12.19.2014
19
No Foundation Foundation SPF 30
1 fl. oz. for $55
Expert Rating
Community Rating (6)
Expert Reviews
Last Updated:12.19.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No

No Foundation Foundation SPF 30 has been reformulated and now offers two shades instead of one. Unfortunately the POOR rating remains due to the inclusion of several potentially irritating fragrant oils and extracts, as well as Teperone, a controversial drug ingredient being used off-label in this formula. (See More Info for the full story).

We also have to note that while the formula contains glycolic acid, the concentration and pH aren’t within the right range for exfoliation to occur. Perricone isn't making claims about that, but we know some of you savvy shoppers may have spotted the glycolic acid and were curious.

Those formulary concerns behind, the concept behind the no-makeup makeup line is to enhance skin with natural-looking, translucent coverage and at least No Foundation Foundation  delivers that. The liquid texture blends on smoothly, offering sheer coverage in two neutral, flattering shades (No. 1 for light complexions and No. 2 for light-to-medium skin tones).

The satin finish leaves skin with a healthy, natural glow, and the broad spectrum sun protection via the gentle mineral actives is a nice addition. We were also impressed by the high concentration of stabilized vitamin C and the inclusion of some other intriguing ingredients (albeit in smaller amounts), but even all of that can’t make up for the potential risk to skin.

Perhaps the third time will be the charm for this sheer foundation with sunscreen!

More Info:

Teprenone: No Foundation Foundation SPF 30 includes a drug ingredient (Teprenone) that is being used off-label in this product. Teprenone is the brand name for a drug known as geranylgeranylacetone, which is used to treat gastric ulcers and is being researched as an option for slowing age-related hearing loss (Sources: Brain Research, May 2008, pages 9–17; and Digestion, October 2007, pages 215–224).

What do hearing loss and ulcers have to do with aging skin? One of the key ways geranylgeranylacetone works is by influencing heat shock proteins. These proteins help other proteins interact as they should at the cellular level, which affects many systems in the body. Heat shock proteins are most active during times of stress, such as exposure to cigarette smoke and exposure to sunlight. When heat shock proteins are reduced (which ultimately is what you want because that means reducing inflammation), cells appear to live longer.

Perhaps Perricone theorized that geranylgeranylacetone (as Teprenone) may also have a helpful effect when applied topically. After all, the skin is a source of heat shock proteins, and it is certainly exposed to enough stressful situations that an ingredient that can help these proteins function more efficiently would be a benefit.  However, there’s no research proving that topically applied geranylgeranylacetone has any effect on heat shock proteins within skin. Moreover, as previously mentioned, Perricone is using a drug ingredient in a cosmetic product, which means the consumer is the guinea pig. Consider this with caution, if at all.

Irritation from fragrant plant oils/extracts:

Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin’s ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way to go for all skin types. If fragrance in your skin-care products is important to you, it should be a very low amount to minimize the risk to your skin. (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135 and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22.)

Community Reviews
Ingredients

Active Ingredients: Zinc Oxide (12.2%), Titanium Dioxide (3.2%). Other: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Polyglyceryl-3 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Glyceryl Stearate, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Cyclomethicone, PEG-100  Stearate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Sorbitan Stearate, Dimethicone, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ethylhexyl Palmitate,  Phenoxyethanol, Glycolic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Phoenix Dactylifera (Date) Fruit Extract, Mica, Ethylhexylglycerin,  Hexylene Glycol, Dimethyl Mea (DMAE), Tribehenin, Polyacrylamide, Cetyl Alcohol, Tocopheryl Linoleate, Lecithin,  Thioctic Acid (Alpha-Lipoic Acid), PEG-8, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Sodium Lactate, Xanthan Gum, Hyaluronic Acid,  Ceramide 2, PEG-10 Rapeseed Sterol, Teprenone, Arabidopsis Thaliana Extract, Plankton Extract, Micrococcus  Lysate, C13-14 Isoparafin, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Iron Oxides, Citric  Acid, Laureth-7, Disodium EDTA, Ascorbic Acid, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Limonene,  Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Linalool, Salvia Sclarea (Clary) Extract, Cedrus Atlantica Bark Oil, Ilex  Paraguariensis Leaf Extract, Bulnesia Sarmientoi Wood Oil, Coriandrum Sativum.

