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Without a doubt, actress and mom of three Jennifer Garner, currently starring in The Odd Life of Timothy Green, makes my list of women in their 40s who look fabulous. Her makeup is never overdone, any sun damage is undetectable (even in HD), and she isn’t Botox’d beyond recognition. That being said, her skincare regimen could use an upgrade.
As a spokeswoman for Neutrogena, Garner is obligated to tout the benefits of the brand’s anti-aging and sunscreen products. However, a deeper look at a few of these products reveals some nasty truths. Nisha described the potentially unsafe ingredients in Neutrogena’s Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 70 ($10), and Marta expressed similar concerns about the Spectrum+ Face Advanced Sunblock Lotion SPF 100+ ($12.50) and was rightly unconvinced by the now-discontinued Neutrogena Clinical range with the trademarked “ion2complex.” Even the Naturals line (a supposed step in the right direction) got a “meh” reaction from reader MaryW, who reviewed the Purifying Facial Cleanser ($7.50).
A better bet for Garner, who claims to be a “big believer in sunscreen,” would be physical blockers, such as HydroPeptide SPF 30 Anti-wrinkle Skin Enhancing UV Protection ($35), with a formula that cleverly blends in with your natural skin tone and leaves no white residue (it certainly passed the test on my olive skin).
Garner was also quoted as saying she is a “huge fan of antioxidants and every woman out there should be.” And we at TIA agree! Therefore, as far as cleansers go, the actress should swap her Neutrogena face wash for Marta’s go-to La Vie Celeste’s Restorative Mother of Pearl Exfoliating Cleanser ($40 in the TIA shop), which not only contains two types of clays to gently exfoliate and close pores, but also a healthy dose of antioxidants in the form of green tea, and certified organic apple, gingko biloba and ginseng extracts. Garner might also love Mukti’s Antioxidant Facial Oil ($40) – which I am eager to try myself. I never thought I’d like facial oils until I met Living Nature’s Radiance Night Oil with its aromatic blend of rosehip, calendula, carrot, and jojoba oils. I have been waking up with smoother, clearer skin, and I attribute a lot of this to adding the Radiance oil to my nighttime routine.
Ingredients in Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock: (Active) Avobenzone 3%, Homosalate 15%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 2.8%, Oxybenzone 6%; (Inactive) Water, Styrene Acrylates Copolymer, Silica, Diethylhexyl 2 6 Naphthalate, Beeswax (Apis Mellifera), Caprylyl Methicone, Cetyl Dimethicone, Ethylhexylglycerin, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate (Licorice Root), BHT, Dimethicone, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG 100 Stearate, Sodium Polyacrylate, Acrylates/C12 22 Alkyl Methacrylate Copolymer, Ethylhexyl Stearate, Xanthan Gum, Trideceth 6, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Disodium EDTA, Polyaminopropyl Biguanide, Methylisothiazolinone, Fragrance
Ingredients in Neutrogena Spectrum+ Face Advanced Sunblock: (Active) Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (15%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (10%), Oxybenzone (6%); (Inactive) Water, Styrene Acrylates Copolymer, Silica, Diethylhexyl, 6 Naphthalate, Beeswax (Apis Mellifera), Caprylyl Methicone, Cetyl Dimethicone, Ethylhexyglycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG 100, Sodium Polyacrylate, Capryl Glycol, Acrylates/Stearate, Dimethicone, Xanthan Gum, TrimethylsiIoxysilicate, Disodium EDTA, Tanacetum Parthenium (Feverfew), Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate (Licorice Root), BHT, Trideceth 6, Tocopherol, Glycine Soja Soybean Seed Extract, Polyaminopropyl Biganide, Methylisoptiazolinone, Fragrance (Parfum)
Ingredients in Neutrogena Purifying Facial Cleanser: Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Decyl Glucoside, Glycerin, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Sodium Benzoate, Fragrance
Ingredients in HydroPeptide SPF 30: (Active) Titanium dioxide 2.5%, zinc oxide 6%; Water, Ethylhexy Palmitate, Butylene Glycol, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Polysorbate 80, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Cyclomethicone, Glycerin, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Sodium PCA, Alumina, Caprylyl Methicone, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Triethoxysilylethyl Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Hexyl Dimethicone, Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Calendula Officinalis (Marigold) Extract, Camellia Oleifera (Japanese Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Iron Oxide, Phenoxyethanol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Ammonim Methacrylate Copolymer, Boron Nitride, Titanium Dioxide, Triethyl Citrate, Allantoin, Kaempferia Galanga Root Extract (Galanga), Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Panthenol, Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Extract (Acai Berry), Disodium EDTA, Hydrolyzed Yeast Protein, Niacinamide, Pyridoxine HCL, Biotin, Methylisothiazolinone
Ingredients in La Vie Celeste Mother of Pearl Cleanser: Aqua (Purified Water), Sclerotium Gum, Mother of Pearl (Pteria Margaritifera), White Clay (Kaolin), Kaolinite (Pink Clay), Green Tea (Camellia Sinensis), Marshmallow (Althea Officinalis) Extract*, Apple (Pyrus Malus) Extract*, Gingko Biloba Extract*, Ginseng (Panax Ginseng)* Chamomile (Anthemis Nobillis) Flower Extract*, Cosmocil CQ (Polyaminopropyl Biguanide), Grapefruit Seed (Citrus Paradisi) Extract*
Ingredients in Mukti Antioxidant Facial Oil: Certified Organic Oils of Macadamia (Macadamia Ternifolia), Jojoba (Simmondsia Chinensis), Apricot (Prunus Armeniaca), Calendula (Calendula Officinalis), Evening Primrose (Oenothera Biennis), Rosehip (Rosa Canina), Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica), Pomegranate (Punica Granatum), Tamanu (Calophyllum Inophyllum),Carrot Seed (Daucus Carota), Lavender (Lavandula Angustifolia), Sandalwood (Santalum Album) & Patchouli (Pogostemon Cablin); Olive Leaf (Olea Europaea) & Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis) Extracts
Ingredients in Living Nature Radiance Night Oil: Rosa canina (rosehip) fruit oil**, Calendula officinalis extract**, Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) oil**, Boswellia carterii (frankincense) oil, Parfum (natural fragrance)*, Daucus carota (carrot) extract, Tocopherol (vitamin E), Rosa damascena (rose) flower oil, Citral*, Citronellol*, Eugenol*, Geraniol*, Limonene*, Linalool*
*Component of essential oil **Certified organic