Review: The Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture Lotion (SPF 15)

50 ml

The Body Shop UK, £10

The Body Shop EU, €16

(This product did not seem to be available on the American site)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Body Shop describes this cream as a light, easily absorbed moisturizing cream with an “SPF 15 for UVA and UVB protection” that “leaves the skin soft and healthy looking”. It is formulated with Vitamin E, community fair-trade sesame seed oil, and wheatgerm oil. Suitable for all skin types.

 

Key Ingredient(s)

▪                 Vitamin E

▪                 Community Fair Trade sesame seed oil

▪                 Wheatgerm oil

Full Ingredients

Aqua (Solvent/Diluent), Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate (Sunscreen), C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate (Emulsifier), Cyclopentasiloxane (Skin-Conditioning Agent/Emollient), Octyl Salicylate (Sunscreen), Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane (Sunscreen), Glyceryl Stearate (Emulsifier), Butylene Glycol (Humectant), Phenyl Trimethicone (Emollient/Hair Conditioner), Potassium Cetyl Phosphate (Surfactant/Emulsifying Agent), Cetyl Dimethicone (Skin-Conditioning Agent), Phenoxyethanol (Preservative), Triethanolamine (pH Adjuster), Sesamum Indicum Oil (Emollient), Tocopheryl Acetate (Antioxidant), Parfum (Fragrance), Carbomer (Stabiliser/Viscosity Modifier), Behenyl Alcohol (Emollient), Cetyl Alcohol (Emulsifier), Methylparaben (Preservative), Triticum Vulgare Germ Oil (Emollient), Citronellol (Fragrance Ingredient), Tetrasodium EDTA (Chelating Agent), Butylparaben (Preservative), Ethylparaben (Preservative), Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone (Fragrance Ingredient), Isobutylparaben (Preservative), Propylparaben (Preservative), Linalool (Fragrance Ingredient), Geraniol (Fragrance Ingredient), Tocopherol (Antioxidant).

 

First of all let me say how nice it is to be able to get a hold of a day cream that has UVA protection. It is really great that I don’t have to go through all the hassle of hunting down a separate sunscreen, then after slathering it on, becoming super paranoid as to whether it will break me out or not. So kudos to you, Body Shop.

The formula is relatively light and feels very nice on the skin. It does sink in pretty quickly, but until it has done so completely, it leaves a slight greasy residue. The residue goes away pretty quickly, leaving the skin very smooth and hydrated, but that still is an iffy point for me. Despite the residue, the texture is still such that it allows for mixing with foundation to create a tinted moisturizer, which is definitely a plus.

Speaking of hydration, this cream is a very, VERY hydrating one. Before I started using it, I had a couple of dry patches on my cheeks. Afterwards? Nada. My face was nice and smooth. On the other hand, it didn’t make me break out on my forehead, where I typically get very oily. This leaves me to believe that the claim that it is suitable for all skin types is a relevant one, and that is something that my finicky combination skin greatly appreciates.

Although one of the things that makes this product good in my books is the fact that it can be substituted for sunscreen, one of the things that I do not like about it is that in some ways, it is too much like sunscreen in that it smells like it. Though sunscreen is very good and I am glad that it was invented, I am not terribly keen on the smell. And having that in a moisturizer is not really something that I enjoy. The smell wears off after a while, so it’s not so bad, but for me it is definitely a weak point in an otherwise good moisturizer.

The packaging is also pretty good in my books, as it is a squeezy tube rather than a tub. I prefer squeezy tubes because they are more hygienic as you do are not repeatedly dipping your fingers into the same product. In addition, it is better for creating DIY tinted moisturizers, as the product comes out it a specific place so the whole back of your hand isn’t covered with cream. Unfortunately, there is always the hassle of having to cut the top portion off to access the cream when the product starts to run out.

 

Overall, this is a pretty good product, especially due to its moisturizing properties and SPF (with UVA!). One of its greatest bonuses, though, is that it is so versatile in terms of skin type, so if you are someone whose skin is either really dry and really oily at the same time, or whose skin type varies drastically from one time to another, this cream should be able to keep up. The smell and slight residue do provide a slight irritation, but probably would not keep me from repurchasing the product. And hey, some people seemed to even like the smell!

 

Rating: A-

 

 

 

 

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What You Need to Know About Sunscreen (as told by a common skin paranoiac)

OK, let me tell you something. Sunscreen? I hate the stuff. I hate the texture. I hate the smell. I hate how it separates in heat and then suddenly you are standing there like an idiot with a handful of disgusting yellow oil with the occasional blob of white. But I am also terrified of skin cancer and aging. And sunscreen? It helps with both of those things.

For most of you, this probably isn’t news to you. Yes, sun exposure causes wrinkles and melanoma and blah blah blah. So you wear sunscreen. Big deal. But there is more to the story.

