I have tried all three formulations of this, and the 2nd variant (the one before it's current "new and improved" version) was the best. While I still love it, the 2nd was a better texture and was much easier to spread on the skin, and absorbed faster and easier. There are still a few ingredients I don't love, and this new version actually has a longer list of questionable ingredients by comparison.
I bought a spare bottle this time around though, because last time I didn't and it sold out before I could stock up prior to the reformulation.
The biggest trick I've found to make it spread and absorb better is to mist my face with a facial spray (I use either La Mer or Mario Badescu) first, and I use only one pump of this lotion and work it in my hands first before I apply to my face. My facial skin being damp helps thin it out and absorb a bit faster.
A couple of years ago, I tried Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer with sunscreen. I was slightly skeptical, since it had argan oil in it, and even now, I'm hesitant to try things on my face that have oil. But I'd read a lot of good things about it, so I decided to give it a shot. And I *loved* the stuff! I used it religiously, even deciding that it did my skin some good. But, as these things often go, the one time I went to get a new bottle, and was told by the salesperson that it was discontinued, because they were working on making an "improved" formula.
Recently, that new, improved formula was available.
So I ordered it from sephora.com, since I didn't see it in the store. I was pretty excited to receive it. But not so excited now that I've actually used it.
The old formula was really lotion-y. It was easy to put onto your face, and felt very smooth. This formula is a lot thicker, and feels more oily. You really have to work to smooth it onto your face, and it's really hard to wash off your hands. I guess it still works the same, because my face is not oily, and seems to be doing well, but I have to say that I will probably not buy it again once this bottle is gone.
NO NO NO NO!!! Bring back the original version, this one is not even remotely close to being the Über fantastic moisturizer that the original one was!!
What the heck happened here? Josie Maran's Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 40 was a perfectly good product--it was one of my HG for moisturizers. Then they pulled it, reformulated it and now present me with this.
This is a serious letdown. It is not as good as the original product was. This new formula is thicker, sticker and leaves a white cast on my skin if don't rub it in well enough. The original product never had a problem with casting: it was one of the few physical sunscreen products that applied clear.
The extra SPF is insignificant when it comes to protection...so this product now blocks 98% of UV rays instead of 95%-- big whoop. Was it worth ruining a perfectly good formula just for 3%, Josie?
On the brighter side, it does apply more smoothly and leaves less of a white cast than Neutrogena's PureScreen moisturizer. It's natural. Once it finally absorbs, it leaves my skin soft without making it into an oil slick. These are the product's saving graces that pushes me to maybe consider purchasing it again.
But overall, I am sorely letdown with this moisturizer.
- Thicker than the original, a bit harder to apply but still easily spreadable (you have to keep in mind this is SPF 47, not a mere 15 or 20)
- Different scent, still pleasant but not that same smell the original had
- Feels sticky and thick on your face, doesn't sink in as well as the old formula or make skin feel super smooth and soft
+ Not irritating around the eyes (the old formula was for me)
I have been seeing some people mention (including on the Sephora webpage reviews...where Sephora is deleting any negative reviews) that the new ingredients are cheaper/lower quality than the previous formulation but I can't attest to the validity of that. Below are the ingredients if you would like to compare.
Overall, you're not going to find a product that combines moisturizer AND fully physical, non-chemical SPF 47 that also has antioxidants that sits comfortably. This is probably still the best bet and it's not a bad one.
Active: Titanium Dioxide (9.5%), Zinc Oxide (6%), Other: Hexadecene Copolymer, Decyl Oleate, Dimethicone, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Isopropyl Palmitate, Tocopherol, Organic Argan Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Hexylene Glycol, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Organic Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Leaf Extract, Organic Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Extract, Organic Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Oil, Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Oil, Natural Fragrance (Apricot Oil).
-Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide: Natural sunscreen agents that protect skin from harmful UVA/UVB sun damage.
Water**, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride**, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Polyglyceryl-6 Polyricinoleate**, Cyclopentasiloxane, Polysilicone-11, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil**, Glycerin**, Cera Alba (Beeswax)*, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Phenoxyethanol, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Methicone, Alumina, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Chloride**, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, Parfum (Fragrance)**, Bisabolol, Dimethicone, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Laureth-12, Ethylhexylglycerin, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract*, Citric Acid**, Potassium Sorbate**, Sodium Benzoate**. *Organic. **Natural.
I discovered the original Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 40 when it came in Sephora's Sun Kit. I wasn't expecting to like it as much as I did. Even though my skin does better with physical sunscreens like this one, they often leave a white cast I don't like. Josie's didn't. It moisturized, absorbed quickly, and even worked well as a primer under makeup (no balling up!) Unfortunately, by the fall of 2013, supplies were hard to find and the FAQ on JosieMaran.com said they were moving production to a new facility. Needless to say, I hoarded what I could, afraid that I was about to lose my new Holy Grail moisturizer/sunscreen combo (because OF COURSE I find the perfect moisturizing physical sunscreen just as it's discontinued...)
I was happy to see this product on the Josie Maran website a few months later, listed as a new and improved version of the original Argan Daily Moisturizer. While "new and improved" often isn't, I bought a bottle and hoped for the best. I've only used it for a week, but so far, this gets HG status for me. Compared to the original, it's slightly thicker, doesn't spread quite as easily (though it's not bad), and takes a few more seconds to absorb. However, it's more moisturizing and--as with the original--provides a fantastic base for foundation and leaves no white cast. I've tried it with and without primer on top, with either a BB cream or foundation afterward, and in all cases it performed wonderfully. No balling up, no sliding makeup, etc. And even though I have combination skin, by the end of the day my skin tone still looked even--no greasy spots or dried spots with this. Given how long it lasts and the moisturizing properties, I do think it's an improvement (who knew?!)
Huge, huge thumbs up from me. Bottom line: It's a physical sunscreen that performs this well, doesn't give my skin a white cast, and moisturizes as well as anything I've ever tried. No breakouts, either (and I am definitely acne-prone.) While the price is higher than drugstore brands, a little goes a long way so I feel I'm getting my money's worth.
Ingredients (From JosieMaran.com):
ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: Zinc Oxide 6.4%* (Sunscreen), Titanium Dioxide 5.1%** (Sunscreen)
INACTIVE INGREDIENTS: Aqua (Water)**, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride**, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Polyglyceryl-6 Polyricinoleate**, Cyclopentasiloxane, Polysilicone-11, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil**, Glycerin**, Cera Alba (Beeswax)*, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Phenoxyethanol, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Methicone, Alumina, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Chloride**, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, Parfum (Fragrance)**, Bisabolol, Dimethicone, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Laureth-12, Ethylhexylglycerin, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract*, Citric Acid**, Potassium Sorbate**, Sodium Benzoate**.