I lucked out and got a bottle of this with a free mini travel-sized bottle. Yes, it does have a whitish cast (although when I rub it in, it pretty much all goes away), but I'll take a physical blocker any day over a chemical one. I use it over my mattifier and under my foundation. It doesn't make me any oilier, that I can tell, has basically no scent, and it doesn't irritate or breakout my skin in any way (huge plus). I live in Southern California, so I have to take more care with sun exposure, as I'm very fair and burn easily. I'll really put it through its paces when I wear it surfing - I'll try and update with the result.
Here's the deal - a lot of people won't like this as a daily, but I don't think it deserves to get such poor reviews as what some have given it.
I agree that this is a tough one to use on a daily basis, but it is an EXCELLENT sunblock - all physical, better than the sensitive skin formulation for those of us with ACTUAL sensitive skin (with the addition of the oat kernel extract), non-irritating (which I can attest to, having rosacea) and it contains antioxidants. Finally and most importantly (to me anyhow) it is a PPD 12 sunblock that is sweatproof and waterproof! I don't think that fact has been given enough attention.
So while it may not be the very most elegant ss out there, I choose to use it on those warm days when I'm hiking/biking/swimming and playing outside, getting all gross and sweaty because I know I'll be protected.
For those OTHER days, however, I'll probably be sticking with EltaMD physical 41 or Topix Elite 30 ;)
to be clear - unlike other sunscreens, this is a TOPICAL sunscreen/sunblock. It is made speficially to "sit" ontop of your skin, so it acts as a physical barrier against UVA/UVB rays. This is the best type of sunblock which is why they market it for babies. The type that soaks into your screen also works, but not as well as TOPICAL/PHYSICAL sunscreen. This is why it leaves a white residue -it's supposed to!
I bought this before a trip to Mexico- I'm pale and my boyfriend has sensitive skin. I hated it. It was so white so i had to scrub it into my face to get it blend and even then, I would discover a white streak somewhere. It's expensive for the small bottle and I find Coppertone or Hawaiian Tropic work just as well for keeping the sun at bay. Plus I found when I washed my clothes after the trip- even after a load of laundry I had white streaks on some of my clothes. I gave it a 2 because I didn't get crispy wearing it.
This made me break out in the worst heat rash ever. I used it for a long bike ride and have horrible red bumps everywhere it was applied. It felt like it never fully absorbed, and when I started to sweat it kind of beaded up and became an oil slick on my skin.
A quick review:
Yes, it does have a somewhat white-ish cast, but it does NOT irritate my skin or cause my eyes to burn. This is quite the rarity for me, nowadays. For anyone with "sunscreen issues" this is worth is try, especially if you can return/exchange at a local drugstore.
As I've gotten older (but not *old* ;o) I've become more sensitive to some sort of ingredient/fragrance to seems to be in almost every sunscreen, even if it's physical-only, chemical (Avobenzone, etc.), oil-free, alcohol-free, fragrance-free... The biggest sign of this is a problem where my eyes seem to burn/water, even though I don't get the sunscreen near them, and usually powder over it to prevent "travel" during the day. After just a few hours I will feel like I'm squinting, and my eyes are tired... and it's really just the sunscreen! I also have this trouble with a variety of liquid foundations with SPF of various levels and types.
I bought this because I heard it had less of a white cast than the sensitive skin version. Well, apparently that's not saying much at all. This goes on heavy and white and does fade down a bit- but it's still whiter than the shiseido spf 55 lotion and cream when that's first *applied*. Horrible, unwearable, unless maybe you wipe most of it off after applying like the review below does. In which case- why bother?
Will not repurchase.
I really like this stuff. I use this and the stick sunscreen on both my body and parts of my face (ie ears, neck, and sometimes eyelids/cheeks). I like cocktailing it with the UltraSheer SPF 85, because I use sunscreen as my moisturizer in the morning so when I need more moisture I can just mix this stuff in. I am a "daywalker" and burn like a crisp whenever I step outside, so this stuff works really well.
However, be careful if you have acne prone skin, the beeswax can clog my pores if I use too much.
This is my HG sunscreen from now on, I switched from Neutrogena Ultra Sheer. This one has it's plus and negatives, but the positives to me weighed out the negatives. I love how it does not clog my pores, cause pimples and does not irritate my skin at all. The Ultra Sheer one would kind of sting but this one does not at all.
The only thing that I could see as a negative that would bother people would be the sheer white film it leaves on your face. I'm a Classic Ivory color so the sheer film does not bother me. It actually covers up and little redness I have and helps cover up any pimples I may have. This sunscreen I have been using everyday (except for cloudy days, which is very few because I live in Florida) for the past four months.
ugh. I thought I could pull this off because Im very very fair skinned. But I could not. too much white cast! I blended well, and put foundation over top. but I still looked like a geisha. it has a nice texture though. and I may save it for the summer for my arms & legs.