10.06.2014
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Ultra Protection SPF 40 Eye Lip Nose
Rating
0.35 fl. oz. for $75
Category:Skin Care > Sensitive Skin Products > Sun Products > SPF 30-49 Sunscreen
Last Updated:10.06.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

This emollient, absurdly overpriced sunscreen stick (given the amount, it costs slightly more than $185 per ounce!) provides broad-spectrum protection and includes avobenzone for reliable UVA protection, so except for the price it’s off to a good start. But, speaking of price, without question you don’t need to spend nearly this much to obtain great sun protection. You also must consider how the price may affect whether you’ll apply this liberally or not. Liberal application is essential to get the amount of sun protection stated on the label, and given the number of affordable sun-protecting options available, why overspend if you don’t have to?

If you choose to indulge in this sunscreen, its thick, somewhat greasy texture limits its use to the eye, lip, and nose areas, as indicated—it’s just too heavy to slather on your entire face. This sunscreen contains some good antioxidants and emollients that make dry skin feel better, but since the packaging exposes those ingredients to the air, it won’t keep the antioxidants stable. The other misstep is horsetail extract, which poses a risk of irritation. The amount is likely too low for it to be cause for concern, but between this ingredient, the packaging, and the high price, the only thing ultra about this product are the claims.

Pros:

  • Provides broad-spectrum sun protection that includes avobenzone for sufficient UVA protection.
  • Emollient texture is well suited for dry areas and/or to provide extra sun protection on key areas such as the lips and the bridge of the nose.

Cons:

  • Overpriced, and the high price may discourage the liberal application that is essential to get the stated level of sun protection.
  • Packaging won’t keep the antioxidants it contains stable.
  • Horsetail extract is a skin irritant, though the amount this sunscreen contains is likely too low for it to be a significant problem.
Claims

Portable and travel friendly sun protection for delicate areas of the face such as lips, eyes, nose and earlobes. Anti-oxidants help protect skin from premature aging effects. A blend of emollients help to keep the skin moisturized.

Ingredients

Active: Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (7%), Octisalate (5%), Oxybenzone (2%), Other: Polyethylene, Petrolatum, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Caprylyl Methicone, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Polyester-8, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Butter, Water, Shea Butter, Glycoproteins, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Horsetail Extract, Beeswax, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Pelvetia Canaliculata Extract, Sodium Lactate, Palmaria Palmata Extract, Behenyl Olivate, Lecithin, Porphyra Umbilicalis Extract, Ammonium Glycyrrhizate, Algae Extract, Benzylidene Methoxydimethylindanone, Dipropylene Glycol, BHT, Alcohol, Butylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol

Brand Overview

La Prairie At-A-Glance

Strengths: Most of the makeup categories present at least one good, though needlessly expensive, option.

Weaknesses: Very expensive; overreliance on jar packaging; many products contain a potentially irritating amount of astringent horsetail extract; no effective skin-lightening options; poor options for anyone dealing with blemishes (though La Prairie is concerned primarily with selling wrinkle creams anyway).

La Prairie has been at the forefront in the introduction of expensive anti-aging products for more than three decades. Many of the products in this originally Swiss skin-care line are called "cellular treatment." After a while, it all starts sounding silly. The attempt to align these products with the concept of being able to affect skin at the cellular level is over the top, although when it comes to making the ordinary sound extraordinary, La Prairie excels.

Assuming your skin could improve with these products, the prices alone might cause premature aging! So what do the women who can safely afford these products get for their money? The prestige of knowing they can afford them, period. High-priced skin-care lines attract women who think that the dollars they spend will buy them something special that most other women can't afford. To some extent, they're right: most women can't afford these products. Yet anyone who reads and understands the ingredient lists would find that price doesn't reliably translate into having better skin. What you're really getting from this line is a barrage of look-younger-now claims not backed up by one shred of substantiated scientific evidence, and a group of unimpressive formulations.

A particularly egregious error appears in the number of La Prairie moisturizers (and my goodness, does this company love moisturizers!) that arrive in jar packaging. La Prairie is in-the-know about the importance of antioxidants and cell-communicating ingredients for skin, yet almost all of their products that contain such ingredients ignore their vulnerability to oxidation. Containers like these ensure that these products will deteriorate shortly after you begin using them. Considering the premium prices, that is an almost unforgivable offense. At least the company gets their facial sunscreen right by including sufficient UVA-protecting ingredients. However, it's interesting to find that a visit to the La Prairie counter involves a lot more discussion about their moisturizers, ampoules, and other "treatment" products, while all the time you know that the only reliable antiwrinkle product everyone needs to use is sunscreen.

For more information about La Prairie, owned by Beiersdorf, call (800) 821-5718 or visit www.laprairie.com.

La Prairie Makeup

The brief makeup section in La Prairie's catalog poses the question "Consider the number of hours a day you wear makeup. Shouldn't the foundation you wear be an extension of your treatment program?" Well, calling most of La Prairie's skin-care products a "treatment" is a bit of a joke as what they seem to mean by "treatment benefit" has to do with the company's Cellular Complex, but that isn't complex in the least. This complex is primarily glycoproteins. Although it's true that glycoproteins are an integral part of the skin's intercellular matrix, they are far from the only element skin needs to look and feel its best. Functioning primarily as water-binding agents, glycoproteins won't firm, lift, or rejuvenate skin cells in the manner La Prairie would like you to believe. Further, of the makeup products below, only the ultra-pricey foundations contain a significant amount of this complex, and they have drawbacks of their own.Overall, La Prairie's makeup leaves much to be desired, especially given the high to ludicrous prices for what amount to ordinary cosmetics. A few of the products have supple, silky textures, but the expense is hard to justify when similar items are available for substantially less from so many other lines. Many of the products below earned happy face ratings, but keep in mind that you do not have to acquiesce to La Prairie's prices to beautify your face.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment that Paula Begoun, founder of Beautypedia and Paula's Choice Skincare made over 30 years ago-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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