Two upmarket sunscreens with anti-aging profiles have just been launched by StriVectin and Perricone MD. Would they put others in the shade? I took a look.

The Perricone sunscreen, perkily named Daylight Savings, comes under the good doctor’s newish Super line, and has an SPF of 25 ($38 for 1 oz). I immediately prefered it to the StriVectin-SH™ Age Protect SPF 30 ($49 for 2 oz) as it uses the safe mineral sunscreen, zinc oxide. StriVectin on the other hand has a slew of chemicals including octocrylene and benzophenone (also known as oxybenzone), which can penetrate into the skin and act as a photosensitizer, resulting in an increased production of free radicals, as well as avobenzone, which is not recommended for pregnant women.

You might want me to stop there and opt for the Perricone. But if only life’s little beauty choices were that simple.  The rest of the formula is sadly mediocre. There’s not much more to Daylight Savings than waxes, emulsifiers and alcohols. What saves it is some tetrahydrodiferuloylmethane, a derivative of the Indian spice turmeric and an antioxidant, which also included but is languishing at the very end of the ingredients list. And that's about it. Not daylight robbery exactly but Daylight Savings it certainly is not.

Leaving aside the actives in StriVectin-SH™ Age Protect SPF 30 ($49), the rest of the formula is a mixed bag. I’m not wild about the silicones or the preservatives, chlorphenesin and phenoxyethanol. The harsh corrosive (used as a pH balancer), potassium hydroxide has me running back into the arms of Dr Perricone.  Then there are fragrance formulas that I can’t find any information on (for example, 2- Isobutyl-4-Methyltetrahydro-2H-Pyran-4-ol).

In the midst of all of this, there are a few good ingredients. Top billing goes to niacin in the form of myristyl nicotinate. I imagine this is what StriVectin means by its “patented wrinkle fighting ingredient NIA-114”.  Sounds like a rather cheeky rip-off of Nia24 to me.  The ceramides 2 and 3 have moisturizing functions, but only strengthen the skin’s barrier when used in conjunction with cholesterol (not so here in StriVectin’s formula). There are several good botanicals including antioxidant blueberry and skin lightening uva ursi (bearberry).

At the upper end of what most people will pay for a sunscreen, both StriVectin–SH and the Perricone Daylight Savings are as disappointing as a dull summer day.  Until better comes along, I’ll stick with one of my Five Best mineral sunscreens.

Ingredients in Strivectin: Homosalate, Octisalate, Avobenzone, Octocrylene, and Benzophenone:

Water (Aqua/Eau), Homosalate,Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Myristyl Nicotinate, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Octocrylene, Nylon-12, Glycereth-26, Benzophenone-3, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Acrylates/C12-22 Alkyl Methacrylate Copolymer, Panthenol, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Lycium Chinense Fruit Extract, Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract, Arctostaphylos Uva Ursi Leaf Extract, Bisabolol, Butylene Glycol, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract, Ceramide 2, Ceramide 3, Tocopheryl Acetate, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, PEG-11 Methyl Ether Dimethicone, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethiconol, Polysorbate 80, Isohexadecane, Carbomer, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Caprylyl Glycol, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium EDTA, Potassium Hydroxide, Isopropyl Myristate, Methyldihydrojasmonate, 2- Isobutyl-4-Methyltetrahydro-2H-Pyran-4-ol, Cis-3-Hexenyl Salicylate, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Extract, Phenethyl Alcohol, Methyl-Alpha-Ionone, Rosa Damascena Flower Extract.

Ingredients in Perricone: Zinc oxide (13.5%)

Aqua (Water), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Glycerin, Acacia Decurrens/Jojoba/Sunflower Seed Wax/Polyglyceryl-3 Esters, Coco-Glucoside, Ethoxydiglycol, Coconut Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Glyceryl Isostearate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Titanium Dioxide, Panthenol, Xanthan Gum, Arachidyl Alcohol, Mica, Tetrahydrodiferuloylmethane, Parfum (Fragrance), Behenyl Alcohol, Citric Acid, Dimethyl MEA (DMAE), Silica, Arachidyl Glucoside, Limonene, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Tetrahydrodemethoxydiferuloylmethane, Elaeis Guineensis (Palm) Oil, Tetrasodium EDTA, Tocotrienols, Tetrahydrobisdemethoxydiferuloylmethane, Tocopherol, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract.