My current quest for low maintenance sun protection had me fluttering like a moth to the flame of Maybelline Instant Age Rewind The Eraser Treatment Makeup ($9.98). It had a cute little applicator, was sunscreen (SPF 18) camouflaged as makeup, had an anti-aging formulation of goji berry and they were practically giving it away. But what I found when I got up close was more likely to get me burnt, and in more ways than one.

First, the cute little applicator is just too, well, cute and little.  What Maybelline calls the “micro-corrector applicator” is a sponge ball thingy that is too small to apply anything other than warpaint like streaks that have to be blended by hand. Feels kind of greasy too. This did not result in the “flawless perfection” that Maybelline promised.

As a sunscreen, I wasn’t too impressed either.  The active is octinoxate and it isn’t very stable. When octinoxate is exposed to sunlight, it is converted into a less UV absorbent form. Given that its job is to be exposed to sunlight, this seems to me to be a somewhat fundamental limitation. It is why you will usually find octinoxate combined with another sunscreen. But not here.

What really got me was the “super concentrated’ formula that the brush was supposed to deliver. A super concentration of what exactly?

If I were a goji berry I’d sue Maybelline for putting my name on something so miserable. Look, I’d say, my whole credibility as a superfruit is diminished if I am fairy dusting not much than silicone (four of them) and preservatives (two parabens, and suspectec neurotoxins phenoxyethanol and chlophenesin). And you told me that I’d be rubbing shoulders with collagen and sodium hyaluronate; well here they are bottom feeders!

Active Ingredient: Octinoxate 7.5%.

Inactive Ingredients: Cyclopentasiloxane, Water, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Glycerin, Isotridecyl Isononanoate, PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Phenoxyethanol, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein/Pvp Crosspolymer, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Chlorphenesin, Methylparaben, Lycium Barbarum Fruit Extract, Acrylates Copolymer, Potassium Sorbate, Ethylparaben, Tocopherol Ascorbyl Palmitate, Panthenol, PEG-9, Aluminum Hydroxide, Citric Acid, Sodium PCA, Urea, Trehalose, Polyquaternium-51, Soluble Collagen, Sodium Hyaluronate. [+/- May Contain: Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide, Mica.]