Monday, June 6th, 2011

Kiehl's Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+
Kiehl’s Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+

Kiehl’s Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+

Kiehl’s Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+ ($34.00 for 1.7 fl. oz. or $56.00 for 4.2 fl. oz.) is described as “oil-free, ultra-lightweight” while using a “patented photo-stabilized technology with long-lasting broad-spectrum protection” against both UVA and UVB rays. Kiehl’s recommends layering over your moisturizer for optimal protection. It contains Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (15%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (5%), and Oxybenzone (6%).

The consistency of this is most definitely fluid, and I recommended shaking well prior to use to ensure proper consistency, which is still thin and runny–much like milk but slightly thicker. The thinner consistency allows for easy application, as it spreads well and evenly across the face and doesn’t require five minutes of massaging it into skin to avoid any white casts or streaks, as some thicker and higher SPF products might.

I loved how non-greasy and quick-absorbing this sunscreen was.  It doesn’t leave behind a heavy shine at all–mostly semi-matte to slightly natural in the dry down. It does smell somewhat like sunscreen when applied, but I found the scent faded within a few minutes and didn’t linger throughout the day. When I initially tried this last year, I thought it was breaking me out, so I immediately stopped using it, but I re-initiated testing a couple of weeks ago to great success (and no breakouts), so I’m relieved and pleased to have found a new sunscreen for summer–even if it is still rather gloomy here in June!

See more photos!

Kiehl's Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+
Kiehl’s Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+

Kiehl's Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+
Kiehl’s Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+

Kiehl's Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+
Kiehl’s Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+

Kiehl's Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+
Kiehl’s Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+

Kiehl's Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+
Kiehl’s Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+

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60 thoughts on “Kiehl’s Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+ Review, Photos

  1. Mel

    I really love anything fom Kiehl’s! I dont doubt this is wonderful! :D

  2. Ingredients are really really bad D:

    • It would be great if you would elaborate :)

      • mar

        physical blocks tend to block more and provide more stable protection.

        • Do you have a resource/source so I could read more?

          • Avatar of AS AS

            Chemical blockers are the ones that expire over time and degrade in the light, losing efficacy. Physical blocks, such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which are inorganic, do not. A basic academic site explaining the difference in function can be found here: http://www.dermatology.ucsf.edu/skincancer/General/prevention/Sunscreen.aspx
            Chemical blocks, like the ones in this sunscreen can sometimes provide a higher SPF rating, but the sun blocking agents themselves are oils, so they can feel greasy. Hence, oil-absorbing chemicals, such as silicones, are added to improve the texture. Anything ending in “-cone” or “-siloxane” is a type of silicone. There is also a paraben in the ingredients. I think that is what the readers above mean. I still use chemical blocks myself, because I need the higher level of protection, but I am really interested in finding a high-level physical blocker, if anyone knows a good one. I doesn’t matter if it looks a bit white, as my skins is so light, which is why I need good sun protection! I would wear it under makeup.

          • AshD

            This is actually a photostable sunscreen – many chemical blocks are unstable, but this particular one should be ok, if reapplied every 2 hours. (the avobenzone is stablized by octocrylene in this, as it should be). That said, all chemical sunscreens degrade somewhat & can cause free radical damage – it is less damage than you’ll get from the sun though, so it’s still good to wear it! however, it contains oxybenzone (also known as benzophenone-3) which has been proven to accumulate in body tissues at higher rates than other chemical blocks – since it does bioaccumulate in organs, and is also proven to mimic estrogen in the body, I choose to stay away from it. if you only use this rarely (for a day at the beach) it should be OK, but DO NOT use if you are pregnant or hoping to become pregnant soon. Or I would not use it on small children as chemicals accumulate at higher rates in them.

            • meme

              Thanks for adding this info. I was about to post the same info but went back to read all the comments that got here before I did.

            • Cindy

              Yeah, oxybenzone has been banned in several countries, including the EU. I think it’s crazy that a potential carcinogen is an ingredient in something that some people use to protect against skin cancer.

