Prevention + Daily Matte Moisturizer Oil Free SPF 30+ is nearly a good option for a daytime moisturizer with broad-spectrum protection, but falls short in a few areas. Despite the name, there isn't anything mattifying about this formula. This sheer lotion is lightly hydrating—it's not greasy by any means—but those expecting a matte, oil-controlling sunscreen won't find it here. What you will find is a nice mix of antioxidants, skin-repairing ingredients, and anti-irritants, coupled with a hint of moisture that is ideal for those with combination to normal skin, including those prone to breakouts.
The sunscreen actives are a mix of mineral (zinc oxide) and synthetic (octinoxate), which explains why the white cast of this formula is not as noticeable as if it were a pure mineral sunscreen. Depending on your skin color, the white cast can vanish completely upon drying.
It contains fragrant flower extract, Arabidopsis thaliana, yet despite the seemingly low amount present based on its position on the ingredient list, the fragrance is overwhelming, lingering on the skin and wafting from the container once opened. This product's intense fragrance makes us skeptical about the accuracy of the ingredient label—the inclusion of Arabidopsis thaliana doesn't account for the perfume-like, sickly sweet odor.
Another oddity: IMAGE Skincare mentions this formula contains micro-sponge technology, but doesn't list any such ingredients—methyl methacrylate crosspolymer, for example. These polymers act as "sponges," absorbing excess oil on the surface of the skin, and can add a soft-matte quality to products like oil absorbers, foundations, and other skin-care/cosmetic formulas. Alas, there are none present here (or at least none are listed on the ingredient list), leaving us wondering why the claim was made in the first place.
It's a pity IMAGE Skincare couldn't have left out (or just added less) fragrance, because otherwise this would have been a great sunscreen formula. Instead, consider the products on our list of Best Daytime Moisturizers with Sunscreen in Beautypedia.
- Provides broad-spectrum sun protection.
- Light, non-greasy hydrating formula is ideal for combination to normal skin types.
- Includes a good mix of antioxidants and skin-repairing ingredients.
- Contains a potent fragrance, which can be problematic considering its potential to provoke irritation.
- The fragrance lingers on the skin and wafts from the container.
- Does not appear to contain micro-sponge technology, or mattifying agents, despite the name.
This new generation, oil-free, broad spectrum UVA/UVB moisturizer incorporates micro-sponge technology to absorb skin’s surface oils to leave skin with a matte, non greasy, shine-free finish. Matte Moisturizer SPF 32 contains potent antioxidant thiotaine, as well as free radical scavengers to protect against environmental exposures.
Active Ingredients: Zinc Oxide 9%, Octinoxate 7.5%; Inactive Ingredients: Aqua, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Isopropyl Palmitate, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Plankton Extract, Arabidopsis Thaliana, Micrococcus Lysate, Erythritol Homarine HCL, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ergothioneine, PEG-8 SMDI Copolymer, Cetearyl Dimethicone, Capryl Glucoside, Xanthan Gum, Panthenol, Polyglyceryl-3 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Triethoxysilyl Ethyl Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Hexyl Dimethicone, Sodium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin
IMAGE Skincare, a brand operated out of West Palm Beach, Florida, focuses on the concept of “pharmaceutical grade” skin-care products (more on that in a moment). Developed by its president and CEO, Janna Robert, IMAGE Skincare is distributed in spas and dermatology offices. However, it can also be found on retail websites like Amazon (despite the company’s claim that these aren’t approved retailers).
The IMAGE Skincare approach promotes the concept that those of a certain age should use a certain line of products—a visit to their website’s product recommendation page has their five collections categorized by age range, which is a silly concept.
Here’s why that approach makes for poor skin care: Simply put, age is not a skin type—the types of ingredients skin needs to stay healthy and act younger are the same whether you’re 10, 20, 30, 40, or 50 years old, or beyond. Just as a healthy diet doesn’t change as you age, the same is true for skin care. What skin needs to be healthy does not change with age.
