Oil Control Beauty Balm Un-Tinted with SPF 30 is a mixed bag—the formula contains a good mix of emollient plant oils (like jojoba and sunflower) and other good-for-skin ingredients like hyaluronic acid and plant-based fatty acids. However, its performance makes it a better fit for normal to dry skin than what you would expect from a product with the name “oil control” in its name.
Although Andalou Naturals doesn’t expressly state this is a product for oily skin types, the real drawbacks that earned this an AVERAGE rating had to do with the amount of fragrance, from sage and multiple citrus oils. See More Info for details on questionable amounts of fragrance in skin-care products.
The sunscreen active in this product is 20% zinc oxide, which certainly provides sufficient broad-spectrum protection. True to the name, there is no tint, but Andalou Naturals did a good job of minimizing the white cast that you would expect from such a high amount of zinc oxide. The cast is certainly visible initially, but after a few minutes it fades dramatically (even on medium skin tones).
Despite the name, there isn’t much “oil control” benefit, but this does set in a few minutes and doesn’t leave a shiny or greasy feel on the skin. However, those with oily skin will likely notice their shine makes an appearance rather quickly. Also, the ingredients make this a tricky formula for those battling breakouts, so proceed with caution if you count yourself among the acne/blemish prone.
Andalou Naturals added a nice array of antioxidants like vitamin C (in the form of magnesium ascorbyl phosphate) and tea extracts, and anti-irritants such as saw palmetto and willow bark.
It’s unfortunate that they also included fragrance, in the form of sage and citrus oils. Had they opted for a minimal amount, as they do in most of their products (or, even better, none at all), this could have easily earned a rating of GOOD or BEST. As it stands, however, we recommend skipping this in lieu of the better options from other brands in the Best Daytime Moisturizers with SPF section of Beautypedia.
One last note: Please totally ignore the claims made about the fruit stem cell ingredients (see More Info if you wish to read the considerable details explaining why). While these ingredients aren’t harmful or irritating to the skin (and can have antioxidant benefit), there is no research to support the claims of regenerating skin or functioning like your skin’s own stem cells, which would push this product from its status as a cosmetic to a drug. The notion that plant stem cells can “renew dormant cells, repair damaged cells, or regenerate healthy cells” may be true for a plant, but it isn’t for human skin.
Contains moisturizing, non-fragrant plant oils that are good for normal to dry skin.
Provides gentle broad-spectrum sun protection.
Includes an impressive array of antioxidants and skin-repairing ingredients.
Contains fragrant plant extracts and oils that pose a risk of irritation.
Isn’t as mattifying as the name implies.
Plant stem cells don’t renew or generate human cells of any kind.
Fragrance in Skin Care:
Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin’s ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way to go for all skin types. If fragrance in your skin-care products is important to you, it should be a very low amount to minimize the risk to your skin (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135, and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22).
Stem Cells in Skin Care: Stem cells are cells in animals and plants that are capable of becoming any other type of cell in that organism and of producing more of those cells. Despite the fact that stem cell research is in its infancy, many cosmetics companies claim they are successfully using plant-based or human-derived stem cells in their anti-aging products. The claims run the gamut, from reducing wrinkles to elastin repair and cell regeneration, so the temptation for consumers to try these is intense.
The truth is that stem cells in skin-care products do not work as claimed. In fact, they likely have no effect at all because stem cells must be alive to function as stem cells. Once these delicate cells are added to skin-care products, they are long dead and, therefore, useless.
Plant stem cells, such as those derived from apples, melons, flowers, and rice, cannot stimulate stem cells in human skin, but because they are from plants these ingredients likely have antioxidant
properties. Actually, it’s a good thing plant stem cells can’t work as stem cells in skin-care products; after all, you don’t want your skin to absorb cells that can grow into apples or watermelons!
There are also claims that because a plant’s stem cells allow a plant to repair itself or to survive in harsh climates, these benefits can be passed on to human skin. How a plant functions in nature is unrelated to human skin, and these claims are completely without substantiation.
Another twist on the issue is that cosmetics company’s claim they have taken components (such as peptides) out of the plant stem cells and made them stable so they then can work as stem cells. This approach is not valid because stem cells must be complete to function normally. Even if you could isolate substances or extracts from these cells and make them stable, there is no published research showing they can affect stem cells in human skin.