This liquid foundation with sunscreen asks: "What if a foundation could transform your skin in 4 weeks?" Sounds good to us, so imagine our disappointment to find this was yet another Lancome foundation whose active sunscreen ingredient isn't capable of protecting your skin from the full range of the sun's most aging rays (UVA radiation). How maddening! Especially because there is so much about this foundation and its corresponding Corrector to love.
But, back to the "transforming skin in 4 weeks" claim: Teint Visionnaire is said to correct dark spots, pores, and fine lines, while the Precision Spot Corrector, which is housed in the cap, reinforces those benefits and corrects dark circles, too. To be clear, the only correcting going on comes from the makeup coverage these products provide. Neither product contains any ingredients proven to have much, if any, benefit on pores, wrinkles, or dark spots. Protecting your skin from further sun damage is what helps the most with all of those concerns (dark circles, too), but this foundation's sun protection isn't as good as it could be.
The Precision Spot Corrector contains a teeny-tiny amount of a form of vitamin C known as ascorbyl glucoside, but this antioxidant won't remain stable due to the concealer's packaging. Each time you flip open the cap, the creamy formula is exposed to light and air that breaks down the vitamin C.
The liquid foundation's tie-in to Lancome's Visionnaire skin-care product has to do with the company's LR-2412 ingredient, which they claim is the "active" ingredient that does all kinds of wonderful things for skin. So, what is Lancome's LR 2412 ingredient? LR 2412 is derived from the jasmine plant. Lancome maintains that this ingredient is a molecule "designed to propel through skin layers." As it does so, it "triggers a cascading series of micro-transformations." Sounds like a magic wand for your skin, doesn't it?
As it turns out, it is a relatively simple thing to "propel" ingredients through the skin because most skin-care ingredients are absorbed readily into the uppermost layers of skin. Lancome uses the term "propel" to make it sound as if the ingredients somehow can go deeper into the skin, but not all ingredients should penetrate deeply. For example, many ingredients, such as sunscreen actives, are meant for and should stay on the skin's surface; you don't want them to penetrate through multiple layers of skin because they need to protect the skin's surface.
So, lots of ingredients can "propel" through the skin and cause beneficial changes along the way, such as most antioxidants, glycerin, sodium hyaluronate, ceramides, retinol, and numerous other skin-repairing ingredients whose daily use helps improve the skin's appearance and healthy functioning. In essence, Lancome's claim makes LR 2412 sound innovative, when it's really nothing new or all that exciting.
On the ingredient list for the foundation portion of this product, LR 2412 is listed as sodium tetrahydrojasmonate, which, as we mentioned, is derived from the jasmine plant. In its natural state, this ingredient is a lipid (fat) that helps the jasmine plant signal when repair is needed and that controls the life cycle of the plant's cells (Sources: Plant Physiology, April 2010, pages 1940–1950; and PLoS Biology, September 2008, page e320).
Lancome wants you to believe that this lipid, which in the jasmine plant can repair environmental damage and control cell behavior, can somehow have similar effects on your skin, such as improving wrinkles, reducing enlarged pores, and fading dark spots when applied to skin via their bioengineered LR 2412 molecule. Unfortunately, there isn't a shred of published research to support their assertion, just Lancome's marketing information. It is also important to know there are lots of plant extracts, antioxidants, and skin-repairing ingredients with abundant research showing how they improve skin, not just one ingredient, and in this case one that has no available documentation.
Getting back to the product itself, the Skin Correcting Foundation has an elegant, fluid texture that's a pleasure to blend. It sets to a natural matte finish that makes skin look fantastic: Natural, dimensional, yet still skin-like, even with the light to medium coverage this provides.
This foundation's texture and finish are excellent, which is why it's such a letdown that the sunscreen doesn't go the distance. If you decide to try this, you'll want to apply it over a broad-spectrum sunscreen rated SPF 15 or greater (see More Info for details).
The Precision Spot Corrector doesn't fare as well as the foundation, but it's not bad. It's worth pointing out that each shade of Corrector was designed to match the corresponding shade of foundation. In other words, each foundation shade has its own Corrector shade that matches the foundation exactly but provides more coverage. That means you'll still need a concealer that's a shade or two lighter if you need to lighten or brighten shadowed areas or dark circles.
Texture-wise, the Corrector is creamy, but it drags a bit over the skin, making it tricky to blend evenly. It doesn't provide as much coverage as a good concealer, but it does camouflage minor imperfections. The finish is satin imbued with subtle sparkles—and the formula is too thick and waxy for use over breakouts; however, the liquid foundation is fine for breakout-prone skin.
In typical Lancome fashion, most of the nearly two dozen shades of foundation are outstanding. There are colors for fair (but not porcelain) to dark (but not very dark) skin tones, most of which have a beautifully neutral to slight yellow undertone. Shades to consider carefully due to slight peach or rose tones include 160 Ivoire W, 310 Bisque C, and 350 Bisque C. All of the Suede shades are gorgeous for darker skin tones, as are any of the Bisque N shades.
One more comment: The foundation contains a small amount of alcohol, but likely too little to be cause for concern. Still, for all the fuss over Lancome's LR 2412 ingredient, it's interesting that the foundation contains more alcohol than it does this alleged skin transformer!
- The foundation has a beautiful texture and natural, dimensional finish.
- Extensive, very good range of shades.
- Blends easily and provides natural-looking coverage.
- The foundation's sunscreen doesn't provide enough UVA protection.
- The vitamin C in the Corrector will break down because the packaging repeatedly exposes it to light and air.
- The Corrector isn't as easy to blend as it should be.
- Lack of substantiated research proving Lancome's LR 2412 molecule does amazing things for skin.
This foundation does not include the ingredients needed to shield your skin from the sun's entire range of damaging UVA rays, which is essential for anti-aging benefits. The sun's UVB rays are what cause sunburn, and the SPF number reflects that protection, but there is no rating for the sun's silent, though more penetrating (and in many ways more damaging), UVA rays. Any SPF-rated product should contain one or more of the following UVA-protecting ingredients listed as "active" to ensure you are getting UVA protection: avobenzone, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, Mexoryl SX (ecamsule), or Tinosorb (Sources: Photochemical and Photobiological Sciences, December 2011, pages 81–90; Cosmetic Dermatology, Second Edition, Baumann, Leslie MD, McGraw Hill, 2009, pages 246–252; American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, Supplement, 2009, pages 19–24; The Encyclopedia of Ultraviolet Filters, Shaath, Nadim A., Allured Publishing, 2007; and Photodermatology, Photoimmunology, and Photomedicine, October 2003, pages 242–253).