Testing: Dr. Jart Water Fuse Beauty Balm
We all know wearing sunscreen every day is great for preventing wrinkles and skin cancer (genetics notwithstanding), but with so many drugstore and high-end varieties full of crappy petrochemicals and preservatives, finding a great formula can quite the challenge. I should know — I’ve worn SPF on my face nearly every day since I was 15, and have tried more than my fair share of what’s out there. This week I tested Dr. Jart’s Water Fuse Beauty Balm with SPF 25, which claims to be “a one-step skin-perfecting balm that minimizes the need for foundation or concealer,” and includes “sunscreen ingredients that protect the skin from a broad range of UVA and UVB radiation.”
What I liked: The formula is tinted, which smoothed out my complexion and minimized redness around my nose. The texture is light and not overly oily, blends easily, absorbs quickly, and leaves a dewy (but not greasy) finish. A huge plus: The formula is free of sulfates, fragrance, phthalates, petrochemicals, and triclosan. The sunblocking ingredient is mostly titanium dioxide, a completely natural form of sunscreen. I awarded extra bonus points for no overly herbal or über-fake fragrance.
What I didn’t like: While the product is described online as providing broad-spectrum sun protection (an absolute must), the label reveals that the formula, in addition to including titanium dioxide, uses octinoxate, which is a fairly unstable UVB blocker that has been linked to developmental and reproductive disruption. And while it’s free of lots of nasty ingredients, it’s unfortunately not free of parabens of the methyl- and butyl- variety, which are some of the biggest stinkers on the dirty-chemical list. And though the tinted product blended well with my skin tone, I doubt those with much lighter or darker complexions would have as much luck — the stuff only comes in one shade.
The verdict: All things considered, this is actually one of the better tinted face sunscreens out there right now, so if it happens to work with your skin tone and budget, then give it a go. And if not, at the very least, you can take solace in the fact that a slew of better, safer sunscreens are on their way starting next summer.
$32, available at Sephora, Prudential Center Shops, Boston, 617-262-4200, sephora.com.