Total Effects CC Cream 7-in-1 Tone Correcting UV Moisturizer, SPF 15

by Olay  Total Effects
Price:
$22.99 - 1.7 fl. oz.
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Category:
Makeup > Tinted Moisturizers/BB Creams > CC Cream
Last Updated:
2/3/2014
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
Yes

The good news is that this single product offers skin an in-part avobenzone sunscreen, a touch of color, soft matte finish, and a base formula that includes cell-communicating ingredient niacinamide along with antioxidant vitamin E. It's also fragrance free. However, the matte finish doesn't help make good on Olay's claim of youthful luminosity, but does make this an attractive formula for normal to oily or blemish-prone skin. As for the color portion, whether you choose Fair/Light, Light/Medium, or Medium/Dark, the results are very sheer and workable for a wide range of skin tones. If you have a dark to very dark skin tone, you'll likely find the darkest option here to look grayish, but Olay's sister company Cover Girl offers some good foundations with sunscreens in dark shades.

Previously this product was called Total Effects 7-in-1 Tone Correcting UV Moisturizer, SPF 15 (without “CC” in the name), but nothing about the formula has changed, which is all the more proof that BB & CC creams tend to be just a new marketing spin on tinted moisturizers

Note: This product's rating is due to its overall performance rather than its SPF rating. Due to concerns about people not applying sunscreen liberally enough to get the amount of SPF protection stated on the label, it is often recommended to look for SPFs with ratings higher than 15. If you plan to use tinted moisturizer as your sole source of facial sun protection, consider using one rated SPF 20 or greater. If the foundation with sunscreen you choose is rated less than an SPF 20, we strongly advise applying it over a daytime moisturizer rated SPF 15 or greater and following it with a pressed powder rated SPF 15 or greater. That way, you’re ensuring sufficient broad-spectrum protection which is essential for having and maintaining healthy, younger-looking skin at any age.

Fight aging overnight with this night treatment, designed to even skin tone and reduce the look of age spots for younger-looking skin.

Active: Avobenzone (2%), Octisalate (3%), Octocrylene (3%).Other: Water, Glycerin, Titanium Dioxide, Niacinamide, Acetyl Glucosamine, Isopropyl Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Dimethicone, Dimethiconol, Triethanolamine, Benzyl Alcohol, Carbomer, Behenyl Alcohol, C13 14 Isoparaffin, Cetearyl Glucoside, Stearyl Alcohol, Laureth 7, Cetyl Alcohol, PEG 100 Stearate, Methylparaben, Cetearyl Alcohol, Propylparaben, Ethylparaben, PEG 4 Laurate, PEG 4 Dilaurate, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, PEG 4, Ammonium Polyacrylate, Polyacrylamide, Iron Oxides

Olay offers a fairly large selection of skin-care products sold at drugstores and mass-market stores. Although Olay's products are not as diversified as Neutrogena's or as attractive as L'Oreal's, Olay has come a long way from its star product being a soft pink lotion designed to make skin younger (yet it was and is just a badly formulated product that was out of date almost from the moment it was launched). Today's Olay lineup for those concerned about staving off the effects of aging skin is impressive, comprising their Regenerist, and Total Effects lines. All of these (and several other Olay products) contain the B vitamin niacinamide. As you might expect, the claims made for it are inflated, but, as explained in the various reviews below, niacinamide is a very helpful ingredient for all skin types, capable of exerting multiple benefits. It isn't the best ingredient out there (no single ingredient has that title yet, and it's unlikely that just one ever will be) and as such doesn't deserve the prominence Olay gives it (a bit of variety would have been far better, such as a mix of antioxidants and skin-identical ingredients).

Olay's sales are expected to reach $4 billion annually in the next few years, and given their global presence in stores and constant advertising in magazines and on television, that's not surprising. Much of this advertising is focused on their best products, which is attention well deserved. Just to give you an idea of the expenditure involved for these ubiquitous ads, Olay spent over $50 million to promote Regenerist in 2003. The good news is that each new range of Olay products generally improves on what came before it, offering results that, while not as impressive as the claims, are noticeable in the mirror.

For its ongoing commitment to understanding consumers and formulating products that, while not perfect, definitely offer more proof than puffery, Olay deserves consideration by any savvy skin-care shopper. And it also deserves mention that Olay is one of the few lines in this book whose entire collection of products with sunscreens provides sufficient UVA protection! (Sources for the financial figures above: The Rose Sheet, July 10, 2006, page 5; September 11, 2006, page 4; and January 1, 2007, page 5).

