MAC • Prep + Prime Face Protect SPF 50 • Primer/ Corrector

rated 3.9(501 reviews)

Average Rating.3.9
Would buy this product again.68%

rated 3 of 5 Haruka on 2/14/2008 1:07:00 AM more reviews by Haruka

Age: Unknown   Skin: Other, Fair-Medium, Warm   Hair: Brown   Eyes: Brown    

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: Prep + Prime Face Protect SPF50/PA++ is a makeup primer and sunscreen in one. It is said to be "featherweight, fast-absorbing, oil-free, invisible" (from MAC website). It also claims that it will not affect the look, texture or long-wear integrity of your makeup. The oil-absorbing powder helps prevent oil from breaking through. Claims to be suitable for all skin types.

It comes in a 30ml (1oz) opaque black heavyweight plastic squeeze tube with a black rubber screw top. The tube cannot be stand upright steadily because the top is not flat. The rubber screw top also gets dirty looking (like NARS' packaging) very easily due to the black rubber. It currently retails for $32 CAD (pretax) or $26.50 USD. Product is made in Japan.

MY THOUGHTS: This is a primarily a makeup primer with added sunscreen. It is not meant to and it's pretty impossible to use it correctly as a sunscreen to get the protection indicated without your skin feeling heavy and suffocated. I would not put a 1/4 tsp (the amount you need on your face alone to get the sun protection indicated) of makeup on my face, same with a makeup primer. If you were to use it correctly as sunscreen on your face everyday, this tube should only last you 24 days (or 12 days if you apply it on your neck too)!!!

I personally don't rely on its sun protection at all. I use it as a makeup primer and the sun protection is just an added bonus so my experience is solely based on this aspect. Its silicone base provides my skin a nice smooth surface for makeup to adhere to and it controls oil relatively well (although I don't have oily skin so I can't attest to oil-controlling factor). As far as how well it can fill in fine lines and large pores, I can't say for certain because I don't really have any but it doesn't emphasize any imperfection my skin has as the day goes on like some other high-end makeup primers I've tried. I put it on in the morning under my foundation, and 9+ hours later, my makeup still look almost freshly applied without any blotting or touching up. It doesn't slowly dry out my combo skin (oily T-zone, dry cheeks/chin). In fact, I would say that you can even skip moisturizer if you've oily skin or if you skin feels fine after face washing since it is slightly moisturizing. My major complaint is that this doesn't feel skin-like or natural at all. I can definitely feel it on my skin which is a feeling I quite dislike.... which is why I took off 2 points.

I would describe the texture of it to be a white fragrance-free silicone-based cream so this would not be a good choice from someone who is sensitive to silicones or someone who prefer a lighter-feeling product. I've haven't experience any problems with it even though I'm quite prone to clogged pores. Compared to Sofina Perfect UV (see my review for it), this feels A LOT heavier. The feel of it is slightly similar to Shiseido SPF50/55 Cream. I don't think that Prep + Prime Face Protect SPF 50 is comparable to either products since they serve totally different purpose.

Overall, it's not a bad product, but it's definitely not something I like putting on because of its heavy mask-like feeling. It does its job well enough for my needs and the sun protection is a nice extra but for the price, I'm a bit hesitant in repurchasing this since it's no where near HG material for the reason I mentioned above. It's not bad for cooler weather but when spring and summer come around, I'll not be using this product.

UPDATE MAR 14/09: I have not finished this product let alone repurchasing it. While it work quite well at making my makeup last all day , the thick heavy coated feeling on my skin is simply intolerable for me other than dead in the middle of winter. I much rather blot and do touch-ups as needed through the day than having to deal with this stuff on my face.

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: Zinc Oxide 16.1% and Octinoxate 7.5%. It is photostable but it should not be layered over or under any products containing avobenzone. It is PA++ which translates to PPD 4-6.

OTHER INGREDIENTS: water, cyclopentasloxane, butylene glycol, PEG-7 dimehicone, cyclohexasiloxane, dimethecone, phenyl trimethicone, vinyl dimethicone/methcone, silsequioxane crosspolymer, methyl gluceth-10, glycerin, dimethicone/ vinyl dimethicone crosspolymer, caffeine, tocepherol, sucrose, stearyl glycrrhetinate, cellulose acteate, glycyrrhetinate, cellulose acetate, methicone, PEG/PPG-19/19 Dimethicone, magnesium sulfate, silicia dimethyl silylate, silica, sorbic acid, phenoxyethanol, chlorphenesin.

