This water-resistant spray-on sunscreen is the first we've seen that uses a mineral (in this case, zinc oxide) as its sole active ingredient. The gentle, fragrance-free formula is easy to use, feels silky, and sets to a soft matte finish. Considering the formula contains 12% zinc oxide for broad-spectrum sun protection, it's impressive that this leaves just a hint of a white cast. It is ideal for normal to oily or combination skin, and also suitable for sensitive skin. The water-light texture and matte finish make it suitable for use on breakout-prone skin, too.
Spray-on sunscreens can be convenient but as with any sunscreen they must be applied liberally to get the stated amount of protection. Don't just spray a couple of times and blend over a large area; make sure you spray an even film of product and then blend. For example, spraying your arms from the shoulder to hands would take 7–10 sprays, perhaps more depending on the size of your arms. A couple of spritzes won't cut it!
Note that the inactive ingredients are listed in alphabetical rather than descending order, which is permissible due to this sunscreen being regulated as an over-the-counter drug in the United States. The waterless, silicone-based formula contains some very good antioxidants, including vitamin C, green tea, and resveratrol. All of these help boost skin's environmental defenses and can work to improve signs of aging. Their inclusion helps make this sunscreen's price easier to take!
One more comment: Despite this sunscreen being marketed more for use from the neck down, there is nothing in the formula that would be a problem for use on facial skin. Just don't spray your face directly; spray the product into your hands, then apply to facial skin.
Replenix Sheer Physical Sunscreen SPF 50+ comes in an easy to use spray bottle and helps protect the skin from UVA and UVB rays, a common cause of premature aging. Added Vitamin C offers skin protection from free while moisturizers hydrate the skin. Replenix Sheer Physical Sunscreen SPF 50+ is suitable for use on all skin types.
Active Ingredients: Zinc Oxide 12%; Inactive Ingredients: Ascorbic Acid, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Biotin, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Polyphenols, Cetyl PEG/PPG 10/1 Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Emblica Officinalis Fruit Extract, Glyceryl Isostearate, Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate, Phenoxyethanol, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Purified Water, Resveratrol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ubiquinone (Coenzyme Q-10).
Strengths: Most of the products are fragrance-free; packaging keeps light- and air-sensitive ingredients stable during use; several good products with retinol in varying strengths; good moisturizers and cleansers; very good body lotions.
Weaknesses: Expensive; the physician allure may seem enticing, but these products do not require a doctor's visit or medical supervision; no AHA or BHA exfoliants; no viable skin-lightening options; fragrant toner; the growth factors in the Citrix serums are potentially risky ingredients.
Topix is best known for its two chief skin-care brands, Replenix and Citrix. Of the two, we're asked most often about the Replenix collection; the Citrix line is smaller and focused on anti-aging products with vitamin C. The Replenix products contain a broader range of anti-aging ingredients, such as retinol, green tea, and grape-derived resveratrol, and the claims are broader, too—so little surprise that the Replenix products appeal to more people concerned with signs of aging. Both Replenix and Citrix offer fragrance-free formulas, albeit at fairly high prices, which is typical of most physician-dispensed lines.
A chief selling point of Topix is its physician-dispensed angle, which gives the products a medical élan; in truth, however, not a single ingredient in these products is "medicinal," prescription, or exclusive to physician-sold products. That is, you don't need to see a doctor to be "prescribed" Topix products; rather, they can be obtained from several websites, no appointment necessary. The big question is whether or not you should add any Topix products to your shopping cart—and the answer is "it depends."
Within the Replenix line, the most interesting products include the serums and moisturizers. Although none of them are superior to the best options available, most of them do offer good (though pricey) formulas that treat skin to a range of beneficial ingredients.
If you're keen on retinol (and it's a great anti-aging ingredient), Replenix has you covered with several serums offering different strengths of retinol. The various strengths allow you to "step up" to stronger retinol products once your skin has acclimated to the lower strengths. Although that sounds intriguing, it's not really necessary. As we explain in the reviews, more retinol is not necessarily better, and some may find the higher-strength retinol products too sensitizing, so caution is warranted. Indeed, some people cannot tolerate any amount of retinol!
The Citrix products aren't all that exciting unless you want vitamin C in every product. Although there's nothing wrong with vitamin C, it's a mistaken notion to focus on one hero ingredient because skin requires a variety of beneficial ingredients to look and act younger. Topix also adds growth factors to their Citrix serums, but these growth-factor ingredients are unproven for topical use and may present risks (we explain why in the reviews). In short, Citrix isn't all that exciting, and several of these products fall short in one way or another.
Our research revealed that Topix has some intriguing products, but, with few exceptions, there is nothing that you cannot find elsewhere for less money. It's important to let go of the notion that skin-care products sold at a doctor's office are superior to those sold elsewhere. The truth is: There are good and bad products in every retail outlet—knowing what you're buying is more important than where you're buying it or who's selling it!
For more information about Topix, call (800) 445-2595 or visit www.topixpharm.com.
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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