Although this fragrance-free foundation has its strong points and is absolutely worth considering, the claims are beyond the realm of possibility. First of all, no foundation is “age-reversing,” by even a few minutes. However, any skin-care or makeup product with a well-formulated sunscreen can help prevent sun damage and that is the best way to help stop wrinkling. That’s where L’Oreal gets the anti-aging portion right, because this contains an in-part titanium dioxide sunscreen that provides reliable broad-spectrum protection.
The so-called skin-care ingredients amount to a mere dusting, and the small amount of vitamin C included (in the form of ascorbyl glucoside) will quickly degrade in this glass container, unless you store it away from sunlight. Still, sun protection is the pinnacle of anti-aging skin care, so L’Oreal is on the right track.
This slightly thick but soft-textured liquid foundation has a beautiful silkiness, exceptional blendability, and near-flawless medium coverage. Equally impressive is the neutral range of shades, although the darkest shades likely will suit only medium skin tones. Note that this foundation’s finish will emphasize wrinkles if skin isn’t prepped with a moisturizer or serum (you don’t need a product labeled “foundation primer”).
This foundation is best for normal to slightly oily skin. Someone with dry skin will find it doesn’t supply nearly enough moisture.
Note: This product was recently downgraded from 5-stars to 4-stars due to its less-than-optimal SPF rating. Although this does provide sun protection, it's less than SPF 30. The problem? Health experts and medical boards around the globe agree that SPF 30 or greater is best when it comes to providing a reliable defense against the damage the sun can do. Yes, a foundation with less than SPF 30 is acceptable if your daytime moisturizer is rated SPF 30 or greater, but we wouldn't want anyone thinking an SPF under 30 is the best for skin. See More Info below for details.
Sunscreens Rated Lower than an SPF 30: An extensive body of research and a growing number of medical organizations around the world have determined that a sunscreen rated SPF 30 or greater is mandatory to ensure adequate sun protection.
Although a sunscreen rated lower than 30 will provide protection at the SPF number on the label and may claim broad-spectrum protection, we always point out when it does not have a rating of SPF 30 or greater because that's so important for the health and appearance of your skin.
References for this information:
Journal of Clinical Oncology, September 2016, ePublication
Photodermatology, Photoimmunology, and Photomedicine, August 2014, pages 212–219
The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, September 2012, pages 18–23
Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, May 2008, Supplemental, pages S149–S154
Active: Octinoxate (1%); Titanium Dioxide 6.7% Other: Water, Isododecane, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Cyclohexasiloxane, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Butylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Isoeicosane, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Chloride, C9-15 Fluoroalcohol Phosphate, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Hexyl Laurate, Caprylyl Glycol, Isostearyl Neopentanoate, Alumina, Polyethylene Glycol, Methylparaben, Phenylethyl Resorcinol, Acetyl Trifluoromethylphenyl Valylglycine, Calcium Pantetheine Sulfonate, Hydroxypropyl Tetrahydropyrantriol, Pea Extract, Retinyl Palmitate, Hydrolyzed Elastin, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Polycaprolactone, Soluble Collagen, Sodium Hyaluronate, May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Mica
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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