        • AshD

          They are more stable, but the amount of protection you’re getting depends on how much of the physical filter is in the sunscreen. if for instance you use one with only 5% zinc oxide, then you’re getting less protection than a chemical block. (for good UVA protection you need at least 10% zinc oxide). Also, there are new chemical filters that provide better protection than physical ones, but the best one (Tinosorb) is not yet availabe in the US yet – it is worth it to order your sunscreens from Europe, Canada, or Asia.

      • Miramía

        Hi Christine!
        You may want to read this articles about ‘sunscreen’, ‘sunblock’ and ‘Micronization And Nanoparticles’:
        http://www.melanomafoundation.org/prevention/facts.htm
        http://ht.ly/4pG1B
        http://ht.ly/4p7pE

        I♥Temptalia!

      • meme

        Sorry Christine that I did not put my post in here as it directly answered your question. Please see my full post further down where I elaborated before I even read Vlaz comment or your reply. This is really not a safe formulation for many folks out there.

      • Oh yeah sorry :D it was just my first reaction, I’ll try to elaborate, though it is going to be be a bit long!!

        > It is, overally, a quite poorly elaborated formula!
        > First, it’s full of silicones: basically, it has a LIQUID FOUNDATION’s formula!
        > Plus, it has alcohol in it (which has been put there to probably minimize all the oiliness the silicones give), which has a certain tendency to dry out skin: definitely something you are not looking for when exposing your skin out in the sun.

        > The paraben as a preservative is not really my problem, as there are plenty of worse preservatives they could have used! Parabens are non THAT bad, though in the US they are quite hated (while, on the other hand, it fascinates me how FORMALDEHYDE releasers -aka preservatives that develop carcinogenic ingredient “formaldehyde”- are still widely used).

        > I personally WOULD NOT apply this on my bare skin, nor would I expose myself with this on out in the sun: a bunch of silicones and alcohol are not my thing!!! Breakouts, anyone?? :D
        You can basically get the same sun “protection” using your favourite silicone-based liquid foundation and some silica powder on top: that’s an example to give you an idea!
        But still, I won’t go at the beach with this on! :D

        > Skin already suffers from sun exposure, and covering it up in FOUNDATION and alcohol won’t help. You need something which is both moisturizing AND protecting.

        >>> I personally prefer using a mixture of good chemical and physical blockers :) there are some good products out there!
        As an example, here is an ideal Ingredients List of a good sun blocker:

        Aqua – Aloe barbadensis gel- Coco caprylate – Titanium dioxyde coated – Cetearyl alcohol – Oryzanol – Sodium stearoyl lactylate – Glyceryl stearate citrate – Helianthus annuus seed oil- Daucus carota oil – Allantoin – Xatham gum – Sodium dehydroacetate – Capryloyl glycine – Citric acid – Rosmarinus officinalis extract – Brassica napus seed oil – Sodium phytate – Rosa damascena oil – Parfum

        Aloe based ones are just the best!!! :D

        @ AS, that’s some brilliant explanation you gave!!! Thumbs up!!! :D

        Hope this was a little bit helpful :) let me know!!!!! <3

    • meme

      Agree 100% with your comment. Way too much junk that does not need to be there in a good sunscreen for the active ingredients.

  3. Avatar of Gabrielle Gabby T

    This formula looks extremely similar to La Roche Posay’s fluid sunscreen – right down to the shaking first! My dermatologist recommended it because I was concerned about breakouts and this stuff works like a charm without leaving me greasy. It’s about half the price of Kiehl’s and is available online and also at places like CVS and Walgreens. Just another option!

    • Avatar of vikaki vikaki

      the Anthelios one???

      • Avatar of Gabrielle Gabby T

        Yes! I hate wearing sunscreen on my face and this is the only kind I use now. The Kiehl’s looks like it has the same milky consistency.

