June 9th, 2014


I rarely wear makeup, and my moisturizer does not contain SPF, so I have to be prudent about using sunscreen. But I often forget and then burn to a crisp. Like yesterday at my daughter’s graduation, I ended up sitting under a tree. As we head into summer, I would appreciate any product recommendations. Has anyone tried Anthelios?


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  • Preston, I too wear little makeup and am blonde blue-eyed. My skin is sensitive and breaks out with many products. I have had great luck with Shiseido BB creme and use the medium shade. It is 35 SPF, evens out my skin tones, is VERY light and makes my skin look and feel great. I have not burned wearing it. The drawback would be it is not water resistant like a true sunscreen, but I would recommend as a great all around for days you are not swimming.

    MaryBJune 9th, 2014  6:47 AM

  • It sounds very similar to my absolute favorite sunscreen: Colorscience Sunforgettable SPF 50, clear, powder. It’s instantly effective. There’s no need to wait 20 minutes for it to work, which is a huge benefit given my skin’s so fair it will burn in under 5 minutes. But the best part has got to be how it feels — invisible. You don’t even know it’s on, which I love. There’s nothing worse than feeling greasy all over.

    Meghan WalterJune 9th, 2014  7:02 AM

  • Anthelios turns my clothing yellow if it comes into contact with the edges. It sometimes leaves a yellowish film on my face as well. Not sure if its simply a chemical reaction with my particular PH.

    Skinceuticals is good in terms of a mineral option, and neutrogena is the best in terms of sinking into the skin, and not feeling heavy. It does, however, use chemicals…

    I would love to hear what others rely on. I don’t think the perfect product exists yet.

    Julie AnnJune 9th, 2014  7:17 AM

  • I have had melanoma and basal skin cancer and this is what I use on my face. Its excellent.

    MarianneJune 9th, 2014  7:18 AM

  • Preston – I only use Anthelios.. but not the ultralight one that you put here – I use the creamier one -melt-in 60. I love it. I have dry, sensitive skin and it is the best! Happy Summer. Ridgely

    Ridgely's RadarJune 9th, 2014  7:35 AM

  • Yes, Loved it in the beginning, then after a couple of months my skin started to get really dry… But it is great if you mix it with moisturizer or makeup.

    FernandaJune 9th, 2014  7:58 AM

  • I have indeed, and there isn’t anything better (for my ginger skin): it is superlight, absorbs easily and does a great job at protecting your skin. Highly recommended!

    HekkuJune 9th, 2014  8:05 AM

  • I love EltaMD for everyday use. It’s a little thicker than Anthelios and more moisturizing. Recommended by most derms.

    JulieJune 9th, 2014  8:29 AM

  • That mineral Anthelios is great, as is the Shiseido tinted SPF 43, and if you don’t want tinted, try the Clarins “Bright Plus” SPF 40. You want to look for barrier sunscreens with ingredients like titanium dioxide or zinc oxide which are more effective “broad spectrum” protection and last longer than the chemical sunscreens.

    déjà pseuJune 9th, 2014  8:55 AM

  • For your face, I highly recommend Intellishade by Revision Skincare. Very new on the market. It’s an SPF 45 that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. The product is also tinted, but the tint adjusts to your own skin tones. Also comes in both regular and matte formulas. I used to be a big fan of the Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer, but rather wear this for the higher SPF. For my body, I still love Neutrogena’s products with Helioplex. I’m blonde/blue-eyed and have used those in Mexico without being burned.

    kimJune 9th, 2014  9:18 AM

  • I want to emphasis the last post – my dermatologist made if very clear to me that the only sunscreens worth using will contain titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, or both. I’m not sure if the one you are asking about does or not, so you have to check the ingredients.

    Since these chemicals tend to have a white tint to them, I’ve started using a brand recommended by my dermatologist that has a tint in it: Tizo protection3 Facial Mineral Fusion. It comes in a lighter and a medium tint, and lists 8% Titanium Dioxide and 3.8% Zinc Oxide… I purchased it first from my dermatologist, and then subsequently on Amazon. I also bought their lip balm… don’t forget to protect your lips!!

