Skinceuticals Sheer Physical UV Defense SPF 50


49 reviews

55% would repurchase

Package Quality: 4.0

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 4.0

Price: $$$


SPF 50 PPD 21 ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: 6% Zinc Oxide and 5% Titanium Dioxide. INACTIVE INGREDIENTS: Water, isododecane, c-12-15 alkyl benzoate, undecane, triethylhexanoin, isohexadecane, nylon-12, caprylyl methicone, butyloctyl salicylate, phenethyl benoate, styrene/acrylates copolymer, silica, tridecane, dicaprylyl carbonate, dicaprylyl ether, talc, dimethicone/peg-10/15 crosspolymer, aluminium stearate, pentylene glycol, peg-9 polydimethylsiloxyethyl dimethicone, alumina, polyhydroxystearic acid, phenoxyethanol, magnesium sulfate, caprylyl glycol, peg-8 laurate, disteardimonium hectorite, tocopherol propylene carbonate, artemia extract, benzoic acid, peg-9, D41547/1

on 5/28/2015 7:32:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Very Oily, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I have extremely oily, acne-prone, somewhat sensitive, fair skin that burns quickly. I also have a sensitivity to scented products and get a headache from many scented sunscreens. Since I have a family history of skin cancer and am concerned about slowing the signs of aging, itís important for me to find an effective broad-spectrum sunscreen that wonít clog my pores, cause breakouts, irritate my skin, look unnatural under makeup, give me a headache from the scent, or make my face shinier.

Iíve tried dozens of sunscreens over the years and this is the only one that meets all my requirements. It absorbs oil (probably too much for someone with very dry skin), leaves my skin almost matte, leaves no sticky residue (it seriously feels like my skin is bare), doesnít cause irritation, stays on even when I exercise, and looks good under makeup--or by itself.

I have only one complaint: although itís unscented, the natural smell of the ingredients is annoying and unpleasant. However, Iíve never found a truly odor-free sunscreen that contains effective ingredients at a high concentration, so Iím willing to put up with the smell. I mostly notice it when I first put the sunscreen on.

If you wear makeup over it, make sure to gently rub the sunscreen in. Since itís invisible on the skin, it can be easy to neglect spots where you applied a bit too much, and makeup can look streaky on those spots. I use a lot of sunscreen; I just make sure to apply it evenly and carefully before applying makeup.

I like using this on my body because I hate having my arms and legs feel sticky but unfortunately itís too expensive for that so I use if on my body only on days when Iíll be outside more than usual. Otherwise, I use it on my face, neck, and the backs of my hands.

It can be difficult to wash off my palms after applying or off my face or body at night, so I use a cleansing oil (DHC makes a good one) first, then soap or cleanser. Makeup remover, coconut oil, and baby oil (on my bodyónot face) work well too. It requires a little extra time to remove, but itís worth it because itís so much better than any other sunscreen.

on 5/25/2015 7:20:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

I was looking for a paraben-free sunscreen to replace another similar product from Skinceuticals, and read a lot of raving reviews about Sheer Physical UV Defense SPF 50. Eventually I decided to give it a try. As a sunscreen, it pretty much did the job. However,

1. It left my face with a white cast;
2. It dried my skin no matter what kind of rich moisturizers I used;
3. The worst thing was it easily clogged the pores.

I did not really mind about 1. and 2., but as one who do not have clog-prone skin, this product surprised me in a bad way. I had to clean my face with cleansing milk/creme and wiped it off at least a couple of times to ensure I would not see a clogged pore on my face the very next morning.

I might end up using it on my hands and feet, but will not buy it again.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

on 9/22/2014 6:54:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Other

Eyes: Blue

I don't know why this sunscreen has so low rating -- it is definitely underrated. It is my favorite face sunscreen, and the only thing I regret is that I didn't buy it earlier. I have tried so many sunscreens, from drugstore to high-end, and ELTA MD and Skinceuticals make the best! The fluid is white, and it does leave a slight white cast, but I like it because it neutralizes my redness on the face. My skin literally glows when I put it on my face. It is definitely not greasy (I hate greasy face sunscreens), and the white cast is not the same white cast I have when using drugstore body sunscreens such as Coppertone or Banana Boat when on the beach. No, this white cast is different. It makes my skin looking better, younger and smoother. The plus is also that it contains physical sun blockers. And, it is not drying like for example some Elta MD's sunscreens. I love this sunscreen, and I highly recommend it. It is a little more expensive than drugstore sunscreens, but still less expensive than many overpriced designer sunscreens and sunscreens by famous dermatologists.

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Blue

My experience with this sunscreen:
1. Leaves a noticeable white cast on my face even though I'm lighter than an NW10
2. Makes my dry skin even more visible than it already is
3. Leaves my face smooth and non-sticky which is great
4. It's Pricey
5. Gave me the WORST cystic acne on my forehead and chin where I've never ever gotten it before

My Skin: My skin is dry/acne prone and I am highly sensitive to the products I put on my face. I also have eczema that can react to irritating sunscreens/moisturizers if I'm not careful. I've recently (within the last yearish) started getting cystic acne along my jawline too.