        • Avatar of vikaki vikaki

          thankkkk you!!!!!!:D i was between the anthelios and the Avene emulsion one…but i think i’ll choose yours!!:)

    • Maya

      yes and the Vichy one, well both LaRoche Posay and Vichy belong to Loreal so I guess both are the same. I tried both and I couldn t feel any difference

    • Dee

      I just ordered this myself. I heard its great. The la roche posay one :D I’m on retin-a, so I need good everyday sun protection. :)

  4. Emmers

    At SPF 30 there’s no measurable difference in the effectiveness of sunscreen. Sunscreens like SPF 50, 60, 70..all are quite unnecessary and often greatly overpriced compared to something like an 8$ SPF 15 which protects to something around 95-98% of the spectrum. For higher sun protection it’s better to reapply your sunscreen 2-3 hours after each application (assuming your still in the sun obviously) and to apply your sunscreen 15-30 minutes BEFORE going outside.

    SPF 50-70 (and anything above) is pretty much delivering a placebo effect with a high price tag to keep peoples mind at ease.

    I would like to mention a lot of this information came to me from a friend with mild albinism and another friend who’s daughter has albinism.

    I cannot recall the exact place I got the information from so this is as close as I can find: http://www.mlive.com/living/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2009/06/do_you_need_a_higher_spf_how_t.html

    On properly applying sunscreen: http://onlyskindeepbook.blogspot.com/2007/07/maximizing-sunscreen-efficacy.html

    Snipet from the Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sunscreen-expire/AN01968

    • Hey Emmers,

      I have some friends who have to use higher SPFs, just because they don’t find that lower ones offer them enough protection – e.g. they will burn in 15 minutes with SPF 15 but SPF 50 lets them be worry-free for an hour :) For some, the additional 1-3% of protection might be worth it!

      • Avatar of Gabrielle Gabby T

        I JUST went to my dermatoligist this morning for my check up(every four months for the rest of my life! Thank you melanoma!) And I specifically asked her about whether having a higher spf really did anything after a certain point and she said that yes, it does because it ends up lasting longer.

        • Avatar of AS AS

          Also, most people do not apply enough (and do so evenly) to get the full SPF rating – so if it has a higher percentage of active ingredients, it is more likely to cover you effectively. You literally have to put a visibly white, thick coat on, and let it soak in to match the levels used in testing.

        • meme

          I have had my derm also change his position on this same point over the past 5 years. It used to be anything over 15% is hype. Now most derms will say 30spf and repeat applications are needed through the day (even if not in the water)…kind of hard when you are busy, not going to take off what makeup you have on and start all over to get a new coat of spf layered in there in the correct order. My derm recommended in my case with regard to this to at least if I cannot wash up, reapply spf during the day, to use one of the mineral type products such as a brush on one Peter Thomas Roth makes and I think BE had one at one point also, that you brush on over what you have. My derm felt this is better than doing nothing mid day. I am encouraged to use my spf several times over during the day on on face exposed areas, look at purchase of UV blocking fabric garments (esp hats) since my melanoma appeared on the top/to back left side of my head.
          I did read some things about the higher %’s of spf lasting longer and not being the big waste they were thought to be in the past years to hype sales. I think it was on Medscape or possibly WebMD. There definitely has been a change in the medical professions look and response to how much of what sunscreens are best in the recent past.

      • Melody

        Unfortunately not all SPF ratings can be compared… this website helped me to understand why I cannot find anything over SPF30 in Australia http://shop.cancercouncil.com.au/t-faq.aspx

  5. Avatar of telle telle

    I am going to try this out! I am using LRP’s version of SPF50 for oilier skins and I am not a huge fan of the texture, its like very watery milk, so I am on the hunt for a good SPF that leaves semi-matte to matte finish that is a reasonable price. So far, the Lise Watier has been the best, but not the best dollar value. :/
    Thanks Christine! :D

  6. Rainie

    Which store do you buy Kiehl’s products from? I’m in California, and i heard many people rave about it online but don’t know where to get it.