To underscore this fact, IMAGE Skincare’s recommendations are virtually identical, no matter which age range you select. Interestingly, their age ranges are grouped into three categories: 1–18 (OK, … a 1-year-old? How bizarre is that! A baby is supposed to have a skin-care routine?); 19–35; and then...”36+.”
Someone over the age of 40 (all the way to those over 65) can have oily skin and breakouts, and teens can have dry, sun-damaged skin. Research shows that the same ingredients are needed to improve and heal the problem, regardless of age. Relating age to skin care is just silly!
IMAGE Skincare defines their “aging later” approach to mean that if you want to delay the signs of aging, you need to give skin more of what it needs to stay healthier, longer. That includes their recommendation of regular use of AHA/BHA exfoliants, formulas loaded with antioxidants and cell-communicating ingredients, as well as wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day.
We absolutely agree with those points—anti-aging is about taking care of your skin, keeping it protected from environmental harms (i.e., unprotected sun exposure and pollution), and ensuring that all of your products are loaded with beneficial ingredients, no matter your age. Their list of recommendations should also include using products that are free of irritants; that is, ingredients that have documented research indicating their potential to harm skin by causing inflammation and free-radical damage.
Unfortunately, that latter point is where many of IMAGE Skincare’s products veer off the mark. For all their claims of including only what’s best for the skin, we were disappointed to find that almost all of their products contain at least one irritating fragrance extract or essential oil (some IMAGE Skincare products are overloaded with them), and the fragrance is often overwhelming, lingering on the skin and wafting from the container immediately on opening.
On a side note, the intense fragrance of many of their products makes us skeptical of their ingredient lists—they don’t list what could be causing the perfume-like, sickly sweet odor. Fragrance, whether natural or synthetic, is a problem for the skin because of the irritations it can cause.
What about their claim of offering “pharmaceutical grade” ingredients and formulas? When a brand uses the term “pharmaceutical” in describing their products, they’re trying to invoke the idea that their formulas are somehow different or “stronger” than those you can find anywhere else. This is nothing more than marketing wordplay—there are no (repeat, no) pharmaceutical-grade skin-care products because the term is not regulated by the FDA, so there is no standard or meaning to the claim. Just as the words “cosmeceutical” and “hypoallergenic” are meaningless, “pharmaceutical grade” is as well.
What matters is that the ingredients they include have published, peer-reviewed research and that your products conform to the safety guidelines and standards set forth in the FDA’s labeling regulatory requirements (or international regulatory bodies, if you’re outside the United States).
Strangely enough, it was challenging to find accurate ingredient lists for IMAGE Skincare. In some instances, the list on the packaging was incomplete and/or very different from the ingredient list found online (even from “approved” resellers allegedly using information supplied by IMAGE). We are reluctant to trust any company that can’t get this simple regulation right; think about buying food at the grocery store that didn’t have a label listing everything that was in it.
For example, IMAGE Skincare’s Prevention + Daily Matte Moisturizer Oil Free SPF 30+ claims to contain microsponge technology (absorbent polymers that help to control excess oil), and yet the product packaging doesn’t list any such ingredients. And, in the case of one of their anti-acne treatments, the combined use of the two active ingredients falls outside of FDA guidelines for anti-acne products (Source: FDA 21 CFR 333.310, 2014).
In the end, some of the products IMAGE Skincare offers are (possibly) worth looking into, but overall we were disappointed in the brand because so many of their formulas, including those of some otherwise impressive products, contained an excess of fragrance, made outlandish marketing claims, and had an abundance of ingredient misinformation wrapped in “pharmaceutical-grade” pseudoscience. We prefer science based in reality—everything else is just hype, and hype is not the way to take the best possible care of your skin… at any age!
For more information about IMAGE Skincare, call 1-800-796-SKIN (7546) or visit www.imageskincare.com.