MYSELF: I'm an Eurasian with combo skin that is very prone to clogged pores and I use a Rx gel retinoid nightly. My skin details (and other info) are in my notepad.

55 out of 66 people found this review helpful.     Was this review helpful to you? Yes   No

rated 2 of 5 *TOP REVIEWER* jhadiq on 2/29/2008 10:34:00 AM more reviews by jhadiq

Age: 36-43   Skin: Oily, Fair-Medium   Hair: Black   Eyes: Brown    

I've always wondered if I was merely being a sheeple by assuming that I needed a primer under my foundation/makeup, and just took for granted that primers helped to control oil and make mu last longer. Well, with this product, I decided to really put it throught the test. Let me start by saying that I've tried a bunch of different mu primers, including a couple versions of Smashbox, Sephora, EL, Vincent Longo, and PC. Bascially, I've always just worn a primer because I'd been conditioned to believe that it was necessary. Now I am starting to rethink that stance, and the following supports this idea.

I've been using P+P SPF 50 for about 2 months now, and never really thought much about it. It did seem to work just as well as my other primers, and I liked the bonus of SPF 50, without a heavy, greasy feel. In this regard, the product is quite superior. The finish and feel is like you are wearing nothing. I just took for granted that it was doing what it was suposed to do. However, I wanted to see if this was really was a good primer and answer the following questions: Did my makeup actually look better with it? Did it control oil? Did it make my mu last longer? Do my pores/fine lines look less apparent?

For the past 2 days now, I've worn the primer on half of my face, using the following routine: apply moisturizer, let dry. Apply primer on half of my face using Chanel foundation brush, let dry. Apply foundation (with a clean foundation brush) and concealer. Finish with a dusting of Studio Fix powder, then apply rest of my mu. On both days, I saw a very slight difference on the primer side- it did look slightly smoother, but only if I looked very closely in a magnifying mirror. My fine lines and pores looked the same on both sides of my face. As for oil control, I usually have to blot midday, and my face looked no different on either side. I actually cut a blotting sheet in half and blotted each side of my face separately - result - no difference in the amount of oil that ended up on the sheet. so I've concluded that it really doesn't help to control oil, at least not on my particular skin. finally, I examined both sides of my face at the end of the day (approximately 10-12 hrs of wear) and both sides looked the same. I have now concluded that the purported benefits of using this as a "primer" are pretty much a myth. I will likely still keep on using primers, though, until I fully convince myself that they are not necessary, or switch to more spot-treatment type primers/fillers that are specific for oil control or pore-filling, etc. I still give this product a couple of lippies because it does at least offer SPF in a rather elegant formulation. But sadly for me, it just doesn't live up to my expectations for a mu primer. I am truly beginning to believe that mu primers are just a made-up necessity created by cosmetics companies to encourage you to spend more money. Hey, can't blame 'em - these may actually work for some people, but sadly, I'm not one of them.

41 out of 45 people found this review helpful.     Was this review helpful to you? Yes   No

rated 4 of 5 *TOP REVIEWER* spackle_n_smear on 1/21/2008 8:24:00 PM more reviews by spackle_n_smear

Age: 36-43   Skin: Very Oily, Dark, Warm   Hair: Black, Straight, Coarse   Eyes: Brown    


This lotion-potion:
- Creates a fresh canvas, skin is bright, smooth and looks less stressed
- Banishes the oily invasion into your foundation
- Locks concealer and foundation tight and keeps it "on" your skin and not "in" your skin, even when it's hot and humid outside
- Pores are gone, gone, GONE! when you apply MAC Blot powder over it...see how evil this is??
- Increases makeup's transfer resistance...all your hard work doesn't transfer onto your tissue
- Makeup applies and blends seamlessly
- Takes the extra step of applying sunscreen out of the equation.
- Skin still breathes-- my makeup doesn't feel thick and suffocating and I have not broken out using this
- WORD OF CAUTION: INCREASES VANITY! You're gonna love looking at your fresh flaw-free face!

ANOTHER WORD OF CAUTION: This product is serious stuff. Its staying power can actually still leave a residue even after you cleanse. Be sure you use a cleanser that cuts well into silicone based products, and use an exfoliating cloth or sponge regularly to keep your skin breathing and buildup-free.