Olay began 2009 with the launch of Pro-X, their most expensive products to date. Not only are these products considerably more expensive than any others from Olay, the packaging, color scheme, advertising campaign, and claims have all been turned up to "max" on the cosmetics marketing dial. The amount of hype and budget thrown at these products easily explains why our Beautypedia product request e-mail inbox has been inundated with requests for me to review these products!

Whenever something this sleek-looking and pricey debuts in the mass market, lots of consumers wonder whether the extra expense is worth it. They also want to know if Olay's "Professional" designation makes these products a cut above the numerous other products they sell, including those with similar claims.

It turns out we had the same question after surveying the ingredient lists for all of the Pro-X products: How are they different from those available in Olay's Total Effects and Regenerist? Supposedly, all of those other sub-brands also have the answer to improving the telltale signs of aging, from dryness and wrinkles to loss of luminosity and unwanted discolorations. In fact, the claims on the label of these three lines are virtually identical.

It is clear from the get go that there are far more similarities than differences among Definity, Regenerist and Pro-X. All of them contain niacinamide, the B vitamin that has almost single-handedly re-energized Olay as a formidable skin-care brand. One of the Pro-X products contains acetyl glucosamine, just like several from Definity, and many Pro-X products contain peptides, just as Regenerist products do. Why should someone consider Pro-X over those other lines?

Interestingly, the folks we spoke with at Procter & Gamble didn't have a clear answer either, which isn't surprising, at least not from a formula superiority standpoint. Rather, their explanation was all about a marketing decision. This "cosmeceutical" –oriented line is supposed to give women who think that a line that looks medical must be better even if it's available at the drugstore. Pro-X was also designed to appeal to women who typically seek professional skin-care products, meaning those that are sold or recommended by a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon.

Of course there is no standardized definition for "professional skin care" and "cosmeceutical" is a bogus term. The dermatologists who consulted Olay about these new products are well-respected, but the formulas still come up short in terms of a cocktail of antioxidants and skin-identical ingredients that can repair damaged skin. As it turns out, despite the Alliance for Skin Care Innovation that Olay speaks of in their promotional materials for Pro-X, its creation had more to do with marketing than with bringing anything new to the cosmetics table.

Don't get me wrong: the Pro-X products have some commendable attributes and certainly offer multiple benefits for aging skin, but the truth is they're not different enough from Olay Regenerist or Definity products to warrant the higher price.

Pro-X's packaging is indeed sexier, the claims are more enticing, and the prices speak to a high-end consumer, but, to borrow a popular catchphrase from the 1980s, we were left wondering "Where's the beef?" The beef, as it were, is merely Olay creating products whose differences are much stronger from a marketing standpoint than from a formulary standpoint. That's not breakthrough news for your skin, and it's a fact that anyone considering Pro-X should know that other Olay products offer comparable benefits for less money. The only significant difference between Pro-X and Olay's other sub-brands is that Pro-X is fragrance-free; that's great, but you would think that leaving out an ingredient as opposed to adding one would lead to a price decrease rather than an increase. It's up to you if that point is enough to make the higher prices worthwhile.

For more information about Olay, owned by Procter & Gamble, call (800) 285-5170 or visit www.olay.com.

Member Comments

Summary of Member Comments

  1. How would you rate the results? (4 = Best)

    2 / 4 Average
  2. Was this product a good value? (4 = Best)

    2 / 4 Average
  3. Would you recommend this product? (4 = Best)

    2 / 4 Average
Page of 1
  1. Mary F.
    Reviewed on Thursday, October 30, 2014
    • Value
      2 / 4
    • Recommend
      1 / 4
    • Results
      2 / 4
    Watch out for the shine!
    • I have been very pleased with Olay moisturizers in the past and decided to give this "tone correcting" version a try, since I have basically trouble-free skin with a few uneven patches. I was initially pleased with the look and feel - smooth, moisturized, nicely even. By the end of the day, my face was ridiculously shiny - and not in the usual oily spots, like nose or forehead, but under the eyes and across the cheekbones. Ugly! Tried adding powder - did not help much.Expensive disappointment

  2. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Friday, September 06, 2013
    • Value
      3 / 4
    • Results
      3 / 4
    • Recommend
      3 / 4
    Definity Color Recapture renamed
    • This product is pretty much the old Definity Color Recapture Anti-Aging Moisturizer. The Definity line was discontinued and merged with Total Effects. I find this easy to apply quickly with my fingertips, and it does even out my skin tone a bit. But the coverage is very sheer and doesn't cover my brown spots. I still use concealer over them if I have time. Someone with normal, no-flaw skin could use this instead of foundation. Great for hot, humid weather when you need a light feel!

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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