I should probably start off by explaining a bit about sun exposure. The type of light that causes damage is called ultraviolet (UV) light. There are three types of UV rays: UVA, UVB, and UVC. UVC is fairly irrelevant when talking about sun damage, as the rays are filtered out by the ozone layer. That leaves UVA and UVB. UVB rays are much stronger than UVA rays, so for a long time only UVB rays were considered as a serious cause of skin cancer and other skin woes. The SPF rating that we see on sunscreen is an indicator of how much of these rays the particular sunscreen blocks. However, there is increasing evidence to show that UVA rays, the weaker but more prevalent rays, actually can do quite a bit of damage themselves. Unfortunately, the SPF factor does not take the UVA rays into account. What this means is that if you live in the States, you have to check the sunscreens that you buy to see if they offer any UVA protection. Sunscreen with UVA protection is available; you might just have to hunt around a bit. The ones that do normally say on the label. A list of sunscreens with UVA protection will be provided below. It’s also possible that the sunscreen does have some protection in it, but doesn’t say. In that case you can check the ingredients list for UVA blocking ingredients. Again, a list of ingredients will be provided below. If you live in Europe then you can relax, sunscreens contain these ingredients by default.

There is also the matter of sun protection in moisturizers, foundations, lip balms, etc. Using these products is great, don’t get me wrong. A little bit extra sun protection is certainly not going to hurt. But that should not be the only thing you use. These products are even less likely to have UVA protection than normal sunscreens. Also, you typically would not use enough of the product to enjoy its full benefit. Even if a foundation has SPF 10, if you use a thin coat of it then in reality you might only be getting an SPF of 5.

Another thing to worry about when choosing sunscreen is the other stuff in it. Oxybenzone, a chemical used to absorb UV rays, is FDA and American Academy of Dermatology approved. However, there may be a link between this chemical and hormone disruption and skin cancer. Retinyl palmate is also potentially toxic. I will include a link below for the 2012 Sunscreen Guide from the Environmental Working Group, which evaluates sunscreens on their potential harmfulness.

On the other side, there is Vitamin D to worry about. Vitamin D is a vitamin made by your body when it comes in contact to UVB. It is essential to the body, and cannot really be found in foods. A deficiency of Vitamin D can also cause many medical conditions, and getting enough Vitamin D can decrease the risk of  things like osteoporosis, heart attacks and heart attacks, and various cancers. Because sunscreen blocks UVB, Vitamin D cannot be produced whilst the person is wearing it. The Cancer Council of Australia recommends that people not wear sun protection in the winter, when the sun’s rays are not so intense (under UV Index 3), and a few minutes each day in the mid-morning or mid-afternoon are sufficient if the UV Index is over 3, like in the summer. Darker skin tones may need anywhere from 3-6 times this amount. In the summer around midday, nobody, regardless of their skin tone, should go out without sun protection.

Hope you all are well, and WEAR SUNSCREEN!

 

Here are the various lists, as promised.

 

Sunscreens with UVA Protection:

Burt’s Bees Sunscreen (SPF 15/30)

Nivea Sun Moisturizing Sun Lotion (SPF 15/20/30)

W.S. Badger All-Natural Unscented Face and Body Sunscreen (SPF 30)

Alba Botanica Very Emollient Sunblock (SPF 30)

(or any Alba Botanica sunscreen)

Clarins UV Plus Protective Day Screen (SPF 40)

(Or any Clarins sunscreen)

 

Moisturizers with UVA Protection:

The Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture Lotion (SPF15)

Laura Mercier Repair Day Cream (SPF 15)

Laura Mercier Mega-Moisture Cream (SPF 15)

Boots Vitamin E Moisture Lotion (SPF 15)

Yes To Blueberries Age Refresh Daily Facial Moisturizer (SPF 30)

Yes To Cucumbers Soothing Daily Calming Moisturizer (SPF 30)

 

UVA Blocking/Absorbing Ingredients:

Avobenzone

Dioxybenzone

Ecamsule (Mexoryl SX)

Meradimate (Menthyl Anthranilate)

Oxybenzone

Sulisobenzone

Titanium Dioxide

Zinc Oxide

Resources:

http://www.skincancer.org/prevention/uva-and-uvb/understanding-uva-and-uvb

http://jaxmed.com/articles/wellness/spf.htm

http://www.elle.com/Beauty/Makeup-Skin-Care/Sun-Protection-News-Traditional-Sunscreens-May-Not-Be-Enough

http://www.elle.com/Beauty/Makeup-Skin-Care/Sunscreen-Tips-Are-You-SPF-Savvy

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/05/16/health/sunscreen-report/index.html?hpt=hp_c2

http://breakingnews.ewg.org/2012sunscreen/

http://www.sunsmart.com.au/vitamin_d/how_much_sun_is_enough

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/heart/articles/2008/06/23/time-in-the-sun-how-much-is-needed-for-vitamin-d