Black Magic joking aside, I am more than pleased with this product. I wish the container was more like a tube of lip gloss so I can actually have control squeezing every bit out, but at least I can stand it upside down so it flows to the opening. 4 lippies because of course the price is rather steep. Then again it's cheaper than the Per-fekt primer I used before this and Per-fekt hardly did anything to keep my flaws and makeup in check. I can definitely see myself buying Prep+Prime SPF50 over and over again! That's a remarkable thing for me to say because a lot of times I'm one to check out new things out there before going back to my regular makeup and skincare staples.

30 out of 32 people found this review helpful.     Was this review helpful to you? Yes   No

rated 5 of 5 *TOP REVIEWER* darlinglilkitten on 7/15/2008 4:25:00 PM more reviews by darlinglilkitten

Age: 25-29   Skin: Oily, Medium, Warm   Hair: Brown, Straight   Eyes: Brown    

OMFG. This is UDPP for the FACE!!!! Are you oily? Do you want your makeup to stay on absolutely perfectly all day? Are you tired of blotting your oiliness (and makeup away)? Is your makeup so slick by noon it looks like you smeared Crisco on it? Ahhh well, this is your product. Absolute HG!!!!! My makeup at midnight looks as though I just applied. I am in shock. I am in awe. I don't care that its only 1 oz or that its $28.00 (Isn't Smashbox way more than that anyway?). I will never, ever be without this product again. Oh and I'm acne-prone/sensitive and this has been just fine for my skin. (and I usually breakout from MAC foundations.)

23 out of 26 people found this review helpful.     Was this review helpful to you? Yes   No

rated 5 of 5 *TOP REVIEWER* culture on 5/18/2007 4:00:00 PM more reviews by culture

Age: 36-43   Skin: Combination   Hair: Black   Eyes: Brown    

My normal/combo skin is sensitive and easily break out. I was wearing this primer as sunscreen, primer over a week. Very happy to report that it didn't break me out or cause any redness. On the contrary, it calmed my skin somewhat. When I put this on, no weird white cast, heavy feeling or drying out my skin. It made my skin flawless, PORELESS from early morning until evening even in the humid day. Some days I didn't even apply foundation as I hurried in the morning. This product is the kind of product I'm looking for a long time: sunscreen, primer & oil control w/o drying rolling into one. With the price 26.5 USD/1 oz., it's expensive. Well, I have to start saving my money now.
Active ingredients:
Zinc Oxide 16.10%, Octinoxate 7.50%
Water, cyclopentasloxane, butylene glycol, peg-7 dimehicone, cyclohexasiloxane, dimethecone, phenyl trimethicone, vinyl dimethicone/methcone, silsequioxane crosspolymer, methyl gluceth-10, glycerin, dimethicone/ vinyl dimethicone crosspolymer, caffeine, tocepherol, sucrose, stearyl glycrrhetinate, cellulose acteate, glycyrrhetinate, cellulose acetate, methicone, PEG/PPG-19/19 Dimethicone, magnesium sulfate, silicia dimethyl silylate, silica, sorbic acid, phenoxyethanol, chlorphenesin.

UPDATE 5/30/07: still loving it. It gave my face a matte look w/o drying my skin. In natural light, my skin looked flawless as though I had a thin powder veil on it (just a polished looking, not a made-up face). I skipped my foundation totally (save money for this primer instead). The most important thing is there was no break-out, irritation from this primer. It's a joy to put it on every morning b/c no heavy feeling, greasyness, weird white caste or balling up & rolled down with foundation or not. To me, there will be no excuse for not wearing suncreen except the price of this product.

20 out of 22 people found this review helpful.     Was this review helpful to you? Yes   No

rated 5 of 5 xxkamikazexx on 7/21/2008 5:54:00 PM more reviews by xxkamikazexx

Age: 19-24   Skin: Acne-prone, Medium, Warm   Hair: Black, Straight, Fine   Eyes: Black    


I started using this primer in 2008. it's 2011 now and i'm still using it, haha. The price has gone up since then to $30 so i use this product sparingly now but it's as effective as it's always been. It controls oil and shine very well, it helps makeup apply smoother, and it keeps your makeup from sliding off (as reference, one day i wore hella makeup and fell asleep without washing my face. the next day i woke up and all that makeup was still on my face, and none on my pillow. if that ain't "staying power" i dunno what it.)

my basic routine is cleanser, moisturizer, primer(around T zone), concealer, and powder(sometimes). before when i was dumb, i use to use this primer all over my face, but i realized that i was running through tubes pretty quickly that way, so i just use it around my T-zones now since that's where i get the oiliest and shiniest (and thus where makeup tends to slip and slide the most due to the sweat). Don't get me wrong, it works great as an all-over-face primer, but i find that you really don't need to.

