Neutrogena Pure & Free Liquid Daily Sunblock, SPF 50

Neutrogena Pure & Free Liquid Daily Sunblock, SPF 50

3.3

53 reviews

54% would repurchase

Package Quality: 4.0

Price: $$

Package Quality: 4.0

Price: $$

INGREDIENTS

Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide 5%, Zinc Oxide 3% Inactive Ingredients: Water, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Trisiloxane, Dimethicone, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Silica, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Polyglyceryl-4 Diisostearate/Polyhydroxystearate/Sebacate, PPG-12/SMDI Copolymer, Bisabolol, Magnesium Sulfate, Caprylyl Glycol, DMDM Hydantoin, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, BHT


on 6/18/2016 4:58:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Red, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

I have a suspicion this was reformulated sometime in the past year. This was my go-to for ages, then I switched to a similar, more cosmetically elegant product from Clarins, which was discontinued. Back to Pure and Free. It's super-gritty and the previously totally matte, totally unobtrusive base is now emollient enough that it breaks up during the day and oxidizes my foundation. I thought I was imagining it, but I definitely have some redness on my chest from about 40 minutes of sun exposure yesterday, but none on my face, where I'd used Mineral Veil first. Not sure if it was the SPF in Mineral Veil that protected my face or if the barrier kept the liquid from breaking up on my face but not on my chest. I'm not thrilled with discovering that I need to prime a sunscreen before I run out for errands, though.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.



on 6/11/2016 11:37:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

I really like this for use when I'm going to be outside. It completely protects my skin and dries down to a matte finish. It has never stung when it's gotten into my eyes from sweat either - a major plus. The only thing I don't love is the white cast it leaves on my skin, but that's to be expected with any physical sun product. And it helps me make sure I've applied it everywhere.


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on 4/14/2016 9:46:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Brown

i do not like this product at all. i like that it is a physical sunscreen but this formula is not very good. it has a very gritty feel to it that when i rub it into my skin it feels like i am micro exfoliating my face. for this reason i prefer the chemical subscreen formula over this one. :(

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.


Age: 56 & Over

Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

I LOVE this product. It is more than a sunscreen to me -- when I use it, I can forego wearing foundation. I used GA Luminous Silk -- very pricey, but it was the best I had found. Even so, after a day of wear, it would congregate into any lines and along flakes, making them look obvious. But after using this sunscreen, followed by a primer, my skin is evenly colored and practically poreless. All I have to do is add a little cream blush and concealer on anything I want to hide (which I had to do with foundation, anyway), and I look flawless for the rest of the day. I even think I look younger, because there is nothing to migrate into lines as there was before. I like that I can get a better result with less stuff to use in my morning routine. Granted, this would probably only work for someone with light skin color, as it DOES have a whitish cast to it. And it IS a bit on the dry side, but since I am that rare bird, an older woman with oily skin, this is actually a benefit. I wear a light moisturizer under it to counteract TOO much dryness. It IS a bit pricey for such a small bottle of sunscreen. But when you consider that by buying an $11 sunscreen, I no longer am buying a $65 foundation, it's more than a fair trade.


on 10/30/2015 2:28:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Blue

This left much too much of a white cast on my pale skin. It did not rub in well at all and was very drying. I know this is common for all physical sunscreens, but this was extreme. I would have tried to rub in some tint with it to counter act the white cast, but it was so drying, I did not bother. The consistency is interesting and very liquid (this has a ball or something in it so you shake it like spray paint) but that did not lead to an easy application for me. I have had much better luck with the tinted Elta MD physical and even with the Burn-Out Eco-Sensitive.


Age: 36-43

Skin: Normal, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Blue

After trying numerous sunscreens over the years, I've settled on Neutrogena's Pure and Free for everyday use. This is a physical sunscreen, which I've learned through trial and error is the style that makes the most sense for my routine as it involves layering on a fair number of skincare products.

Chemical sunscreens need to go on as the first layer onto clean, bare skin in order to be absorbed properly (other products can interfere with their absorption) and become active. The process takes about 20-30 minutes and until enough time has passed, you will not be protected. I am not a fan of this approach. [EDITED TO ADD 2/10/2016 — total misinformation. I need to edit this section and will soon enough. It was written in good faith but ya know what? Chemical SS should actually go on after skincare and before makeup, just like physical SS. My bad. Sorry, sorry :(. This was written when I was more of a SS noob.]

Physical sunscreens on the other hand are best applied as the *last* step before foundation and other makeup. That's a better fit for my routine. I also like the fact that as soon as you put it on, you're protected.

I wear some kind of serum every day, usually Peter Thomas Roth's PM retinol serum (I know, I know! It even has PM in the name). Conventional wisdom is that retinol-based products shouldn't be worn during the day (and is probably the case with prescription-strength stuff); however, there's enough countervailing information out there regarding daytime use of OTC retinol products that I feel comfortable with this practice.

The PTR serum contains both vitamin C and E, which theoretically should offer additional protection. I prefer this to be the first layer on my skin rather than a sunscreen. Moisturizer goes on right after. Sometimes more than one if I feel like I need it.

So, a physical sunscreen just makes more sense for my routine. I've tried the chemical route before but I was always worried that my other skincare stuff wouldn't be as effective since that's a lot of product for my skin to absorb. I also think that a physical sunscreen does a better job of protecting any sun-sensitive ingredients that might be on my skin from the earlier layers. Basically just trying to get a good balance of skincare and sun-protection!