    JaciJune 9th, 2014  9:21 AM

  • I use Vanicream (available at the LV pharamcy) and Invisible Zinc (not available in the US, but can order through Amazon). I had an allergic reaction to Anthelios (on my face). Coppertone 50 for rest of my body.

    AlexandraJune 9th, 2014  9:23 AM

  • Sun Visor SPF30, by GOLDFADEN MD and available at Space NK. It’s an ultralight oil free mist that is wonderful for the face.

    EileenJune 9th, 2014  9:28 AM

  • Preston,
    Try Soleil Organic SPF sunscreen mist! It goes on very light–almost like water. Their facial moisturizer is wonderful and doesn’t feel tacky at all. It’s perfection! 100% mineral, too. www.soleiltoujours.com
    Valerie McMurray, founder of Soleil Toujours so so chic!!

    Patricia KnoxJune 9th, 2014  9:29 AM

  • Preston, my favourite this summer is Amore Pacific cushion compact. I wanted something that was multi-purpose instead of simply adding a sunscreen step to my day. It has an SPF sunblock rating of 50, feels amazing, lasts all day and evens my skin to look brighter without feeling heavy. There are 4 shades I believe.
    Good luck!

    SueMJune 9th, 2014  9:30 AM

  • I googled and ‘cell ox shield’ is a potentially harmful chemical 🙁
    So it is misleading for them to say it’s all minerals! I have been trying to find a chemical free suntan lotion for years but the natural ones are sticky and leave a white film because they have titanium and zinc oxide. I wonder if John Masters organics has a good one?

    Sue TothJune 9th, 2014  9:31 AM

  • My skin doctor says the only FDA approved formula that protects against UVA and UVB rays and doesn’t break down after an hour is the patented Helioplex found in Neutrogena products.

    ToriJune 9th, 2014  9:38 AM

  • I have tried many brands from high end to drugstore. My favorite is Cetaphil SPF 50. I have sensitive skin and this is phenomenal. Bonus – it’s under $15!

    a digilioJune 9th, 2014  9:38 AM

  • Yes, I use and love, Anthelios. Due to it’s unique texture, it can make your face feel a bit dry, but as others have mentioned, I put a layer of moisturizer with SPF over that.

    GabrielleJune 9th, 2014  9:41 AM

  • Another vote for Elta MD. They have different varieties for different skin types and are a dermatologist favorite. Paraben-free, fragrance-free and gentle on even the most sensitive post-procedure skin. I use the oil-free SPF 45 with transparent zinc.

    MariaJune 9th, 2014  9:49 AM

  • I wear sunscreen religiously, even in the dead of winter. For my body, I like to use a spray and lately have been using the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist. It doesn’t smell too terrible nor does it leave me greasy – which I absolutely hate. On my face, I either use the one you’ve mentioned above, or I use the Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Sunscreen. I prefer the Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch line better because it’s again, less greasy, but the Sensitive line reduces any risk of break outs. I have extremely sensitive skin plus take medications that leave me photosensitive, I won’t risk getting burned nor do I ever get tan and always use the highest SPF I can find. Some people say that after SPF 45 they are all the same, but I purchase SPF 100 anyways because it makes me feel better. I’d much prefer to be pale the whole year and not have wrinkles in the future. Don’t forget – no sunscreen lasts all day, you need to reapply often!

    LizaJune 9th, 2014  9:50 AM

  • I have been buying EltaMD sunscreens online ( on Lovelyskin.com) for years.The only one that doesn’t burn when put close to my eyes. No chemicals to get absorbed through the skin! 7 to 10% zinc products. Lightweight ,tinted or not. Full line of great sunscreens that work and are not expensive. All of my friends in Florida are now hooked! Also find Jan Marini spf 33 daily face protectorant to work and not sting or feel greasy. Her Sun Kissed Neutral tint works on my pale skin.

    PaulineJune 9th, 2014  9:59 AM

  • I use Skinceuticals, slightly tinted sunscreen, which has an SPF of 50 and absorbs very well. I also use Bobbi Brown’s BB cream with an SPF of 35 if I’m not going to be in direct sunlight all day and want a touch of evening out of skin tone.

