L'Oreal Paris

L'Oreal Paris At-A-Glance

Strengths: Inexpensive, some good water-soluble cleansers; nice assortment of self-tanning options; one of the best, most comprehensive makeup collections at the drugstore, with superb options in almost every category; L'Oreal's mascaras (along with those from sister company Maybelline New York) are a tough act to follow.

Weaknesses: Jar packaging; almost all of the daytime moisturizers with sunscreen lack sufficient UVA protection;  no products to successfully combat blemishes (at least not without causing more irritation); no skin-lightening options that don't contain problematic ingredients; boring to problematic toners; several foundations with sunscreen still lack sufficient UVA protection.

Just like its sister company Lancome, L'Oreal doesn't have its act together when it comes to skin-care products. For all their talk of advanced formulas, fancy double-page ads in fashion magazines, and impressive-sounding quotes from scientists at their research and development facilities, most of what L'Oreal offers for skin care is a whole lot of nothing—or at least nothing tremendously helpful for helping skin look and feel its best.

An ongoing issue with L'Oreal (at least in the United States) is the lack of sufficient UVA-protecting ingredients in their daytime moisturizers with sunscreen. Very few of them contain the actives that provide as much UVA protection as you can get from a sunscreen. Yet this major oversight (and it’s not just with the older products—several newer sunscreens launched with this deficiency) didn't stop L'Oreal from heralding the FDA's approval of their patented ecamsule (Mexoryl SX) sunscreen for use in the United States. (Mexoryl SX has been approved for years in Europe, and L'Oreal routinely uses it in the sunscreens they sell there.) The attention-getting headline was that Mexoryl SX provides "the best" and "most stable" UVA protection, but that's not entirely true; there are other options. Why didn't anyone in the media point out to L'Oreal that while Mexoryl SX may be great, that doesn't explain why the majority of their other sunscreens leave the consumers who use them vulnerable to UVA damage… Sigh… Inadequate UVA protection is not only unhealthy for your skin, it severely damages L'Oreal's credibility as an international skin-care authority.

Aside from the sunscreen frustrations, L'Oreal's moisturizers are a yawn-inducing, fairly repetitive bunch. A cursory review of their formulas demonstrates that L'Oreal is simply not keeping pace with the competition, just as Lancome isn't at the department-store level. When it comes to moisturizers or serums, just about anything from Dove, Olay, Neutrogena, or Aveeno is preferred. L'Oreal does well with most of their cleansers, along with scrubs and self-tanning products, but given the widespread availability and financial resources of this line they could be doing so much more. (You have to wonder if they're more interested in advertising and public relations than in advancing skin-care expertise.) The makeup has made major strides and now ranks as the best overall color collection at the drugstore—imagine the results if their skin care followed suit!

Note: Unless mentioned otherwise, all L'Oreal skin-care products contain fragrance.

For more information about L'Oreal, call (800) 322-2036 or visit www.loreal.com or www.lorealparisusa.com.

L’Oreal Paris Makeup

L'Oreal's extensive makeup collection retains its stature as the overall best at the drugstore, though they have stiff competition from Revlon and, in some cases, sister company Maybelline New York. In recent years L'Oreal has made significant strides with foundation shades, powder textures, concealers, and, of course, superlative mascaras that rarely fail to impress. Their lipsticks are excellent and you will find many L'Oreal makeup products have a Lancome counterpart, and that the differences are minor, if they exist at all.

L'Oreal's displays in many drugstores have been updated to reflect better-organized products and shade categories (though testers are still scarce). Given the number of lipsticks they sell, it only makes sense to put them in color families so consumers have a better shopping experience. Their True Match products are also sensibly laid out, but the rest of the foundations aren't as organized, likely due to the smaller selection of shades. Speaking of foundations, L'Oreal has made further strides by offering more that provide sufficient UVA protection. Revlon still has the edge for consistently launching impressive foundations with sunscreen, but at least L'Oreal is (finally) catching up. The bottom line is that every category of L'Oreal’s makeup has some winning (and in some cases, benchmark-setting) products. They fall short with their powder eyeshadows, but not enough to warrant avoiding them, especially if you prefer sheer eye makeup. Still, with only minor tweaking and consistent adherence to the importance of UVA protection in their cosmetic products with sunscreen, L'Oreal could pull ahead to be the hands-down winner when it comes to shopping for makeup at the drugstore.

