What’s noteworthy about this sunscreen is its combination of ecamsule with avobenzone, as stabilized by octocrylene. You can be assured of sufficient UVA protection if you apply this liberally and long enough before venturing outdoors. What’s disappointing is that the excitement starts and stops right there. Nothing else about this silicone-enhanced sunscreen is that intriguing, and it doesn’t contain a single antioxidant or other state-of-the-art ingredient. For the money, you should expect more. The formula is suitable for normal to slightly dry or slightly oily skin. One more thing: Although Mexoryl SX is a good UVA sunscreen, it does not provide the highest level of UVA protection as claimed on the label. Lest we forget, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide can screen UVA rays well beyond their measurable threshold, so Mexoryl SX, while viable, is not intrinsically the best.
Note: This product was recently downgraded from two stars to three stars, which is considered average. The reason for the change is due to the prevailing recommendation that your daytime sun protection product be rated SPF 30 or greater. This revised recommendation is due to the fact that most people are not applying sunscreen liberally enough to earn the stated level of protection on the label; therefore, a higher SPF rating will be more advantageous. See the More Info section for additional details.
Sunscreen Downgraded Due to Low SPF (SPF 15-20): This product was recently downgraded from its previous rating to two stars, which is still considered average. The reason for the change is due to the prevailing recommendation that your daytime sun protection product be rated SPF 30 or greater, with SPF ratings between 25 and 30 falling into the acceptable range.
This revised recommendation is because most do not apply sunscreen liberally enough to earn the stated level of protection on the label; therefore, a higher SPF rating will be more advantageous.
While this sunscreen will provide the SPF number on the label and has UVA-protecting ingredients, no sunscreen with an SPF lower than 20 will rate higher than two stars in Beautypedia. For more information on our criteria for rating sunscreens, please visit the Best Sunscreens or Best Moisturizers with Sunscreen section of the site.
Applying an SPF 15-rated sunscreen under a foundation, tinted moisturizer, or BB cream that offers broad-spectrum SPF 25+ will take far better care of your skin. This layering approach ensures your skin gets sufficient sun protection even if you're not applying liberally.
The highest protection against the number one cause of skin aging: UVA rays. Anthelios SX has a SPF 15 (SPF means sun protection factor which measures the UVB Protection Level) and a PFA 15 (PFA means Protection Factor UVA, which measures the UVA protection level). Anthelios SX SPF 15 provides the highest level of UVA protection, among leading sunscreens tested, even when compared to sunscreens with higher SPF.
Active: Avobenzone (2%), Ecamsule (2%), Octocrylene (10%), Other: Carbomer 940, Carbomer Copolymer Type B, Cyclomethicone, Dimethicone, Edetate Disodium, Glycerin, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Isopropyl Palmitate, Methylparaben, Phenoxyethanol, Propylene Glycol, Propylparaben, Purified Water, Stearic Acid, Stearoyl Macrogolglycerides, Stearyl Alcohol, Trolamine
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.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
Beautypedia cuts through the hype to bring you product insights and recommendations you won’t find anywhere else!