Solar Body Moisturizer SPF 30+

Price:
$27.95 - 7 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Sensitive Skin Products > Sun Products > SPF 30-49 Sunscreen
Last Updated:
8/15/2013
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
No

Solar Body Moisturizer SPF 30+ is slightly creamier than DeVita's facial version, but it dries quickly to a matte finish. We noticed that applying just a little too much resulted in the product balling up on the skin. On the positive side, however, the scent was minor despite the inclusion of lavender, and the white cast was minimal once the product dried. Like the Solar Protective SPF 30+ facial moisturizer, the Solar Body Moisturizer SPF 30+ raises the same serious concerns, which should make you think twice before relying on this as your sole source of sun protection.

DeVita's label doesn't follow U.S. FDA regulations that require sunscreens to display the Drug Facts Label on the outer carton or on the tube. As part of the tighter FDA sunscreen regulations, U.S. cosmetics companies must submit their sunscreen formulas to FDA-approved labs for broad-spectrum testing. Sunscreens that pass this new, rigorous testing and meet the standard can then display the claim "Broad Spectrum Protection." Also the Drug Facts Label on the box or bottle separates the formula information, listing active and inactive ingredients separately from each other, providing usage guidelines and directions, and, one of the most important points, providing the formulary expiration date. DeVita does not provide an expiration date.

Simply including 19% zinc oxide in a formula isn't enough to guarantee the product's ability to function properly as a broad-spectrum sunscreen—there are other factors, such as stability, dispersion (how well it's mixed into a formula), and others that affect how well a sunscreen performs (as a whole) to protect you from UV exposure.

In their marketing messaging, DeVita uses the phrase "USFDA Monograph Sun Protection Factor Determination test level of 32" to describe the protection level of their Solar Body Moisturizer SPF 30+. This is odd phrasing, and it deepens our concerns about the effectiveness of the product because the current UVA/UVB FDA testing requirements no longer rely solely on this SPF testing method (the classic measurement of UVB protection), but rather also include new critical wavelength tests to determine a sunscreen's true broad-spectrum capability. So, this shows that DeVita is aware of the FDA SPF testing requirements, but it does not show they are aware of the new sunscreen testing and labeling regulations.

DeVita claims grape seed extract (listed as Vitis Vinifera) is their preservative and that aloe has some antibacterial benefit, but neither grape seed extract nor aloe function as effective broad-spectrum preservatives against bacteria and mold. Just because an ingredient has some antimicrobial/bacterial benefits doesn't mean it can be substituted for a research-proven preservative system! For example, vitamin C has antibacterial and antioxidant benefit, but are you willing to drink from a bottle of 100% orange juice that's been sitting on your kitchen counter for a few months?

Just a small point: Any company would really need to be creative with the definition of "all natural" to apply it to a sunscreen. Extracting, formulating, and stabilizing the ingredients needed to formulate an effective sunscreen makes the finished product about as natural as Splenda.

DeVita includes a mix of beneficial ingredients as well, but given all of the negatives with this product, you have no idea what you're really getting. DeVita's Solar Body Moisturizer SPF 30+ raises too many concerns to earn our recommendation—we recommend considering any of the options from other brands in our Best Sunscreens (Including Kids) section.

Pros:
  • Contains beneficial antioxidants and skin-identical ingredients.
  • Contains 19% zinc oxide, which in a properly labeled product should provide broad-spectrum protection.
Cons:
  • No Drug Facts Label, so you can't be sure if it's passed FDA-required testing and rated to provide broad-spectrum protection.
  • Questionable and inadequate preservative system.
  • Ingredient label doesn't comply with FDA or (global) INCI cosmetics regulations, so you really don't know what you are putting on your face.

You are now protected by one of the most effective body moisturizer and natural sunscreen all in one! 100% natural, absorbs quickly and is never oily or greasy. Offers broad spectrum UVA/UVB sun protection with a USFDA Monograph Sun Protection Factor Determination test level of 32. This is a gentle, soothing physical sun block that is skin-friendly and suitable for sensitive skin. Revitalizes, softens and moisturizes skin leaving it with a satin sheen.

