Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer SPF 15
4 fl. oz. for $16.99
Last Updated:12.19.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer SPF 15 is an average daytime moisturizer with sunscreen for normal to combination skin. It provides sufficient UVA (think anti-aging) protection via avobenzone, but the lightweight base formula lacks a good range of antioxidants and repairing ingredients to help skin look and act younger.

The “natural light diffusers” referred to in the claims are about the mineral pigment mica this contains. Mica adds shine, it doesn’t diffuse anything, and shine isn’t skin care (though the effect on skin can be attractive) There’s nothing wrong with adding mica to a moisturizer, but don’t expect it to transform how your skin look. Those with oily skin or oily areas may not want the shine mica leaves behind. This product contains fragrance.

Note: Despite claims of being gentle enough for sensitive skin, that’s not the case. Not only is fragrance a problem for sensitive skin but the active sunscreen ingredients can cause sensitivity, too. Those with sensitive skin should look for sunscreens with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide as the sole active ingredients. And of course fragrance-free formulas are superior for any skin type.


This daily moisturizer with broad spectrum SPF 15 and exclusive ACTIVE NATURALS® Total Soy Complex and natural light diffusers works to naturally even skin tone and texture and help improve the look of brown spots, while immediately brightening to bring out your skin's natural radiance.


Active Ingredients: Avobenzone (3%) (Sunscreen), Octinoxate (7.5%) (Sunscreen), Octisalate (2%) (Sunscreen). Inactive Ingredients: Water, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract, Glycerin, Bis-Phenylpropyl Dimethicone, Arachidyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Panthenol, Benzyl Alcohol, Ethylene/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Behenyl Alcohol, Steareth-2, Fragrance, Steareth-21, Polyacrylamide, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Arachidyl Glucoside, Disodium EDTA, Methylparaben, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Ethylparaben, Butylparaben, Laureth-7, Benzalkonium Chloride, Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, BHT, Titanium Dioxide, Mica, Silica

Brand Overview

Aveeno At-A-Glance

Strengths: A few good cleansers and sunscreen products; fantastic Skin Relief Healing Ointment and soothing bath wash products; a handful of well-formulated baby-care products.

Weaknesses: Well-intentioned but ineffective anti-acne products; reliance on a single showcased ingredient (typically soy) that makes their anti-aging products less enticing than the competition; ineffective products to address hyperpigmentation; formulas packaged in a jar won’t remain stable.

Beginning with its first product in 1945, Soothing Bath Treatment, still sold today as part of the company's Baby line of products, Aveeno has prided itself on using natural ingredients. In some ways, they were a pioneer in the field, though for years the only natural ingredient of note in their products was oatmeal. Consumer products giant Johnson & Johnson purchased the brand in 1999, and wasted almost no time expanding it. A handful of bar cleansers and bath products were spun off into complete collections of facial-care products and an ever-growing number of body lotions and washes, not to mention shaving gels (Aveeno is one of the few companies whose shaving gels are truly fragrance-free).

Not surprisingly, many of the facial-care products from Aveeno are similar to those from Johnson & Johnsonowned Neutrogena. The differences typically lie in the natural ingredients each brand promotes. A cornerstone ingredient for Aveeno is soy, while Neutrogena has experimented (with varying degrees of success) with copper, retinol, salicylic acid, and melibiose. Overall, Neutrogena has a much larger and more comprehensive selection of products, though their formulas are also more problematic. Aveeno would do well to diversify a bit, or at least acknowledge that it takes more than a single star ingredient to provide superior skin-care products. As is, most of their anti-wrinkle products don't compete favorably with the more well-rounded options, not just from Neutrogena but also from Olay, Dove, and, in some respects, L'Oreal.

Getting back to the issue of soy, you'll see from the reviews it is indeed a helpful ingredient for skin—just not in the same multifaceted, does-everything manner Aveeno touts on each soy-containing product's package. A big proponent for Aveeno's use of soy is dermatologist Dr. Jeannette Graf. She is quoted on Aveeno's web site, stating that "It is now clear that the ability of natural soy to deliver multiple benefits to skin plays a lead role in high performance skin care." That sounds great but it doesn't explain why Aveeno ignores research on countless other antioxidants, skin-identical ingredients, or cell-communicating ingredients, all elements Dr. Graf uses in her separate, namesake product line. Interestingly, with Graf's own products relying on a blend of efficacious ingredients, including soy, it's a good question why she decided to endorse Aveeno's one-note soy products.

The bottom line is that when it comes to shopping for skin-care products at the drugstore, Aveeno, for all its talk of being a leader in "Active Naturals," doesn't have the all-inclusive product assortment needed to take the best possible care of your skin. However, paying attention to their top offerings is time (and money) well-spent!

For more information about Aveeno, owned by Johnson & Johnson, call (866) 428-3366 or visit www.aveeno.com.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

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