April 18, 2014 | 1890 users online

Sunscreen - Skinceuticals - Physical Fusion SPF 50



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rated 4.0(52 reviews)

  • Average Rating: 4.0
  • 65% would buy again
  • Package Quality: 4.0
  • Price: $$$$

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rated 2 of 5 on 4/12/2014 1:30:00 PM More reviews by tealeafy

Age: 36-43 Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure Hair: Other, Other, Other Eyes: Green

The texture of this sunscreen is nice, it dries down to a fairly satiny finish even though it seems greasy upon application. The effect is similar to that of a sheer tinted moisturiser. And it's all physical.

However, it irritated and dried out my skin almost instantly. I would not repurchase and could not even bring myself to finish the bottle after sporadic trials (even though it's mighty expensive).

I would not dream of making an SPF lotion a daily requirement to my beauty routine (except around the eyes), it's just too much work dealing with the aftermaths of deep dehydration/allergic reaction/pimples etc.
With experience, I'm doing better with a light dusting of powder foundation with SPF (whole summer of Givenchy... never got sunburnt), plus a hat.

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rated 4 of 5 top reviewer on 4/12/2014 12:16:00 PM More reviews by jiney17

Age: 30-35 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Neutral Hair: Black, Straight, Medium Eyes: Brown

I've been looking for a cosmetically elegant (non-shiny, light-feeling) sunscreen that doesn't have alcohol in it, which has been fairly difficult. My skin used to be oily, then oily-combination, so it tolerated the alcohol pretty well (even so, I would still sometimes get dry patches of flaky skin from the sunscreen). But my skin is now normal, verging on dry, and I really don't want to put anything drying or harsh on it. It is rather difficult to find a sunscreen with a matte finish, high SPF, decent PPD, and no alcohol or other ingredients my dermatitis-and-acne-prone, somewhat sensitive skin can't tolerate. This came highly rated, so I thought I'd give it a try.


First impression was that this sunscreen is rather expensive. Shiseido's Ultimate Sun Protection, which is another sunscreen I like, is about $39 for ~3.3 oz ($11.82/oz). La Roche Posay Anthelios Fluide Extreme is ~$30 for 1.7 oz ($17.65/oz). Physical Fusion is $34 for 1.7 oz ($20/oz). Though I guess if it's a good product, it'll be worth it.


This sunscreen has no alcohol and uses physical filters (Titanium Dioxide 6%, Zinc Oxide 4.9%) so you don't have to worry about the minerals in makeup interfering with your sun protection, as is the case with some chemical sunscreens. There is a lot of silicone in this (second-listed ingredient after water), which gives the product slip and allows it to act as a base for makeup. This may be a problem for some, but silicone has never bothered my skin.


I wore this to work, which is about 9+ hours of wear. When I first put this on, it felt and behaved just like my alcohol-laden Asian sunscreens. You have to shake it before applying (there's a mixing ball inside the bottle). It's a drippy, silky, milky fluid that feels and looks greasy until it's been thoroughly rubbed in and absorbed. Once it does, it gives my skin a velvety, matte finish. It is tinted a strange, grayish putty color that doesn't look like it would work on any human's skin, but it surprisingly doesn't turn me a sickly color. I have a light (first or second yellow-based shade in most foundations), neutral complexion with yellow tones/olive undertones and some ruddiness here and there due to sensitivities. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this sunscreen slightly evens out my skin by toning down the redness. The end result is even, slightly brighter-looking, matte skin. I think I could get away with this + concealer, but I still put my usual Laura Mercier TM on top just to see what would happen. The makeup didn't oxidize or slide off or do any other undesirable thing.


Physical Fusion feels fantastically light, like I'm not wearing anything, just like my chemical Asian sunscreens do. And yes, I apply the recommended 1/4 tsp to my face. Using so much means it does take a long time to rub in (several minutes of energetic massaging), but it doesn't look shiny at all or make me look greasy later in the day. I'm surprised by how good an all-physical sunscreen can feel. Finally, it does smell a little like burning rubber, but the scent dissipates.


