Absolute Finish Foundation

Price:
$49 
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Category:
Makeup > Foundations With Sunscreen > Cream-to-Powder Foundation w/ Sunscreen
Last Updated:
4/15/2013
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
No

Absolute Finish SPF 15 Finishing Mousse With Sunscreen lacks the UVA-protecting ingredients of avobenzone, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, Tinosorb, or Mexoryl SX, which is really disappointing because it would otherwise be a superb foundation. The silicone-based formula is mousse-like but not as airy as the name implies. It glides over skin and sets to a silky matte finish capable of light to medium coverage. The range of shades is on the small side but still outstanding—not a bad option in the bunch. The only weak point is the insufficient sunscreen; this is otherwise recommended for those with normal to oily skin willing to pair it with a separate product to provide the necessary UVA protection.

Face Makeup with SPF As Your Sole Source of Sunscreen: In order to keep your skin protected from damaging UV rays, a broad-spectrum sunscreen rated SPF 20 (or higher) is a critical step in your daily skin-care routine—and you need to apply it liberally. But applying your sunscreen liberally is tricky (if not undesirable) when it comes to makeup with SPF, as most people would never apply a foundation, tinted moisturizer, BB cream or powder liberally enough to get the sunscreen protection indicated on its label. Thus, we advise not relying on makeup with SPF as your sole source of sun protection unless you want to apply it liberally. Otherwise, layer it with your daytime moisturizer with SPF to ensure your skin stays protected from the aging effects of the sun.

Active Ingredient: Octinoxate 7.5%; Other Ingredients: Cyclomethicone, Tribehenin, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Tocopheryl Acetate, Emu Oil, Dimethicone, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Ascorbic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Retinyl Palmitate, Isopropylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Butylparaben. May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Ultramarines.

According to the company's brochure, Dr. Erno Laszlo, a Hungarian dermatologist, was "the first to combine the exact science of his profession with the art of cosmetology" using "precisely diagnosed treatments dispensed with a doctor's touch." He treated Hungarian royalty, women whose lack of beautiful skin was apparently enough to get them shot in the face by potential suitors (no kidding)—until Laszlo saved the day with his revolutionary products. We admit that that's great copy, but there are rumors that he was never a medical doctor in Hungary or anywhere else in Europe, and he was certainly never licensed to practice medicine in the United States. Medical status aside, the claims and "story" behind these products are just another verse in the litany of hyperbole the cosmetics industry is famous for.

In his time (1920s through the 1930s), Laszlo's notoriety was built on "prescribing" skin-care regimens for wealthy women who could afford to "succumb to the 'Laszlo Ritual' of daily skin care." The ritual included regimented splashing of the face with extremely hot water before and after washing with bar soap. Today's Laszlo ritual talks of harnessing the power of water not only to cleanse skin but also to tone, firm, hydrate, clear, and energize skin. Amazing isn't it? If water alone and a certain splashing technique with traditional bar soap can take care of skin, then what's the point of Laszlo's profusion of (mostly poor) products? Why not just offer some soap and a tip sheet on how to splash most effectively, and let the water perform the miracles the company claims it can? If you think this sounds as ridiculous as we do, imagine trying to explain it to customers without backing away sheepishly. While neighboring cosmetics counters extol advanced formulas claiming to work like Botox or speak of their potent, patented cosmeceutical ingredients, Laszlo's team is going on and on about splashing skin with water and the "clocking system" they use to determine your skin type (a system that is more complicated than helpful).

Looking at historical background is one thing, but the real problem with legendary or ancient skin-care routines is that new research more often than not negates what we once thought to be true. After all, in Laszlo's heyday, no one knew about sun damage or the need for exfoliation, or that hot water can hurt skin and cause surfaced capillaries. Water-soluble cleansers weren't around, no one knew the connection between antioxidants and skin care, elegant sunscreens didn't exist, and Laszlo clearly didn't know that soap is too irritating and that irritation is a problem for skin (it's one of the major causes of collagen destruction). Plus, alkaline substances (that's what soap contains) have research showing they can increase the bacterial content in skin and damage the skin's healing process. With today's gentle cleansing options, there is no need to subject skin to the harshness of soap, regardless of how oily it is.

Further, anyone with any skin type who adheres to routine use of Laszlo's products is only setting themselves up for trouble, whether it's persistent irritation or a dry, tight feeling that will have you reaching for a moisturizer in desperation (and possibly making oily or breakout-prone areas worse as a result). There are some reliable, well-formulated products in this line, but following Laszlo's regimented routine is a path to skin irritation and dryness—and that's not the way to "worship your skin."

For more information about Erno Laszlo, call (888) 352-7956 or visit www.ernolaszlo.com.

Member Comments

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  1. How would you rate the results? (4 = Best)

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  2. Was this product a good value? (4 = Best)

    4 / 4 Best
  3. Would you recommend this product? (4 = Best)

    4 / 4 Best
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  1. mia
    Reviewed on Tuesday, April 02, 2013
    • Results
      1 / 4
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    miss
    • This foundation is the best one on the market. For the record it does contain titanium dioxide and the ingredient list is Active Ingredients: Octinoxate 7.5%, Titanium Dioxide 2.0% Other Ingredients: Cyclopentasiloxane, Tribehenin, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Cyclohexasiloxane ... All you reviews are inaccurate!

    Paula's Choice Research Team Response
    Replied on: Wednesday, April 03, 2013

    Thank you for informing us of the formulary change. We will revise this review in the near future once we have tried the new product.

    —Admin

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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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