    KathyJune 9th, 2014  10:00 AM

  • see www.ewg.org/2014sunscreen/ for the best.

    kinseyJune 9th, 2014  10:16 AM

  • Another vote for for Elta MD for everyday use. I used to use Anthelios but I have switched. Anthelios was too staining and too much of a chemical residue.

    ElizabethJune 9th, 2014  10:22 AM

  • Shiseido ‘Ultimate Sun Protection’ Cream SPF 50 for the face (which you can get any dept store, sephora, etc…) and then I use Alba Botanica Very Emollient Sport Sunscreen SPF 45 for my neck, which I get from Whole Foods. Both are in teal bottles. Both are water resistant, which I need living in the tropics. And then I use Eucrein lotion with spf 15 for my hands.

    Pret a Porter PJune 9th, 2014  10:30 AM

  • I LOVE Beautycounter’s new sunscreen!!! It is mineral based, no harmful chemicals and works (does not leave you burnt)! I used it last weekend. It is an all over sunscreen that works on your entire body (and is safe for use on your entire family, too). Formulated with non-nano zinc oxide, the lightweight, water-resistant formula sinks into skin without leaving white streaks or that tell-tale smell. They use a UVA and UVB formula that includes aloe vera which hydrates skin and green tea and blood orange extracts that supply antioxidants. They have a face sunscreen as well. You can check it out here : http://bit.ly/1pctCIS

    AmyJune 9th, 2014  10:30 AM

  • After years of difficulty finding a sunscreen for my super sensitive skin, my Dermatologist suggested Elta. I use the oil free SPF 45. Amazing find.

    JenniferJune 9th, 2014  10:36 AM

  • Yes! I’ve been using Anthelios for years and it’s fabulous. I use it daily as my moisturizer. The one you have pictured is great because it’s milky and light, which makes it easy to apply, but they now have a new product that I think is even better. It comes in a silver tube and is called Daily Anti-Aging Primer with Sunscreen. It provides great sun protection (SPF 50) and leaves your skin feeling and looking velvety smooth and poreless. It’s my new favorite!

    Carla McDonald
    Founder, The Salonniere

    Carla McDonaldJune 9th, 2014  10:42 AM

  • I have highly sensitive skin and this is the ONLY sunscreen I use. I have been using this for years and LOVE it.

    DianaJune 9th, 2014  10:54 AM

  • Like Marianne, I have a personal history of skin cancer. I am not familiar with the brand you ask about, but I find Neutrogena Ultra Sheer liquid sunscreen with helioplex really good for my face. It is sheer and not greasy, easy to put on everyday, regardless of whether you will spend a lot of time outdoors or not. Also, I hate to be a downer, but hats and clothing made of woven material (not sheer) which creates barriers from the rays are really the best defense on a daily basis. Also, don’t assume due to nationality or lack of family history, it can’t happen to you. Melanoma usually has a fairly long window of opportunity before it becomes a threat to long term health, so don’t put off getting a skin check on any spot you have wondered about. It has a high likelihood of being nothing, but let a pro make that call.

    AprilJune 9th, 2014  10:55 AM

  • Like many of the women above, I have a history of melanoma. For my body I love Anthelios and Neutrogena products. I just bought Sun Bum invisible zinc oxide (Nordstrom website). For my face I use NIA 24, Clarins and Elta. A hat is a must and don’t forget the back of your ears and the tops of your hands!!

    DawnJune 9th, 2014  11:28 AM

  • yes I’ve used it in the past and it’s a great product. However, Skinceuticals tinted sunscreen spf 50 is even better.

    NancyJune 9th, 2014  12:03 PM

  • I use Kate Sommerville’s Serum Sunscreen (Broad Spectrum SPF 50+) and I love it. It is not greasy and just sinks into your skin.


    I’d love to try Sisley’s All Day All Year, which supposedly offers 8 hours of protection, but the price is too steep so I haven’t been able to justify it yet.


