If it wasn’t beneath upmarket beauty brand La Prairie to jump on a bandwagon, it could almost call its new Anti-Aging Hydra Tint SPF 20 a BB cream. For those that haven’t yet caught on, BB creams are all the rage in Korea and Japan and are multitasking combos of foundation, sunscreen and good-for-your-skin things. If you can replace three products with one, then perhaps La Prairie’s Anti-Aging Hydra Tint SPF20 is worth the $100 price tag. Or is it?

There are over 70 ingredients in Anti-Aging Hydra Tint SPF 20 and about half of them have any appeal whatsoever. To be fair, some of them are very appealing.  But the potential benefits seem to be cancelled out by something else. Take horsetail, which is full of antioxidant quercetin. This also a natural source of silica, but that hasn’t stopped La Prairie dominating this tinted moisturizer with chemical silicones.

Phytosterols have been shown to repair the skin barrier, the uppermost thin layer (although the study specifically refers to soy phytosterols and we aren’t told the provenance of the ones here. But perhaps not trusting its customers to be patient enough to wait for its effects, La Prairie has outweighed it with polymethyl methacrylate, a plastic used to make plexiglass and a filler typically used in foundation to camouflage the appearance of wrinkles.

Buried in the midst of Anti-Aging Hydra Tint is a most intriguing ingredient that I haven’t come across before: ilomastat. It turns out to be is a potent inhibitor of collagenases, destructive enzymes that break the peptide bonds in collagen. Specifically, it seems to keep matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) in check. This is a very good thing because MMPs lurk about waiting for the skin matrix to get worn out or damaged then they start chopping it up. Bring on ilomastat, say I. Anyway, I am grateful to La Prairie for, if nothing else, putting this on my radar and I shall look into it for a longer post.

Perhaps ilonostat is here to counteract the effects of potassium thiocyanate, which can damage the skin and cause eczema, or propylene glycol, which should not be used on damaged skin. Not to mention linalool, a possible carcinogen, or the irritant butylphenyl methylpropional.

Still I shouldn’t harp on the negative as there are the peptides palmitoyl tripeptide-8 and caproyl tetrapeptide 3, the anti-inflammatory ursolic acid and carnosine. But however I look at this, the multitasking done by La Prairie’s Anti-Aging Hydra Tint is to balance the good with the bad.

Active ingredients: Octinoxate 7.5%, Oxybenzone 3.5%

Water, titanium dioxide, hydrogenated vegetable oil, cyclopentasiloxane, dimethicone, stearyl alcohol, behenyl alcohol, glycoproteins, panax ginseng root extract, horsetail extract, glycerin, sunflower seed oil unsaponifiables, polymethyl methacrylate, mango seed butter, carnosine, tocopheryl acetate, licorice root extract, phytosterols, palmitoyl tripeptide-8, ethylhexyglycerin, pichia resveratrol ferment, C30-45 alkyl cetearyl dimethicone crosspolymer, ascorbyl palmitate, sodium hyaluronate, salicornia herbacea extract, caproyl tetreapeptide 3, magnesium aluminum, silicate, chlorella vulgaris extract, llomastat, dextran, ursolic acid, peg-40 castor oil, caprylic/capric triglyceride, peg-20 soy sterol, potassium thiocyanate, hydroxyethyl acrylate sodium acryloldimethyl, tuarate copolymer, propylene glycol, triethoxycaprylylsilane, magnesium sulfate, allantoin, butylene glycol, polysorbate 60, glyceryl stearate, hydrogenated lecithin, cyclohexasiloxane, glucose oxidase, isohexadecane, PPG-ceteth-20, cetyl alcohol, octyldodecanol, lactoperoxidase, glucose, polymethyl methacrylate, potassium iodide, sodium chloride, fragrance, butylphenyl methylproprional, alpha isomethyl ionone, linalool, citronellelol, hydroxycitronellal, hexyl cinnamal, evernia furfuracea (treemoss) extract, benzyl benzoate, geraniol, phenoxyethanol, chlorphenesin, propylparaben, methylparaben, bismuth oxychloride