Brand Overview

Perricone MD Cosmeceuticals At-A-Glance

Strengths: A handful of good cleansers; a couple of worthwhile moisturizers for the eye area; several fragrance-free products; a few impressive makeup products.

Weaknesses: Expensive; long on claims not supported by evidence-based science; use of controversial ingredients throughout the line; several antioxidant-rich products are packaged in jars, which renders those beneficial ingredients less effective.

This dermatologist-developed line is perhaps the best known in an increasingly crowded field. The frenzy began with Nicholas Perricone's first book, The Wrinkle Cure, and continued when he appeared on PBS to discuss his book and namesake products, all of which seemed incredibly legitimate to consumers worried about how to look younger longer. PBS reaped a financial windfall from his appearance, netting millions of dollars between 2001 and 2002 (Source: www.quackwatch.org). Originally all the fuss centered around vitamin C and alpha lipoic acid, but as his success continued, Perricone wrote half a dozen more books and expanded his product line to include other over-hyped ingredients, each with claims (and price tags) more inflated than the last round.

We sourced the Web site Quackwatch.org because they have an excellent, unbiased report on the Perricone phenomenon. This non-profit site is operated by consumer advocate Dr. Stephen Barrett, and, to quote the Quackwatch Mission Statement, their purpose is "to combat health-related frauds, myths, fads, fallacies, and misconduct." That's where Perricone comes into play. According to Quackwatch, Perricone's books "contain many claims that are questionable, controversial, fanciful, unsupported by published evidence, or just plain wrong. Although he mentions standard skin-care treatments, sometimes favorably, his books provide little guidance about when they might be appropriate or sufficient. Although he provides long lists of references, practically none of them directly support what he promises." Those sentiments are exactly what we felt and wrote after reading The Wrinkle Cure.

The site goes on to state: "Perricone's books are sprinkled with statements that his ideas are based on his own research. However, the extent and quality of this research is unclear. A PubMed search for his name brought up only six citations, of which only two appear to be original research, both on topical glycolic acid. His books describe situations in which he tested various ideas in a few patients, usually over a short period of time, but he provides few details and apparently published none of those findings in medical journals." Does that sound like the kind of products you'd like to spend (a lot of) your money on?

They go on to conclude (and we agree completely with the following text): "Dr. Perricone has mixed a pinch of science with a gallon of imagination to create an elaborate, time-consuming, expensive, prescription for a healthy life and younger skin. There is no reason to think his program is more effective than standard measures. Although some of his advice is standard, most of his recommendations are based on speculation and fanciful interpretation of selected medical literature. He makes lots of money by convincing patients and consumers, but he hasn't succeeded in convincing critical thinkers, doctors, scientists, or anyone who wants to see hard evidence. Perricone's prescription isn't science; it's creative salesmanship." And which ingredient is the answer for healthy skin? Perricone can't seem to make up his mind, because one group of products contains alpha lipoic acid, another group olive oil, another vitamin C, and still another neuropeptides. Come on, doctor, which is it?

One ingredient Perricone uses deserves some discussion because it is present in all of his products, and that's dimethyl MEA, also known as DMAE (chemically 2-dimethyl-aminoethanol). DMAE has been around for years as an oral supplement that's popularly believed to improve mental alertness, much like Ginkgo biloba and coenzyme Q10. However, the research about DMAE does not show the same positive results as the other two supplements. Because DMAE is chemically similar to choline, DMAE is thought to stimulate production of acetylcholine. And because acetylcholine is a brain neurotransmitter, it's easy to see how it could be associated with brain function. However, only a handful of studies have looked at DMAE for that purpose and they have not been conclusive in the least, while some have shown that DMAE may be problematic or not very effective (Sources: Mechanisms of Aging and Development, February 1988, pages 129–138; Neuropharmacology, June 1989, pages, 557–561; European Neurology, 1991, pages 423–425; and European Journal of Medical Research, May 2003, pages 183–191).

