Two of the highlights for this product are the over-the-top claims and the over-the-top price that may discourage liberal application of this very good moisturizing sunscreen for normal to oily or combination skin. It's formulated with a decent amount of vitamin C and a novel ingredient with a minor study showing it has benefit for skin.
Like any well-formulated sunscreen with avobenzone (or other UVA-protecting ingredients), this will improve wrinkling and prevent collagen and elastin breakdown. That is one of the brilliant results from wearing a well-formulated sunscreen on a daily basis. Given that it also contains 5% ascorbic acid, you are also getting a very good dose of an inexpensive form of vitamin C, which adds excellent antioxidant protection for skin. However, as helpful as a large amount of vitamin C can be for skin, an array of antioxidants and skin-repairing ingredients would be better. A cocktail approach with these types of ingredients is always better than a "single shot."
An interesting aspect of this formulation is that it contains an ingredient called madecassoside, a component of Centella asiatica, also known as the gotu kola. There is one formal study showing it to have antioxidant properties as well as cell-communicating properties because it improved skin cell formation, but this study was about oral consumption at high doses, not about a tiny amount applied topically to skin. Still, in all likelihood, it's a good antioxidant and a welcome addition to this formulation.
- Provides broad-spectrum sun protection.
- Lightweight, silky formula is great for combination to oily skin.
- Impressive amount of vitamin C in packaging that will keep it stable during use.
- Expensive, which may discourage the liberal application that's necessary to get the stated amount of sun protection.
- Would be better with a range of state-of-the-art ingredients rather than the "single shot" approach with one special ingredient like vitamin C.
Visibly promotes a youthful complexion by smoothing deep and fine wrinkles while restoring hydration. Fortified with UVA/UVB protection, it helps prevent collagen and elastin breakdown, making your skin more resistant to aging. Madecassoside encourages speedy repair as a 5% dose of vitamin C brightens and slows the effects of aging.
Active: Avobenzone (3%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (7%), Other: Water, Isononyl Isononanoate, Glycerin, Ascorbic Acid, Dimethicone, Diisopropyl Sebacate, Silica, Sucrose Tristearate, Potassium Hydroxide, Polysorbate 61, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Madecassoside, Dimethiconol, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Disodium EDTA, Caprylyl Glycol, Acetyl Dipepetide-1 Cetyl Ester, Xanthan Gum, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance
L'Oreal-owned La Roche-Posay has a pharmaceutical lineage based in France, and the company speaks of their thermal spring water as the cornerstone of their commitment to dermatological skin care. Sound familiar? L'Oreal-owned Biotherm makes similar claims for the water in their products, yet their marketing niche is spas, while La Roche-Posay caters to doctors and consumers interested in effective, no-frills skin care. Regardless of the source of their water, or how many minerals there may be in it, or the other benefits they assert it has, water is water and skin can't tell the difference. Even if the water were somehow "special," it takes a lot more than water to create and maintain healthy skin. This is something La Roche-Posay is aware of, because they do offer a fairly broad range of products to address the various needs of skin.
Their thermal spring water is said to be a rich source of selenium. Selenium is a nonmetallic element that has potent antioxidant ability. However, almost all of the research surrounding its benefits pertains to dietary or supplemental consumption, not to topical application. According to the research, selenium is absorbed into skin and helpful when applied topically only when applied as l-selenomethionine (Source: Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, July 2004, pages 149–155). It is unknown whether the water La Roche-Posay uses contains this form of selenium, but we wouldn't bank on it for a unique benefit.
For a dermatologist-oriented line like La Roche-Posay, most of the products are surprisingly devoid of state-of-the-art or other interesting ingredients. There are some standout products, such as those with retinol and stabilized vitamin C; however, most of them are one-note options that offer the help of their promoted ingredient but don't commingle it with anything else of value to skin. It's ironic that although there's not a jar package to be found in this line, most of the moisturizers lack light- or air-sensitive ingredients, so jar packaging actually wouldn't be a problem. In fact, most of the moisturizers are downright monotonous. For the money, these products will leave your skin wanting more.
If you steer your way to the well-formulated products La Roche-Posay offers, you will find some first-rate options. They're not as varied as what many other lines offer, but for a pragmatic, no-frills approach to serious skin care, they'll do just fine. In fact, among all of the L'Oreal-owned skin-care lines, La Roche-Posay comes closest to successfully competing with the best of the best. It's up to you to decide if "close" is good enough. However, if you need to avoid fragrance and a range of potentially irritating plant extracts prevalent in the products of many brands, this line may suit your skin to a T.
Note: La Roche-Posay is categorized as a brand that tests on animals because its products are sold in China. Although La Roche-Posay 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 La Roche-Posay, owned by L'Oreal, call (888) 577-5226 or visit www.laroche-posay.com.