[W.] Lightening Touch-Up Powder

by Sothys Paris  [W.] Lightening
$40 - 0.17 fl. oz.
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This is a talc-based loose powder housed in fancy packaging meant for on-the-go use. The pure white powder provides a matte finish, but pure white isn’t the best to hide discolorations, and it looks ghostly on all but the lightest skin tones. The only unique element of this loose powder is the ingredient undecylenoyl phenylalanine, which has limited research pertaining to its efficacy on discolorations, although it appears promising when the concentration is 1%–2% (Sources: Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, December 2009, pages 260–266; and Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, Epublication, October 23, 2009). Sothys appears to include at least 1% undecylenoyl phenylalanine, although the likelihood is that it won’t remain stable in a powder and this type of packaging. Nothing in this powder replaces the need for a sunscreen. Keep in mind that unprotected sun exposure is the main cause of brown discolorations on skin.

An ultra-light concealing powder for a translucent complexion, formulated with active lightening ingredients. Sothys Lightening Touch-Up Powder can be used to intensify the daily skin care as well as create an aesthetic matte finish to skin with pigmentation concerns. With a delicate fragrance it's ideal for touch-ups during the day.

Talc, Zinc Stearate, Kaolin, Undecylenoyl Phenylalanine, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Tetrasodium EDTA, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Undecylenic Acid, Water, Limonene

We have to admit we weren't looking forward to reviewing this line. We've been aware of Sothys for some time, and over the years many women have asked us what we thought of it. We don't ever mind being asked what we think of a product line, but in this case it was the way we were asked that we found depressing. Somehow this spa-oriented line has developed an almost reverent reputation for being a superior skin-care line.

A question would go like this, "What do you think of Sothys?" We would reply, "Not much, the formulas are either out of date or contain problematic ingredients and the price tag is silly for what you get." Inevitably, the response would be, "Really? I thought it was one of the best lines around … it's French, you know?" Sigh. Yes, we do know. But …

Despite a long French-heritage, dating back to 1946, this spa-oriented brand with a vast array of products doesn't deserve a reputation for being anything other than an overpriced spa  brand to avoid.

Most of Sothys skin-care formularies are so far behind the times that using them is akin to using a typewriter instead of a computer—the formulations are as ordinary and mundane as it gets. Almost all their moisturizers lack any reasonable amount of antioxidants, skin-identical ingredients, or cell-communicating ingredients. Also consider that there are no effective products for those struggling with blemishes or blackheads, despite their claims. It is astounding that in a line with dozens of facial moisturizers (most with repetitive formulas), not a single one includes a sunscreen. How can this brand be so incredibly blind to the number one cause of wrinkles and skin aging? If they aren't aware of the critical importance of sun protection, then how much do you want to trust them in any other aspect of helping your skin?

Sothys makes much ado about the training it provides to aestheticians. Not having attended any of their classes, we can't speak specifically to the content of what they teach, but if their products are even vaguely representative of what they inculcate, woe to those aestheticians who rely on Sothys as their source of skin-care education.

When all is said and done, and you've gotten past the smoke and mirrors, nothing else matters if you don't have well-formulated products, sunscreens, exfoliants, acne products, options for rosacea and sensitive skin, and/or reasonable pricing. And that's where Sothys falls flat on its scrubbed, steamed, masked, and spa "purified" face.

For more information about Sothys Paris, call (305) 594-4222 or visit www.sothys-usa.com.

Note: Several names on Sothys Web site and other sites retailing this brand list one name on the product page and another on the product itself. In our reviews we list the name on the product itself.

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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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