  7. meme

    Thanks for the review on this one. I tend to like a lot of products in this line, but the company does have a lot of chemical problems from time to time not being as ‘natural’ a line as many would like to think they are. There are a lot of folks who are allergic to the chemical sun screen product Octisalate and have to really avoid it. The non chemical sun screens are often sought out and also recommended by many derms. Far more folks need to use only non chemical sun screens than most might realize, meaning they need just titanium dioxide & zinc oxide as the active ingredients in sun screen.

    • I’ve tended to do better with chemical sunscreens over physical ones, just in terms of how my skin fares. If you can’t use chemical sunscreens, definitely stay away from the product, but you’re actually one of the first readers I can remember saying they were allergic to it – I have had others say they were sensitive to some, but just not allergic! Thanks for sharing!

  8. I love Kiehl’s products! I might have to try out this new sunscreen to review on my blog too!!

  9. John

    I think it’s safe to say that every poster has made some excellent points about sunscreens and sunblocks in general. Here’s my opinion on some of the posts below.

    AS-You are correct that chemical sunscreens do degrade rapidly over time when exposed to the sun and that physical sunblocks do not, at least not in a significantly fast time frame. However, this does not mean that physical sunblocks do not have to be reapplied, which is the suggestion I’m getting here. Also, there is no way that any chemical sunscreen ingredient is considered an “oil.” There are 2 types of oils, organic oils or lipids, and inorganic oil like mineral oil. Chemical sunscreen ingredients do not fit in either category. The types of silicone that are used in sunscreen formulations are only present to act as a base or vehicle for the delivery of the active ingredients. They are not used to “absorb” any of this so called oiliness. Granted, the choice of the vehicular ingredient can be more drying or more moisturizing, but they are not there to “absorb the oiliness from a chemical sunscreen ingredient.” As to the debate about parabens, that is a massively inconclusive debate that just isn’t worth the effort. To put a long story short, although they may demonstrate some unwanted side effects, the amount present in products cannot significantly manifest a measurable response in users of these products that contain parabens. However, like anything, it is up to the user to decide what to do. Parabens, as effective preservatives, act to greatly reduce the development of fungal and bacterial growths in products. So if you’re using a product that does not have parabens, you risk a large chance that yes, you won’t be applying parabens to your skin, but you could be applying bacteria or fungus to them. I mean, really, you pick your battles, which brings me to the next topic you addressed. Vitamin A. When you say some “antioxidants” actually increase cancer chances; that is mostly incorrect. By definition, antioxidants work AGAINST oxidation, which in this case, can be equated with free radical damage, or FRD for short. Now, FRD actually does increase the chance of cancer. FRD works by oxidative chemical processes. ANTI-oxidants work to impede that inevitable process. Now, Vitamin A is considered an antioxidant, however, there are many forms of vitamin A. There is beta-carotene, retinyl palmitate, retinyl acetate, retinol, retinal or retinaldehyde, and retinoic acid or tretinoin, which is a part of a group of retinoids, and other forms. In the body, all of these substances perform different functions, some antioxidative, and others, completely different. When it comes to the skin however, only retinoids can actually have a direct effect on the skin. All the other ingredients are precursors in a long chemical chain reaction that the skin has to first go through before they can be utilized. Typically it’s, beta carotene to retinyl palmitate/acetate to retinol to retinal then finally to tretinoin. Now the conversation rates, though there are no exact numbers, are very small. Let’s just that the conversation for each step is 10%, which I think is a very large estimation. But it’ll work for our purposes here. Most sunscreens use the form retinyl palmitate (RP) in their formulations, so in order for the skin to actually utilize some of the Vitamin A derivative, it would have to go through the entire conversion chain. So let’s say a product has 0.1% of RP, which is quite a lot, considering Vitamin-A skincare treatments have a maximum of about 1% RP or another precursor. So 0.1% of RP becomes 0.01% of retinol, which becomes 0.001% of retinal, which finally becomes 0.0001% of tretinoin, the form that the skin can actually utilize. Now, prescription tretinoin is available from 0.01% to 0.1% strengths, in either a cream or gel vehicle. So most sunscreens typical have one-hundredth the strength of the weakest prescription formulation of tretinoin. Now, Tretinoin is known for sensitizing the skin to the UV rays of the sun. However…One, like I just demonstrated, the amount present is typically too low to have a significant and/or cumulative effect on the skin. Two, I think you’ve been reading too much of EWG. That organization, if you can call it one, is nothing more than a brilliant marketing ploy. At the end of the day, they are after money, not the proliferation of meaningful, unbiased, and honest advice. Furthermore, the studies and tests that the EWG cite as their evidence that retinyl Palmitate increases the likelihood of cancer, were not done correctly. Basically they grabbed a bunch of rats and rubbed RP on their skin and exposed them to UV light. In the end, based on their control and experimental group statistics, this study concluded that the amount of cancers in the experimental group, which is the group that had RP rubbed on to their skin, was significantly higher than that of the control group, which had UV light exposed to bare skin. Yes, this does show that RP may sensitive the skin to UV rays. However, it does not matter. This study is completely irrelevant and meaningless for this reason. They did not test if RP coupled with CHEMICAL OR PHYSICAL SUNSCREENS/SUNBLOCKS increased the amount of cancer in the rats. And THAT is what is actually relevant. So regardless of what the study proved, the fact that the EWG would use this study as conclusive proof that sunscreens with Vitamin-A increase cancer risks should give you pause. But really at the end of the day, like I said before, the choice is up to you whether or not you want to listen. You do pick your own battles, so if you strongly believe that the EWG is correct, then there are many options out there for you. There are many sunscreens and sunblocks that do not have any form of Vitamin A in their formulations. One more thing to address about Vitamin-A. Like I said, the skin can only absorb and utilize tretinoin and other retinoids. So while, tretinoin is a form of Vitamin-A, which is an antioxidant, it is first and foremost a retinoid. And retinoids do not function as antioxidants, they are more akin to enzymatic catalysts. So going back to the beginning when you say “some antioxidants increase the risk of cancer,” that is essentially incorrect.

