Read more of this product review to find out if this Extra Care Non-Greasy Sunscreen by Paula’s Choice left me with a sunny disposition or a bad burn!
Summer typically means sun, and sun typically means sunburn – luckily, there are steps you can take to avoid this! Enter, sunscreen. I do enjoy a nice summer tan, but even though I’m from New Jersey, I don’t enjoy looking like Tan Mom.
Although body sunscreen is important, today’s post is about face sunscreen. My face moisturizers all contain some kind of SPF (recently I’ve been liking Simple Protecting Light Moisturizer with SPF 15), but in the summer, that weak SPF just doesn’t cut it for me.
I recently had a bad run-in with a Neutrogena sunscreen (Age Shield Face Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 70) I mentioned in my Travel Makeup Bag blog post. I originally tried this one because I wanted to go with a more budget-friendly drugstore option, but after I wore it for only one day, it seriously broke me out. I have extremely sensitive skin and I’m not sure exactly what ingredients caused the break out, but this is a classic case of I Should Have Read More Reviews because a lot of the reviewers online (even the ones on the Neutrogena website) mention breakouts after using this sunscreen.
Like a true Jedi, I don’t like to give up. On my quest to find the perfect face sunscreen, I turned to Paula’s Choice, which is a brand everybody seems to rave about. Specifically, I tried the Extra Care Non-Greasy SPF 50 Sunscreen. This retails for $17 for 5 oz of product.
Here is the description of the product on the Paula’s Choice website:
What makes this product unique?
Extra Care Non-Greasy Sunscreen SPF 50 offers reliable broad-spectrum sun protection without feeling thick or oily. In fact, you may be surprised by it silky texture and smooth matte finish that’s so unlike many high-SPF sunscreens. This antioxidant-rich sunscreen is suitable for the face and body; it may be worn under makeup. Its very water-resistant formula is ideal for outdoor activities.
This product is 100% fragrance- and colorant-free.
Who is this product for?
Extra Care Non-Greasy Sunscreen SPF 50 is recommended for normal to oily/combination skin. It is also suitable for blemish-prone skin.
The claims that caught me here were the water-resistance, the fact that it’s fragrance and colorant free, and that it’s recommended for oily/combination skin and blemish-prone skin, both of which I have.
Other bonuses include the key ingredients (listed under the “Ingredients” tab on the page), which are vitamin C, vitamin A, silica, bentonite, Aloe barbadensis, vitamin E, avobenzone. TBH, I’m not quite sure what avobenozone is, but the fact that there are some vitamins in there appeals to me. A cool thing about the website is that it has an Ingredient Dictionary, so these ingredients are actually clickable and a page about what they do will pop up:
Now that I’ve been enlightened on the miracles of avobenzone, on with the review!
When it comes to reviewing products, I like to review it based on its claims (for obvious reasons), as well as any other things I might notice. Here are the claims in list form, as well as my ratings (like the college system, I don’t believe in pluses) and notes on them:
1. Silky texture | Rating: A
This feels super silky it’s almost strange. It’s a little bit on the runnier side and blends into nothing. I find that a little bit goes a long way!
2. Pure matte finish | Rating: B
As you can see in the picture above, I wouldn’t exactly call it “pure matte” after it’s rubbed in since it does leave a slight sheen. That being said, I wouldn’t say it looks super oily either. On bare skin in the sunlight, it definitely does give you a little bit of a glow, but it’s not too bad. I did a flash test of this sunscreen on my bare skin (as you can see below) and my forehead area looks a tad oily, but it’s nothing that concerns me. I typically don’t wear any foundation in the summer and am happy to go about my way looking like this with just the sunscreen on my face. A quick blot with an oil sheet or even some toilet paper will fix this as well, if you are so inclined.
I was checking for flash-back as well, but then realized that my face is always lighter than my body anyway (I wear face SPF all year round), so I guess that was a bit of a fail. Also, please excuse my messed up eyebrows (whoops). ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
3. Water-resistance | Rating: A
This holds out really well in the water and managed to protect my face after a few hours of wear. I don’t notice it running down my face or anything, so I’d say it really is water resistant!
4. Fragrance & colorant-free | Rating: A*
This sunscreen really is fragrance-free, which was surprising to me, because usually when a product claims to be fragrance-free, it has a distinct “fragrance-free” scent to it (anybody else know what I’m talking about)?
As for colorants, I’m not exactly sure how to test for this or rate it, which is why I put that little asterisk next to my rating
5. Good for normal/oily combination skin | Rating: B
I’d say this is definitely good for normal skin, but I’m on the fence about oily/combo skin. I personally have the latter, and I’m fine with the shine, but I know people who definitely wouldn’t be. I think it might be a personal matter on this one – I can definitely say it doesn’t make me feel more oily, but I do acknowledge that I do look slightly more oily.
Again, the sheen doesn’t bother me, and if you’re planning on wearing this under a foundation, I’d say you’d be good to go since I don’t notice any extra oil production here and the foundation would mask the sheen anyway (it might actually be nice with a might foundation since it foregoes the need for a highlighting primer if that’s the look you’re into!)
6. Good for blemish-prone skin | Rating: A
This is basically the whole reason for me wanting to try out this sunscreen, so I’m super happy that it didn’t break me out (I’M STILL SALTY ABOUT NEUTROGENA BTW, THANKS FOR ASKING).
OVERALL RATING: A
$17 for a sunscreen might seem like a little much if you’re a person who tends to shop for skincare products at the drugstore (like me), but I personally think this sunscreen is worth it for the benefits mentioned above. You also get a decent amount (5 oz) AND a little bit of this stuff goes a really long way. If you really want to try it, you can also get a sample for $0.80, but I didn’t have time to test this out beforehand as I got it last minute before going on vacation.
Something else I’d like to mention: I’m not sure if this is one of those placebo things, but after wearing this sunscreen for about a week, my skin almost feels like it’s improved? Again, could just be me or could be the fact that I’m having a good skin week, but it makes me wonder if those vitamins and other ingredients in the sunscreen might be helping my skin a bit?
Has anybody else tried this sunscreen, or anything else for Paula’s Choice? Or, does anybody have any other sunscreen recommendations for sensitive skin?
*Disclaimer: I purchased all above product(s) with my own money and am not affiliated with or compensated by any of the brands mentioned (I wish!). As always, all thoughts & opinions are my own (unless stated otherwise)!