The supposedly big-deal ingredient in this daytime moisturizer with an in-part avobenzone sunscreen is an extract from the plant Centella asiatica that La Roche-Posay refers to as madecassoside. Supposedly, this can tighten loose skin and help heal wrinkles, leading to firmer skin. There is research pertaining to this ingredient’s ability to improve sun-damaged skin when combined with vitamin C (as is the case with this product); however, the research was performed by a dermatology lab in France (where the company is based) and La Roche Posay paid for the study. Still, there is enough animal research on madecassoside to give it a try. It likely has a positive, antioxidant effect on skin, but probably not the lifting, tightening, and line-filling results La Roche-Posay promises (Sources: Planta Medica, June 2008, pages 809–815; and Experimental Dermatology, May 2008, ePublication). Redermic UV SPF 15 is best for normal to oily skin. It definitely qualifies as a daytime moisturizer with a sufficient quantity of vitamin C, which also plays a role in mitigating sun damage.
Madecassoside (purified at 95%) - a highly remarkable extract of the healing herb Centella Asiatica (a pantropical plant). Developed from skin-healing research, Madecassoside is the breakthrough ingredient in Redermic. Recommended for wrinkles, particularly for forehead wrinkles and wrinkles around the mouth. Tightens loose skin on the neck. This daily fill-in anti-wrinkle firming care with SPF 15 helps increase skin firmness, leaving a smoother, younger looking appearance.
Active: Avobenzone (3%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (7%), Other: Water, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Ascorbic Acid, Phenethyl Benzoate, PEG-40 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Myristyl Myristate, Nylon-12, Cetearyl Alcohol, Potassium Hydroxide, Cyclopentasiloxane, Sodium Styrene/MA Copolymer, Sorbitan Tristearate, Madecassoside, Dimethiconol, Ceteareth-25, Isohexadecane, Sodium Hyaluronate, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Capryloyl Salicylic Acid, Laureth-4, Xanthan Gum, Polysilicone-11, Polysorbate-80, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Caprylyl Glycol, Tocopherol, Sorbitan Oleate, Benzoic Acid, Chlorhexidine Digluconate, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, 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.