Laszlo Blue Firmarine SPF 30

Price:
$195 - 1.7 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Moisturizers (Daytime and Nighttime) > Moisturizer with Sunscreen
Last Updated:
3/13/2013
Jar Packaging:
Yes
Tested On Animals:
No

This daytime moisturizer with sunscreen provides broad-spectrum sun protection and includes avobenzone for UVA (think anti-aging) screening. It's a lightweight cream that's best for normal to dry skin, but the jar packaging is a problem (see More Info for details).

An even bigger issue than the packaging is the price. For what this costs, most people will be unlikely to apply it liberally, yet liberal application is critical to getting the amount of sun protection stated on the label. If you applied this daily to your face and neck, you'd be going through this in two months or less, which adds up to almost $1,200 per year for your daytime moisturizer! Yikes!

Laszlo Blue Firmarine SPF 30 contains some good anti-aging ingredients, but none that aren't present (or easily replaced by other exceptional ingredients) in less expensive products whose packaging will keep the best ingredients stable once opened. One other point: The blue color comes from a blue synthetic dye ingredient and dyes aren't skin care, any more than fragrance is skin care.

Pros:
  • Provides broad-spectrum sun protection.
Cons:
  • Wildly overpriced.
  • Jar packaging won't keep key ingredients stable once opened.
  • Price is highly likely to discourage the liberal application needed to get the SPF rating stated on the label.
  • The blue color comes from a synthetic dye ingredient.
More Info:

The fact that it's packaged in a jar means the beneficial ingredients won't remain stable once it is opened. All plant extracts, vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air, so once a jar is opened and lets the air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate. Jars also are unsanitary because you're dipping your fingers into them with each use, adding bacteria, which further deteriorate the beneficial ingredients (Sources: Free Radical Biology and Medicine, September 2007, pages 818–829; Ageing Research Reviews, December 2007, pages 271–288; Dermatologic Therapy, September-October 2007, pages 314–321; International Journal of Pharmaceutics, June 12, 2005, pages 197–203; Pharmaceutical Development and Technology, January 2002, pages 1–32; International Society for Horticultural Science, www.actahort.org/members/showpdf?booknrarnr=778_5; Beautypackaging.com, and www.beautypackaging.com/articles/2007/03/airless-packaging.php).

This breakthrough moisturizer strengthens and protects. Firm, nourish and hydrate skin with the power of Spirulina Maxima in this rich SPF 30 formula.

Active Ingredients: Avobenzone 3%., Octisalate 5%, Octinoxate 7.5%. Other Ingredients: Water, Butylene Glycol, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Glycerin, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behenyl Alcohol, Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, Lecithin, Lauryl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Myristyl Alcohol, Coco-Glucoside, Ethylhexylglycerin, Dimethicone, PEG-100 Stearate, Spirulina Maxima Extract Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Phospholipids, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Algae Extract, Pullulan, Sodium Hyaluronate, Trifluoroacetyl Tripeptide-2, Maris Aqua (Sea Water), Diethylhexyl Syringylidenemalonate Carbomer, Dextran, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Sodium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, O-Cymen-5-Ol, Phenoxyethanol, Parfum (Fragrance), Blue 1, Ext Violet 2.

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.

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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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