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Versed Skincare

Guards Up Daily Mineral Sunscreen SPF 35

1.70 fl. oz. for $ 21.99
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Versed Skincare’s Guards Up Daily Mineral Sunscreen SPF 35 overcomes the difficult feat of delivering a mineral sunscreen that blends into skin seamlessly for both light and dark skin tones. While the formula itself is tinted, it sheers out to a nearly imperceptible (minimal-to-no white cast) finish as it’s blended into skin, earning our praise as a great sunscreen for a wide range of skin tones. The only thing holding it back is a pilling issue that can occur.

Housed in a squeeze tube, the creamy formula absorbs quickly, leaving a slightly dewy (but not greasy looking) sheen. It feels a tiny bit tacky but not enough to be prohibitive to wear. Its lightly hydrating formula creates a nice balance for combination skin; however, if your skin is on the drier side, this won’t be moisturizing enough.

We’ve come across a lot of consumer reviews that mention a pilling issue. Interestingly, some of our team members who tested this product experienced that as well, while others did not. This can vary depending on what other skin care and makeup you pair it with, so this may or may not end up being a deal breaker for you.

Beyond the broad-spectrum, mineral sun protection that this delivers, skin is also treated to a handful of beneficial antioxidants that can help protect skin from pollutants and blue light. Altogether this is good news for helping keep healthy and youthful-looking over the long haul. More to love, the opaque packaging here helps prevent those goodies from breaking down prematurely.

As for Versed’s claim that this sunscreen’s active of zinc oxide is the safest option for our oceans, there’s no definitive research proving that to be true. In fact, research has shown multiple sizes of zinc oxide may be harmful to aquatic life. That doesn’t mean zinc oxide is bad for your skin, just that the ocean-safe claim is misleading. In truth, all sunscreen actives pose varying degrees of risk to oceans.

That aside, Guards Up earns our praise for those with sensitive skin thanks to the gentle, fragrance-free formula. All told, as long as the pilling doesn’t happen for you, it’s a good option—we just can’t make any guarantees in that regard.

  • Quick-absorb formula sets to a natural finish, for light to deep skin tones.
  • Provides lightweight, non-greasy hydration.
  • Beneficial antioxidants help protect skin from pollutants and blue light.
  • Mineral-based SPF and fragrance-free formula are suitable for sensitive skin.
  • May pill (though this doesn’t happen in all instances).
Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: No

This mineral SPF 35 with lightweight moisture provides invisible, three-way protection against the elements—environmental pollution, electronic pollution (from screen time), and of course, the sun. Its oil-free formula with a creamy texture has a natural finish—not too dewy, not too matte—and never leaves a white cast on any skin tone. The non-nano zinc oxide (the safest SPF active available for our bodies and our oceans) works at the skin’s surface to physically prevent UVA and UVB rays from penetrating your skin. It helps block HEV (high energy visible) light too. All the while, antioxidants fight off environmental and blue light (aka HEV) damage for 360 protection and all the anti-aging benefits that come along with it.

Active: Zinc Oxide (15.2%). Other: Water/Aqua/Eau, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate, Diheptyl Succinate, C18-21 Alkane, Erythritol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Capryloyl Glycerin/Sebacic Acid Copolymer, Propanediol, Arachidyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Tocopherol, Caprylyl Glycol, Coco-Glucoside, Ethyl Ferulate, Behenyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Arachidyl Glucoside, Bisabolol, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Citric Acid, Sodium Gluconate, Xanthan Gum, Octyldodecyl Oleate, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Hydrolyzed Jojoba Esters, Sodium Hyaluronate, Crithmum Maritimum Extract, Maltodextrin, Moringa Oleifera Seed Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf, Iron Oxides Ci 77491Iron Oxides Ci 77492.

Versed Skincare is the creation of Katherine Power, former West Coast fashion editor of Elle magazine and co-founder of the LA-based fashion company Clique Brands. Versed is positioned as the sister brand of the company’s Who What Wear clothing line sold at Target, and so Versed is sold there as well as other retailers.

Versed’s philosophy is straightforward: offer affordable, effective skin care products that are both vegan and, in the brand’s words, clean. “Clean” is an ambiguous phrase in the beauty industry that lacks a standard, regulated definition (it varies from company to company), but in this instance it means that there are no so-called “toxic” and “questionable” ingredients in Versed’s products.

While some of these ingredients – such as formaldehyde and artificial fragrance – are certainly best avoided, others are labeled as bad based on outdated research, poorly designed or inconclusive studies, or simply anecdotal evidence, and not on the conditions (or concentrations) in which these ingredients are actually used in real-world skin care applications.

That aside, Versed has an attractive aesthetic that goes along with this clean philosophy: pastel-colored packaging with plain type that explains what each product’s purpose is and calls out key ingredients in each. For the most part, Versed products are packaged to protect their light- and air-sensitive ingredients; however, there are a few instances of clear and jar packaging, which compromise the benefits of some ingredients, particularly antioxidants.

The formulas from Versed are  a mixed bag. Some contain a host of beneficial ingredients while totally avoiding irritants, others are good but basic, and some others include fragrant plant extracts and oils that pose a risk of sensitizing skin (and we should be clear – fragrance, both synthetic and natural, can irritate skin). It really is a situation where the products are best judged on a case-by-case basis, as the hit-or-miss nature of the line requires more scrutiny than simply choosing based on product claims and skin type.

Despite the extra effort needed, Versed does have some good products to offer, and the convenience of being available both online and in a major retailer like Target, will have a lot of appeal to a good number of people. You can learn more about Versed at

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.

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