Anthelios 50 Mineral Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid, SPF 50 Face
Note Summer 2016: This product has been reformulated since our original review. We appreciate your patience while we work on repurchasing and testing the new formula.
This sheer, tinted daytime moisturizer with sunscreen lists titanium dioxide and zinc oxide as the active ingredients, so it provides reliable broad-spectrum sun protection. The fact that it's also fragrance-free makes it a gentle option for those with sensitive or rosacea-affected skin, too.
Sensitive or not, if you have normal to oily skin, you'll likely appreciate this product's thin, fluid texture and lightweight matte finish. It is definitely an intriguing option for those who find that most SPF-rated products feel too heavy or leave their skin shiny.
We wish the formula contained more than a trace amount of vitamin E (tocopherol) for antioxidant benefits. Research is clear that combining antioxidants with sunscreen gives skin a significant environmental boost and helps further offset the damaging effects of UV light. See the More Info section to learn more.
Note: This product's warm tint completely eliminates the white cast the combined amount of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide can leave.
- Provides effective broad-spectrum sun protection.
- Fragrance-free and suitable for sensitive skin.
- Fluid, silky texture is easy to apply.
- Doesn't leave skin feeling slick or looking shiny.
- Water-resistant formula is ideal for active people, but you still must reapply after perspiring heavily or toweling off.
- Contains only a tiny amount of vitamin E for antioxidant protection
Thus, if you decide to try this sunscreen, we would strongly recommend you layer it over a well-formulated antioxidant rich serum. Serums are available in water-light textures for oily or combination skin, or hydrating formulas for normal to dry skin. Wearing one under your sunscreen every day will pay dividends in defending your skin against free-radical damage and inflammation that destroy the skin's ability to heal, remain healthy and firm over time (Journal of Pathology, 2007 and Dermatology Research and Practice, 2012).
Don't have a favorite serum yet? Check out list of top recommended serums to find one that suits your skin type and concerns.
How We Rate Sunscreens vs. Daytime Moisturizers with SPF: Sunscreens are judged based upon whether they provide broad-spectrum sun protection, their SPF rating, potential for irritation, packaging and aesthetics. Additional qualities that push it into three or four star (best-rated) category are the inclusion of meaningful amounts of repairing, cell communicating or antioxidant ingredients as well as unique characteristics that enhance its wearability.
"Sunscreens" are differentiated from "Daytime Moisturizers with SPF" by three primary qualities.
• They must be marketed as "sunscreens" only by the brand.
• They lack specific anti-aging claims.
• Their size is greater than 2 ounces, unless it is specifically called out as a sunscreen for the face and is not positioned as a facial/daytime moisturizer with SPF.
For more detail on how we rate this category of products, see the Best Sunscreens section of Beautypedia.
For the first time, a mineral sun filter and powerful anti-oxidants are combined in a unique patent pending formula that offers 100% mineral sunscreen in a unique lightweight, non-whitening texture. The first line of defense is an advanced UV filtering system featuring an optimized blend of Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide to offer broad spectrum protection with demonstrated efficacy against UVA rays. The second line of defense features CELL-OX SHIELD, a powerful patent-pending antioxidant complex featuring Senna Alata.
La Roche-Posay At-A-Glance
L'Oreal-owned La Roche-Posay has a pharmaceutical lineage based in France, and the company speaks of their thermal spring water as the cornerstone of their commitment to dermatological skin care. In fact, the name La Roche-Posay comes from the French town that is the source of this water, which is said to be a rich in selenium. While selenium is an element that has potent antioxidant ability, it's unclear how much the water La Roche-Posay uses contains, since all water has to go through purification processes to be to used in cosmetic products.
That aside, this brand does have a number of standout products, including some good sunscreens and anti-aging treatments. Another positive: All of its skincare is packaged in containers that will keep beneficial products protected from light and air (no jar packaging here!). Unfortunately there are some missteps, namely that some otherwise-excellent products include potentially-irritating amounts of alcohol, fragrance, or other irritants. The line could also benefit from additional products that contain more state-of-the-art ingredients. Still, for a no-frills approach to serious skin care, there are some finds to be had!
For more information about La Roche-Posay, owned by L'Oreal, call (888) 577-5226 or visit www.laroche-posay.com.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.