    AshD-I think you also have been reading too much EWG. Like AS who cited information from the EWG, maybe you’re the same person haha, please note that the EWG has created yet another smear campaign for a sunscreen ingredient, but this instead of focusing on Vitamin A, they focused on oxybenzone. Now you are correct that benzophenone has demonstrated to have unwanted side effect in the body. However, you are incorrect that benzophenone and oxybenzone are one and the same. Oxybenzone is a derivative, or another form simply put, of benzophenone. Like I demonstrated with Vitamin-A, derivatives do not function the same way, and cannot therefore be treated as equals. That’s would be like saying hydrogen peroxide is the same as water and oxygen, its derivatives. I’m not saying that oxybenzone is completely harmless, I’m just demonstrating that your evidenciary support is null and void. Oxybenzone is currently FDA approved and has been used for decades. Now if you’re gonna argue something about how the FDA is paid by private corporations and is biased, then I’m sure the EWG, a much smaller and financially incapable organization, can give more meaningful data. Like I said above, at the end of the day, you pick your own battles. I know I keep repeating this, but it’s so true. So if you do want sunscreens without this ingredients, there are many out there. However, what I discourage is to try and scare everyone with this information. Almost everything that has to rely on scare-tactics, instead of a wide range of credible evidence, like the EWG claims on Vitamin-A, parabens, and oxybenzone, are not significantly valid. Also later, you say that you need 10% zinc oxide to get good UVA protection. Claims like that are rather dangerous. Because “good” and the “types of zinc oxide” vary quite a bit. I mean what is “good” protection? Furthermore, 10% of different types of zinc oxide are not the same. Some are coated with different ingredients, some are not coated-those should be avoided, and some are refined differently, meaning they are different shapes and sizes. All of which, can change the efficacy of the amount of protection. So 10% of a less refined zinc oxide is not the same as 10% of a very refined zinc oxide. Just keep that in mind when making statements like the one you made. I think a common theme in all of my arguments is to maintain an open mind and not accept one argument as the definitive source of all your reasoning.

