04.29.2014
0
2
Facial Fuel UV Guard Fast-Absorbing Sunscreen for Men SPF 50+
Rating
1.7 fl. oz. for $38
Last Updated:04.29.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

This fluid, fragrance-free moisturizer with sunscreen provides broad-spectrum protection, and includes sufficient UVA (think anti-aging) screening from stabilized avobenzone. We have little doubt that men with combination to oily skin will love how light this feels, and its finish is surprisingly non-greasy.

The problem? The alcohol it contains is a potential cause for concern. Adding up the amount of active ingredients plus what precedes the alcohol on the ingredient list likely means that the actual amount of alcohol is lower than it seems; however, given that the amount of sunscreen actives this contains can be sensitizing on their own, it's not a good idea to add alcohol to the mix. Besides, you can find sunscreens with similar textures from SkinCeuticals and La Roche-Posay (like Kiehl's, both of these brands are owned by L'Oreal).

If you're stuck on this particular product (though you shouldn't be), you can find the exact same thing for less money from L'Oreal's Sublime Sun Advanced Sunscreen SPF 50+.

Pros:
  • Provides broad-spectrum sun protection.
  • Fragrance-free.
  • Wonderfully light fluid texture and non-greasy finish.
Cons:
  • The amount of alcohol is potential cause for concern (see More Info).

More Info:

Alcohol-Based Skincare Products: Alcohol helps ingredients like retinol and vitamin C penetrate into the skin more effectively, but it does that by breaking down the skin's barrier—destroying the very substances that keep your skin healthy over the long term (Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, 2012 and Journal of Hospital Infection, 2003).

A significant amount of research shows alcohol causes free-radical damage in skin even at low levels (Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, 2012). Small amounts of alcohol on skin cells in lab settings (about 3%, but keep in mind skin-care products contain amounts ranging from 5% to 60% or greater) over the course of two days increased cell death by 26%. It also destroyed the substances in cells that reduce inflammation and defend against free radicals—this process actually causes more free-radical damage. If this weren't bad enough, exposure to alcohol actually causes skin cells to self-destruct (Alcohol, 2002).

Research also shows that these destructive, aging effects on skin cells increased the longer skin was exposed to alcohol; for example, two days of exposure was dramatically more harmful than one day, and that's at only a 3% concentration (Alcohol, 2002). In fact, the effect of inflammation in the skin is cumulative, and repeated exposure to irritants contributes to a weakened skin barrier, slower healing (including of red marks from breakouts), and a dull, uneven complexion (Aging, 2012 & Chemical Immunology and Allergy, 2012).

Claims
Energizing, lightweight daily sun shield specifically formulated for men. High level SPF broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection guards men from daily damage and premature aging.
Ingredients
Active Ingredients: Avobenzone 3%, Homosalate 15%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 5%, Oxybenzone 6%, Other Ingredients: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Alcohol Denat., Silica, Dicaprylyl Ether, Styrene/Acrylates, Copolymer, PEG-30 Dipolyhydoxystearate, Dimethicone, Cyclohexasiloxane, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Nylon-12, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Phenoxyethanol, Lauryl PEG/PPG-18/18 Methicone, Sodium Chloride, Caprylyl Glycol, PEG-8 Laurate, Methylparaben, Tocopherol, Poly C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Isostearyl Alcohol, Caffeine, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Disodium EDTA
Brand Overview

Kiehl's At-A-Glance

Strengths: Kiehl's staff is generous when it comes to providing samples and product information; some good cleansers; a couple worthwhile serums.

Weaknesses: Expensive for what you get; the Blue Herbal and Facial Fuel products are terrible; no products to successfully address skin discolorations; the toners are disappointing; the self-tanner should be avoided; jar packaging weakens several of the formulas.

This line has been around for quite some time, and has its origins in a family-owned pharmacy based in New York City. Perhaps its neighborly beginnings with a big-city heritage are what propelled Kiehl's to its long-standing status as a popular product line. Considering that Kiehl's doesn't advertise (at least not in the traditional sense, though their products get frequent press), their brand identity and status in the minds of consumers are impressive.

What gets lost in all the fashion magazine hype and company claims of "excellence" and "quality ingredients" is that almost all of the Kiehl's products hardly warrant excitement or even mild enthusiasm. Most of them are surprisingly ordinary, with a dusting of natural ingredients almost always at the very end of the ingredient list, well after the preservatives. That amounts to little more than a token attempt to make the products appear more natural to those who want to believe a plant or vitamin must somehow be better for the skin than something that sounds more chemical. Nevertheless, that token amount is enough to allow Kiehl's to brag about how its products nourish the skin or are more environmentally friendly, when they're not.

Aside from the allure of the natural, this line consists of totally ordinary and often completely unnatural ingredients. More disheartening for skin is that many of the ingredients are of questionable benefit for those with sensitive, oily, or blemish-prone skin. In some instances product ingredients are irritating for any skin type, while half of the sunscreen products are a serious problem for reliable sun protection. If you can't resist the allure of Kiehl's, just know that the product assembly will work best for those with dry to very dry skin and that, for the money, most of the formulas aren't knock-your-socks-off thrilling.

Note: Kiehl's is categorized as a brand that tests on animals because its products are sold in China. Although Kiehl's does not conduct animal testing for its products sold elsewhere, the Chinese government requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals, so foreign companies retailing there must comply. This requirement is why some brands state that they don’t test on animals “unless required by law.” Animal rights organizations consider cosmetic companies retailed in China to be brands that test on animals, and so does the Paula’s Choice Research Team.

For more information about Kiehl's, owned by L'Oreal, call (800) 543-4572 or visit www.kiehls.com.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!


The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

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