MDSolarSciences Evening Facial Repair Serum contains the types of ingredients necessary to help firm and smooth skin, as well as repair signs of aging. You’ll find a generous mix of antioxidants and cell-communicating, skin-identical, and anti-inflammatory ingredients. An additional mix of nonfragrant plant oils would have made this a better option for normal to dry skin; unfortunately, MDSolarSciences included a blend of fragrance ingredients that can counter its skin-repairing and anti-aging benefits.
Because it’s safe to say that no one wants an anti-anti-aging serum, this option falls short of earning a higher rating.
First, let’s take a brisk stroll through what could have been…. It’s packaged in a pump container to protect its beneficial ingredients, which include notables such as niacinamide, multiple peptides, caffeine, green tea extract, and vitamin C. These ingredients are well established as free-radical fighters that help reduce inflammation and uneven skin tone, enabling skin to look and act healthier.
MDSolarSciences did include hexylresorcinol, a synthetic ingredient that has been shown to have skin-lightening ability in cell cultures, but there is limited research about its effect when applied topically. It functions primarily as an antioxidant, antiseptic, and anesthetic (numbing agent) (Sources: Free Radical Research, 2003; and Archives of Pharmacology, 2009). Research shows that hexylresorcinol reduces browning in fruit and shrimp, but you are neither a banana nor a shrimp, and how it works to do that is not at all similar to the various methods used to treat skin discolorations.
We were hoping this would earn a higher rating, but, unfortunately, the inclusion of a mix of fragrance ingredients, rosemary leaf extract and the more concerning lavender oil, held this otherwise good formula back. While the research on irritation from rosemary extract isn’t compelling, the potential for irritation from lavender oil is well documented. See More Info for additional details on why this is such an undesired ingredient for skin.
The problematic ingredients aside, MDSolarSciences Evening Facial Repair Serum is also pricey—at about $100 for 1 ounce. Rather than accept the negatives of this formula, look to any of the numerous well-formulated alternatives in the Best Serums section of Beautypedia.
Lavender Oil: In-vitro research indicates that components of lavender, specifically linalool and linalyl acetate, can be cytotoxic, which means that topical application of as little a concentration as 0.25% causes cell death (Cell Proliferation, June 2004). This study was conducted on endothelial cells, which are cells that line blood pathways in the body and play a critical role in the inflammatory process of skin.
As linalool and linalyl acetate are both rapidly absorbed by skin and can be detected within blood cells in less than 20 minutes, endothelial cells are an ideal choice for such a test (Journal of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists, 1992). The results of this research also demonstrated that lavender has a damaging effect on fibroblasts, which are cells that produce collagen.
The fragrance constituents in lavender oil, linalool and linalyl acetate, oxidize when exposed to air, and in this process their potential for causing an allergic reaction is increased (Contact Dermatitis, 2008).
If you’re wondering why lavender oil doesn’t appear to be problematic for you, it’s because research has demonstrated that you don’t always need to see it or feel it happening for your skin to suffer damage (Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008).
Strengths: Excellent array of fragrance-free mineral sunscreens; products are packaged to protect ingredients from exposure to air and light; a very good eye-area treatment; water-resistant sunscreen formulas; nearly all sunscreens contain beneficial antioxidants and are suitable for sensitive skin.
Weaknesses: Some products are on the pricey side; some of the mineral sunscreens are difficult to remove; a few formulas contain irritating fragrant ingredients or fragrance.
MDSolarSciences specializes in mineral-based sunscreens, and you will find multiple variations of silicone-based, gel-cream formulas with a blend of the sunscreen actives titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Mineral sunscreens are particularly ideal for those with sensitive skin, including those with rosacea or eczema, as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are virtually non-reactive; that is, they have little to no ability to provoke irritation. To our delight, nearly every MDSolarSciences formula is free of fragrance, including their mineral sunscreen options.
While many love the scent of citrus, lavender, or spicy notes, such ingredients and compounds-whether natural or synthetic-are potentially irritating to skin (especially if you're dealing with issues like rosacea or eczema). A few of the newer MDSolarSciences formulas do include some degree of fragrance, which is a disappointing turn for the brand and one we hope doesn't continue as the brand's product lineup expands. Those that contain fragrance are noted as such in their respective reviews.
The polarizing aspect of mineral sunscreens is often aesthetic-and that's certainly no exception with the options offered by MDSolarScience. Any mineral-based sunscreen will have some degree of white cast-it's unavoidable-and whether a particular product's degree of such is suitable for you is subjective. The white cast and the texture of the MDSolarSciences mineral sunscreens have varying levels of intensity and thickness, all qualities that are noted in each review.
Another note: As all of their mineral sunscreens are water-resistant (at the time of this review), they are exceptionally tenacious. You may need to use a soft washcloth or cleansing tool (like the Clarisonic, etc.) with your cleanser, or consider using a few drops of nonfragrant plant oil before your cleanser to help aid the removal process.
For more information about MDSolarSciences, call 1-877-301-5355 or visit http://www.mdsolarsciences.com.
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