I'm still in testing mode with this. If it doesn't break me out or irritate my dermatitis, then I think I'll have to declare this a winner in my search for a good, everyday sunscreen. I do wish this were easier to source (I have to order online) and cheaper. And I have to admit that I'm a tiny bit suspicious about the SPF and PPD ratings, as the amount of active ingredients seems low to me. I've read that the SPF was partly calculated by adding in the effect of the antioxidant ingredients. But I think it'll be alright for an average workday when I'm only exposed to the sun while driving and walking to and from my car. I will update if there are any problems.

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rated 5 of 5 on 3/18/2014 3:27:00 PM More reviews by Empyrean_Luminary

Age: 36-43 Skin: Dry, Fair, Cool Hair: Other, Straight, Medium Eyes: Green

I have the tinted version of this sunscreen and it is lovely. Smooth, non-greasy (but is not matte!), unscented, and provides great SPF and a dewy finish. It is very expensive, but definitely a great face sunscreen.

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rated 3 of 5 on 11/24/2013 7:23:00 PM More reviews by Jamie222

Age: 36-43 Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Black, Other, Other Eyes: Other

Over all a nice light sunscreen . The texture of this sunscreen is very light and it doesn't leave a white cast on skin. It soaks in quickly and makes the skin look nicer. I really want to like this SS, unfortunately it gives me a few red spots every time I wear it. The spots look inflamed and take a while to go away.

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rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 9/28/2013 12:56:00 PM More reviews by MrMontyBurns

Age: 36-43 Skin: Sensitive, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brown, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

Unquestionably HG for me! I have rosacea and thus very sensitive skin. I swear I've tried dozens of sunscreens, and even those marketed for sensitive skin caused redness/burning/bumps.

One day I happened to be talking to a friend about sunscreen--she's a true redhead with very fair skin (I'm super jealous, but anyway)--and she said she swears by this. So I gave it a try.

When I first saw it out of the bottle, I thought no way is this going to work on my light skin. But alas! It blends right in! It's not super oily, but definitely not matte. I either put powder on top, or if I'm in a hurry, wear it alone. I've had a couple of people randomly tell me I look "glowing", which I can only attribute to this.

I put some on my neck and any exposed chest. Been using for over a year with no reaction at all! Protection is great too--used this on a trip to the Dominican Republic where I sat outside for much of the time, and no burning. Oh, and it washes off easily with my regular face wash (CeraVe foaming).

Highly recommend!!

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rated 4 of 5 on 7/18/2013 2:31:00 AM More reviews by BodyBar

Age: 30-35 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

As a big fan of physical sunscreens, I am very impressed with this product. Not only is it Paraben free it, its also chemical free. The product has a tint that can match with every skin color (using a unique combination of gold, red & brown) and offers a minimum coverage.

This product is ideal for dry to combination skin (not oily or acneic skin as it has a bit of a sheen to it and can cause some pore congestion). I can wear this product over my antioxidant without a moisturizer and it offers a 50SPF.

Its a once a day application (unless you are sweating or swimming).

I love this product if I am not wearing make up, on days i am wearing make up I use my mineral powder SPF option or I will use the Sheer Physical (non-tinted more mattifying than the physical fusion).

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rated 4 of 5 on 7/6/2013 8:42:00 PM More reviews by PMC

Age: 36-43 Skin: Oily, Medium, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Hazel

When Murad discontinued my HG sunscreen, the Sheer Tint SPF 15, I went on a search and tried about 20 different new products. This is the one I ended up buying. I have light-medium oily sensitive skin (MAC NC30) and sensitive eyes, and chemical screens and many makeups irritate my eyes and most makeups clog my skin and make me break out.

Pros: very light texture. It goes on sort of slippery and shiny but in 5 minutes dries to a smooth, semi-matte finish. The tint does even out skin tone a bit, but not a lot. It looks like you have no makeup on, so it is good for bright sunlight. In warm weather I wear this with powder over it, and on cooler days, I may not need the powder. This does not irritate my skin or eyes and does not clog my skin. I wore this outdoors 3.5 hours on a 95-degree day with 80% humidity and while it didn't block all of the sun (like Bare Minerals would), I got only a little bit of sun on my nose and forehead which faded in a day. I also like the bottle and applicator, very no-nonsense and hygienic and precise disbursement of product.

