I have been really interested in trying CeraVe's sunscreen because of the "Invisible Zinc" claim, but unfortunately this product has one of the worst white casts I have ever seen. Previously I've used all-physical sunscreens with white casts and I don't mind them too much; in some cases they even help even out my skin tone and conceal acne scars. However, this white cast is so egregious on my medium skin tone I look like I'm auditioning for kabuki with a complete white face. It said it "dries clear" so I waited hours, and it only got worse as it started to flake off some of my dry patches and along my hair line.
I did like how easy it was to spread on and the ingredients (ceramides and niacinamide), but I was definitely expecting something more moisturizing since they advertise this as a "face lotion." On my dehydrated-normal acne-prone skin, it exacerbated my flakiness and dry patches along with caking up on any acne and making it a lot more noticeable (and this was with moisturizer underneath too). It also has a sort of stale powdery scent upon application.
Overall, this product completely failed to meet the expectations set forth by the "invisible zinc" claim on its packaging and I won't purchase or recommend in the future. If this weren't a sample, it would be going straight back to the store.
Edit: 12/26/14 - It's worth mentioning that the SPF 50 body sunscreen from CeraVe is nearly identical in ingredients, the only difference is the omission of niacinamide. I've tried both and find them indiscernible. If niacinamide isn't a major draw and this sunscreen works for you, the body sunscreen is only $1-2 more for 3 oz (instead of the 2 oz for the face sunscreen).
I really wanted to like this. CeraVe AM Lotion with SPF 30 worked for me for a long time until I developed a sensitivity to chemical sunscreens. I was waiting for a product from CeraVe that was mineral-based and, preferably, paraben-free.
- Has a dry finish
- Dispenser is way better than the AM/PM lotions
- Does NOT moisturize nearly enough. AM SPF 30 is formulated with hyaluronic acid, and I'm not sure why that wasn't included in the SPF 50. I also know mineral sunscreens can be more drying, and I should note that this product does not purport to be a moisturizer the way the Facial Moisturizing Lotion does, so I probably should have been more cognizant of that.
- It left an awful white cast along the perimeter of my face...it just got flaky and gross and clumped off.
I will use this in the summer when I'm at the beach or going swimming, but it's not something I would apply daily, especially not in the winter.
Yikes, I did what another reviewer below did...I bought this without checking reviews and assumed it would be good as I like CeraVe products in general. It is quite white and very drying. I am very pale so the white cast is not too bad as anything white matches. But I am also very dry so this is not a good match at all. The overall feel is heavy and thicker than most phyiscal sunscreens seem to need to be today so this feels a little zinc old school. I would not reommend this to anyone really but if you want to try it, I would say you need to be pale and have oily skin to have a chance for this working for you! I will go back to my Elta MD for now which I love but was searching for somethign a little cheaper...
I love CeraVe products and bought this without checking the ratings. I put it on. Wow do I look like a flaky white ghost. It is thick and doesn't rub in easily. It sits on top of the skin and magnifies the appearance of any dry areas. After a few minutes it started to sting my face and left me with red scaly skin.
If your skin is highly sensitive and anything besides translucent stay away or you'll start off like a ghost and end up like a tomato.
I'm still a huge CeraVe fan but very disappointed with this product.
CeraVe really failed with this, which is surprising, considering how good their other products are. If you are dressed up like a vampire for Halloween, or Geisha Girl, or mime, you will love this white as a sheet look. I hate to be wasteful and toss it out so I use it on the back of my hands and tops of my feet where it isn't so visiable. I thnk I'll stick with Neutrogena.
This is my new favorite high-SPF face sunscreen. I mix this with Paula's Choice Resist Super-Light Daily Defense SPF 30 sunscreen, which has a slight tint and tons of antioxidants, but is also really pricey. I wear this combination on my face 365 days a year. By combining these products each day, I get a higher SPF along with the sheer tint and anti-aging ingredients in the Paula's Choice product.
The biggest selling point for me is that this CeraVe SPF lotion is fragrance-free -- I cannot stand the "sunscreen smell" and this lotion doesn't smell like anything to me. I also like the texture of the CeraVe lotion; the high-SPF factor; its blendability; the fact that it is a mineral sunscreen with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide; and it has some skin-beneficial ingredients like niacinimide. Paula's Choice Beautypedia says that it has a preservative that can be problematic for sensitive skin. I have noticed a little bit of acne since I started using it, but overall it's pretty good.
