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Obagi Medical Sun Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Matte Sunscreen Lotion, 3 Ounce

Award-winning sunscreen provides a high level of protection against harmful UVA and UVB rays. Non-greasy, PABA-free, and fragrance-free formula for all skin types that applies completely sheer in an elegant matte finish that feels great on your skin.

Key features

  • High UVA/UVB protection
  • Sheer matte finish
  • Nonwhitening
  • Paba-free and fragrance-free
  • For all skin types

Honest reviews


Best I’ve tried so far, though not quite perfect…

I’ve tried & tested more than a dozen different sunscreens over the past couple of years, and Obagi Nu-Derm Sun Shield SPF 50 has emerged the definitive winner of the bunch! I’m just about done with my first tube (3 oz; full size), which I opened on May 8th. (I’ve been using it every single day on my face, neck and décolleté; I use a separate sunscreen for backs of hands and other exposed areas like arms and tops of feet). What I appreciate most about this product is its consistency, which I find to be ideal for my particular skin type (normal/bordering on oily). It’s not overly thick, nor is it too fluid (runny = messy). It has a lovely, almost silky, texture: lightweight, creamy-smooth and non-greasy (which I love, having tried and been disappointed by other sunscreens that have what can only be described as a heavy ‘waxy’ feel. This sunscreen feels luxurious on the skin and allows it to ‘breathe.’ I’ve actually started looking forward to my morning skin care routine ever since I began using this lotion. I use Rx tretinoin gel nightly, so I require a facial screen with a high level of broad-spectrum protection, and preferably one that contains zinc oxide at a minimum of 6%. (This one has 10.5%.) In my experience, sunscreens with over 7% zinc oxide tend to leave my skin with a reflective (shiny) whitish blue-gray appearance. This, however, doesn’t. The Obagi Sun Shield leaves my complexion looking its usual color. I use it in place of a daily facial moisturizer and in no way does this make my face feel tight, dry, or otherwise uncomfortable. I use the requisite amount of one-half teaspoon to cover the aforementioned areas, which I apply a minute or so following my vitamin C serum. It took a bit of experimentation before I was able to successfully apply it onto my face without it ‘shredding’ off in little white peel-y flecks (you probably know what I’m talking about). I’m not sure whether everyone has that issue, but it seems to be a common problem with the majority of sunscreens I’ve used (though I’m also assuming this effect is often exacerbated due to my use of tretinoin.) So while this Obagi one is by far the least ‘peel-y’ one I’ve ever tried, if I do exceed the proper amount, I notice right away. Most people don’t use enough sunscreen, but avoid OVER-using or over-applying, especially on the facial skin. Because the finish will be less than desirable. I’ve achieved the best application by smoothing it on in a windshield wiper-like motion and then gently patting the remainder until I no longer see lotion streaks. (If I rub in small circles, it begins to peel right off.) I don’t wear foundation, so I can’t critique its compatibility with base makeup. One standout negative about this product is that, at least in my experience, it does not reapply well; as in, it does the dreaded peel-y shredding white flakey thing. This is really only a problem if you’re using it on a heavy-exposure day (spending all day outside, or during peak hours on a boat or something). I’ve attempted to reapply many times, and under various circumstances — post-workout, mid-day without having sweated at all, early evening before an after-dinner walk outside — it doesn’t reapply nicely at all. After exercising (sweating), for instance, what I have to do is use a cotton pad soaked with toner to semi-cleanse my face so that it’s prepped; then I pat dry and apply the Sun Shield back onto my fresh skin. Yes, it’s a pain-in-the-butt inconvenience, but I’d rather spend the extra minutes and know that I’m protected. I also wear a wide-brimmed hat religiously whenever I set foot outdoors, so I’d like to think that I’m generally good to go. Since I personally don’t have dry skin, I can’t say whether it would be moisturizing enough for individuals with a dry skin type. This sets by the way to a completely natural, satin-like finish on my skin – neither matte nor dewy. Everyone has different skin, so it’s difficult to recommend skin care products to others because, depending on so many factors, results will most likely differ. But all in all, I absolutely love this product and will be repurchasing (right now in fact). This is an excellent sunscreen that I think would be particularly well-suited for those of you with normal, normal to oily, or combination skin. On a related note: I ordered from ‘101 Med spa’ and had a positive transaction on two separate occasions with this seller. (I ordered one for my mother after having gotten the one for myself and liking it so much). They offered a considerably lower price compared to others, and the items arrived quickly and fresh (2014 exp. date) both times. Hopefully this review has been helpful! UPDATE (Jan25, 2012): Editing my review to mention that I repurchased this product once again and continue to love it! UPDATE #2 (May 16, 2012): Still using and loving this. UPDATE #3 (Sep 11, 2012): Just cracked open yet another tube, still haven’t found anything better!

Emilie Gruver, IA

Couldn’t be better!

Absolutely LOVE this product. I honestly haven’t found a better product for my face. My skin is what would be considered “normal” but can run a bit oily but this product is just creamy enough – not drying and not oily. The real bonus is the SPF 50 WITH the zinc oxide. Perfect if you want to total coverage/blockage – for face or elsewhere.

Erika South Webster, OH

Highly recommended

I was reluctant to use Obagi product in the past because a few friends used Obagi peeling products and their faces were as red as lobster shell…. While hunting for a good sunscreen with high SPF (l live in tropical country), l came across this product and was surprised to see the 4 & 5 stars given by reviewers. I thought l would give it a try since the price offered by Amazon is pretty reasonable. This is the 1st time l use Obagi product and l must give this product a 5 stars for its non greasy, easy to apply smooth texture that does not clog my pores while giving me the protection needed.An update: l am still using it. Happier with it than the very 1st time l tried. With SPF50 l feel confident of good protection. My freckles have not increased in numbers nor in darkness. this is a very welcoming thing. I should mention Obagi sunscreen smooths out evenly and easily on my skin without greasiness or heaviness. I can wear it all day long without extra oil on the T section. It also gives a nice finish as if l powdered my face.

