AmorePacific Color Control Cushion Compact Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ is a multitasking foundation-meets-powder-meets-sunscreen formula that delivers broad-spectrum SPF protection, deep hydration, and complete coverage. It provides light to medium coverage, fills in micro lines and ensures color builds into fine, even layers.
Here’s my full review:
Phyllostachis Bambusoides (Bamboo) Juice
The most concentrated ingredient in AmorePacific Color Control Cushion Compact Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ is not water, as with most skincare and cosmetics products, but actually a new antioxidant, Phyllostachis Bambusoides juice.
Native to China but grown worldwide, Phyllostachis Bambusoides is a form of Bamboo (Wikipedia). Bamboo leaves have high concentrations of antioxidant flavonoids (Food and Chemical Toxicology). It’s also been shown to be a free radical scavenger by going after a type of free radical called DPPH (Forestry Studies in China).
However, I don’t think that you should throw out your concentrated antioxidant serums in favor of Phyllostachis Bambusoides. In tests looking at the antioxidant properties of various teas, bamboo has one of the lowest antioxidant capacities and amounts of flavonoids (Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry). So even though bamboo juice is in very high concentration in AmorePacific Color Control Cushion Compact Broad Spectrum SPF 50+, I’m actually more excited about the green tea in the compact.
Silicones Provide a Nice, Even Application and Allow Layers to Build
Silicones are quadruple threats, acting as silky moisturizers, conditioners, solvents, and delivery agents for other skin care ingredients. It wouldn’t be possible to have a makeup primer or a BB/CC cream without silicones; the entire concept of having a product simulataneously hydrate, protect, and prime the skin for additional product is all attributable to silicones.
Silicones have a specific set of chemical properties, including a large size and significant spacing between each molecule, that enable them to form a molecular lattice on the skin.
This lattice will allow the silicones to set on the surface of your skin as a moisturizer and conditioner, while enabling ingredients like antioxidants, AHAs, fatty acids, and plant extracts to reach the surface of your skin. While beneficial ingredients will eventually traverse through heavier products, like the new skin care oils and older products with petrolatum and mineral oil bases, it is a shorter process with silicones, so the effects happen faster, and with less occlusion (suffocating) of the skin. On the other hand, beneficial ingredients reach the skin even faster when they are embedded in a solvent like alcohol, but low-molecular weight alcohols do not have hydrating properties for the skin. So silicones can provide a happy medium that is suitable for just about all skin types.
As far as the argument that silicones are bad for your skin goes, it simply isn’t true. Silicones allow your skin to “breathe,” due to the molecular lattice that they form, and they are not harmful in the concentrations they are used in skin care and cosmetics. In fact, even if you use them everyday for 50 years, they still aren’t harmful to you. So I don’t buy erroneous research using 10,000x the typical concentration of silicones as “evidence” they are harmful.
Zinc Oxide is the Best for UVA Protection
AmorePacific Color Control Cushion Compact Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ contains 9.80% zinc oxide and 4.15% titanium dioxide. For once, a cosmetics company gets it right: Typically, products contain more titanium than zinc, because titanium tends to be a bit lighter and hence more cosmetically viable, but zinc oxide just plain offers better protection. And micronizing technology has made it possible to use zinc oxide in high concentrations: The cosmetic advantage afforded by micronizing oxides is magnificent – no telltale white streaks, fast absorption, easy make-up application afterwards!
Think about zinc vs. titanium oxide this way: UVA and UVB rays are separated into longer UVA (UV-aging) and shorter UVB (UV-burning), and zinc oxide blocks a significantly longer portion of UVA rays. (Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2005). So more zinc oxide = fewer signs of aging in the long term!
Even with UVA/UVB Protection, Still Use a Separate Sunscreen!
Formulations undergo rigorous testing to achieve SPF that involves very thick application of product — 2 mg/cm2 of skin, or about half a 8 oz. bottle to cover the average body. It covers a grid until it appears almost white, and light is reflected onto the grid to measure absorbance capacity to determine the overall effectiveness of the product. This is how the SPF rating is achieved for all sunscreens.
Unfortunately, the average person only applies 1/3 to 1/2 of the amount of sunscreen needed to achieve the SPF rating on the bottle. So your SPF 30 sunscreen is more like an SPF 10-15 with the average application.
It’s even worse with powder formulations. The average consumer only applies 1/14 of the amount of sunscreen needed to achieve the SPF rating on the bottle, so your SPF 15 powder formula is more like an SPF 1 formula!
So while using AmorePacific Color Control Cushion Compact Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ is better than using a powder with no SPF, you want to still layer a sunscreen (and hopefully an antioxidant serum) under it as well.
Personal Use and Opinions
AmorePacific Color Control Cushion Compact Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ is fun to use: It has an applicator and a “sponge”-like foundation that you gently press down on to release the formula. It is something between a powder and a foundation; it glides across the skin like a foundation, and it dries with a smooth, almost powdery finish. I love it for touch-ups throughout the day, especially with the high sunscreen concentration!
AmorePacific Color Control Cushion Compact Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ is a great way to supplement your existing skin care routine with a hydrating cosmetic formula. While I’m less-than-enthusiastic about the use of bamboo versus green tea or another more potent antioxidant compound, it is overall a fantastic product with a lot of zinc oxide, hydrating ingredients, and smooth, even coverage. The formula builds easily and provides a great foundation (no pun intended) for the rest of your cosmetics. A win in my book!
-Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate: 7%
-Titanium Dioxide: 4.15%
-Zinc Oxide: 9.8%
Phyllostachis Bambusoides Juice, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Peg-10 Dimethicone, Phenyl Trimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Alcohol, Arbutin, Lauryl Peg-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Acrylates/Ethylhexyl Acrylate/Dimethicone Methacrylate Copolymer, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Sodium Chloride, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Aluminium Hydroxide, Stearic Acid, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Lecithin, Isostearic Acid, Isopropyl Palmitate, Phenoxyethanol, Polyglyceryl-3 Polyricinoleate, Acrylates/Stearyl Acrylate/Dimethicone Methacrylate Copolymer, Dimethicone, Disodium Edta, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Ethylhexyglycerin, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Water, Silica, Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, Camillia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Caprylyl Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Fragrance, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides (Ci 77492, Ci 77491, Ci77499).