    MaryJune 9th, 2014  12:41 PM

  • I use Dermalogica Dynamic Skin Recovery SPF50 as moisturizer on my face. It is lightweight, absorbs quickly, and I’ve had no breakouts or sunburns since I started using it. I also use it on the back of my hands. For body, Eucerin Daily Protection Moisturizing Lotion SPF30 goes on easily. I don’t like overly scented products and both these have very subtle scents.

    EricaJune 9th, 2014  1:01 PM

  • Preston, can you not put the comment awaiting moderation – wrong name of body sunscreen. I’ve noticed lots of women here, using different ones for their bodies than face of course, less expensive etc. The best one I’ve found is by Ahava, which is waterproof and safe for babies even, so that’s what I use on my body and even my face if I’m swimming. Neutrogena has gotten slammed previously for being one of the most toxic sunscreens, not sure if they’ve changed formulas?

    KathyJune 9th, 2014  1:23 PM

  • Hi,

    I steer clear of Anthelios and any sunscreen that contains oxybenzone, retinyl palmitate (a type of vitamin A), or has a SPF above 50. (See multiple articles and website of EWG for all the reasons why; one v. disturbing fact: oxybenzone is a hormone disruptor and has been found in breast milk.) I find sunscreens with titanium dioxide work well—I’m protected, and I don’t look like I’m off to do kabuki theater. Also my deem. is very pleased.

    JanetJune 9th, 2014  2:00 PM

  • So many comments to read through! It’s nice to read about all the different options out there. I’ve been obsessed with Anthelios for years, I have the same one in your photo but I think it’s SPF60. The ultralight formula is amazing and I swear it works all day (if you’re not sweating or swimming). I use it on my kiddos and they love that it’s not all goopy and greasy. I’m pretty sure the one I buy is for the face but I use it on my face, arms, chest, & neck and the same for my fair-skinned children.

    Laura (@cocktailsandgelato.com)June 9th, 2014  2:25 PM

  • Hi:

    This is a great choice from the Drs who created Proactiv® Solution, Dr Katie Rodan & Dr. Kathy Fields:

    REDEFINE Triple Defense Treatment is a moisturizing treatment with photostable broad spectrum SPF 30 protection. It contains a clinically proven concentration of powerful peptides to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles and visibly firm skin. SHIELDrf provides effective broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection and visibly decelerates the signs of photoaging that appear over time. 30mL/1Fl. Oz


    Thank you,

    Michelle HallJune 9th, 2014  3:33 PM

  • I also use Elta MD SPF-40 for everyday, but I use Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby SPF 60 when I know I’ll be outdoors for awhile, as recommended by a dermatologist. It doesn’t sink in as well as Elta but really protects.


    DPUJune 9th, 2014  4:14 PM

  • Chantecaille Ultra Sun Protection Spf 50 Anti-Glycation primer is the best (subtle rose scent)


    ISclinical spf 50(no scent).
    both soaks in easily,light and fast absorbing and does not leave that annoying white tint.miracle workers.looove them

    MargaretJune 9th, 2014  4:18 PM

  • Yet another vote for EltaMD products!

    AlissaJune 9th, 2014  5:00 PM

  • The most important thing about sunscreens, as cited by Jaci, Kinsey and Jane, is the ingredients. Steer clear of any sunscreen containing oxybenzone. Most of them have oxybenzone in it, regardless of quality, price or brand. Check on the list of best sunscreens on the Environmental Working group website www.ewg.org for the best sunscreens. Also you can wear clothing, albeit not the chicest ones, with upf. A brand new lined called Cover at Neiman Marcus is a close to chic that I found of the upf clothing. Parasol is another clothing line with upf.

    RonicaJune 9th, 2014  5:36 PM

  • I am a native Texan, fair-skinned, blue eyes, red hair, and have had many horrific sunburns. I am also an RN and have heard countless dermatologists recommend over and over the Neutragena products. That is what I use on my body with great results. For my face I use Kiehl’s moisturizers with sunscreen.

    SherryJune 9th, 2014  6:21 PM

  • Living in California, I have tried many products-including Anthelios (good), but I now use Sisley’s All Day All Year. Great for sensitive skin and provides an 8 HOUR shield against the sun w/o white or major chemicals. You do not glob it on. It is pricey, but no other cream lasts 8 hours!

