Crema Straordinaria Da Giorno SPF 25
1.7 fl. oz. for $67
Last Updated:08.14.2015
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

Supposedly this daytime moisturizer with an in-part avobenzone sunscreen is worth the cost because it contains Borghese’s Stratopeptide Energizing Complex. Aside from the clever marketing name, what this contains is a tiny amount of palmitoyl tetrapeptide 7, a type of peptide, the same peptide found in many other products. There’s no proof that any peptide has any ability to affect wrinkles. Peptides are fragile ingredients, hard to keep stable, and easily break down as they are absorbed into the skin.

Particularly bothersome are the dual claims that this product provides oxygen to skin, while also offering antioxidant protection. That’s contradictory, because oxygen encourages free-radical damage. However, not to worry: this product doesn’t provide extra oxygen to skin. The good news is that this daytime moisturizer for normal to dry skin contains a bevy of potent antioxidants and some good cell-communicating ingredients.

Note: This product was recently downgraded from our top rating to three stars, which is considered good. The reason for the change is due to the prevailing recommendation that your daytime sun protection product be rated SPF 30 or greater. This revised recommendation is due to the fact that most people are not applying sunscreen liberally enough to earn the stated level of protection on the label; therefore, a higher SPF rating will be more advantageous. See the More Info section for additional details.

More Info:

Sunscreens Rated SPF 25: A growing body of current research has demonstrated that it's better to use a sunscreen rated SPF 30 or greater to ensure adequate defense against the sun's aging UV rays. SPF 25 is an option, but only if you're willing to apply liberally and your skin will be seeing five hours of daylight or less. While this sunscreen will provide the SPF number on the label and has UVA-protecting ingredients. Applying an SPF 30-rated sunscreen under a foundation, tinted moisturizer, or BB cream that offers broad-spectrum SPF 30+ will take far better care of your skin. Plus, this layering approach ensures your skin gets sufficient sun protection even if you're not applying liberally. For a list of UVA sunscreen actives, see the Cosmetic Ingredients Dictionary entry on PaulasChoice.com.


Crema Straordinaria is the first-ever day lotion with the exclusive Stratopeptide Energizing Complex. Safeguards skin with SPF 25 to deflect corrosive free radical and UV damage. Helps restore firmness and resiliency and elevate and smooth deep wrinkles faster than retinol. Boosts skin energy and guides oxygen directly to cells with a potent cocktail of Coenzyme Q10 and Carnitine. Provides antioxidant protection with Vitamin E.


Active: Avobenzone (2.9%), Octinoxate (7.5%), Octocrylene (10%), Other: Water, Propylene Glycol, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Jojoba Seed Oil, Avocado Oil, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Grape Seed Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Lecithin, Ubiquinone, Ascorbic Acid, Hydroxypropyl Bis Hydroxyethyl Dimonium Chloride, Isocetyl Stearate, Panthenol, Carnitine, Beta Glucan, Histidine Hcl, Steareth 20, Butylene Glycol, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide 7, Polysorbate 20, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Fragrance, Benzyl Salicylate, Butylphenyl Methylpropional

Brand Overview

Borghese At-a-Glance

Strengths: Good cleansers; a handful of impressive moisturizers (with and without sunscreen), including eye creams (though you don't need a separate eye cream—a well-formulated face moisturizer will do); and some well-formulated serums.

Weaknesses: Expensive; some of the SPF-rated products do not provide sufficient UVA protection; jar packaging is common; toners with irritating ingredients; most of the body-care products contain irritating ingredients or are overpriced for what you get; the Fango mud products aren't even remotely the miracle they're made out to be; no effective AHA or BHA products; no products to address skin discolorations or acne; several products contain more fragrance than skin-beneficial ingredients.

Over the past few years the distribution and, as such, availability, of Borghese products has diminished. They're sold randomly in major department stores around the world and it's been years since anyone has asked us about a new Borghese product. Given the decrease in interest, we didn't even include Borghese in the most recent edition of Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me. After publishing the book, however, we were literally deluged with emails from readers asking (sometimes demanding to know) why we didn’t review Borghese. Those numerous requests for reviews about the line are why it's back on our roster.

As we were evaluating the products and writing the reviews for Borghese, the entire team wondered why there was such intense interest in the line. Very few Borghese products are worth any attention whatsoever. Few have any real merit and several of them are truly terrible formulas or, more often than not, an otherwise good formula was ruined by potent irritants that don't serve to make anyone's skin look better. It is especially curious that Borghese has such a following when they rarely advertise in fashion magazines. We can't recall the last time a Borghese product appeared on a "Best of Beauty" list either, so again, we wondered what all the clamoring was about.

Borghese is a cosmetics line that is supposed to have an Italian heritage of beauty. Their angle is combining the tradition of Italian beauty with modern technology. It may seem intriguing that the company maintains their products are based on "a heritage that dates back to the 14th century," but, we ask you, what skin-care or beauty information from the 14th century, or even 20 years ago, is relevant today? Think of it this way: Would you, or even could you, use a computer from the mid-90s given the technological advances since then? The same is true for skin care. Everything from free-radical damage, sun damage, how skin functions, or what causes acne and how you can treat it is recent knowledge. If your goal is to use the best products that stand a chance of giving you the results you want, then relying on anything other than recent history is definitely not the way to go.

Looking at Borghese from an objective point of view based on published studies about what ingredients can help or hurt skin reveals that their products are nothing more than a frustrating mix of good and bad. Several of their moisturizers contain a bevy of state-of-the-art ingredients, yet the choice of jar packaging means they won't last long once the product is opened. It's also disappointing that many Borghese products are filled with plant extracts, usually fragrant oils, that only serve to irritate the skin. That irritation causes collagen to break down and depletes the skin's protective outer barrier. Perhaps that was acceptable in the 14th century, but it certainly doesn't pass for smart skin care today!

As far as Borghese is concerned, Italian beauty seems to rely heavily on scent, but eau de cologne or perfume, natural or otherwise, is not good skin care. As for sun protection, Borghese also gets mixed reviews: some of the SPF-rated products provide sufficient UVA protection but others don't. Thus, Borghese is not a line to shop without knowing exactly what you're buying, and many of their claims border on the impossible, although that is certainly not unique to this brand.

You're most likely to find Borghese products in select Bloomingdale's, Lord & Taylor, or select regional drugstores. They're sold in plenty of online stores, too, and at wholesale warehouse companies such as Costco, which distributes some Borghese products under the Kirkland Signature brand. For the most part, the Costco-sold Borghese products are simply repackaged, renamed versions of what Borghese sells in their main line—the difference is price. For example, a moisturizer you'd pay $61 for at the Borghese counter in Bloomingdale’s costs $26.99 at Costco. A considerable savings, but skin care is never a bargain if the product itself isn't going to benefit your skin beyond the basics.

For more information about Borghese, call (866) 267-4437 or visit www.borghese.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.

Member Comments
Summary of Member Comments
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Awesome, but discontinued

I love this and have been using it for years, but it appears that it has been discontinued. I'd love a recommendation for a replacement -- I haven't been able to find a similar moisturizer with the same texture. Any suggestions?

Reviewed by
Triple play for Borghese

I have been using Borghese products since college. I have strayed along the path, as every one does now and then. However, since Borghese introduced the Crema Straordinaria line there is no reason anymore. With this day time moisturizer, you need nothing else. You have sun protections that is not greasy, you have the right amount of moisture that guys appreciate ( no oily look), and ingredients that restore the skin post shaving. I have NO problem with the price tag and I do use it generously.

Reviewed by
Rick W.
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