Remember that salmonella scare when tomatoes were unceremoniously yanked from supermarkets and restaurants over the summer?  Luckily, the FDA absolved the succulent tomato from its charge of triggering the national food poisoning outbreak.  Because in a world without tomatoes, there would be no Eminence Organics Tomato Sun Cream ($66), and that would be a sad world indeed.

A recent discovery in my quest for a new daily moisturizer with just the right consistency and sun protection, Tomato Sun Cream has quickly outstripped all competitors in the category.  It has officially replaced my Lancome Bienfait Multi-Vital cream, which reeks of sunscreen and occasionally burns my eyes, and has become a recurrent conversation piece - when I can't resist the urge to rave over it.  What won me over wasn't Eminence's green initiatives or all-natural ingredients (but certainly kudos are due), but rather the conviction that here is a quality product which performs magnificently.

Upon initial contact with skin, Tomato Sun Cream swathes your face with a refreshing tingling sensation.  Thanks to peppermint extract, which doubles as a skin conditioner, you get an invigorating pick-me-up as its natural aroma lingers and eventually fades.  The thick, creamy texture takes a while to fully absorb into skin, lending a revitalized, non-shiny glow.  On Eminence's scale of richness for its range of face moisturizers, this one ranks near the top and could even take a little diluting with water if it feels too heavy.  Though not ideal for oily complexions, normal to dry skin will thirst for it.  I know mine does.

Because my skin usually feels more parched in the colder months, I appreciate that Tomato Sun Cream can keep my face hydrated all day.  With certain more feeble creams, my skin starts to flake around my nose by lunchtime.  Also, its SPF 16 factor takes the thought out of getting the ever-essential sun protection, which is not really high on my list of things to put on before heading out the door on a cold, gray day.  The 12% concentration of micronized zinc oxide, a mineral believed to have anti-inflammatory properties, provides broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays and shields skin from photo-aging.

Formulated with organically grown ingredients, Tomato Sun Cream's recipe is loaded with bioflavanoids and nutrients that feed the skin with essential nourishment.  At top is the tomato fruit (not veggie) in both extract and juice forms. Believed to possess anti-aging benefits, tomatoes are rich in beta hydroxy acids and lycopene, which is an antioxidant that reduces the risk of cancer when injested.  Another antioxidant, horse chestnut (buckeye) has been shown to improve circulation in the skin and to inhibit the enzymes collagenase and ellastase, resulting in more supportive skin structures.  More run-of-the-mill aloe vera soothes skin and reduces irritation, while orange oil softens and enriches with vitamin C.  The cream gets its distinctive carroty coloration from beta carotene, which fortunately does not transfer onto skin.

Though all of these delectable ingredients are beneficial in their own right, Tomato Sun Cream also packs in an antioxidant booster called Bioplex.  This powerful complex includes vitamins A, E, ester-C, coenzyme Q10, and alpha lipoic acid.  The good deeds of the vitamin group are self-explanatory, and alpha lipoic acid may very well join their ranks as part of your first-line defense against free radicals.  Coenzyme Q10, an essential part of the cellular respiratory system and an antioxidant, both improves the efficiency of energy production in cells and protects the skin from free radicals.  It is sometimes referred to as a "biomarker of aging" since its level is a telltale sign of age, typically dipping below optimum levels after thirty. Coenzyme Q10-depleted skin may be more prone to damage caused by free radicals and may gain from a topical supplement to boost skin regeneration.

The bounty within Eminence's tub of Tomato Sun Cream is simple, yet exceptional, and I simply love the way my face feels while wearing it.  In sum, I have reviewed and highly recommend it.

Active Ingredients: Zinc Oxide 12%
Ingredients: Tomato Extract, Tomato Juice, Shea Butter, Aloe Vera Extract, Horse Chestnut, Spring Water, Corn Germ Oil, Biocomplex (Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Ester C, Coenzyme Q10, Alpha Lipoic Acid), Stearic Acid, Tocopherol, Xanthan Gum, Vanilla, Peppermint Extract, Pine Needle Oil, Orange Oil, Beta Carotene, Cetyl Alcohol, Sodium Hydroxymethlglycinate (soy derivative).