Tested on animals:No
MDSolarSciences Daily Anti-Aging Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 with SolSci-X is marketed as an anti-aging moisturizer with sunscreen, and it was very nearly an excellent addition to their lineup.
Packaged in a pump-style bottle, this lightweight lotion has quite a few positives going for it—an array of antioxidants and cell-communicating ingredients, anti-irritants, nonfragrant plant oils, and more.
Best for normal to dry skin (but workable for combination skin) due to the amount of moisture it provides, this sunscreen formula falls short of our recommendation due to its potent and potentially irritating fragrance mix.
The sunscreen actives are non-mineral, as opposed to most of the MDSolarSciences sunscreens that contain the mineral actives titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. These non-mineral actives give this formula a much lighter texture and leave no white cast. The mix of actives—avobenzone, octisalate, and octocrylene—is stabilized and provides broad-spectrum protection.
For added assurance, MDSolarSciences included the sunscreen-stabilizing ingredient butyloctyl salicylate, which enhances the UVA/UVB protection of this formula further (and likely what they’re referring to with their “SolSci-X,” which is just their marketing name for this stabilizer).
Among the more notable beneficial ingredients, this contains niacinamide, caffeine, vitamin C, multiple peptides, and nonfragrant plant oils. MDSolarSciences also added skin-repairing ingredients like ceramides and hyaluronic acid (as sodium hyaluronate). These ingredients help to defend skin against ongoing environmental free-radical damage, while simultaneously helping to repair signs of aging and reduce inflammation.
Given all of these positives, we were hoping this would earn a higher rating. Unfortunately, the mix of fragrance ingredients, including rosemary leaf extract, and the more concerning lavender oil, held this otherwise good formula back. While the research on irritation from rosemary extract isn’t compelling, the potential for irritation from lavender oil is well documented. See More Info for additional details on why this is such an undesired ingredient for skin.
The problematic ingredients aside, this is also pricey—at about $70 for less than two ounces, so this won’t last for long if you apply it daily (and daily UV protection is absolutely essential if treating or preventing skin damage and signs of aging is your goal). Rather than accept the negatives of this formula, look to any of the numerous well-formulated alternatives in the Best Daytime Moisturizers with Sunscreen section of Beautypedia.
- Feels light and works well under makeup.
- Contains an abundant mix of antioxidants and cell-communicating and skin-repairing ingredients.
- Packaged in a pump-style container to protect its beneficial ingredients from air and light.
- Contains problematic fragrance ingredients, primarily rosemary leaf extract and lavender oil.
- Expensive for the amount of product you get.
Lavender Oil: In-vitro research indicates that components of lavender, specifically linalool and linalyl acetate, can be cytotoxic, which means that topical application of as little a concentration as 0.25% causes cell death (Cell Proliferation, June 2004). This study was conducted on endothelial cells, which are cells that line blood pathways in the body and play a critical role in the inflammatory process of skin.
As linalool and linalyl acetate are both rapidly absorbed by skin and can be detected within blood cells in less than 20 minutes, endothelial cells are an ideal choice for such a test (Journal of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists, 1992). The results of this research also demonstrated that lavender has a damaging effect on fibroblasts, which are cells that produce collagen.
The fragrance constituents in lavender oil, linalool and linalyl acetate, oxidize when exposed to air, and in this process their potential for causing an allergic reaction is increased (Contact Dermatitis, 2008).
If you’re wondering why lavender oil doesn’t appear to be problematic for you, it’s because research has demonstrated that you don’t always need to see it or feel it happening for your skin to suffer damage (Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008).