Anthelios Sunscreen Gentle Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 50
La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios Sunscreen Gentle Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 50 gets sun protection right, but a couple of formulary issues prevent it from being a top recommendation.
This comes in an opaque plastic squeeze bottle and has a light, creamy texture (it’s not quite a lotion as advertised), and is easy to smooth on to skin. It feels hydrating, yet isn’t overly emollient, making it workable for all skin types. It sets to a soft matte finish with no hint of greasiness or tackiness.
True to claims, this provides broad-spectrum SPF 50 with a mineral-only formula featuring titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. The fact that it’s fragrance and irritant free means this is suitable for those with sensitive skin. It’s also water-resistant.
So with these positive aspects, why doesn’t this rate higher? The first reason is that this has a very noticeable white cast that cannot be blended out, no matter how much you try. It’s even apparent on very fair skin tones, making it obvious you’re wearing sunscreen.
The second issue is that La Roche-Posay heavily advertises that this sunscreen includes antioxidants (and antioxidants can help boost SPF) – but there are barely any here to speak of. The brand’s site actually calls it a “powerful antioxidant complex” that protects skin from free radical damage, but there are only three antioxidants present – vitamin E, diethylhexyl syringylidenemalonate (a synthetic antioxidant), and Cassia alata leaf extract – and they’re near the end of the ingredient list. If you’re hoping to get potent antioxidant defense from this sunscreen, you’ll be left wanting.
It’s a shame, because this is truly gentle and will protect from the sun’s rays. These two missteps, however, mean you’re likely better off with an alternative from our list of best sunscreens.
- Provides broad-spectrum mineral SPF 50.
- Sets to a soft matte with no tacky or greasy feel.
- Fragrance free.
- Has a noticeable white cast that can’t be blended out.
- Is short on its advertised antioxidants.
Advanced protection with 100% mineral UV filters for sensitive skin in a non-greasy, soft finish lotion. Skin feels soothed and protected. Mineral sunscreen with Cell-Ox Shield® technology: broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection with antioxidants.
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.