The tradeoff is that physical sunscreens tend to be less cosmetically elegant. I haven't found one that doesn't have a white cast (at least initially) and frankly, I don't think I would trust one that doesn't. I've actually come to appreciate the white cast as it's a good visual indicator of whether or not I've achieved full-coverage. No white cast? Whoops, missed a spot; lemme go over that area again.

Pure and Free is the best drugstore-priced physical sunscreen I've tried. It's not perfect (it's a bit shiny and has chewed through certain foundations), but I've been happy enough with it that I've repurchased it probably a dozen times. It's probably not the most elegant physical SPF out there, but it's readily available at many drugstores near me, gets the job done and is also moderately priced, though not quite cheap.

Texturally, it's a milky liquid that layers pretty well under makeup. Although it's sheer, I always apply it liberally ' just because it's sheer doesn't mean it's okay to apply the least amount you can get away with! It does have an initial white cast, but that's par for the course.

Let it sink in for about five minutes while you brush your teeth or something, and then rub it in to get it to absorb more fully. As this is designed to be worn under makeup anyway, any remaining white case issues are usually dealt with via foundation. I generally apply a primer with 30 SPF on top of this for extra protection, and then foundation.

FYI, I have very fair skin that burns easily, live in one of the sunniest neighborhoods in San Francisco, and am frequently outside for hours at a time (though seek shade whenever possible). Have not been burned once with this stuff. I trust it.

That said, while I love Pure and Free, I don't love it *so* very much that I'm not open to other options (would love a a physical SPF that is basically the same as this in the same price range but with a more matte finish!). But, if asked for a recommendation for a physical SPF, this would be the first thing that comes to mind.

I'm giving it five lippies, but it's really a 4.5 for me.

11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.


on 7/4/2015 7:54:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

This is a liquid type, physical only sunscreen that is silky in texture. There is a very slight white cast but actually works well to even skintone. This is great as primer or mixed in with foundation. The only this is that I have doubts that this could be SPF50 with only 3% Zinc Oxide. I'm using to other that are around the 10% mark and also SPF50 so I don't this this provides that high a SPF protection. This also has 5% titanium dioxide but that doesn't provide much UVA so there is almost sole reliance upon the Zinc component. Anyhow, that aside, i like this a lot and is so light for layering. The best textured physical sunscreen is Dermaquest at 17% Zinc Oxide, which i use when i'm getting some major rays. This is good for when you need a little protection which gets along well with all other stuff you put on your face.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.


Age: 19-24

Skin: Very Oily, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Green

Background on my skin: Very oily, acne prone, rosacea.

I bought this to see how it compared to my favorite sunscreen of all time, Biore UV Perfect Face Milk PA++++. I have a review in my profile if you are curious about that. I really can't see myself ever giving up the Biore, but it doesn't hurt to look for a dupe that I can buy locally (vs having to order online).

The consistency of Neutrogena Pure & Free liquid is much like Biore's, very liquid-y. The thinner the formula, the better, as it looks lighter on my skin & is less likely to grease up.

Moving forward, the ingredients looked pretty promising for my pizzaface. However I think this sunscreen is more suited for "normal" or "combination" skin as it is quite moisturizing. Unlike other moisturizing sunscreens, this one does not leave a tacky film on my face. It does eventually dry to a matte finish. Unfortunately the matte finish only lasted about 4 hours, whereas Biore can last up to 8. One pro Neutrogena has over Biore, is that this sunscreen does not contain a ton of drying alcohol (*potentially* drying/irritant). Additionally, Neutrogena has a more skin-like finish vs. Biore's slightly powdery look.

This sunscreen offers very good UVA ray protection. It is a physical sunblock (3% zinc, 5% titanium dioxide) so I would recommend using cleansing oil before your regular (soap) cleanser to remove it. The good thing about that is physical SS doesn't need to be reapplied as often as chemical SS.

Last but least - there is one more "con" to take into consideration. This sunscreen leaves a major white cast. I personally do not mind this too much, as it lightens my foundation shade (I'm NC10...). But that might be a major problem for others. The trick to getting rid of the white cast is to consistently buff/blend the liquid into your skin.

The bottom line: Neutrogena Pure & Free liquid will not be replacing my beloved Biore. However I do plan on using it here & there during the winter, along with any time I can not get my hands on a bottle of UV Perfect Face Milk PA++++. I would repurchase, especially given the fact there are very few proper sunscreens on the market.

10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.


on 6/3/2014 2:07:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Cool

Hair: Blond, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Blue

I used this product product for a few days and it caused a rash and made me break out. My cheeks turned very pink, dry and bumpy. Initially, I thought it was from the Zinc Oxide...but I've since used sunscreens with ZO in them and have had no problems.

And so much search for the HG sunscreen continues

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.


Age: 19-24

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I have this in Pure & Free Sensitive SPF 50.
This is one of the only sunscreens I have tried that haven't broken me out, burned me, or were full of oil and other horrible things that gave me awful skin. It was $12.99 I think, here in Canada at Shoppers Drug Mart.

Now that spring and summer are approaching, I'll be incorporating this into my everyday makeup routine.
Will repurchase. Would recommend.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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