lauryl PEG/PPG 18/18 Methicone, Caprylyl Glycol, Isostearyl Alcohol, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Poly C10 30 Alkyl Acrylate
L'Oreal Paris At-A-Glance
Strengths: Budget-friendly prices; good makeup removers; wide assortment of self-tanning options; one of the best, most comprehensive makeup collections at the drugstore, with superb options in almost every category; the mascaras are a tough act to follow.
Weaknesses: Jar packaging hinders some of the skincare formulas; many of their skincare formulas contain problematic amounts of fragrance and/or other irritants; exaggerated anti-aging claims.
L'Oreal's extensive makeup collection retains its stature as one of the better selections at the drugstore, though they have stiff competition from Revlon and, in some cases, sister company Maybelline New York. In recent years L'Oreal has made significant strides with foundation shades, powder textures, concealers, and, of course, superlative mascaras that rarely fail to impress. Their lipsticks are excellent and you will find many L'Oreal makeup products have a Lancome counterpart, and that the differences are minor—if there are any at all.
L'Oreal's displays in many drugstores reflect better-organized products and shade categories (though testers are still scarce). Given the number of lipsticks they sell, it only makes sense to put them in color families so consumers have a better shopping experience. Their True Match products are also sensibly laid out, but the rest of the foundations aren't as organized, likely due to the smaller selection of shades. Speaking of foundations, L'Oreal has made further strides by offering more that provide sufficient UVA protection. Revlon still has the edge for consistently launching impressive foundations with sunscreen, but at least L'Oreal is (finally) catching up.
The bottom line is that every category of L'Oreal’s makeup has some winning (and in some cases, benchmark-setting) products.
Unfortunately, despite the brands’ enormous presence in the beauty industry, L'Oreal's moisturizers and treatment products are a nearly all unremarkable and repetitive. When it comes to moisturizers or serums, just about anything from Dove, Olay, Neutrogena, or Aveeno is preferred. L'Oreal does well with most of their cleansers, along with scrubs and self-tanning products, but given the widespread availability and financial resources of this line, they could be doing so much more. The good news is their makeup has made major strides and now ranks as the best overall color collection at the drugstore—imagine the results if their skin care followed suit.
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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