At first I didn't think it was the sunscreen causing the cystic acne because I have gotten it on the side of my jawline before. So I stopped using it for a few weeks then started back up and BAM more cystic acne all over my forehead/chin. I would NOT recommend this to anyone who has or had cystic acne or dry skin.

on 6/6/2014 1:42:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Blue

In search of my HG sunscreen, i decided to order this from Dermstore after reading Paula's Choice and the reviews on here.

First of all, it's not clear. I'm extremely pale and this coated my face with a white tint. About 20 minutes after putting it on my skin was completely flaky and dried out, even though it had put it on over my normal moisturizer.

The packaging was fine, but it seemed hard to control how much came out.

Needless to say, I will be returning this product.

on 12/12/2013 3:57:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

i like this sunscreen a lot. My hg . it has no scent. : ) it does have a tint, but it blended out and didn't conflict w/ my nc20-25 skin. It goes on matte, it has a runny consistency and drys quick like japanese and korean sunscreens. It is paraben free: )and it has less chemicals than most sunscreens- it uses titanium dioxide 6% and zinc oxide 5% , but it does not give a yucky white cast nor does it ball up under makeup. the protection is good,even in tropical heat i didn't get burned. a little got in my eye once and it did sting. it is not waterproof, but it is water resistant for 40 mins according to the package.

I bought this from the website. there were some on amazon for cheaper but i didn't want to take the chance of getting expired or subpar sunscreen.

1.7 fl oz 50 ml bottle, plastic grey.
broad spectrum spf 50

i have used every sunscreen under the sun. shiseido was good but i hated the scent and chemicals. khiels worked, it had no scent, but many chemicals. Over the counter was yuck. la roche posay worked well but sticky and once again a lot of chemicals. same with oversea japanese and korean brands like sofina.

6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

on 10/25/2013 10:14:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

I have very sensitive clog prone skin.I used this once only and returned it the next day. This SS is very light and dries quickly on contact. I use retin a micro , normally the peeling is not really visible. But this SS made my flaking skin so visible and left a white cast on my skin. To be fair, I think this is a good SS for very oily acne prone people with very light complexion and not on retin a( no flaking skin). If you have dry skin, you can still try it with a heavy moisturizer underneath. I just ordered the skinceuticals physical fusion. I try it today and I love the tint and no visible flakes. Since I just started can't comment on if the SS clogs pore yet. I will do a separate review by the end of the week on skinceuticals physical fusion.

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

on 10/16/2013 2:08:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

I bought a sample pack of these believing them to be the Physical Fusion sunscreen. I was horribly disappointed in this product. First of all, the white cast I got was the worst that I have ever had with any sunscreen. It also just sat on my skin making makeup application terrible (my normally pretty good skin looked flaky and dull when this was underneath my foundation) and I my skin just looked lifeless. I can't vouch for whether this is a good sunscreen as I don't actually spend more than a few minutes a day out in the sun, I wear it more as a preventative measure. My skin didn't dry out because of this but it did LOOK dry. I will not buy a full size of this and I won't use any more of the samples. Three days was enough for me to know that this one won't work.

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

on 10/6/2013 11:07:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Brown

I ordered a sample pack of this from the US, cause I was looking for something 1) more mattifying and 2) more makeup-friendly than my ordinary Elta Md clear.

I have adult hormonal acne and hyperpigmentation. I need to wear sunscreen daily, but finding a sunscreen that agrees both with my skin and makeup is extremely hard. I'm usually sensitive to silicones ( but I can stand cyclopentasiloxane). The first ingredient after the minerals is Dimethicone, even if it's not written in the list above - check on the products package oron the stores site if you are ssensitive to some ingredients.


- does NOT enlarge pores, but is physical!!!! Really big pro, and hard to find such products!!!! Evens out the skin.

- not water resistant, for everyday use and easily removed (better for acne skin)

- keeps the makeup at place the whole day ( at least now in September), acts a little like a primer.

- reliable serious brand, and overcoming price


- yet haven't dared to use it everyday these days cause I'm usually a little sensitive to Dimethicone - will this break me out?

- leaves a slight white cast on my NC/NW 15 skin, that needs to settle and be a little covered with makeup to be able to walk out

But the fact that this doesn't enlarge pores but is all physical, is really amazing! So I'm going to research the rest of the ingredients and see if I dear to try to use it everyday for a period.

But for you fair skinned that are not sensitive to Dimethicone, give this a try!!! :)

Update 2014-05-04:
I only dear to experiment with this, and now when it's spring again I've tried to use it on my forehead again to see if it makes me breakout. I wore it at work, a office. In some way this made my skin LOOK more oily through out the day. Strange, yes. My theory is that the silicones lock the skin in, and therefore the cream starts to "migrate" and melts down to an oil slick. But I'm not sure! I usually look a little more oily by Dimethicone a few hours later.....only hypothesis....

I also developed 3-4 small pimples on my forehead during these 3 days.... So I don't know if this breaks me out... :(

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Age: 30-35

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

Love, Love, LOVE! Doesn't break me out AND gives a nice glow. Works well as a primer too under makeup. Will buy again

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Top Rated Skinceuticals Products

Back to Top