Friday, June 19, 2015

A Moisturizing Multi-tasker: StriVectin Repair & Protect Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30

[*Product was provided by PR for review. All opinions are my own. Disclosure here. No affiliated links.]

I like to have a moisturizer with SPF for no-makeup days, or mornings where I'm headed straight to the gym first. I think it's still important to moisturize before getting your workout on, and sunscreen is a must, as well. I usually prefer physical sunscreens, but this new StriVectin Repair & Protect Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30* ($89 for 1.7 oz) hit my doorstep just as I ran out of the last moisturizer + sunscreen product I was using. (Want to know how sunscreens work? I did a Beauty of Science post, way back when.)

It's described as a "lightweight, extraordinarily protective formula" that combines StriVectin's patented NIA-114 ingredient and anti-oxidants to "enhance skin's innate defenses and boost its age fighting abilities." It's meant to "reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles by enhancing collagen and elastin" and "protect against UV damage with broad spectrum SPF 30." (Full ingredients here.)
Intended to mitigate existing damage from sun + environmental factors, and also provide preventative measures.

Basically, it's meant to be an anti-aging moisturizer with additional sun protection (StriVectin's products are helpfully color-coded by "solution," which is handy). NIA-114 is StriVectin's patented form of Niacin (vitamin B3), which was developed by two biochemists at the University of Arizona (15 Minute Beauty did a great post on this, so I will send you there). Essentially, the regular form of niacin is water-soluble (hey, I did a post on polarities, too), and StriVectin's form of vitamin B3, NIA-114, is fat-soluble. This suggests that when applied topically, it has a better chance of penetrating skin barriers and actually making a difference.

As you can see, the active ingredients are only chemical sunscreens and dimethicone. Avobenzone provides UVA protection, which is how this can be marketed as a "broad spectrum" sunscreen. It does not include octinoxate, happily (it breaks me out, and there are studies that show that the combination of the two renders one or both useless as a sunscreen - also, Tracy is doing a fabulous sunscreen feature this week, and talks about the importance of photostability here.)
I guess jar packaging makes sense for this texture, but I do have to wonder about product longevity when you are constantly popping off the top and exposing it.

So, does it work? Well, I can't speak to the anti-aging claims, as that has to be a long-term evaluation, but it's a nice moisturizer. It looks thick in the photo above, but it is actually easy to work into skin and doesn't feel greasy; it has a white floral scent and does smell like traditional sunscreen, but it keeps skin supple and moisturized, and I notice a smoothing effect (possibly from the dimethicone), so it layers nicely under makeup. It might still be a touch heavy for those with oilier skin (especially in really humid climates), but for a multi-tasking moisturizer, it's good. I like that it includes a bit of the kinds of targeted ingredients that are usually relegated to serums, so that it really is an earnest multi-tasker - you can skip everything else and just apply this to a cleansed face.

Like I said, I've been using this on makeup free days (though I did try it once under makeup, just for you guys) or early morning workout sessions, although admittedly the price point is a bit rough to delegate this to a secondary moisturizer (I would travel with this, though!). I wish it had a higher SPF rating (my daily favorite is SPF 50 and broad spectrum), I still prefer all-physical formulas, so hopefully we see something like that from StriVectin in the future.

The Repair and Protect Moisturizer can be found here on StriVectin's website - they seem to be doing a 20% summer sale right now, so if you're interested in anything, now's the time.