Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Ultra-Sheer Daily Defense SPF 30

Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Ultra-Sheer Daily Defense SPF 30


20 reviews

35% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.5

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 3.5

Price: $$$

Not tested on animals


Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Curly, Other

Eyes: Green

I should have read the reviews before buying this. The texture is thin, but doesn't sink in quickly. It stings my face, smells like sunscreen, and is overall unpleasant to use.

on 4/2/2016 11:38:00 AM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Olive, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Curly, Medium

Eyes: Brown


Effective Protection
Not Greasy
Rubs In Well
UVA/UVB Protection


Stings eyes

Best Uses

Daily Use

I've been on a quest for facial sunscreen, and have been going through samples of PC products because I haven't had good luck with other brands. I am olive complected with "extreme" combination normal to oily skin and some sensitivity. I tried Resist Youth-Extending Daily Hydrating Fluid SPF 50, Skin Balancing spf 30, and Hydralight spf 30. I felt a little like Goldilocks and the three bears...

All three sunscreens were great for daily use: lightweight, absorbed quickly, left no white cast, non-greasy, just a touch of moisture for skin tending toward oilyness, didn't add to facial oil production throughout the day. All three are somewhat liquid in texture, but not too thin. This means they are easy to apply and don't feel mask-like as other sunscreens might.

Here is where the three differed:

Resist spf 50 (chemical sunscreen)--soothing, did not sting eyes, but left a sheen ie, was not mattifying on my skin

Skin Balancing spf 30 (chemical sunscreen)--ok on face but burned around my eyes, mattifying

Hydralight spf 30 (physical sunscreen)--soothing, did not sting eyes, and mattifying, a bit thicker than the others but easy to work into skin

In my case Hydralight was the "just right" solution to quell my sensitive eye area and provide some mattification. I also really loved the super light weight of Resist spf 50 and Skin Balancing. I think if the Resist product didn't leave a sheen, that would be my HG sunscreen since it provides a bit more protection, is non-irritating and has great anti-aging ingredients. Skin Balancing was also great as a lightweight handcream, leaving my hands feeling silky and smooth with no shine. For now, I'm going to stick with Hydralight as my full purchase, but all three are worthy of sampling.

Also note that Hydralight is being "discontinued". The same formula is being repackaged in the Calm line of products for Normal to Oily skin.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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on 3/22/2016 5:43:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Olive, Neutral

Hair: Black, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

If you have acne-prone skin and want to try a sunscreen from Paulas Choice, I suggest you start with The Clear Mattifying SPf 30 rather than this one. IMHO is better for our skin type.

This one is creamier than the Clear SPf 30 which is watery (good thing for acne-prone skin). It also goes on white and then blends in to a transparent tacky then matte finish that feels like a film on the skin. I REALLY dont like that. I have some clogged pores today and I think is from this sunscreen, since nothing else has changed in my skincare/makeup routine. The oil control of this is nothing to brag about. I got as oily and sweaty as usual.

This one also smells more strongly to chemical sunscreen than the CLear Spf 30 one. I swear compared to the other one, applying Clear Spf 30 feels like slathering water on my face.

I will not repurchase this one, or buy anything else from the Skin Balancing line out of fear of breakouts. Im sticking to the Clear and Hydralight Paula's lines for now.

on 11/5/2015 8:45:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Why I will not repurchase,
-Stings my eyes if I accidentally get a trace of it, not to mention it will sting my under-eye area
-very liquid-ey/runny
-other options for similar cost, not to mention Canadian exchange rate right now is terrible.

Potential Pros
-Absorbs fairly quickly (i usually top it with a BB cream with spf as well)
-Works fine under makeup
-Does not become gritty after exercise/sweating
-Does not break me out/clog pores

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Age: 19-24

Skin: Oily, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Black

I got this sun screen as a sample. At first, I feel that the texture of this sunscreen is a little thick. But after being absorbed by the skin, it actually feels pretty light. This sunscreen is definitely not as greasy and oily as other sunscreens, but still a little shine appeared on my face. Overall, not a bad sunscreen, and I like how light it feels after it is absorbed into the skin, but I am looking for a sunscreen that can do a even better job.

on 12/26/2014 3:16:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Tan, Warm

Hair: Black, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Black

The texture is lovely but it stings around my eyes, that can't be a good sign. I won't be buying this again.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

on 11/10/2014 5:28:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Olive, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Coarse

Eyes: Hazel

I love this sunscreen! I wanted something that had antioxidants and a decent sunscreen in one, and this fitted the bill perfectly! I usually use physical sunscreens as my skin is extremely reactive, but after my mum kept commenting on how white I looked (despite packing on tons of bronzer to counteract the white cast of zinc) I thought id try this. Since Ive been using this (around 2 months now I think) my skin has evened up a little, which makes me think that actually the protection in this sunscreen is much better than the physical ones I have been using in the past. The texture is watery, but dries to a matte, slightly dewy finish which is very natural looking. It is easy to blend and absorbs well. It has not irritated my skin in any way which is amazing as I normally get terrible stinging and redness with chemical sunscreens. I have no white cast from this either which is a nice relief, I dont have to pile on the bronzer anymore! It is also easily removed with face wash (which is another bonus as having to scub/rub skin to get off previous physical sunscreens has also been a burden!) I'm very happy to have found this gem!

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Age: 25-29

Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Black, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

Really great moisturiser with sunscreen! Doesn't irritate my skin at all and it help balance my oily nose. I just don't like the watery texture that makes it hard to put on my finger before applying to face.

on 7/27/2014 9:55:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair, Cool

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Brown

I found this similiar to the sunscreen in the:' PC4MEN' line. The only differences between the two being was that this is slightly more moisturizing and does not have a distinct smell of aloe. This does not flake and may be good to use in the winter when skin becomes drier. I wouldn't recommend this for severely dry skin though.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

on 6/26/2014 1:31:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Very Oily, Fair-Medium, Cool

Hair: Grey, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Green

I like the consistency of this moisturizer and the fact that it sinks in completely and looks fairly matte. BUT it burns/stings like crazy and makes my face go red! I don't know why - I haven't had this problem with any other of the PC products. So unfortunately I can't use it on my face :(

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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