Cons: Strange chemical odor upon application, which fades in a few minutes. Not sure how this will perform in cold weather when my skin is not so oily. If you have any drier patches, it may accentuate them a bit. Not sure how well it will perform under makeup; seems to mix strangely with the satiny foundation I use around my eyes. If you're looking for coverage in your sunscreen, this isn't the product for you. Not sure how sweatproof it is. Not cheap. Not as easy to find as some brands.

I would probably buy again, or I might try the Clarins UV Ecran Teinte, a similar product with a hair more coverage.

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rated 5 of 5 on 6/18/2013 11:13:00 AM More reviews by AshleyAesthetics

Age: 25-29 Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Warm Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium Eyes: Hazel

My absolute HG sunscreen! I don't dread wearing sunscreen anymore because of this product. It's perfect.

It's a physical mineral sunblock with no chemical filters... yet still so light and almost disappears once it dries. It seems slightly hydrating with a semi matte finish. The universal tint is perfect, as it evens out lighter/medium skin tones, and prevents the white mineral cast that usually really shows in darker skin tones. Great under makeup, and perfect for a tiny skin boost on my makeup free days. Love, love, love.

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rated 5 of 5 on 4/13/2013 3:54:00 PM More reviews by Parpar

Age: 19-24 Skin: Acne-prone, Olive, Neutral Hair: Black, Curly, Coarse Eyes: Green

My first HG product! Now that I have found, I wondered how I lived without it!

I am 21 and it was only last year that I decided to start wear sun screen basically everyday (rain or shine). Since I rarely burn, it's not as important as some people may think but since I have olive toned skin when I get a pimple, I pigment easily therefore protecting my skin from UVB and UVA rays is important as sun makes pigment darker!

As mentioned this works well on my olive skin. I do think it would work on every skin tone as it melts right into the skin. I don't know how to explain it...it makes your skin look smooth, and one colour but doesn't camouflage anything haha. Like it helps with redness/texture/blotchy-ness but won't cover that pimple up. However it's just a tint!

It smells disgusting...like wet socks maybe, but the scent dissipates. Currently it is April and basically all I use in the morning is my Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Gel, this sunscreen and my Jane Iredale SPF 20 powder. Even if I come home early from uni and take my make-up off to shower with the intention of going out at night...I still do the same routine. I love how it helps with my oily skin, no other moisturizer (even the lightest) has been able to do that for my skin. So I don't care if it's dark, as long as it's not breaking me out or causing my skin to be oily I will wear it.

Some other notes:
- people with drier skin will want to use a moisturizer underneath this...but when my skin was drier than normal I tried to use Skinceuticals Daily Moisture and it didn't look good. Some patches were still dry and my powder looked cakey (I don't think I let everything dry properly). I would recommend applying your moisturizer and letting it sit until it completely dries then add this top.
- don't mix it in with your moisturizer...the benefits of the SPF will be lost and the tint won't show much.
- It's expensive, but well worth it.
- I wouldn't use this on your neck/chest unless you could afford to spend that much. Since it is so expensive and light, I only put it on my face because it's a smaller area then my neck/chest. I just use ELTA MD's sunscreen on my chest because it's thicker therefore less product spreads to more area.
- I use about a quarter size for my whole face (sometimes more).

Lastly...make sure you get the fusion. Skinceuticals has two different SPF's in the exact same container. The other one is like normal sunscreen and white. The fusion is the one with the tint.

So excited I found this...my sunscreen problems have been solved! =)

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rated 3 of 5 top reviewer on 2/22/2013 5:49:00 PM More reviews by joy2uandme

Age: 56 & Over Skin: Sensitive, Fair-Medium, Neutral Hair: Brown, Straight, Fine Eyes: Hazel

Loved the slight tint of this for my NC 25-30 LLL skin tone (if you have lighter skin you may see this on your skin though) and the super light feel of this (very reminiscient of La Roche Posay's super light sunscreen) but this caused my rosacea to flare and I had a horrible reaction to this, so much so, that I had to use prescription cortisone cream for a week to calm my skin.

I so wish this had worked for my skin so to those of you reading these reviews trying to decide on whether to try this sunscreen I suggest getting a sample first because it looks like a love/hate affair with this product.

As far as the smell it reminds me of wet dog and as someone who owns 3 golden retrievers I know that smell well. I wish it smelled like wet concrete.

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