Product Review: Bare Minerals Advanced Protection SPF 20 Moisturizer (Combination Skin)

Although I wear sunblock on my face all year ’round, I’m especially conscious of the need for protection on sunny summer days. I recently tried out a new product, Bare Minerals’ Advanced Protection SPF 20 Moisturizer for Combination Skin, which boasts a “proprietary ActiveSoil Complex” as well as hydration and a mineral-based sun shield.

I’m not much of a “mineral makeup” person, so I’m not an expert on the Bare Minerals brand, but combination moisturizer/sunblock products always interest me. I found a few things to like about Bare Minerals Advanced Protection: the inclusion of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, a non-greasy lotion texture, and practical but visually appealing package design. I applied this product to my freshly cleaned face in the morning and I found that it absorbed easily and invisibly, provided a smooth base for my makeup, and seemed to lessen the shine that usually develops in my “t-zone” throughout the day.

Those are the “pros” in my testing of Advanced Protection SPF 20 Moisturizer. However, there were also a few “cons.” As you can see on the label below , this product contains relatively low amounts of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide (5%) and zinc oxide (3%)—much less than some other facial sunblocks on the market, and less sun protection than I need if I’m going to be outside for any length of time. Second, although the hydrating ingredients (both natural and synthetic) gave my skin just enough moisture for a summer day, they wouldn’t suffice for cooler or drier weather.

In addition to lacking strong sun protection or adequate year-round moisturization, Advanced Protection SPF Moisturizer has an odd, chalky-earthy smell—and I usually like fragrances blended from essential oils and so on, but this one seems like a fake attempt to copy a natural scent. Lastly, it gave me some minor break-outs after a few days’ use. I’m blaming the inclusion of certain silicones, which make the lotion apply so smoothly and last well, but have a tendency to clog my pores.

This formula does include tea extracts, which are known for their antioxidant properties, but the “soil minerals” appear so low down in the ingredients list that they can’t be having much of an effect, whatever they are.

In the end, I’ll stick with my tried-and-true Pratima Neem Rose Sunscreen (over moisturizer) and 100% Pure Pomegranate Antioxidant Hydration. I guess I won’t be turning into a Bare Minerals customer after all, but at least I gave this brand a try, right?

Disclaimer: I received this trial-size product as a Beauty Insider free sample at Sephora.

Images: top image via Corbis; product photos by Tinsel Creation.


4 thoughts on “Product Review: Bare Minerals Advanced Protection SPF 20 Moisturizer (Combination Skin)

  1. I’m not a Bare Minerals fan. I tried the mineral foundation ages ago and remember that it was summer and as soon as I walked outside into the heat my face was itchy and I couldn’t get the stuff off fast enough. I tried it again years later, same thing happened, and it highlighted wrinkles I didn’t even know I had. I’ve avoided the samples I’ve gotten since then of any of their face products because there’s obviously something I’m allergic to in it.

    1. Their powder foundation was really cakey and obvious on me, and their finishing powder makes me break out. (I think it includes corn starch, which doesn’t agree with my skin.) Oh, well… I’ll stick with my favorite brands, I guess! ;)

  2. I have a little set of Bare Minerals that I use only when I need a lot of coverage – I’m more of a concealer and loose powder type than full on foundation. A moisturizer with SPF that I love is the Josie Maran one (available at Sephora). It’s SPF 40, but not as chalky as the other high SPF moisturizers I’ve tried. Living in San Diego, I feel like the SPF 15 or 20 of most moisturizers is not enough. And it’s not tested on animals and has no parabens, which I’ve been trying to follow with all my beauty products.

  3. I have combination/acne prone skin and if i don’t exfoliate i get dry flakes and my skin gets this gross buildup of dead cells. The Lady Soma Antioxidant Berry Masque never bothered my skin-it actually feels cool and refreshing to me-which is saying a lot because many face masks make my skin burn like i just slapped Icyhot on it.

    After I use it, my skin gets soft and it removes a lot of dead skin off that i would have had to abrasively scrub off otherwise. No complaints here.

    Just don’t get it in your eyebrows. That sucks. You have to wash it out with warm water to get it to dissolve.

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