    MaryJune 9th, 2014  6:43 PM

  • Antihelios is a great product that is lightweight and very protective..It also evens out my skin perfectly as I do not like heavy makeup. I also love that it is a physical block as chemical versions tend to clog the old pores. I also recently tried an Amore Pacific product/Color Control Cushion Compact..SPF 50. It is great when you need a bit more coverage!

    MimiJune 9th, 2014  7:18 PM

  • I find La Roche-Posay sunscreen to be very drying for the face and it almost smells like gasoline. Not a fan. I have had a hard time finding a sunscreen that works and doesn’t irritate my skin. My dermatologist gave me a sample of Skinceuticals 50 Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50 and I really like it. It is tinted too so it goes on smoothly and the scent is less noticeable than Anthelios. Another sunscreen that seems to be good is Coola. http://www.coolasuncare.com/classic/sunscreen-spf-30-unscented- I borrowed some from a friend and it was great!!

    Joni MindelJune 9th, 2014  7:27 PM

  • Huge fan of yours…happy to send you my favorite sunscreen. It’s by Obagi which is a doctor only administered line. I think Anthelios was the best stuff out there for a while and used to buy six tubes at a time as it was only available outside of the US until the FDA approved it….now I find that it cakes up my makeup and if my skin isn’t well hydrated (which it often isn’t as a busy working mom of two), that this sunscreen would make my face look aged. So I switched to Obagi which is great…the whole line is great. Let me know where to send you some and my secretary will pop some in the mail ASAP.

    Keep writing…your posts are fantastic!
    JoAn Monaco, MD
    Plastic, Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgery
    New York, NY

    JoAn MonacoJune 9th, 2014  7:48 PM

  • “Cotz Face” is my favorite – silky smooth, matte, SPF 40, Zinc and Titanium, flesh tinted. Won’t sting, light as a feather.
    Anthelios “XL” is the product that gave them name recognition because it covers a wider range of UVA and UVB. The active ingredient is mexoryl. Not sure it is available in the states but a dermatologist favorite… can be purchased online from European pharmacies and at a premium from some pharmacies in NYC. But it is a chemical sunscreen and they break down when exposed to the sun so its very important to reapply every 2 hours. The average female in a bathing suit needs a shot glass amount of sunscreen and it should be applied 1/2 hour before heading out.

    EmmyJune 9th, 2014  8:02 PM

  • Hi Preston,

    There are two versions of Anthelios, one made in America, the other made in France. The French version is better, it has an ingredient that is highly effective. The Cure Shop in NYC sells it and they can give you more info. I have been using it for years on my face.

    Good luck.

    lauraJune 9th, 2014  8:26 PM

  • Hi Preston,

    Love this topic. I have been using DeVita Natural Skin Care Solar Body Moisturizer SPF 30+ for a few years and love it. I am devoted to SPF (fair skin, freckles and I live in Florida). Here’s why I like it so much:
    – Completely non-toxic (EWG grades it a 1, which is extremely good) — it took me a while to find one I like.
    – The body formula is thicker and more moisturizing than the face formula (I have skin on the dryer side).
    – It contains 19% zinc oxide
    – No white residue. If you really pile it on, it will get white, but unlike most non-toxic formulas, this one is not sticky and white.
    – Thin enough to go under make up and absorbs quickly.
    – Doesn’t burn your eyes (I even use it on my baby).

    A caveat: this is not waterproof. If you go swimming or perspire very, very heavily, you will need to reapply.

    Okay, enough, I sound like an infomercial. I am just always surprised people don’t mention this brand. it is really worth a look.
    I am outside for hours every day, and I’ve never gotten burned.
    Good luck.
    Love the blog, btw.

    LeahJune 9th, 2014  9:20 PM

  • Image sunscreen the best!!

