Full Screen Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Clear Finish
StriVectin’s Full Screen Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Clear Finish has so much good going for it, until your nose responds in a manner that may have you thinking you just slathered perfume on your face.
This opaque, squeeze tube-packaged facial sunscreen’s only yet significant problem is its strong, lingering fragrance, which is comprised of fragrance itself plus fragrance chemicals like limonene and citral. As explained in the More Info section, we’re concerned about the strong risk of irritation it presents, especially since for some people the active ingredients that provide broad-spectrum sun protection can be sensitizing on their own, even in fragrance-free formulas.
Aesthetically, this dispenses as a gel-cream that feels super silky on skin. It spreads easily and feels great--definitely the kind of texture those who dislike the feel of most facial sunscreens can appreciate!
As the name states, this goes on clear, but that’s not too surprising given none of the sunscreen actives are minerals and the formula doesn’t contain cosmetic pigments.
What it does contain are an interesting mix of silicone elastomers for hydration (these are also what create the silky feel), a form of niacinamide (myristyl nicotinate), non-fragrant plant oils, and several plant-derived antioxidants. Although these ingredients make good on StriVectin’s pollution and blue light-fighting claims, all of them are present in lower amounts than the fragrance. That’s a problem because fragrance isn’t beneficial to skin.
So much potential here, but it ends up being a facial sunscreen we cannot strongly recommend. See our list of best SPF moisturizers for better options.
- Provides broad-spectrum sun protection.
- Super silky cream-gel texture is easy to apply and feels great.
- Goes on clear, sets to a healthy-looking sheen.
- Unusually strong fragrance lingers, posing ongoing risk of irritation.
- Contains more fragrance than the advertised “skin-boosting vitamins”.
Why Fragrance Is a Problem for Skin: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes a chronic sensitizing reaction on skin.
This reaction in turn leads to all kinds of problems, including disrupting skin’s barrier, worsening dryness, increasing or triggering redness, depleting vital substances in skin’s surface, and generally preventing skin from looking healthy, smooth, and hydrated. Fragrance free is always the best way to go for all skin types.
A surprising fact: Even though you can’t always see or feel the negative effects of fragrant ingredients on skin, the damage will still be taking place, even if it’s not evident on the surface. Research has demonstrated that you don’t need to see or feel the effects of irritation for your skin to be suffering. Much like the effects from cumulative sun damage, the negative impact and the visible damage from fragrance may not become apparent for a long time.
References for this information:
Toxicology In Vitro, February 2018, pages 237-245
Toxicological Sciences, January 2018, pages 139-148
Biochimica and Biophysica Acta, May 2012, pages 1410–1419
Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80
Experimental Dermatology, October 2009, pages 821–832
Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008, pages 191–202
International Journal of Toxicology, Volume 27, 2008, Supplement, pages 1–43
Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446–475
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, pages 789–798
This daily defender from StriVectin delivers a super dose of skin-boosting vitamins and helps protect against environmental pollution and blue light. Non-greasy formula feels barely-there and comfortable to wear.
StriVectin put itself on the skincare map with its original StriVectin-SD cream, designed to treat stretch marks. The product took off and became the cornerstone of skincare collection whose focus is now on anti-aging. Its main selling point is its use of myristyl nicotinate (called NIA-114 in brand literature), which is related to and has many of the same properties as niacinamide.
Overall, the brand has some worthwhile products and for the most part theyre in packaging that will protect their ingredients from light and air. Unfortunately there are a number of options that include fragrance and other potential irritants, which are noted in our individual reviews.
As of 2019, StriVectin no longer sells in mainland China and is now cruelty-free. For more information about StriVectin, visit www.strivectin.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.