SPF 30 Protection Primer
Last Updated:05.27.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

SPF 30 Protection Primer has an ultra-silky, silicone-enhanced feel that facilitates a smooth base for makeup application. This transparent primer feels weightless as you blend it in, offering a temporary matte finish ideal for normal to oily skin. Short-lived as it may be, pores are also slighted blurred.

The SPF 30 broad spectrum sun protection comes from the inclusion of synthetic sunscreen actives. As a cautionary note, these types of ingredients can pose a risk of irritation, especially around the eyes or if you have sensitive skin. (In contrast, sunscreens whose only active ingredients are titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide rarely, if ever, pose a risk of irritation.) Not everyone will experience irritation from synthetic actives (such as the avobenzone and homosalate this contains); rather, it’s a potential issue to pay attention to when applying sunscreens in general but in particular those with higher SPF ratings.

Adding to the likelihood of irritation is the high concentration of the fragrant grapefruit peel oil that this contains (see More Info). That’s a shame given there’s otherwise a nice mix of repairing and soothing ingredients for skin-enhancing benefits. Check out our Best Foundation Primers list for superior options without the risk of irritation from fragrant citrus oil.


Silky texture absorbs weightlessly into skin.

Provides a smooth base for makeup application.

Temporary matte finish blurs pores.

Provides broad-spectrum sun protection.


High concentration of grapefruit peel oil likely to cause irritation.

More Info:

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.)


Active: Octocrylene (11%), Homosalate (7.5%), Octisalate (5%), Avobenzone (3.5%). Other: Bisabolol, Caprylyl Glycol, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Dimethicone/ Bisisobutyl PPG-20 Crosspolymer, Ethyl Linoleate, Ethyl Linolenate, Ethyl Oleate, Isododecane, Phenoxyethanol, Phytosphingosine, Silica, Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Fruit Extract, Sorbitol/Sebacic Acid Copolymer Behenate, Squalane, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Tocopherol, Tribehenin, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Tris (PPG-3 Benzyl Ether) Citrate.

Brand Overview

Cover FX At-A-Glance

Strengths: Broad range of foundation and concealer shades for those seeking moderate to full coverage; superior mineral powder foundation; good primer; most of the products are fragrance-free (but not all); very good brushes at an attractive price point.

Weaknesses: Lip balm/lipstick contains potential irritants; color range can be a little tricky for some of their products.

Co-founded by makeup artist Lee Graff and M.A.C. Cosmetic alumni’s, Cover FX is a Canadian company specializing in camouflage makeup, the area of concentration in which Graff has focused her career as a makeup artist. According to the company Web site, Graff’s dream “was to help men and women with skin conditions face the world with confidence by offering them makeup products with therapeutic benefits that would perfectly match their skin tone, be affordable, well tolerated by even the most sensitive skin, and achieve a perfectly natural, flawless effect.” Lofty goals, certainly! Cover FX manages to accomplish much of these with a line that has grown and been well curated over the years.

Many of the options within Cover FX offer medium to full coverage, but whenever serious camouflage is needed, there is a trade-off to accept that it won’t always look totally natural. To their credit, Cover FX's full coverage options look more natural on skin than many (and their expansive color options helps quite a bit).

If you don't need full coverage, there are several other products from Cover FX worth considering, from their Cream Concealer, Priming Serum to their Skin Tint, Custom Cover Drops and makeup brushes. This isn't a comprehensive makeup line (for example, you won't find eyeshadows, pencils, or mascara), but they are a cosmetics line that understands what it does best—and sticks with it.

Cover FX has an admirable goal in wanting to help people who have scars or discolorations face the world with their head held high. Without question, the right makeup can make a huge difference in such a person’s self-esteem, and as Cover FX has evolved over the years, they’ve launched impressive and unique formulas. There are a few that need work due to their use of potentially irritating ingredients—but fortunately, these are few and far between.

For more information about Cover FX, call (866) 424-3332 or visit www.coverfx.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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