Tested on animals:Yes
This daytime moisturizer with sunscreen provides broad-spectrum sun protection with an in-part titanium dioxide sunscreen, but a higher amount of titanium dioxide (one that would net a higher SPF rating) is preferred. Still, you could apply a foundation with a titanium dioxide sunscreen over this for enhanced UVA protection.
This has a lightweight lotion texture and supplies skin with a good (but not great) mix of antioxidants and skin-repairing ingredients. It is a concern that potassium hydroxide (lye) is listed before many of the beneficial anti-aging ingredients. The amount is likely not a problem for skin, but it’s still a bit disappointing.
As for the claims, this facial moisturizer with sunscreen doesn’t contain anything capable of lifting skin. Many of the ingredients can stimulate healthy collagen production, but the jury is out as to how well they stimulate elastin repair or generate new elastin. This is because we have a finite number of elastin fibers; the body doesn’t generate new elastin, so once they’re damaged (think of a rubber band being stretched to the breaking point), the best we can hope for is elastin repair. As anyone who’s tried to patch together a snapped rubber band knows, it never goes back to its original tensile strength. Even if this stimulated lots of collagen and elastin, those are not the only factors that cause skin to sag; bone loss, gravity, and fat pads shifting play critical roles, too.
There is no research proving that plankton extract can harness the power of visible light to stimulate collagen and elastin production. If it could do that, the number of cosmetic corrective procedures women are having to improve wrinkles and sagging would be decreasing, and that’s certainly not the case.
There is no research showing that the mineral malachite and mimosa do anything anti-aging for your skin, although there is some intriguing research on the wound-healing properties of mimosa bark; however, it’s important to note that wrinkles aren’t the same as wounds (Sources: Journal of Ethnopharmacology, July 2009, pages 391–396, and September 2007, pages 400–408). The wound-healing properties are due in part to the plant’s high tannin content, yet here’s the irony: tannins can have a constricting effect on skin, causing irritation that may hurt its ability to look and act younger.
Lauder’s claims for this product are carefully worded, so as to tell women what they want to hear, but the verbiage remains in the cosmetic realm. Giving skin “a more lifted look” is not the same as actually lifting skin (something cosmetic surgery and many non-invasive procedures can accomplish), but it sounds so tempting, which is what gets you to buy. Please see More Info below to learn the limitations of products claiming to lift or re-contour skin.
In the end, this is an expensive way to protect your skin from sun damage. Considering the cost, you have to ask yourself how likely you’ll be to apply this liberally. Used daily, this will last you only about two months, maybe less. Considering the number of inexpensive daytime moisturizers with sunscreen in our Best Products section, you may want to think twice about overspending, especially on a product that cannot deliver on its most compelling claims.
- Provides broad-spectrum sun protection.
- Contains more potassium hydroxide (lye) than beneficial anti-aging ingredients.
- Expensive when you consider that sunscreen must be applied liberally to provide the protection stated on the label.
- Lifting claims are not based on research you can rely on for younger-looking skin.
Many skin-care products claim they can firm and lift skin, but none of them work, at least not to the extent claimed. A face-lift-in-a-bottle isn’t possible, but with the right mix of products, you will see firmer skin that has a more lifted appearance—and that’s exciting! To gain these youthful benefits, you must protect your skin from any and all sun damage every day, use an AHA (glycolic acid or lactic acid) or BHA (salicylic acid) exfoliant, and use products that have a wide range of antioxidants and skin-repairing ingredients. This combination of products (remember, one product doesn’t do it all) has extensive research showing how each can significantly improve many of the signs of aging, such as firming skin, reducing wrinkles and brown spots, and eliminating dullness. You’ll find them on our list of Best Anti-Aging/Anti-Wrinkle Products.