    Christine and Emmers-Emmers is correct that as SPF ratings, which only address the amount of protection from the UVB rays of the sun, go up, they provide less and less of a difference in terms of additional UVB protection. The amount of protection as SPF ratings increase follow a logarithmic function, while the amount of sunscreen ingredients needed to achieve such an SPF rating increases linearly. The scary thing about this is that a lot of people will apply less of a sunscreen with a high SPF rating than they would with a sunscreen with a low SPF rating. This would actually give them less protection, which is extremely detrimental. Christine, perhaps the 1-3% extra protection is a huge difference for your friends, if they actually are getting that extra 1-3% protection… The placebo effect that Emmers mentions is valid. Have your friends try a lower rated SPF sunscreen with the knowledge that they are using their regular high SPF sunscreen. See what happens, and I think you’ll be surprised.

    Okay.. that was way too much text. Please note that I am not an industry expert, just another avid reader, so don’t take my word 100% without questioning the issues that I bring up, not that you should do that for anyone really. Like I said before, it’s all about balance and moderation. It’s really an art trying to find the perfect combination of products with the right ingredients, for any individual person. Finally, I would like to apologize if I came across as rude, because that was not my intention. Please let me know if I did, so that I can correct such tendencies.

    • My friends have struggled with it for years – they endured pretty bad sunburns year after year and had given up on enjoying their summers. They’re all pretty intelligent, and given that they regularly used sunscreens (I’m talking 15-20 different brands and formulas, at least) to poor results until SPF 45 and higher came out. We’re not talking someone who has tried one sunscreen but has spent years agonizing over whether or not they can take a walk outside in the summer.

      I don’t question that there is a placebo effect for some, only that I know people who don’t find lesser SPF effective after years and bottles and bottles of products. Just with user error alone, there are easily many who never apply the appropriate amount to begin with.

      Although I did want to jump in and say that I don’t know if I’d call the EWG financially incapable, particular in light of the salaries paid out to several top employees over the years. I am no fan of EWG, personally.

      • John

        Well I’m glad your friends found out what works for them. But personal anecdotal accounts cannot trump established scientific facts. I’m coming from the standpoint of how to give general information; it’s true that everyone will need a little personal tweaking. Also before when I meant high SPF, I mean like something about 70 or 80, as Emmers stated. An SPF of 45 isn’t exactly high, but even that, there’s not a huge difference between 45 and 70. It’s like… <2%.

      • John

        Oh I forgot to address the EWG issue that you mentioned. First, of all I agree completely with what you say about the placebo effect and manual error. As to saying the EWG is financially incapable, I mean that they are so compared to the FDA’s financial resources, as it is obviously government funded. The fact that they pay obscene salaries to top employees suggests that perhaps their data isn’t completely unbiased or honest, as I demonstrated in my last post.

        • I wish government funded actually meant well funded – I have no insight as to weather the FDA is appropriately funded, but I wonder if someone else is more well-read on that!

          • John

            Well I just did a 30 second search on Google, haha, and I found several sites, government sides and newspapers that state the FDA’s annual operating budget in research years. Here a link:

            http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/01/AR2010020103491.html

            As it says, the operating budget is 2.5 billion, which is way more than the EWG. Anyways, just answering your question. :]

            • Oh, I was just curious whether it had enough money to do the things it needed to do – no doubt it is more than EWG – as many branches are underfunded and blah blah. I can’t deal with politics as I’d just have a heart attack from the stress.

            • John

              Blah blah blah is right. Yeah, I don’t know how much of the funds are directed towards this issue, but I’d like to think that it’s a generous portion. I’d rather not dapple in politics, which is probably why I’m studying to be a dermatologist. Hopefully.

            • Good call! :)

              I suck at chemistry, so science was not my strong suit!