Before I found the CeraVe SPF lotion, I used Neutrogena Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer SPF 50 Sensitive Skin until I couldn't find it at the drugstore. The CeraVe lotion seems to provide better coverage and has a better texture than the Neutrogena.
YIKES. I just put this on for the first time and I am as white as a ghost. I am already a super pasty white so that's telling you something. It is AWFUL and I normally love CeraVe products. Also it is patchy. There are some areas where it didn't "take" and so it's globby in other areas. It doesn't spread well either so you can't really rub it in. It's got a weird powdery flaky finish too. UGH UGH UGH. WTH it says INVISIBLE ZINC. I just had to scrub it off my face because it sticks to your skin. So now my face is red raw and I have to put a different sunscreen on. Literally one of the worst I've ever tried.
Reviewers who are displeased with this sunscreen probably have not ventured into the world of European high PPD sunscreens - which are often thick, tacky, greasy, and streaky in addition to leaving a white cast. After trying a couple of those, I immediately ran towards Asian milk sunscreens, which are a dream. They are very cosmetically elegant and suitable for oilier skins. The only problem I have with my Asian milk sunscreens are: 1) primarily, ease of purchasing - ordering overseas is a drag 2) most of the ones I like run from $10-15 per oz (factoring in shipping) which isn't terrible, but I'd like something cheaper for an everyday sunscreen 3) the milk texture is great, but often makes it really hard to apply enough product!
This Cerave sunscreen pretty much fixes all those problems - 1) it can be bought in US drugstores 2) runs ~$7 per oz (less if it goes on sale) at $14/2 oz 3) I find that the thicker texture makes it easier to apply a good amount. I probably still don't apply the "proper" amount, but I can get more on than when I use a milk.
So first off I want to emphasize that this is a very protective, all-physical sunscreen. I prefer to only use physical actives, especially for an everyday sunscreen. To get to an SPF50 from only physical actives is not easy, so this should be quite UVA protective as well (PPD should be 8-10, probably higher). Is this the most elegant sunscreen I have used? Nope, the finish is still a bit tacky, and it creases a little on my forehead, which is the oiliest part of my face. The white cast is significant, but it looks fine with a touch of foundation powder. All-physical sunscreens will pretty much always leave a white cast (if they aren't sold with a tint), and are often quite greasy to boot, so I am actually quite happy with the finish of this one. And, as mentioned, it's pretty economical. Tube packaging is easy to use, as well.
For reference my skin type is normal/combo with a tendency towards dehydration, sometimes sensitive, very clog prone. I would recommend this sunscreen for dry to normal skin types; as mentioned earlier, this may pool/crease on oily skin. Very dry skins will probably have to moisturize first. Have not tested its water resistance yet, but I do remove at night with a cleansing oil. The ingredients seem free of big cloggers, will update in a few weeks on breakout situation.
Bottom line: This will leave a white cast (easily remedied with a touch of powder), but is otherwise a fine everyday sunscreen for normal to dry skin that provides highly efficient, all-physical active ingredients.
Same problem as everyone. This is the farthest thing from "invisible"... Which I guess is "visible". It's ghostly white. I got it because "InStyle" featured it in their "Best of Beauty" issue as a great product... One of "The best", so to speak. Well, at least I know they don't choose those products because they're truly the best. Won't make that mistake again. I wouldn't have such a problem with the white cast if Cerave didn't specifically market this as being invisible! It's like lying straight to the consumer's face. There's just no way to mistake this product for "invisible". Unless they're only testing their products on albinos.
I rubbed and rubbed and it still came out white. Also, the matte-ness makes it cling to dry patches and gave the face a strange, unnatural over-powdered look. Funny, because InStyle featured this in the "best for dry skin" category... If anything, this may be good for those with shiny skin! The white-ness showed through my foundation. Nothing to be done about it. VERY disappointed, because I always considered CeraVe to be a really great, ethical company. They really pooped the bed naming this product.
Excellent sunscreen for the face. A high spf from minerals. No sunscreen chemicals to irritate my sensitive skin. Also contains ceramides, niacin and vitamin b5. Does not cause my combination skin to break out. I am on my second tube of this.