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+ Rating Product Brand Category Price Size
Good Sublime Bronze Tinted Self Tanning Golden Mousse L'Oreal Paris Self-Tanners  $10.99 5.00 fl. oz.
Poor Age Perfect Glow Renewal Day Lotion Moisturizer SPF 30 L'Oreal Paris Moisturizer with Sunscreen  $24.99 1.70 fl. oz.
Poor Advanced Suncare Quick Dry Sheer Finish Spray SPF 50 L'Oreal Paris Water-Resistant Sunscreen  $10.99 5.00 fl. oz.
Average Advanced Suncare Silky Sheer Lotion SPF 50+ L'Oreal Paris Water-Resistant Sunscreen  $10.99 3.00 fl. oz.
Average Advanced Suncare Silky Sheer Face Lotion SPF 50+ L'Oreal Paris Water-Resistant Sunscreen  $10.99 3.00 fl. oz.
Average Advanced Suncare Silky Sheer Face Lotion SPF 30 L'Oreal Paris Moisturizer with Sunscreen  $9.99 1.70 fl. oz.
Good Revitalift Miracle Blur Eye L'Oreal Paris Eye Moisturizers  $20.00 0.50 fl. oz.
Poor Youth Code Pore Vanisher L'Oreal Paris Foundation Primer  $24.99 1.40 fl. oz.
Good Ideal Clean All Skin Types Makeup Removing Towelettes L'Oreal Paris Cleansing Cloths  $4.99 25.00 towelettes
Poor Age Perfect Hydra-Nutrition Glow Renewal Facial Oil L'Oreal Paris Face/Body Oils  $24.99 1.00 fl. oz.
Average Magic Nude Liquid Powder SPF 18 L'Oreal Paris Liquid Foundation w/ Sunscreen  $12.99
Average Revitalift Miracle Blur Instant Skin Smoother Oil-Free L'Oreal Paris Foundation Primer  $25.99 1.18 fl. oz.
Average Ideal Moisture Eventone Day/Night Cream L'Oreal Paris Moisturizer without Sunscreen  $6.99 1.70 fl. oz.
Average Ideal Moisture Dry Skin Day Lotion SPF 25 L'Oreal Paris Moisturizer with Sunscreen  $6.99 4.10 fl. oz.
Average Ideal Moisture Eventone Tinted Day Lotion SPF 25 L'Oreal Paris Tinted Moisturizer w/ Sunscreen  $6.99 2.50 fl. oz.
Average Ideal Moisture Sensitive Skin Day Lotion SPF 25 L'Oreal Paris Moisturizer with Sunscreen  $6.99 4.00 fl. oz.
Average Ideal Moisture Normal Skin Day Lotion SPF 25 L'Oreal Paris Moisturizer with Sunscreen  $6.99 4.10 fl. oz.
Poor Ideal Clean All Skin Types Foaming Gel Cleanser L'Oreal Paris Cleansers/Soaps  $6.99 6.80 fl. oz.
Good Revitalift Miracle Blur Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen L'Oreal Paris Foundation Primer  $24.99 1.18 fl. oz.
Good Magic Skin Beautifier B.B. Cream L'Oreal Paris BB Cream  $10.95 1.00 fl. oz.
Average Youth Code BB Cream Illuminator SPF 15 L'Oreal Paris BB Cream  $16.99 2.50 fl. oz.
Poor RevitaLift Triple Power Deep Acting Moisturizer L'Oreal Paris Moisturizers/Anti-Aging  $24.99
Poor RevitaLift Triple Power Concentrated Serum Treatment L'Oreal Paris Serums  $24.99 1.00 fl. oz.
Best Color Riche Caresse Wet Shine Stain L'Oreal Paris Lip Gloss  $9.99
Poor Youth Code SPF 30 Day Cream L'Oreal Paris Moisturizer with Sunscreen  $24.99 1.60 fl. oz.
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