    • AshD

      Hi John – you raise some good points- but I have read in many other places other than EWG the dangers of oxybenzone. it’s something that just freaks me out & I personally choose not to use it. In fact, on a daily basis I eschew all chemical sunscreens since they can and do absorb into the body to some extent. I do not like EWG though – I don’t trust them at all because they say some pretty foolish things. I also don’t trust the FDA though. If the FDA says it’s safe, it means nothing to me – I think the EU has better regulations – FDA does almost nothing for cosmetics! and about the 10% zinc oxide thing – well, it does depend on the formula, but I’m not trusting I’m getting much UVA protection if it’s below 10%. 10% or 20%, I don’t care, but I do want to be careful that I’m getting decent UVA protection – titanium dioxide doesn’t cover as much UVA as zinc oxide.

      • John

        Hey Ash,

        Well those other places probably got their information from the EWG. If not, perhaps from the same studies. Because unless there is strong evidence that oxybenzone causes insane bodily changes… it should be fine to use. Also, you are correct that the FDA does not regulate cosmetics, however, oxybenzone is not categorized as a cosmetic. It’s categorized as a drug, which is why if you look at any sunscreen labels, there is always that drug fact with the active ingredients chart. And that is strongly regulated by the FDA through exhaustive peer reviews and investigation. So when the FDA says a drug is safe, it is more or less generally safe. Now I’m not saying the FDA doesn’t make mistakes, but to say that whatever they say means nothing to you… doesn’t make sense. And really, you shouldn’t trust the EU 100% either. You should make your own thoughtful decision based on a pool of authoritative sources. For example, even though I think what the EWG has to say is mostly crap, I still read their articles in an attempt to broaden my perspective. But yeah, if oxybenzone freaks you out, there are plenty of other options out there for you. I also only use physical sunblocks, preferably zinc oxide, because I don’t have to apply them 30 min before I leave the house in the morning.

    • What about products that are simply just zinc oxide and titanium dioxide like Neutrogena’s Pure & Free Baby sunscreen?

      • AshD

        That Neutrogena Baby Block would be a safe choice, but it’s giving you little UVA protection (PPD) with only 4.9% titanium dioxide & 4.7% zinc oxide. it’s giving some, but I’d recommend something that gives more.

  10. Christina

    Isn’t alcohol denat one of the “bad” alcohols? If so, it’s high on the inactive ingredient list – probably not a good thing…

    • John

      It sure is. Denatured alcohol is just ethanol, the alcohol that is in beers, vodka, etc…, with some other ingredients that would highly discourage people from drinking it. However these other ingredients are purely mixed with the ethanol; they do not chemically alter the composition of ethanol. There are tons of negative side effects of ethanol throughout the body, but for the skin, they function to dry the skin out and stimulate nerve endings that can affect the skin’s immune system and response. In addition, they can cause free radical damage because they are so irritating; I always peel when I used anything with denatured alcohol. So unless your skin is extremely oily, I’d advise against using alcohol as a drying/mattifying product. And even if your skin is extremely oily, there are other safer alternatives to getting rid of that excess oil. Also note that denatured alcohol will temporarily dry out your skin, but then your skin will respond by producing even more oil, which would be counterproductive if you do use denature alcohol as a mattifying agent.

  11. Andrea

    wow! I could never justify spending this much on sunscreen. My neutrogena sunscreen works fine for me!

  12. Karlie Tipton

    Neutrogena has an SPF 55 liquid that seems to be very close in consistency but it’s about $12. I haven’t had any breakouts, but my skin isn’t that sensitive.

  13. Anna

    Hi! :) I’m 15 and I’ve been using the Neutrogena Dry Touch sunblock. I stumbled upon this post and read a few of the comments mentioning that they wouldn’t use sunblocks with the ingredients listed? I’m confused. Neutrogena has the same active ingrdients and I was wondering if there is anything bad associated with using it?
    Thank you, your response would greatly inform me!

    • AshD

      I would suggest doing your own research on oxybenzone – just google it and start reading articles. only you can decide if this is something you want to use or not.

      • John

        YAYY!! I’m so happy to hear that. xD You tell her. Lol. Also Anna, you can always read the discussion above.

  14. I know this is sunscreen, but seeing a stark-white swatch…it looks funny, lol.