Kind to Skin Protecting Light Moisturizer with SPF 15
4.2 fl. oz. for $12.09
Last Updated:03.17.2015
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

NOTE: As of summer 2015, we were informed by our readers that there has been a reformulation of this product. We appreciate your patience while we take the time to thoroughly update this review!

This daytime moisturizer with sunscreen feels light and does offer broad-spectrum sun protection without a greasy feel, traits that those with normal to oily skin will likely find appealing. The fragrance-free formula also contains a standard, but decent, mix of antioxidant vitamin E (tocopheryl acetate) and a couple of soothing agents.

Unfortunately, the party is crashed by the ingredient methylisothiazolinone, a sensitizing preservative not recommended for use in leave-on products (Sources: Contact Dermatitis, December 2012, pages 334–341 and November 2011, pages 276–285). Given that the sunscreen actives themselves can be potentially problematic for sensitive skin, it doesn't make any sense to add a sensitizing preservative to the mix. Plus, if you have sensitive skin, the synthetic active ingredients present a risk of irritation, a risk that mineral-based sunscreen actives don't have. Given that Simple's skin-care products are supposed to be all about taking care of sensitive skin, this formula is really disappointing, and this product isn't recommended.

Simple's skin-care statement is as follows: "Our philosophy is: Simple says—never use perfumes, dyes or harsh irritants that can upset your skin. Simple says—settle for only the purest possible ingredients. Simple says—trust the natural goodness in all of our products especially for sensitive skin." That's a good philosophy, but, unfortunately, most of Simple's products don't live up to their lofty goals. There are fragrant ingredients in many of their products; there are potentially irritating preservatives in some of their products; their sun-protection products contain synthetic sunscreen ingredients, which aren't the best for sensitive skin; and many of their ingredients are not natural. (We know their claim of natural goodness doesn't state outright that they use only natural ingredients, but that's what they imply, and many consumers will believe it.)

  • Lightweight texture and non-greasy finish.
  • Fragrance-free.
  • Inexpensive and generously sized.
  • Contains a sensitizing preservative not recommended for use in leave-on products.
  • The active sunscreen ingredients are not the best for those with sensitive skin.

Our Protecting Light Moisturizer with SPF 15, a perfect oil free blend of skin-loving ingredients and added vitamins, moisturizes with a light, non-greasy feel and helps protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays. Perfect even for sensitive skin.


Active Ingredients: Avobenzone, Ensulizole, Octisalate; Inactive Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Stearic Acid, Glycol Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Dimethicone, Tocopheryl Acetate, Panthenol, Allantoin, Bisabolol, Glyceryl Stearate, Potassium Stearate, Carbomer, Caprylyl Glycol, Cetyl Alcohol, Xanthan Gum, Stearamide AMP, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium EDTA, Methylisothiazolinone.

Brand Overview

Simple At-A-Glance

Strengths: Inexpensive; Simple provides complete product ingredient lists on its Web site; good makeup removers; a few cleansers for sensitive skin; all of the sunscreens provide sufficient UVA protection.

Weaknesses: Poor selection of products for oily, acne-prone skin; no options for those with discolorations; several products that claim to be great for sensitive skin but contain ingredients that will make sensitive skin worse; mostly unexciting, dated moisturizers.

Simple is a United Kingdom–based skin-care line whose self-described claim to fame is that they're the "pre-eminent brand of skincare and toiletries products developed especially for sensitive skin." They also claim to be the United Kingdom's No. 1 skin care-brand, as measured by units sold, and given the line's wide distribution and low price point, the sales figures are probably accurate. But, although their sales claim may be accurate, Simple's claims about their products being good for sensitive skin are spurious at best because too many of the ingredients are completely inappropriate for sensitive skin.

Simple skin care states the following: “Our philosophy is: Simple says - never use perfumes, dyes or harsh irritants that can upset your skin. Simple says - settle for only the purest possible ingredients.  Simple says - trust the natural goodness in all of our products especially for sensitive skin.” Although that's a good philosophy, most Simple products don’t live up to their lofty goals. There are fragrant ingredients in many of their products, they use potentially irritating preservatives in some of their products, their sun protection products use synthetic sunscreen ingredients which aren’t the best for sensitive skin, and many of their ingredients are not natural (we know their claim of natural goodness doesn’t say outright that they only use natural ingredients but many consumers will think that’s what's being implied)

Unfortunately, there are no standards in Europe or anywhere else that regulate which cosmetic products can be deemed suitable for sensitive skin and which cannot. Therefore, any company can make that claim for its products, regardless of what the products contain. It's not all bad news though, as several of Simple's products are fragrance-free, which is a key starting point for all skin types, especially sensitive skin.

As mentioned above, the price point for Simple is low; in fact, it is one of the least expensive cosmetic brands you’ll find in either the United Kingdom or the United States. We are all for consumers getting more for their money, but in most cases with Simple you're being shortchanged, and that’s not the way to save money. Most of their products are either very basic or the frills and good ingredients are but a dusting in an otherwise ordinary formula. There are few outstanding products in this line, which is similar throughout the industry.

The anti-aging products are a great example of Simple's combination of low prices and lofty claims, with nary an ingredient on the list capable of delivering any benefit over and above a Band-Aid®. Even the most state-of-the-art moisturizers and anti-aging products won't bring about a significant reduction in wrinkles or other signs of aging, but using well-formulated products (and they don't have to be expensive) helps a great deal. Overall the folks behind Simple took their name too literally.

For more information about Simple, visit http://www.simpleskincare.com

Note: As of summer 2015, going forward all Simple Skincare reviews are based on the United States formulas and prices are given in United States currency.

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.

Member Comments
Summary of Member Comments
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methylisothiazolinone REALLY no longer in product!

I just bought a tube of this stuff last night and methylisothiazolinone is no longer in the US version. Maybe there are still a few old tubes floating around. The packaging is different on my tube as well. So far so good on my oily acne prone skin.

Reviewed by
Beautypedia Team Response

Hey there!  Thanks for the feedback.  We're actually working through revamping the Simple Skincare reviews right now, as most of them have been reformulated in the last year or so.  :)

Not for Sensitive Skin

I SO wanted to love this product! I used to think that the fewer ingredients, the better and safer the product would be for my sensitive skin. I later learned that the fewer IRRITATING ingredients, the better. This formula is SO light and absorbs SO well, and I LOVED the cosmetic appearance. But soon my skin erupted in hives, and I later learned that synthetic sunscreen agents are irritating to sensitive skin. I'd love to see Simple come out with a tinted zinc / titanium dioxide sunscreen!

Reviewed by
Red head
methylisothiazolinone no longer in product?

According to the ingredients list (at least in the UK), this product no longer contains methylisothiazolinone. I'd be interested in reading a review in the light of this apparent change.

Reviewed by
Beautypedia Team Response

Hi there!  Thanks for the heads up -- unfortunately, the US version still contains that problematic ingredient =(

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