Well, I'm on my third bottle which is saying a lot since most items don't get purchased twice. This is the only facial sunscreen that doesn't break me out or cause a rash. It's also a nice primer for my foundation and I don't notice the white cast. Over 40 and trying to keep my skin from any more damage caused in my younger years (baby oil used as tanning lotion anyone?) Now if I could just find a mineral filter body sunscreen that I liked.
I can't believe I haven't reviewed this product before! It's the only sunscreen I have ever used that hasn't broken me out. When I'm pretty oily, I can use this as a moisturizer as well. If you can't take a chemical sunscreen, give this a try.
UPDATE: 09/2008: THIS PRODUCT HAS BEEN DISCONTINUED AND REFORMULATED N.B. The following is a review for the *old* formula. The new one is not as good. See here for further information on the new (current, 2008-10) version.
[Original and unadulterated review now follows ... ] Big thumbs up because it's one of the few sunscreens I don't react to; but I'm no longer buying it as the price is unconscionable, and it's not the only thing like this out there.
I've been using this off and on since it came out. First bought as a replacement for Origins' Silent Treatment, RIP. I have been to-ing and fro-ing between this and Paula's Choice Pure Mineral Sunscreen SPF 15.
I have fair skin that has been known to burn in the rain and is sensitive and photosensitive, producing spectacular blotchy hives at the drop of a hat. Literally. It also reacts to non-physical UV blockers with amusing breakouts. I have been wearing sunscreens of one sort or another for decades. This one is the best facial sunscreens I've used.
The main useful ingredient is titanium dioxide, which reflects most UVA & UVB radiation. Note that it doesn't contain zinc oxide, and thus doesn't bounce off the whole crucial spectrum. Also note that Clarins does not declare how much TiO2 is in this stuff, nor the PPD. That's a bit naughty. Other MUAers have the info: TM911 (see review) says this has a PPD of "8ish" and springchick (see review too) says there's "~ 8% Titanium Dioxide."
I have used this successfully year-round in northern Europe, the Mediterranean, in the Pacific northwest, the Great Lakes, on the East Coast as far south as Virginia, in St Louis MO, and on Bermuda in July (that was the real test). I have *not* used it closer to the Equator nor in the Antipodes, so cannot make any claims as to its efficacy there (though I can recommend E45 reflective SPF50, Blue Lizard Baby, and Vanicream 60 for there). And when it's very sunny I usually wear a hat, too. Any excuse for a hat.
This stuff should be applied after your usual moisturiser (so: as well as moisturiser - not instead of it). Shake well before use. It is a very light fluid, and one only needs a small blob about the diameter of a dime/EUR 5c/GBP1p piece. That seems too little, but the formula is different from other sunscreens (less background padding/fillers). Apply all over face, neck, ears, and around eyes. Rub in a little. It will dry in an invisible way; on drier skin, it'll be matte (but not drying), I gather than on oilier skin it may be slightly shiny. On most skin, it's smooth, velvety, barely perceptible. You'll know if you've put on too much, as there will be a white cast. It is very non-reactive - so can be applied on eyelids.
So far, it works well, in that I've had no sunburn, photosensitive reactions, or any reactions to the product itself. I also tested this against the La Roche-Posay Anthelios Fluide Extreme SPF 50 (one on each side of the face for a day), and the Clarins was better. In that the LRP side reacted. That may be my skin; to LRP's credit, there was no burning.
I have also used Paula's Choice Pure Mineral Sunscreen SPF 15 (see review). It has similar ingredients (+ ZnO2), the same effect - used in the same way as the Clarins, and in a northern, not-very-sunny place - and is a lot cheaper. While it's fine here in northern Europe, I would suggest something stronger under more intense sun (nearer equator/antipodes).