    JeanneJune 9th, 2014  9:45 PM

  • Wow this is a topic everyone has lots to say on! Which is great as it’s a really important topic. Because it is so important, I’ll offer my vote Preston, which a couple of other readers have also mentioned, namely, Skinceauticals physical fusion SPF 50. It’s a lovely tinted fluid that doesn’t dry my skin out or feel heavy or oily. It is a ‘physical’ sunscreen i.e. zinc oxide, which is thought to be better at preventing brown spots than the ‘chemical’ ones. There is a sheer version which I also have, but it makes even me look a little white, but worse is dries my skin out a bit. Overall I prefer the tinted one. It’s in a tiny bottle like a Japanese sunscreen, which you have to shake. Though the bottle is tiny the product inside lasts well, though you wouldn’t want to apply it all over your body (I use a cheaper sunscreen for my neck, hands and body). The colour that pours out is admittedly not very pretty, but when applied on my skin (fair) it is softly matte and invisible. I can tell it’s there when I remove my makeup at night, and as I don’t colour at all anymore. It spreads very easily. I wear a pressed powder with sunscreen over the top most days. Good luck!

    JustineJune 9th, 2014  11:27 PM

  • I can highly recommend Neutrogena sunscreen products for face and body. The Broad Spectrum SPF 70 is what I used on my face, shoulders and chest on a recent trip to Kauai. Cera Ve SPF 50 contains invisible Zinc. Both products are lightweight, oil free, water resistant for 80 minutes. Any product needs to be reapplied frequently. Drugstore products work best and are a fraction of the price of cosmetic counter products. I agree that a hat is the best defense.

    PaulaJune 10th, 2014  1:03 AM

  • It took me years to find the perfect sunscreen! Super sensitive skin:/ But I finally did find one:)
    Clarins, UV Plus HP sunscreen! Not to greasy, gives nice glow, and excellent sun protraction:)

    VJune 10th, 2014  1:41 AM

  • WOW! Thank you for these recommendations and reviews!!!

    PrestonJune 10th, 2014  6:20 AM

  • Obagi healthy skin protection, SPF 35 is a great sunscreen for the face. Best I’ve ever tried.

    ClaireJune 10th, 2014  12:47 PM

  • Congratulations on the graduation! Try Vichy products they work for my super sensitive skin

    KaraJune 10th, 2014  6:00 PM

  • Solbar 38 (off of amazon) is the only sunscreen on the market that hasn’t irritated my very sensitive skin. It is zinc based (no chemicals!) but blends in nicely. Give it a try!

    ErikaJune 10th, 2014  6:34 PM

  • I also use EltaMD (contains a natural zinc oxide). It goes on very silky and is moisturizing. I use it year round (even in the winter). I live in Chicago.

    PythiaJune 10th, 2014  11:32 PM

  • I’ve used Elta MD, Coola, and the Anthelios primer on my face and like all of them for summer. I have oily skin so really need stuff that is light and non-greasy when it’s hot and humid.

    In the winter I wear the Juice Beauty CC cream and Origins SPF 25 A Perfect World, but those are too moisturizing for me in the summer. I also like Josie Maran’s Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47, it’s very creamy. But remember, this is coming from someone whose skin almost NEVER feels dry!

    For my body I use Cerave, Yes To Carrots, or Neutrogena.

    joannawnycJune 11th, 2014  9:26 AM

  • A late comment, but I love Elta MD (spf 45) so much that I’d like to give it another endorsement…my derm and esthetician both recommended it and it’s absolutely amazing– not oily, great protection, good ingredients and feels great on the skin.

    NedaJune 12th, 2014  2:24 PM

  • I happen to love this SPF, being fair, I never go out without sunscreen. My only issue is that it does stain, so I am very careful with it around my clothing.

    MelissaJune 13th, 2014  8:43 PM

  • Love love love this brand. Have used it for 10 years. Never greasy or pore clogging. And it works.

    EGSGJune 19th, 2014  11:37 AM

  • As an esthetician, I would never recommend Neutrogena. Check the ‘Think Dirty’ or ‘Skin Deep’ (free)apps and you will see how toxic Neutrogena is. IMO, the best sunscreen is Epicuren X-treme Cream, followed by Tizo3.

    ElizabethApril 6th, 2016  6:28 PM


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