01.23.2013
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Critical Care Shielding Creme
Rating
1 fl. oz. for $85
Category:Skin Care > Moisturizers (Daytime and Nighttime) > Moisturizer without Sunscreen
Last Updated:01.23.2013
Jar Packaging:Yes
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

Critical Care Shielding Creme has a beautifully silky texture built around silicones, and also includes some well-researched antioxidants and ingredients that reinforce skin’s structure. Yet for the money, it ends up being a disappointment because of the jar packaging, which won’t allow the antioxidants to stimulate skin’s healing process.

Claims

Repair damaged skin, and prevent future damage! The Critical Care Shielding Creme is a lightweight creme that helps repair the skin, and provide a protective shield against environmental assault. Our revolutionary formula significantly reduces moisture loss from the deeper layers of the skin. This is a key member of the Critical Care Line, which advances the science of skin recovery, specifically developed to promote skin repair and encourage the healing process.

Ingredients

Water, Glycerin, Isododecane, Isohexadecane, Ceresine, Glyceryl Stearate, Cyclomethicone, Polysilicone-11, Sucrose Cocoate, PEG-100 Stearate, Steareth-2, Sodium PCA, Dimethicone, Ceramide III, Linoleic Acid, Linolenic Acid, Cholesterol, Panicum Miliaceum (Millet) Extract, Superoxide Dismutase, Camellia Oleifera Extract, Allantoin Glycyrrhetinic Acid, Bisabolol, BHT, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Xanthan Gum, Cetyl Hydroxyethylcellulose, Disodium EDTA, Butylene Glycol, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben

Brand Overview

MD Formulations At-A-Glance

Strengths: The entire line is fragrance-free; some well-formulated AHA products featuring glycolic acid and ammonium glycolate; a selection of very good cleansers; some extraordinary moisturizers and serums; very good toner; an oil-rich lip balm with broad-spectrum sunscreen.

Weaknesses: Some AHA products that include alcohol and other irritants; jar packaging; sunscreens without sufficient UVA protection; the at-home peel kit is an irritation waiting to happen; adhering to a routine of several MD Formulations products may expose skin to an excessive amount of exfoliation; incomplete routine(s) for blemish-prone skin.

This medically oriented, spa- and salon-sold skin-care company has its roots in alpha hydroxy acids, and was selling products with these ingredients as early as 1983, years before the cosmetics industry at large began promoting AHAs as the latest antiwrinkle miracle. The AHA craze has long since quieted, but ongoing, substantiated research has proven what a valuable asset properly formulated AHAs can be for skin. MD Formulations uses glycolic acid and ammonium glycolate (an exfoliant and pH adjuster related to glycolic acid) as its chief AHAs. Glycolic acid, in particular, has the most long-term research establishing its benefit for skin. Its list of benefits for skin is impressive, and these include improving photodamaged skin, normalizing the surface of skin so it appears smoother and healthier, improving the function of the skin's outer structure so it protects skin and reduces dryness, eliminating a dull surface, and stimulating collagen production (Sources: Journal of Dermatology, January 2006, pages 16–22; Experimental Dermatology, 2003 Supplement, pages 5763; Cutis, August 2001, pages 135–142; Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, July 2000, pages 280–284; American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, March-April 2000, pages 81–88; Skin Pharmacology and Applied Skin Physiology, May-June 1999, pages 111–119; Dermatologic Surgery, August 1997, pages 689–694; Journal of Cell Physiology, October 1999, pages 14–23; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 1996, pages 867–875).

This is exciting information, but it's critical to keep in mind that glycolic acid (and AHAs in general) is not the only answer for aging, sun-damaged skin. Luckily, MD Formulations thinks so too, because several of their latest products contain AHAs along with antioxidants, cell-communicating ingredients (such as peptides and phospholipids), and retinol (cell-communicating ingredient and antioxidant). Research has shown that combining an AHA with retinol enhances its bioactivity in the lower layers of skin without altering the efficacy of the AHA (Source: Dermatology, 2005 Supplement, pages 6–13).

In many respects, next to the Lauder-owned lines, MD Formulations has a fantastic roster of antioxidant-laden moisturizers and serums. Even their toner is highly recommended, and we don't often get excited about toners (well, except my own, but that's another review). Surprisingly, for a company that is close to the cutting edge of creating state-of-the-art skin-care products, they still use jar packaging for many products whose ingredients are light- and air-sensitive. Those products should be avoided, especially for what MD Formulations is charging.

It's also distressing that half of their sunscreens lack sufficient UVA protection and a handful of products contain well-known irritants that don't promote healthy, intact skin (what were they thinking?). Due to the manner in which well-formulated AHA products work, sun protection is essential. As skin's outer, thickened layer is removed, the vibrant, "new" skin is more vulnerable to sun damage. It would be optimal if MD Formulations stocked a wider variety of effective sunscreens, and added as many antioxidants to them as they do to most of their moisturizers and serums. Still, plenty of other lines sell beautifully formulated sunscreens, so you can cherry-pick the suitable prime options from MD Formulations and fill in the sun-protection blank elsewhere (which isn't a bad idea—this is an expensive skin-care line).

For more information about MD Formulations, call (800) 451-3940 or visit www.mdformulations.com.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment 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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02.19.2015
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I am planning to try the product as it has almost identical ingredients to the discontinued MD Forte Replenishing cream. These are focused on shielding and protecting with anti-irritants for sensitive skin. It is NOT focused on antioxidant power to heal skin. So the review you left seems off-base, and as you are giving a blanket two star rating to all the products in the line using the same writeup for all, it dimishes your credibility and makes you look lazy in your critical approach.

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02.26.2015
Beautypedia Team Response

Hi there! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It's difficult to draw a line and state that MD Formulations didn't build this product around antioxidants, because they certainly included them in the formula. Even if that weren't the case, the anti-irritants added to this product are also air sensitive, so the statements about this being in a jar (and why that's a problem) are still applicable. Lastly, the reviews between the two formulas, this one and the M.D. Forte Replenish Hydrating Cream are not duplicates; the similarities are purely because they are both formulas that contain ingredients that are sensitive to air, yet also packaged in a jar. It's unfortunate, as they both would have earned much higher ratings without this fact. Hope that helps! - Nathan

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