Decoding Cosmetics for Sensitive Skin: Unveiling Controversial Ingredients in LA ROCHE POSAY Moisturizer

LA ROCHE POSAY

TOLERIANE ROSALIAC AR

SPF30

Moisturiser

50 ml

24,00 €

Sensitive skin is generally prone to redness, tightness, irritation and allergic reactions. In order to care for this type of « overreactive skin », it’s essential to use specific, gentle, soothing and moisturizing products. And most of the time, consumers would firstly get their advice or products from a pharmacy or drugstore, where you might be recommended La Roche Posay products, for example. 

In recent years there was also a real hype on social media around « French Pharmacy Brands » with the #FrenchPharmacy hashtag trending on TikTok for a long while.

But on what basis are these products formulated?

Let’s take a closer look, with a randomly selected La Roche Posay face cream.

Introducing the La Roche Posay brand, which defines itself on its website as follows:

« Changing the lives of sensitive skin through dermatology. For over 40 years, La Roche-Posay has been dedicated to improving the lives of sensitive skin. Our dermatological solutions are designed to improve the lives of sensitive skin by placing La Roche-Posay thermal spring water at the heart of our products. »

Just like most brands, they have also added a « more or less » convincing claim on their sustainability commitments ;

DESCRIPTION

Product benefits, – presented on the La Roche Posay brand website* :

Toleriane Rosaliac AR SPF30 is a soothing daily moisturizer with high protection for couperose-prone skin. This product is a daily protection, offering optimal anti-redness efficacy while preventing the increase of redness induced by UV rays.

**** and on a reseller’s website

« Specially designed for skin prone to redness and dryness, the La Roche-Posay Rosaliac AR Moisturiser helps to improve the look of the skin tone. The cream forms a part of the Toleriane range, working to deliver SPF30 protection against UVA/UVB rays and nourish the skin. Suitable for daily use, the moisturiser’s Rosaliac AR Concentrate combines ambophenol, neurosensine and thermal spa water to help hydrate and encourage a balanced appearance. The quick-absorbing formula leaves the skin feeling soothed with a shine-free finish. »

Let’s have a closer look at the ingredients list of La Roche Posay’s product

Ingrédients/ INCI:

AQUA / WATER / EAU • DROMETRIZOLE TRISILOXANE • ALCOHOL DENAT. • ISOPROPYL MYRISTATE • ETHYLHEXYL TRIAZONE • ISONONYL ISONONANOATE • PROPYLENE GLYCOL DICAPRYLATE/DICAPRATE • GLYCERIN • PROPANEDIOL • ISOPROPYL LAUROYL SARCOSINATE • BIS-ETHYLHEXYLOXYPHENOL METHOXYPHENYL TRIAZINE • DIISOPROPYL SEBACATE • BUTYL METHOXYDIBENZOYLMETHANE • CETEARYL ALCOHOL • ZEA MAYS STARCH / CORN STARCH • SILICA • ACRYLATES/C10-30 ALKYL ACRYLATE CROSSPOLYMER • AMMONIUM ACRYLOYLDIMETHYLTAURATE/VP COPOLYMER • CAPRYLYL GLYCOL • CARBOMER • CETEARYL GLUCOSIDE • HYDROXYACETOPHENONE • INULIN LAURYL CARBAMATE • PEG-10 DIMETHICONE • PEG-20 • POTASSIUM HYDROXIDE • SODIUM STEAROYL GLUTAMATE • SPHINGOMONAS FERMENT EXTRACT • T-BUTYL ALCOHOL • TOCOPHEROL • TRISODIUM ETHYLENEDIAMINE DISUCCINATE (F.I.L. N298527/1).

Ingredient analysis :

 

 

Ingredient’s list analyzed with the website’s INCI Search tool

Ingredient analysis for La Roche Posay TOLERIANE ROSALIAC SPF 30 :

As always, it’s the first 8-10 cosmetic ingredients that make up the majority of the product’s overall « profile ».

And just behind the water ingredient, we go straight to the « problematic synthetic ingredients » section, with several controversial UV filters, followed further down the list by a whole list of controversial chemical ingredients (especially for their impact on the environment).

A long list of controversial substances have also slipped into the formula of La Roche Posay’s product :

  • DROMETRIZOLE TRISILOXANE chemical UV filter,
  • ETHYLHEXYL TRIAZONE. chemical UV filter
  • BIS-ETHYLHEXYLOXYPHENOL METHOXYPHENYL TRIAZINE, chemical UV filter
  • Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane (Avobenzone), chemical UV filter a suspected endocrine disruptor, likely to interfere with the hormonal system.
  • ACRYLATES/C10-30 ALKYL ACRYLATE CROSSPOLYMER, film-forming agent, environmental concern, pollutant
  • CARBOMER stabilizer, environmental concern, pollutant
  • Several PEGS PEG-10 DIMETHICONE/PEG-20 are ethoxylated materials. Obtained from extremely reactive and toxic gases, they are the result of a chemical process that requires the strictest safety measures. PEGs can also make the skin’s barrier more permeable to other substances, and are poorly biodegradable, making them a pollutant.

Verdict:

A formulation that’s far, far from flawless. La Roche Posay is a brand that presents itself as « dedicated to improving the lives of sensitive skin », but still formulates its products with highly controversial ingredients (problematic UV filters, endocrine disruptors, PFAS (Forever Chemicals), pollutants, etc.).

And keep in mind that controversial, polluting and potentially toxic components always add up (see all the references on the site about the famous « cocktail effect », which also applies to beauty products). People with sensitive skin, the environment…and the rest of the family could certainly do without these additional problematic substances.

Sensitive-Skin

credit : Unsplash. Carolina. Heza

Conclusion:

When you have sensitive skin, it’s essential to choose products adapted to your specific needs. Sensitive skin is often characterized by a weakened skin barrier, which means that the epidermis is more fragile and more permeable to external aggressions such as cold, wind, sun, pollution, etc. As a result, it’s vital to choose a gentle, soothing, protective moisturizer that hydrates and protects the skin from environmental aggressors. Moisturizers specially designed for sensitive skin are ideal – but obviously not just any moisturizer. All too often, brands on offer in pharmacies and parapharmacies or drugstores still have very specific products for sensitive skin, rich in moisturizing and soothing active ingredients, but also with a whole list of controversial substances. As the example of La Roche Posay moisturizer clearly shows.

In terms of natural and organic cosmetics, some brands also offer products specifically designed for sensitive skin. The German BIOTURM brand,  for instance, has a large range of moisturizing creams and other products adapted to the needs of even the most delicate skin.

These products are formulated with very specific soothing ingredients to calm irritation and redness. And of course formulated without any of the controversial, potentially toxic and polluting ingredients mentioned above.

So what would be the best choice of products for sensitive skin?

Choosing certified natural and organic cosmetics, based on gentle, natural formulas that respect the skin’s balance and minimize the risk of allergies or irritations, formulated without any potentially toxic substances or controversial ingredients – would be the better choice. If the products are not certified, -i.e. guaranteed by reliable natural and organic cosmetics labels, checking the list of product’s ingredients always makes sense.

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