L'Oreal took the concept of facial oils and added an extra benefit, broad spectrum sun protection! Although this might seem like a good idea (we thought so at first), both the concept and this particular formula have problems you need to know about!
The issue with the sunscreen is that liberal application is necessary to provide the amount of protection stated on the label. But how liberal are you going to apply a facial oil? Most people would just dab on a drop or two (L'Oreal advises using 4 or 5 drops per use), which is enough for extra moisture and a supple feel—but not enough to work as your sole source of sun protection. So, for this product, we consider the sunscreen a nice bonus but unless you apply it liberally, it isn't an "extra" benefit for skin.
Although the liberal application issue is easily overcome by pairing this facial oil with your regular sunscreen, your skin won't be able to overcome this formula's strong potential to become sensitized because of the fragrant oils it contain.
Age Perfect Hydra-Nutrition Facial Oil SPF 30 is highly fragrant, and the scent comes from added "perfume" ingredients not specifically listed and fragrant plant oils such as orange and lavender. See More Info to learn why daily use of highly fragrant products is a problem for all skin types.
Summing up, this facial oil's fragrance is its major deal-breaking drawback and the SPF is not something you can rely on without generous application, which makes skin feel greasy, not silky. If you use just a little bit during the day so your makeup doesn't slide off under your sunscreen, it could work fine for dry skin—but ultimately the fragrant oils trump a recommendation to use this at all.
One more quick comment: Although most facial oils lack sunscreen and can be applied morning and evening, your skin doesn't need sun protection at night.
Why Fragrance is a Problem for Skin: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes a chronic sensitizing reaction on skin.
This leads to all kinds of problems, including disruption of skin's healthy appearance, worsening dryness, redness, depletion of vital substances in skin's surface, and generally keeps skin from looking healthy, smooth, and hydrated. Fragrance free is always the best way to go for all skin types.
A surprising fact: Even though you can't always see the negative influence of using products that contain fragrance has on skin, the damage will still be taking place even if it's not evident on the surface. Research has demonstrated that you don't always need to see or feel the effects on your skin for your skin to be suffering. This negative impact and the visible damage may not become apparent for a long time.
References for this information:
Biochimica and Biophysica Acta, May 2012, pages 1,410-1,419
Aging, March 2012, pages 166-175
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77-80
Experimental Dermatology, October 2009, pages 821-832
International Journal of Toxicology, Volume 27, 2008, Supplement pages 1-43
Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446—475
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, issue 11, pages 789-798
Active Ingredients: Avobenzone 2.96%, Homosalate 8.78%, Octisalate 4.88%, Octocrylene 5.92%. Inactive Ingredients: Isopropyl Myristate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dicaprylyl Ether, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Sorbitan Trioleate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Dimethicone, Camelina Sativa Seed Oil, Acrylates/Dimethicone Copolymer, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Fragrance, Capryloyl Salicylic Acid, Tocopherol, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Limonene, Sorbitan Oleate, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Linalool, Citronellol, Sorbitan Laurate, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Geraniol, Hydroxypalmitoyl Sphinganine, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Lavandula Hybrida Oil, Origanum Majorana Leaf Oil, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil, Benzyl Alcohol, Citral, Propylene Glycol, Eugenol, Coumarin, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Myristyl Malate Phosphonic Acid, Propyl Gallate, Citric Acid
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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