NB Contains fragrance (but mild and non-reactive on this and many another sensitive soul). Cost: yes, it is expensive. You're looking at 30-something USD/EUR for a 30 ml bottle. The Paula's Choice Pure Mineral Sunscreen SPF 15 is not dramatically dissimilar, can be used the same way, and is 1/7 of the price in Europe and 1/15 the price in the US... But: the Clarins is more elegant than the PC, feels fabulous on the skin, and while it is expensive, the 30 ml bottle lasts a good 6 months - and you can get a 50 ml version in North America and some international duty-frees. Above all, it's reliable for not irritating or letting you burn. Sure, it's no Blue Lizard, and I would wear something stronger (and a hat) on day-long hikes. But it is so easy and fast to apply there's just no excuse for not including it in an everyday beauty routine, ensuring that your skin is protected when working at home and in offices, only outside for brief spells, etc.
[NB I have subsequently moved on to other sunscreens that are as good or better, and cheaper. See other reviews and notepad.]
INGREDIENTS: Cyclopentasiloxane, aqua, titanium dioxide, aluminum starch octenylsuccinate, polyglyceryl-3 polydimethylsiloxyethyl dimethicone, alcohol denat., aluminum hydroxide, stearic acid, PEG-12 dimethicone, sodium chloride, PEG/PPG-18/18 dimethicone, phenoxyethanol, tocopheryl acetate, camellia sinensis, parfum, disodium EDTA, methylparaben, propylene glycol, butylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben, benzyl salicylate, geraniol, citronellol, benzyl benzoate, butylphenyl methylpropional, hydroxyisohexyl 3-cyclohexene carboxaldehyde, limonene, hexal cinnamal.
One of the best. Excellent texture! I highly recommend. Excellent packaging, too!
One of the best suncreens I've tried. Even after a day at the beach, it kept my face matte, without the taut feeling. My skin did not turn red too. Excellent product.
Another great product I cannot live without. Been using this since the product first launched I believe in 2005 when I was working in the cosmetics department, I heard about it through a coworker who worked at the Clarins counter. I loved everything about this sunscreen that when she was off, I sold tons of the product for her! and I worked over at the Origins counter...LOL. sure it is pricey, but well worth it. It's lightweight, the fragrance is light and best of all, it's got white tea in it! Definitely give this one a try!
My cousin started using this product and recommended it to me. She has dry/normal skin and I have normal/combo skin and this product works great for the both of us. It is not greasy, no strong scent and is absorbed quickly. Definitely will repurchase.
This sunscreen is very gentle to the eye and skin, which is my no. 1 concern. I use it as a moisturizer as well and my skin is just fine in teh sun. The only thing is that it might be a little too lotion like to me. A cream texture would make it perfect.
I LOVE this product. It is truly amazing. EVERY sunscreen in the world makes me cry, breaks me out, and is too thick. This sunscreen doesn't do ANY of those things. I love the fact that is is a SPF 40 and dries to a Matte finish. Without a doubt my HG sunscreen.
I've been searching for a non-greasy, non-comedogenic, relatively-priced sunscreen that won't turn my face ghostly white, and when I came across the reviews on MUA, I thought the Clarins UV Screen could be just what I was looking for. First off, let me tell you that I hate wearing sunscreen (mostly b/c the ones I've tried in the past were either greasy, broke me out, turned my face white, or the SPF wasn't high enough). So, I usually end up not wearing sunscreen (I know, I know, shame on me). =( However, Clarins UV Screen had decent reviews so I decided "What the heck? You never know..." The texture is very liquidy, and I only need a few drops to cover my entire face. After applying, my face isn't greasy or oily, but it's actually soft and matte. Also, I was afraid of breaking out, but my skin stayed clear and nonreactive to this sunscreen. Unfortunately, the one bad thing I noticed was that this leaves my face a weird pinkish/apricotish color (as if I was wearing a too-pink-for-me foundation). Granted my face didn't turn white, but I didn't like the pinkish hue, either. No matter what I did (shake the bottle vigorously for about 30 sec; use only 2 drops instead of 3-4 drops; etc.), there was that apricot-colored tint. Generally speaking, this sunscreen has lots to offer: mineral and not chemical, high SPF, non-comedogenic, petite packaging, and goes on matte and smooth, but b/c of the unnatural color it gives my face, I won't be repurchasing.