How does any of this translate into skin care, or, more to the point, suppressing the signs of aging? Perricone claims DMAE restores muscle tone to skin that has lost firmness and has begun to slacken, as well as conveying an antioxidant benefit. Johnson & Johnson uses DMAE in a few of their Neutrogena products, and a study they paid for appeared in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology (June 2005, pages 39–47). The conclusion was as follows: "the benefits of DMAE in dermatology include a potential anti-inflammatory effect and a documented increase in skin firmness with possible improvement in underlying facial muscle tone." The study examined topical application of 3% DMAE over a period of 16 weeks, but it was not done double-blind and was not placebo-controlled, which makes the results, at best, questionable. Moreover, the study didn't examine whether a 3% or lower concentration of other ingredients, such as green tea, glycolic acid, vitamin C, or myriad others (many of which Perricone has extolled in his other products, and the amount of DMAE he used varies widely from product to product), might have had the same or better results.

Is there any reason to get excited (and drain your pocketbook) for products with DMAE? Apparently not; a study published in The British Journal of Dermatology (May 2007) has shown contrary evidence that it may actually pose risks for the skin. In vitro tests of the pure substance, as well as creams that contained DMAE, demonstrated a fairly fast and significant increase in protective elements around the skin cell. However, a short time later the researchers observed an important reduction in cell growth and in some cases they found that it halted cell growth altogether. So, while you may initially experience a kind of swelling of the skin because of the expanding effect caused by topical application of DMAE, the long-term results appear to be far from desirable.

Interestingly, even though this ingredient is present throughout Perricone's line, he has yet to publish his own research discussing the claims and explaining how topical DMAE works. The bottom line is that as more research comes to light, DMAE may prove more problematic than helpful for aging skin. But in the meantime, Perricone is raking in lots of money by convincing consumers otherwise.

For more information about Perricone MD Cosmeceuticals call (888) 823-7837 or visit www.perriconemd.com.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.


Beautypedia cuts through the hype to bring you product insights and recommendations you won’t find anywhere else!

See all reviews for this brand

Perricone MD Cosmeceuticals At-A-Glance

Strengths: A handful of good cleansers; a couple of worthwhile moisturizers for the eye area; several fragrance-free products; a few impressive makeup products.

Weaknesses: Expensive; long on claims not supported by evidence-based science; use of controversial ingredients throughout the line; several antioxidant-rich products are packaged in jars, which renders those beneficial ingredients less effective.

This dermatologist-developed line is perhaps the best known in an increasingly crowded field. The frenzy began with Nicholas Perricone's first book, The Wrinkle Cure, and continued when he appeared on PBS to discuss his book and namesake products, all of which seemed incredibly legitimate to consumers worried about how to look younger longer. PBS reaped a financial windfall from his appearance, netting millions of dollars between 2001 and 2002 (Source: www.quackwatch.org). Originally all the fuss centered around vitamin C and alpha lipoic acid, but as his success continued, Perricone wrote half a dozen more books and expanded his product line to include other over-hyped ingredients, each with claims (and price tags) more inflated than the last round.

We sourced the Web site Quackwatch.org because they have an excellent, unbiased report on the Perricone phenomenon. This non-profit site is operated by consumer advocate Dr. Stephen Barrett, and, to quote the Quackwatch Mission Statement, their purpose is "to combat health-related frauds, myths, fads, fallacies, and misconduct." That's where Perricone comes into play. According to Quackwatch, Perricone's books "contain many claims that are questionable, controversial, fanciful, unsupported by published evidence, or just plain wrong. Although he mentions standard skin-care treatments, sometimes favorably, his books provide little guidance about when they might be appropriate or sufficient. Although he provides long lists of references, practically none of them directly support what he promises." Those sentiments are exactly what we felt and wrote after reading The Wrinkle Cure.

