This product is simply too heavy for my oily skin. I was constantly aware of its presence on my face, which drove me insane! The first couple of hours after applying, it was tolerable. But by end of day, I had to run home and wash my face. It made me itchy even though itís not made with oxybenzone (which Iím allergic to). And although it says itís noncomedogenic, I started to break out from it.
What I liked about the product is that it seemed to wear well under my makeup; It didnít make my concealer look too cakey. It also didnít look too white on my skin (NC 42) as long as I didnít apply a really heavy layer. It kept my face fairly matte all day, which was an unexpected benefit. And it gave my skin a nice, smooth finish. Iím disappointed that it didnít work for me. I really wanted a good SPF 50 sunscreen. The search continuesÖ
I think this is better worn alone than under makeup. To get the protection stated on the label, you'd have to apply this liberally as instructed on the package (which is a little over 1 ml per application or about 1/4 tsp). Used daily, one tube should last about 45 days. Maybe two months if you don't mind less protection to stretch it out a bit.
With the correct amount applied, this "primer-like" sunscreen will never set. I have several durable foundations - Clarins Everlasting and Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24H - both of which wear like iron on my normal/dry skin. But these two refuse to dry down and set when worn over this sunscreen. I can wait ten minutes, touch my face, and foundation still feels buttery. It easily smears off. To fix that problem I liberally use loose powder and then it does set, but then it looks cakey and wears off weirdly throughout the day, like it started to congeal. This didn't even work well with mineral makeup. It looked dull and thick. So, I don't recommend this one with foundation unless you don't mind wearing a tiny bit so it'll work w/ makeup, and getting about SPF 8 protection as a result.
I DO like it with a bare face. It's good for days when I need to protect my skin before running errands and okay when working in the yard. The silicone texture blurs fine lines and it does make my skin look pretty. I do look a little bit white when it's used correctly but nothing too noticeable. Make sure to rub it away from the brows to prevent snowdrifts. ;)
Would I buy it again? I don't think so. While I think it's good for bare-faced errands, I like the tinted version better for that because it looks more natural (though it has only spf 30). And I prefer a more durable sunscreen when working outside as I tend to sweat and this one slips around. I like Shiseido's facial sunscreens better under makeup, especially the Urban Environment line and the blue tube line for outside work (when I don't really care how white my face is - I just want a s/s that sticks and works). continued >>
I'm giving this a 4, but it simply did not work for me. It's without a doubt a good sunscreen. I can totally see how it could be HG for many people. It has great antioxidants-- green tea, cranberry, pomegranate, as well as tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, which is a form of vitamin c that is lipid soluble, so it penetrates the skin easily. The downside for me is that it is packed with silicones and feels heavy on my very oily skin. It has a very silky/slippery texture that reminds me of a silicone primer. It makes my skin feel sticky, which as an oily-skinned gal I cannot stand. I much prefer matte/dry feeling sunscreens. This one feels like like it doesn't absorb/dry. I've also found that this sunscreen dehydrates my skin, but I am prone to dehydration. I'm not 100% sure if this was the culprit, but I broke out while using this, possibly due to all the occlusive silicones. Perhaps I'll give it another go when I'm spending more time outdoors. UPDATE: I've been using this the past two days. It definitely breaks me out. It gives me numerous whiteheads by the end of the day.
I just finished a .08oz sample of this that I received at Thompson Alchemy in NYC and WOWEE! This sunscreen has 1.5% Titanium Dioxide and 17% Zinc Oxide (physical blockers) yet leaves absolutely no white cast.
It has the same exact texture and application feel as high-end primer (very velvety and smooth) and definitely has a mattifying effect once applied.
I'm incredibly sensitive to sunscreens yet adamant about wearing them, even highly regarded Keihl's superfluid left my eyes stinging and my skin weighted, this feels like heaving going on, but feels like nothing once it's on.
I cannot wait to go back and purchase a full size product.
March 1 2014 Edit: I am now on my second full size tube of this product and I cannot recommend it enough! Holy Grail sunscreen/primer 100%!
This is for the non-tinted reformulated version of the gel, in which they've added an antioxidant complex (green tea, cranberry, pomegranate, vitamin C), as well as upped the spf from 30 to 50. I've also written a separate review for the tinted version (which is spf 30). No white cast on me (nc15-20ish) which is rare. I am fair skinned but have warm undertones so even a minor white cast looks dreadful on me. I find both this one and the tinted version to be very cosmetically elegant - they have a primer-like effect, blurrng imperfections and are matte (most likely due to the silica). Glides onto the skin easily (no rubbing required), leaving a smooth finish. Whereas the old version gel was drying for me, this one is not drying at all. Does not 'spackle' into the pores like some physical sunscreens. Not sure how often I'll reach for the untinted version since I prefer tinted sunscreens, but I'll use this now and again at the beach and such. Water resistant up to 80 mins. Tenacious and will probably require a cleansing oil to remove, which I use anyways. There is also a lotion spf 50 that I haven't tried but that is supposed to be more moisturizing.