Kind to Skin Vital Vitamin Day Cream with Sunscreens

by Simple   Kind to Skin
$10.99 - 1.7 fl. oz.
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Skin Care > Moisturizers (Daytime and Nighttime) > Moisturizer with Sunscreen
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For unknown reasons, this moisturizer's ingredients (as presented in the U.K. version) aren't listed in descending order of amounts as required by European Union and UK cosmetic regulations. That makes it tricky to review and tricky for the consumer to determine how much of any single ingredient may be present.

The U.S. version (sold as Vital Day Cream SPF 15) lists active ingredients per FDA regulations, and this daytime moisturizer with sunscreen contains avobenzone for reliable UVA protection. It's otherwise an exceedingly ordinary daytime moisturizer for normal to slightly dry skin. The addition of vitamin E for antioxidant benefit is good, but the inclusion of a sensitizing preservative (methylisothiazolinone) makes this a poor choice for sensitive skin (plus the active sunscreen ingredients can be troublesome for those with sensitive skin; mineral actives of titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide are better for this skin type).

In the U.K version, none of the sunscreens are listed as active, but that it isn't a requirement for products manufactured and distributed in Europe, though an SPF rating number is, and without that you absolutely cannot rely on this for sun protection (this doesn't apply to the U.S. version, which is clearly rated SPF 15).

Regardless of where you find this product, it's not a slam-dunk for sensitive skin; at best, it provides light hydration and broad-spectrum sun protection,  but all skin types (especially sensitive skin) need more than this.

Our VITAL VITAMIN Day Cream SPF 15 moisturizes skin all day long and helps protect the skin from UVA and UVB rays.

Active: Homosalate (12%), Octisalate (5%), Avobenzone 3%, Octocrylene (2.7%), Other: Water (Aqua), Glycerin, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Silica, Pentylene Glycol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Panthenol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Steareth-21, Steareth-2, Arachidyl Alcohol, Polyacrylamide, Caprylyl Glycol, Behenyl Alcohol, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Disodium EDTA, Xanthan Gum, Cetearyl Glucoside, Arachidyl Glucoside, Allantoin, Bisabolol, Laureth 7, Triethanolamine, Methylisothiazolinone, Phenoxyethanol

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 the United Kingdom (and a small assortment of their products are sold in the U.S., too). 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, call 0121-712-6523 or visit

Note: All prices are given in United States currency.

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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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