The site goes on to state: "Perricone's books are sprinkled with statements that his ideas are based on his own research. However, the extent and quality of this research is unclear. A PubMed search for his name brought up only six citations, of which only two appear to be original research, both on topical glycolic acid. His books describe situations in which he tested various ideas in a few patients, usually over a short period of time, but he provides few details and apparently published none of those findings in medical journals." Does that sound like the kind of products you'd like to spend (a lot of) your money on?

They go on to conclude (and we agree completely with the following text): "Dr. Perricone has mixed a pinch of science with a gallon of imagination to create an elaborate, time-consuming, expensive, prescription for a healthy life and younger skin. There is no reason to think his program is more effective than standard measures. Although some of his advice is standard, most of his recommendations are based on speculation and fanciful interpretation of selected medical literature. He makes lots of money by convincing patients and consumers, but he hasn't succeeded in convincing critical thinkers, doctors, scientists, or anyone who wants to see hard evidence. Perricone's prescription isn't science; it's creative salesmanship." And which ingredient is the answer for healthy skin? Perricone can't seem to make up his mind, because one group of products contains alpha lipoic acid, another group olive oil, another vitamin C, and still another neuropeptides. Come on, doctor, which is it?

One ingredient Perricone uses deserves some discussion because it is present in all of his products, and that's dimethyl MEA, also known as DMAE (chemically 2-dimethyl-aminoethanol). DMAE has been around for years as an oral supplement that's popularly believed to improve mental alertness, much like Ginkgo biloba and coenzyme Q10. However, the research about DMAE does not show the same positive results as the other two supplements. Because DMAE is chemically similar to choline, DMAE is thought to stimulate production of acetylcholine. And because acetylcholine is a brain neurotransmitter, it's easy to see how it could be associated with brain function. However, only a handful of studies have looked at DMAE for that purpose and they have not been conclusive in the least, while some have shown that DMAE may be problematic or not very effective (Sources: Mechanisms of Aging and Development, February 1988, pages 129–138; Neuropharmacology, June 1989, pages, 557–561; European Neurology, 1991, pages 423–425; and European Journal of Medical Research, May 2003, pages 183–191).

How does any of this translate into skin care, or, more to the point, suppressing the signs of aging? Perricone claims DMAE restores muscle tone to skin that has lost firmness and has begun to slacken, as well as conveying an antioxidant benefit. Johnson & Johnson uses DMAE in a few of their Neutrogena products, and a study they paid for appeared in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology (June 2005, pages 39–47). The conclusion was as follows: "the benefits of DMAE in dermatology include a potential anti-inflammatory effect and a documented increase in skin firmness with possible improvement in underlying facial muscle tone." The study examined topical application of 3% DMAE over a period of 16 weeks, but it was not done double-blind and was not placebo-controlled, which makes the results, at best, questionable. Moreover, the study didn't examine whether a 3% or lower concentration of other ingredients, such as green tea, glycolic acid, vitamin C, or myriad others (many of which Perricone has extolled in his other products, and the amount of DMAE he used varies widely from product to product), might have had the same or better results.

Is there any reason to get excited (and drain your pocketbook) for products with DMAE? Apparently not; a study published in The British Journal of Dermatology (May 2007) has shown contrary evidence that it may actually pose risks for the skin. In vitro tests of the pure substance, as well as creams that contained DMAE, demonstrated a fairly fast and significant increase in protective elements around the skin cell. However, a short time later the researchers observed an important reduction in cell growth and in some cases they found that it halted cell growth altogether. So, while you may initially experience a kind of swelling of the skin because of the expanding effect caused by topical application of DMAE, the long-term results appear to be far from desirable.

Interestingly, even though this ingredient is present throughout Perricone's line, he has yet to publish his own research discussing the claims and explaining how topical DMAE works. The bottom line is that as more research comes to light, DMAE may prove more problematic than helpful for aging skin. But in the meantime, Perricone is raking in lots of money by convincing consumers otherwise.

For more information about Perricone MD Cosmeceuticals call (888) 823-7837 or visit www.perriconemd.com.