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Perricone MD No Foundation is No Foundation Review

By Jennifer

Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation SPF30 ($50) claims to be "an age-fighting makeup that provides natural coverage and non-chemical SPF 30 protection." I'll agree with the age-fighting and non-chemical SPF 30 part. But not much else.

The oil- and paraben-free formulation includes a combination of excellent broad spectrum UV blockers (zinc oxide at 12.2% and titanium dioxide at 3.2%) and the powerful antioxidants vitamin C ester (ascorbyl palmitate) and vitamin E (in tocotrienol form - the most bio-available vitamin E). And of course it wouldn't be a Perricone product without alpha lipoic acid and DMEA (if you're a fan of the somewhat controversial ingredient). The overall product recipe also includes tepronene and hyaluronic acid, along with palmitoyl oligopeptide, rendering it worthy of inclusion in any anti-aging arsenal (although I don't like glycolic acid in a daytime product - SPF or no SPF).

Where this product gets into trouble is that it's billed as "makeup that provides natural coverage." I was a bit wary to try it as I don't wear nor own foundation. However, I really like this so-called "foundation" and therein lies the problem. I'm fully aware of the magical and often transformational properties foundation holds for those who do wear it and anyone expecting the coverage of a traditional foundation will be disappointed.

Moreover, there is only one shade - foundations should be available in an array of shades. I have a medium dark complexion and skin that is prone to dryness. This liquid just melts into my skin leaving behind a dewy, satin-like finish. A co-worker told me my skin was "glowing." I didn't see how the color could suit me and still be universal - it even looks dark when it's dispensed from the pump. I asked a fair-skinned friend of Irish descent to try it on and the word "ugh" escaped from her mouth before I could tell her she looked weirdly orange…with freckles. She said it felt greasy and wouldn't have thought it was a foundation as the foundation she uses completely covers her freckles. She washed it off right away - or, rather, tried to. While the "foundation" is a lightweight liquid, it has some heavy ingredients like mica and zinc oxide as well as ”specially treated pigments” so it's important to wash it off very well; otherwise, this could easily become impacted in pores and cause blackheads over time (a Clarisonic or Sirius would be ideal to use).

Apparently, Gwyneth Paltrow is a fan of No Foundation Foundation and has even mentioned it on her blog, Granted, Ms. Paltrow (or Mrs. Martin) has envy worthy skin to begin with but how can this not look orange on her ivory skin? I'm guessing she is likely mixing it with a moisturizer, which I wouldn’t recommend as it would only dilute the SPF which defeats the purpose of using it as an anti-aging product. Moreover, very dark skin complexions may find this to look grayish.

I would argue that Perricone MD's No Foundation Foundation is just a well-formulated, tinted SPF. A rather darkly tinted SPF at that (what the Perricone blog calls "dark goldenrod"-see shade). If you have olive- to medium-toned skin, this will likely be suitable if you are going for a "no makeup look," otherwise I'd look elsewhere.

Read another review of Perricone No Foundation

  • January 21, 2012

    by ruth

    i've used this on occasion and it actually does well on my light (not fair) skin - just a slight glow, when I want more than osmotics inner light.

  • January 21, 2012

    by Olivier

    I regularly spray tan, and I found this product to make my skin grey as well.

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