SkinCeuticalsPhysical Eye UV Defense SPF 50
0.3 fl. oz. for $30
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Physical Eye UV Defense SPF 50 is SkinCeuticals first eye-area moisturizer with SPF, and it has some good qualities—as well as those we would consider more mundane than exciting. This contains gentle mineral sunscreen actives zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, so there's little risk of sensitivity or stinging around the eye area. It's also fragrance free, which is always a good thing for skin, but especially so for the delicate skin around the eyes.

A tint was added to the formula to offset the white cast mineral sunscreens tend to have—here it's advertised as a quality to "enhance your skin tone", but the effect is slight. The tint may be a little iffy for some—those with a medium to deep skin tone may find it lends a slight greyish cast, but as the tint is subtle any visible cast is easily fixed by applying a sheer layer of concealer or foundation on top.

The less appealing aspects of Physical Eye UV Defense SPF 50 (and the reason why it earned a GOOD instead of a BEST) are that the formula is almost entirely lacking in antioxidants or reparative ingredients, and it provides little moisture to skin. In fact, this contains more talc than moisturizing ingredients, and as a result the finish is fairly matte. Those with even slightly dry skin around the eyes will find this works best only when applied over their regular moisturizer; otherwise, it might enhance fine lines and wrinkles rather than downplay them.

For the price and size, you should expect more in terms of beneficial anti-aging ingredients like antioxidants (especially important during the daytime to aid in warding off free-radical UV damage) or skin-identical ingredients to help replenish and repair skin.

SkinCeuticals points out that this formula contains ceramides, but in the form of 2-oleamido-1, 3-octadecanediol, a synthetic ceramide that has no research (that we could find) of demonstrated benefit for skin—it's primarily used in shampoos and conditioners. Even if it did have established benefit for skin, there is only a dusting present here.

Bottom line: While the Physical Eye UV Defense SPF 50 does technically earn a GOOD rating, we would nonetheless encourage you to consider any well-formulated daytime moisturizer with a mineral-based SPF instead. In fact, other than a soufflé- like cream texture that quickly sets to a matte finish, this formula is shockingly similar to SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion Defense SPF 50, but at a fraction of the size and for nearly as much money. There's no reason the company's Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50 cannot be applied around the eyes, too.

  • Broad-spectrum mineral sunscreen protection.
  • Fragrance free.
  • Has a soft, sheer tint to offset the white case mineral sunscreens tend to have.
  • Lacking in proven antioxidants, cell-communicating, and repairing ingredients.
  • Provides very little moisture (those with dry skin will need to layer this over their regular moisturizer).
  • Expensive for the amount of product you get and it's standard formula.
Last Updated:09.02.2015
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Community Reviews

Delivering a new standard in eye care, this ophthalmologist-tested sunscreen defends, enhances, and optimizes the entire eye area, including the eye lid. Formulated specifically for the unique structure of the thinner and more sensitive skin around the eye, Physical Eye UV Defense provides broad spectrum SPF 50 protection without migrating into and irritating the eyes. A unifying tint enhances skin tone while ceramides nourish, creating a smooth, optimal canvas for makeup application.


Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide 9%, Zinc Oxide 4%; Inactive Ingredients: Dimethicone, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Triethylhexanoin, Isohexadecane, Talc, Hydrogenated Jojoba Oil, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, C30-45 Alkyldimethylsilyl Polypropylsilsesquioxane, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Aluminum Stearate, Alumina, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Iron Oxides, Phenoxyethanol, Silica Silylate, PEG-8 Laurate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, 2-Oleamido-1,3-Octadecanediol, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Paraffin, Aluminum Hydroxide.

Brand Overview

SkinCeuticals At-A-Glance

With a strong presence in the professional (meaning spa and aesthetics) skincare market, SkinCeuticals has a mostly well-deserved reputation for producing serious-minded, research-driven products, several of which are centered on L-ascorbic acid (a form of vitamin C).

There are many good reasons to shop this line; it boasts a lineup up impressive vitamin C products, as well as some good retinol options and sunscreens. Even better is that the majority of its anti-aging products are packaged in containers that will protect their contents from light and air. Focusing on what Skinceuticals does best (which is serums, sunscreens, and specialty products) will be money well spent for visible results. The main drawbacks of this line are some products that contain fragrance ingredients, as well as potentially-drying alcohol, though they represent the minority of the brand’s offerings.

For more information about SkinCeuticals, call 1-800-771-9489 or visit www.skinceuticals.com.

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