As an african american woman who uses obagi and retin a products, I am always searching for a physical/chemical sunscreen that is right for me. This was not it, it left of course the expected white cast on my face--but I solved this by mixing with foundation. But the deal breaker was that it felt very heavy and oily on my skin, all day I could feel it on and I could not wait to get home and wash it off. If anyone has any recs mail me, I'm off to try Shiseido!
i found this to be a terrible product. it is thick, leaves white streaks and balls up. i am very fair and could still see the streaks. i would not give this product a recommendation and suggest that you save your money.
I'm about NC15/20 and while this does leave a slight white cast, it's not as bad as other untinted physical ss (i.e. Bioderma Mineral) and I find it to be quite wearable. I do love the texture and color of Elta Physical much better, but I wanted to try this because the spf was higher and also because it's readily available at the drugstore. Like others have stated, you have to make sure to blend it well because it will dry streaky otherwise. And unless you're oily, you definitely need to moisturize beforehand because this dries fairly matte (which I like). In comparison with Blue Lizard Baby, the Neutrogena is much less oily and less whitening.
I haven't had any problems with this! I started using it since I loved the previous Neutrogena sensitive skin sunblock but left off using it as I felt the SPF wasn't enough (back then it was 30). This was the same as the new sensitive skin formula but with oat extract, which is calming to sensitive skin. Helioplex kills my skin and eyes when I wear it, so I have to avoid it. I usually take my shower at night, moisturize my face, etc, and sleep. I don't usually wash my face when I wake up, but this sunscreen works fine with my routine (since it doesn't go on over super dry skin). I like it; I've been kind of erratic about sunscreen lately since I couldn't find one that didn't hurt and protected enough, but I will be more vigilant with this.
Throwing my hat into the ring here, and giving this a positive review, but with some caveats! I previously tried the Sensitive version, which is basically the same formulation minus the oat kernel additive. I did not give it a fair enough trial before deciding it was too whitening. So, I tried again. By moisturizing before applying (either with a moisturizing cleanser like Albolene or rich moisturizer like Weleda Almond) I have been able to minimize the white cast in so far as preventing it from settling onto dry patches and into pores. I mix it with dark tinted moisturizer (using the Dermalogica spf15 in dark) and that helps with the cast. With other physical screens, I had to abandon the effort because the white streaks and patches were too much to cover up, but for this product it's manageable and seems worth the bother. It has a soothing, smooth texture and is easly to apply and to remove (big plus, since I hate ss that are like glue and require cleansing oils). Yes, the Pure and Free can look atrocious if you haphazardly apply and don't blend. Then you might catch yourself in a mirror outside and realize you have white streaks or blotches-- not good. If you take the effort to work with this, it is an excellent all physical block. I do think that Neutrogena is using "sunspheres" a patented ingred. that boosts the spf, allowing them to use less of the actives. I still wish there were a decent ss that I could just slap on and go with, and look fine, without all this trouble. For now, I'm going to use this for a while. Update: 3/15/09-- Still like this, but it really can look very bad if you're not uber-diligent about moisturizing first, blending well, and mixing with bronzer or the like. Not good for mornings when you're in a rush! Update: 8/2/09- I gave up on trying to look presentable in this. It's just too chalky. I had to keep checking during the day to make sure no white streaks were showiing.
There are cosmetically elegant physical sunscreens out there that offer better UVA protection (Elta MD UV Physical SPF 41, Topix Glycolix Elite SPF 30), but many kudos go to Neutrogena for devising a way to enhance the protection afforded by a modest % of ZnO and TO2. I found this SS to be non-comedogenic, extremely gentle, and moderately moisturizing (without being greasy). It did ball up somewhat, and I found it very whitening, and so the search for the perfect physical SS continues. For those who are interested, the estimated PPD is 12.
As noted by others, for all physical sun block, this ss offers very good uva screen. Yes, it is thick and certainly does leave a white cast. There is no pleasure to putting this on, you inwardly cringe; but the finish is exceptionally matte, for an all physical block, once it finally incorporates. Foundation over top will handle the white cast, or even just powder bronze. If you have dry skin, I doubt you'll like this; it accentuates even mild surface dehydration. This adheres to the skin very well, doesn't migrate into eyes, doesn't inflame sensitive skin. Since it is all physical, there are no issues about photo stability, and your makeup will never degrade the spf. It is far and away the best all physical ds ss currently available, in terms of finish, durability and protection.
if youve already tried neutrogena's new sensitive skin formula and disliked it, you wont like the pure and free baby any more because the texture, application and wear are identical.
i wore this all day on saturday and sunday while running errands and was appalled everytime i caught a glimpse of myself in a mirror--despite my best blending efforts, i had random streaks everywhere and as my face got oilier through the day, you could see my real skintone through patches where the sunscreen was melting off. and im pale! somethings gotta be pretty white for my pasty skin to show through! soo nasty.
anyone who has experimented with sunscreens knows the feeling of spending the whole day itching to get home and scrub a particularly bad one off cause it looks AND feels bad. that is what i experienced with this. my face felt tight and uncomfortable all day. i am certainly no spring chicken when it comes to the sunscreen game and i found this one to be unacceptable. i will not sacrifice my appearance or sanity for a decent PPD.
i think people are really wanting to like this because, on paper, its got a lot of great attributes--mineral only/high spf, non breakout causing ingredients, readily available and affordable. in theory, its great. in practice, a total letdown. seriously, is it that difficult to give a sunscreen a good finish? especially for neutrogena who cranks out a new one like every other month!
this may be good for sensitive body skin, but look elsewhere if youre wanting an undetectable, comfortable sunscreen for your face.
There is an initial smell to this, but blessedly it goes away quickly. This formula goes on smoothly, and is lightly moisturizing. It is unlikely to clog pores and contains minimal irritants. It should work for most normal/combo/oily sensitive skins, at least in the winter. You need to rub it in a bit until it absorbs. It is a little whitening, but you're not done yet - apply your bronzer, tinted moisturizer or foundation, and you've got decent UVA protection (PPD is about 12) that won't be destabilized by anything in your makeup. That is the highest PPD of any all-physical sunscreen available to date. Nothing to sneeze at :-)
I am tentatively giving this product a 4 and saying I would buy again, but I am also planning on trying a few another new s/s, so we'll see what happens. Anyway, I really wanted to try this but for once didn't feel like going to a million places, but I was in CVS and figured I would look, even though my CVS isn't really ontop of new products usually. Well there it was and the last tube so of course i couldn't help myself.
I used this for the last two days and I am pretty pleased. Let me start by saying is yes there is a white cast, but i've seen worse. I put on my moisturizer and let that sink in about 75% then put this over it so they would kindof blend togehter and then let the sunscreen sink in. After i would say 7 minutes (i know, i know who really has all that time to wait before work)) the cast really wasn't that noticable. I also might try to mix in a little bronzer gel with it and see if that helps. The finish was slightly tacky but not sticky or greasy. My liquid foundation went over this very smoothly. I did not find this to be overly moisturizing or super matte, however by midday I did notcie my skin was significantly less oily than usual. So we shall see...I will update if anything changes
EDITING already....day 3 and i think i just really wanted to like this but there is no way I can use this everyday. It's just too heavy, too white, and too tacky for me...the search goes on