Active Ingredient: Zinc Oxide 19% Inactive Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis (Certified Organic Aloe Vera Gel), Water (Purified), Camellia Sinensis (Japanese Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Capric/Caprylic Triglycerides (Derived From Coconut Oil), Glycerin (Vegetable), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil, Lecithin Phospholipid, Hyaluronic Acid (Vegan Source), Simmondsia Chinensis* (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Squalane (Olive), Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Napca, Rosa Moschata (Rose Hips) Oil, Centella Asiatica (Goto Kola), Copper Gluconate, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Fucus Vesiculosis (Seaweed) Extract, Allantoin, Sodium Riboflavin Phosphate, Chondrus Crispus (Irish Moss), Lavandula Officinalis* (Lavender) Essential Oil, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Essential Oil, Vitis Vinifera* (Grape) Seed Extract.

It seems strange that the tagline for the Arizona-based DeVita Skin Care is "Guided by Nature, Driven by Science" because they take a decidedly unscientific route to promote their products, using consumers' fears of chemicals (describing them as "poisons and toxic" on their website) to the fullest degree. If this company was driven by science, we would expect more than just the same old scare tactic—"all chemicals are bad but all plants are good." In fact, all the ingredients in any cosmetic, including water, are chemicals.

DeVita makes the claim that their products are "all natural," vegan, and paraben-free, despite the fact that parabens come from natural ingredients and there is no research showing they are a problem for the body. Their all-natural claim is easy to debunk because their products contain decidedly synthetic ingredients, such as retinol, l-carnosine, palmitoyl oligopeptide, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-3, dimethicone/vinyl dimethicone crosspolymer, and polymethylsilsesquioxane, to name a few.

Regarding the l-carnosine and retinol, they are found naturally in animals, but they do not occur in plants. However, because the natural, animal-based versions aren't very stable or effective in skin-care formulas, l-carnosine and retinol in cosmetics are (with rare exceptions) synthetic. Therefore, either DeVita isn't being straight about being a vegan line, or they have their own definition of what "all-natural" means. That may very well be the case, because the "all natural" claim is not beholden to any sort of cosmetic regulation anywhere in the world.

All of this natural, chemical-free posturing gets so tiring—the truth is that there are good and bad natural ingredients, just as there are good and bad synthetic ingredients. Natural isn't inherently better and synthetic isn't inherently evil. One problem with DeVita products is that you can't be sure what you're really putting on your skin because DeVita takes liberties with how they list product ingredients, which is a regulatory no-no. For all the DeVita products we reviewed (without exception), not a single one had an ingredient list that complied with FDA or (global) INCI standards.

For example, "De-Ionized Water" isn't a recognized name, nor is "Aloe Barbadensis." In the latter case, the designation doesn't tell you if they're using aloe leaf, aloe flower extract with alcohol, aloe leaf juice diluted with water, or just a plain aloe extract. Listing the full ingredient is important information because different forms of an ingredient can mean different things to a formula and can have different effects on your skin.

We admire DeVita in that they don't resort to alcohol-based formulas (a rare quality for a natural brand); unfortunately, it seems they ignored, or simply overlooked, the research on the potent irritant potential of essential oils and fragrances.

They also seem to ignore the risks inherent in not using an effective preservative system. Many of the products we reviewed had questionable preservative systems (see individual product reviews for details), which is bad news (for you and your skin) because you won't know how long you can safely use a product before it's overrun by bacteria and mold. We raised our concern about the preservatives with a representative from DeVita and were told that their products were preserved by the use of aloe, allantoin, grape seed extract, grapefruit seed extract, and "others," depending on the product. To be clear, none of these ingredients has any research demonstrating an ability to work as broad-spectrum preservatives; that is, they won't keep your product free of mold, fungi, or bacteria.

It is true that some ingredients have natural antibacterial benefits, but that doesn't mean they are a good substitute for tried-and-true preservatives. For example, vitamin C has antibacterial and antioxidant benefit, but are you willing to drink from a container of 100% fruit juice that's been sitting on the counter for a month or two? There are plenty of options for effective preservatives, no matter if your preference is for natural skin care or not, but aloe, allantoin, grape seed, and grapefruit seed extract aren't counted among them.

We understand the appeal of DeVita as a brand for those who are enamored with the concept of 100% natural products. However, the reality is that DeVita presents this appearance of "all natural" by fudging the details, devising their own definitions of "all natural," and providing inaccurate information about the source of their ingredients (vegan plant-based l-carnosine and natural silicone—Really?). In many of the products we reviewed, DeVita either omits the source of their preservatives, or (more dangerous to imagine) uses ineffective preservative systems. We are not against naturally derived ingredients by any means, but if you're looking to use natural products, you can do better than this brand, which ultimately leaves you questioning what exactly it is you're putting on your skin.

For more information on DeVita, visit www.devitaskincare.com or call 1-877-233-8482.

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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