This is a lightweight, lotion-thin daytime moisturizer with sunscreen. Its silky, initially creamy texture spreads easily and sets (quickly) to a soft matte finish. Those with oily or combination skin will likely find the finish pleasing; if you have any dry areas or if you have normal to dry skin this will likely feel uncomfortable, though you can always prep skin with a separate moisturizer.
Broad-spectrum sun protection is assured thanks to the in-part zinc oxide sunscreen. This product’s only drawbacks are the amount of alcohol it contains and that it is noticeably fragrant (perhaps to conceal the odor from the alcohol). The amount of alcohol is cause for concern in terms of irritation, which is a shame because this has such a great finish for oily skin or oily areas.
The formula contains a tiny amount of antioxidants, most likely too low to offer much benefit to skin and definitely not enough to provide much extra environmental protection. And its hydrating abilities are minimal yet with some minor formulary tweaks, this would be a slam-dunk. As it, it’s recommended with reservations.
Note: PA followed by plus signs (PA+++, for example) is a designation used in Japan for rating the UVA protection of a sunscreen. The SPF number is about the sun’s UVB rays; there are very few countries that have a UVA rating reference. Three plus symbols after the “PA” indicate the highest level of UVA protection, which can be as low as PA+, which means some UVA protection.
The PA standard is not accepted or used in other countries, but because NARS is owned by Japan-based Shiseido, some of their products have begun to include it on the labeling. The concept is interesting, but ultimately the SPF rating and the active ingredients matter far more because the method of assessing UVA protection is not widely accepted, primarily because it is very difficult to get agreement from scientists on what tests to use and what they mean.
A daily shield that fights unavoidable environmental aggressors. Utilizes advanced sun-care technology to protect against dryness, oxidative pollutants and UVA/UVB rays that cause photo-aging, spots and wrinkles. Spreads quickly and provides long-lasting, exceptional moisture to the skin. Can be worn daily, underneath your makeup.
Active Ingredients: Octinoxate 4.9%; Octocrylene 3.0%; Zinc Oxide 6.7%; Inactive Ingredients: Water, Isododecane, Butylene Glycol, Dimethicone, SD Alcohol 40-B, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Cyclomethicone, Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Glycerin, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Xylitol, Methyl Gluceth-10, PEG/PPG-14/7 Dimethyl Ether, Thiotaurine, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Arginine HCI, Ononis Spinosa Root Extract, Ectoin, Sodium PCA, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Benzophenone-3, Isostearic Acid, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Trisodium EDTA, Silica, Polybutylene Glycol/PPG-9/1 Copolymer, BHT, Syzygium Jambos Leaf Extract, Tocopherol, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance.
Strengths: Most of the sunscreens provide sufficient UVA protection and present a variety of options, whether you're looking for titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, or avobenzone; a handful of good (but not great) moisturizers; worthwhile oil-blotting papers; foundations with sunscreen that provide sufficient UVA protection (and there are some wonderful foundations here); pressed powder with sunscreen for oily skin; the Perfect Rouge Lipstick is one of the best creamy lipsticks at the department store; mostly good mascaras.
Weaknesses: Expensive; several drying cleansers; boring toners; no AHA or BHA products; no products to effectively manage acne; no reliable skin-lightening options despite a preponderance of products claiming to do just that; irritating self-tanners; gimmicky masks; jar packaging; uneven assortment of concealers (and some terrible colors); average to disappointing eye and brow shapers; average makeup brushes.
Shiseido is one of the largest cosmetic companies in
A total approach to health and beauty would take into account all that has been learned to date about how skin functions, how it can repair itself, how it ages, and what it realistically takes for it to look, feel, and function at its best. Such an approach does not, however, involve cleansers with alkaline ingredients that cause skin to be unnecessarily dry, lackluster toners, or far too many products with alcohol; that can only harm the skin, which isn't beautiful in the least.
If anything, the numerous skin-care options presented here are merely average or really disappointing. Many of the moisturizers have luscious textures, but again, it takes more than a sensational feel to create exceptional products that have your skin's best interest (and best appearance) in mind.
One point of difference with this line is that Shiseido insists on regular facial massage. That means you'll find several facial massage creams, although most of them have traditional moisturizer formularies that differ little from what's seen throughout the lineup. Shiseido maintains that routine facial massage creates firmer skin that's less prone to sagging because the massage action tones the muscles, but that simply isn't true. The muscles of the face are among the most frequently used. Repetitive muscle movements are a prime cause of expression lines around the eyes, mouth, and on the forehead. Botox has become such a popular procedure because it selectively prevents these muscles from working, which smoothes creases and lines. Massage alone cannot do that; if anything, routine facial massage can encourage lines and sagging by stretching the skin. Furthermore, when skin slackens and sags, it involves more than just the muscles. Sun damage plays a role in collagen and elastin destruction, as does gravity, which causes fat pads beneath the skin to slip. And then there's bone loss, and the fact that, as we age, skin continues to grow (yet has less to hold on to). Massage to repair sun damage—give me a break!
For more information about Shiseido, visit www.shiseido.com.
Although Shiseido is known more for their seemingly endless array of skin-care products, their makeup, while not without its problem-child products, is clearly not just an afterthought. The main and most impressive part of the color collection is the foundations. For the most part they have silky textures, and provide adequate sun protection (at least an SPF 15 with UVA-protecting ingredients). If you're keen on shopping this line you should also pay attention to their Perfect Rouge Lipstick, lip gloss, the mascaras, and some distinctive specialty products. Items to avoid entirely include the eye and brow pencils and a couple of the eyeshadows; the makeup brushes are serviceable, but pale in comparison to what makeup artist–backed lines offer. Ignore the inflated claims that accompany many of Shiseido's makeup products, but don't ignore the best of what they have to offer—because in that regard, they're better than ever!
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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