I've tried other primers, but they tend to either slip and slide, get oily fast, or cause breakouts. I've never experience anything bad with this primer though. My primary reason for usin this primer is to control oil and shine, so each day i would use a pea sized amount on my forehead and T-zone, and it keeps me matte better than any other product i've used. If i use the MAC blot powder over this primer, i never have to blot throughout the day, and i have naturally oily skin.

I'm a pretty active guy too so i sweat a lot via skateboarding to class, stressing out over exams, going to work, exercising, and at the end of the day, my makeup looks as fresh as the moment i applied it in the morning. My friend was amazed at how well my makeup stays on after a swim in the pool and even after a surf session. REALLY GOOD STAYING POWER.

This is a product that i'll continue to buy until they stop making it, or find something that totally blows this primer out of the water.

Since this primer sticks makeup to your face so well, it makes washing it off that much more difficult. Regular facial cleansers won't wash this stuff off, but oil based cleansers like MACs Cleanse Off Oil will do the trick very effectively.

15 out of 16 people found this review helpful.     Was this review helpful to you? Yes   No

rated 1 of 5 criscate on 3/15/2013 3:35:00 PM more reviews by criscate

Age: 36-43   Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Neutral   Hair: Red, Straight, Fine   Eyes: Blue    

Oh, no, my favorite skincare product of all time has been reformulated with avobenzone as the new active ingredient instead of zinc oxide. The MAC website did not mention this reformulation so I slathered it on without looking at the ingredients--bad move as my face immediately started burning and even though I washed it off, my face and neck are now covered in itchy red spots from contact dermatitis. On top of that, it left a greasy film on my skin instead of a nice, smooth matte finish. I am so disappointed as I used this religiously for the past 10 years. My search for a new gentle, non-greasy sunscreen begins again...

13 out of 13 people found this review helpful.     Was this review helpful to you? Yes   No

rated 5 of 5 caydensmama on 5/9/2007 2:38:00 PM more reviews by caydensmama

Age: 25-29   Skin: Oily, Fair, Neutral   Hair: Blond   Eyes: Blue    

This is GREAT! I have very oily skin in the summer and combo skin in the winter that has a rougher texter. I NEED a primer under makeup to smooth things out in either season. I also want a high spf and I've been using Remede's UV coat as an extra step for spf. Now I have the perfect 2 in 1 product. It primes and smoothes the skin and has a great spf! It controls oil wonderfully (not sure if it would be on dry skin) as well! I can't say enough good things about it!

13 out of 13 people found this review helpful.     Was this review helpful to you? Yes   No

rated 2 of 5 lavelle365 on 1/4/2013 7:22:00 AM more reviews by lavelle365

Age: 44-55   Skin: Combination, Fair, Warm   Hair: Red, Straight   Eyes: Green    

I used this product from 2007 to 2012. It WAS once fantastic, then it was reformulated. Ruined. No warning and no information to tell us it had changed, but after using it exclusively daily for so long, when I opened the new tube, the change in formula was obvious from the texture and the fact it no longer mattified. Because the packaging is so dreadful, I have always decanted this into a small tub. The new formula separates into a gooey white paste and a slimy liquid. Disgraceful considering it was once an excellent product and there is no dupe and no equivalent product anywhere else in the Estee Lauder stable. This experience has really put me off MAC's product, despite their excellent eyeliner and quite good lippies. They should have withdrawn the old Prep & Prime if they could not manufacture it with the same formula rather than trying to sell new gunk under and old name. Grrr.

12 out of 13 people found this review helpful.     Was this review helpful to you? Yes   No

rated 1 of 5 *TOP REVIEWER* fayeonaise on 2/1/2013 4:06:00 PM more reviews by fayeonaise

Age: 30-35   Skin: Acne-prone, Dark   Hair: Brown   Eyes: Hazel    

If I could do horrible things to the person who decided to change the formula of what was my HG primer...I would. I used to buy this 2 at a time just so I could have a back up on hand. The new formula is runny, oily and greasy. Makeup slide all over you face and you look like a hot mess. Old formula kept this uber shiny face at bay ALL DAY!!! And I was able to photograph well WITH Flash photography and studio lights with no white cast! I'm seriously ticked off by this. This replaced my HG Sofina Lucent and Shishiedo SPF 55. When you have very oily skin and you find something that works and DOESN'T break you out...its like the second coming. Thanks MAC for ruining all that is good!

11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.     Was this review helpful to you? Yes   No

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