This daytime moisturizer with sunscreen provides broad-spectrum protection and includes avobenzone for critical UVA (think anti-aging) screening. Although the avobenzone isn't stabilized by the traditional choice of octocrylene, there are other ingredients that can help keep this stable. For example, the ingredient diethylhexyl syringylidene malonate (which this product contains) is used as a photostabilizer, which is a science-y term for an ingredient that helps keep sunscreen actives stable, so they can work as intended.
Black Opal claims this product is enriched with ingredients that fight hyperpigmentation and other discolorations, and although a couple of those are present, it's difficult to ascertain how much of them you're really getting. That's because the inactive ingredients are presented in alphabetical rather than descending order. This is permissible because this product is regulated as an over-the-counter drug in the United States. The problem is it doesn't make it any easier for consumers to determine how much of any given ingredient is present in the product. In other words, don't count on this as your sole skin-lightening option!
In the long run, for really fighting hyperpigmentation (brown skin discolorations) a higher SPF would be far better!
That said, the moisturizing formula is best for normal to dry skin. The inclusion of fragrance makes this a tricky recommendation for sensitive skin. The formula contains some good antioxidants and cell-communicating ingredients, which are great additions to any daytime moisturizer.
- Provides broad-spectrum sun protection.
- Moisturizes dry skin.
- Contains a good mix of antioxidants and cell-communicating ingredients.
- Most likely doesn't contain enough of the ingredients capable of lightening discolorations, so you'll still need a separate skin-lightening product.
Renew, hydrate and protect your skin’s natural radiance. Moisturizing, creamy lotion delivers broad spectrum sunscreen protection combined with emollient, skin-renewing extracts which help promote a more radiant, even skin tone. Its lightweight formula is enriched with a proprietary blend of brightening peptides and a natural citrus extract to improve skin’s radiance and even hyperpigmentation and discolorations.
Active Ingredients: Avobenzone: 3.0%; Octinoxate 7.5%; Inactive ingredients: Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Crambe Abyssinica Seed Oil, Butylene Glycol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Carbomer, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteth-20, Cetyl Alcohol, Citrus Unshiu Peel Extract, Coco-Glucoside, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Diethylhexyl Syringylidene Malonate, Dimethicone, Disodium EDTA, Ethylhexylglycerin, Fragrance (Parfum), Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Nymphaea Alba Flower Extract, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, O-Cymen-5-OL, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Oligopeptide-68, Panthenol, PEG-75 Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Oleate, Sodium Palmitoyl Proline, Steareth-20, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Tocopheryl Acetate, Undecylenoyl Phenylalanine, Water (Aqua).
If Black Opal believes their skin-care products are "what looking beautiful is all about," then this is not a line to be trusted. Creating cosmetics that cater to the needs of African-American women doesn't have to involve a profusion of seriously irritating or, in the case of the sunscreens, seriously incomplete, products. In fact, aside from the name and the somewhat minimal use of African botanicals, nothing about these products is unique to the needs of African-American skin tones. Moreover, no matter what your skin color may be, the basic and enhanced needs of skin remain the same: a gentle cleanser, effective exfoliant, sunscreen, and where and if needed, a moisturizer, all in stable packaging so the products can be effectively loaded with antioxidants and ingredients that mimic the structure and function of healthy skin.
African-American skin tones are not without their unique problems, which mostly have to do with pigmentation. But other skin tones, whether related to people of Asian, Latin-American, Caucasian, or other descent, also have to deal with pigmentation problems and uneven skin tones. Even supposing that African-American skin tones do have distinctive needs not shared by any other skin tone, Black Opal isn't the answer, especially considering that the research agrees that is not the case for day-to-day cosmetic care (Sources: Cutis, December 2006, pages 2–19 Supplemental; and Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, June 2003, pages 139–142 Supplemental). In fact, this line has so many problematic or shortsighted products they raise more questions than they have answers for!
Surprisingly, Black Opal was developed with the consultation of the African-American dermatologist Dr. Cheryl Burgess. Either the formulators behind this line didn't heed her advice or Dr. Burgess isn't informed about how cosmetic ingredients, particularly irritating ones, work on skin, not to mention the need for reliable UVA protection—fundamental information every dermatologist should not only be preaching but also practicing themselves.
For more information about Black Opal, call BioCosmetic Research Labs at 1-800-774-3477 or visit www.blackopalbeauty.com.
Black Opal Makeup
Black Opal's makeup has seen its prominence dwindle in comparison to other, seemingly lesser-known makeup lines catering to African-American skin tones. The fact that Beyoncé Knowles is a spokeswoman for L'Oreal, Halle Berry represents Revlon, and Queen Latifah appears in ads for Cover Girl, probably has something to do with the smaller market share for this once respectable line. Celebrities selling products is big business, and there is no doubt the aforementioned women are admired by women of all ethnicities. Although the major players' ads have increased awareness of these lines for African-American women, Black Opal has continued to offer the same basic assortment of products reviewed in a previous edition of Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me. Almost without exception, their newer items are disappointing, particularly for eyeshadows, pencils, and lip gloss (really).
The one area where Black Opal makes the grade is with its foundations and powders. The foundations offer some authentic shades suitable for women of color, though the formulas tend to be lackluster or, at the very least, not as elegant as what competing lines offer. There's still reason to seek out and shop this line, but based on an overview of the current Black Opal lineup, we think Beyoncé, Halle, and Queen Latifah made smart decisions!