Janie Hardin, MO

worth a try

So I am mid-20s and have acne-prone combination skin; I use lots of strong acne-fighting products which make skin more susceptible to sun damage, so I need a good sunscreen that doesn’t break me out and preferably doesn’t add to the oily look on my face. I’ve tried a bazillion different sunscreens, and so far I’m impressed with this one. I’ve only used this for 3 weeks though, and my skin tends to get adjusted and stop behaving once I’ve used the same product too long, so, I’ll have to see how this works for me long-term.This is a bit thicker than the previous sunscreens I’ve used recently, but it’s still easy enough to apply thoroughly, and while it goes on very white, it easily massages in or dries on its own, so I have no real problems with the texture or color.It does feel a bit thick when first applied, but my face doesn’t seem bothered by it once its dried into the skin. It does still feel sticky even once dry if you touch your face with your hands, which I find gross, but I think that’s actually a perk, since it discourages me from touching my face as often as I would want to, and that’s important for reducing bacteria and thus acne.Also, it really does a great job of mattifying my skin. My skin looks completely matte when first applied, but within an hour, my skin looks normal healthy dewy, and it last almost all workday for keeping my skin from getting greasy. I usually pat my nose with an oil blotting paper at least once in the middle of the day, but the rest of my face looks great, and that works for me. It doesn’t work for all day and all evening, though, so I do wash and re-apply it I am going somewhere in the evening and want my face looking perfect; otherwise, I just dab on a bit of shine control powder in the evening when I’m home from work to keep my face looking alright if we go out to dinner or something.I think it’s definitely worth a try.

Beth Rudolph, WI

Matte and smooth

This sunscreen is dry to the touch, a little, very little goes a long way. Dime size or less is a good enough. Nickel or Quarter size is way too much!! I love the way it feels on my skin. I don’t look shiny after I apply this.

Lizzie Meridian, NY


I find this sunscreen to be excellent for everyday use.It’s non greasy,unscented,absorbs well and does not leave any white residue.It is also a very reasonable price for an Obagi product.It is decent size too,not some itsy bitsy container of overpriced brand name goo.I wish it had higher spf than 50,my face got a little pink after about 4-5 hours outside on a hot sunny day.I probably should have reapplied it after few hours.

Erin Talofofo, GU

Very good product

50 SPF, Not greasy & doesn’t cause my face to break out. I put it under my make up & I even wear it alone. not too chalky or white.

Helen Chalk Hill, PA

Best Sunscreen EVER

Dries very matte. No whiteness. Blends right in and leaves your face fresh and lightweight. Love love love this. Plan on using it on my entire body

Myra Greenland, NH

Best sunscreen ever!

I have oily, acneic skin. This sunscreen is really matte, blends well, no scent and gave me no zits. Highly recommended.

Holly Huntington, OR

Unpleasant scent and not the best primer

I used the Shiseido Extra Smooth Sun Protection Cream SPF 38 before trying this and I loved that one. It was a great primer, helped control my oil, and it didn’t smell like sunscreen although it had a particular scent. The Obagi sunscreen has a strong chemical scent and has a more liquid consistency. I’ve heard that you are supposed to pat facial sunscreen onto your skin instead of rubbing it in and since this isn’t very thick and is more watery I don’t feel like my face is fully protected. I’ve also noticed that when I apply mineral makeup it sometimes clumps up with the sunscreen and forms little chunks. I’ll try rubbing in the sunscreen instead of patting it on and see if it makes a difference with mineral makeup application but I definitely prefer the Shisedo one over this.

Melody Ingalls, KS

Bloqueador de primera

Soy una fanatica de ls productos obagy. Desde que me los recomendaron, no he dejado de usarlos… Mi cara se ha transformado

Alyson Dewitt, MI

Hurts my face

This lotion burns my skin. Also it made me look white as a ghost. Folks were snickering at me at the mall. Then when I saw my reflection in the glass store window I could see why.Also it sweats off.I’m going to stick with the old tried and tested Blue Lizard (also available on Amazon). I don’t know what chemical they put in this but my face feels dry and sore. Too bad I wasted 20 bucks to find this out.

Charlotte Parlin, NJ

Excellent product, affordable price

excellent product, only a small amount is required. not greasy. can also be used when in water and re applied after a few hours if needed

Jeanine Everetts, NC

spf matte 50

I’ve been using this sun screen for years. Started using it with the Obagi nu derm kit, then continued after done with the kit. The older spf matte was drying, but I think they’ve improved it, as it’s not drying at all and takes away the shine.

Fay Greenbush, ME

Reliable in the Hawaiian sun

I bicycle and garden a LOT. This is the only product I’ve found that doesn’t wear off easily, though I probably should reapply more often due to sweating on hot days. I’d like it if there were fewer chemicals, so I’m trying a more natural product, but I do find myself reapplying it far more.Oh, and watch the ‘bleeding’ into the eyes if you get caught in the rain, for example. Ouchy.

Laura Port Matilda, PA


I went to a medical skin care spa and the women who gave me the facial recommended this. Now 5 months later no new sunspots! I got a IPL photofacial last week and the doctor said I had been taking great care of my skin. It is all thanks to this and using PCA hydroquinone gel.

Patrica Pendleton, NC

good stuff

expensive but comes highly recommended by girl who did my facials (and she doesn’t sell the stuff), and my dermatologist. Obagi is a good product.

Luann Washburn, MO


This is the best sunblock lotion i’ve ever used..this product does not leave a white cast on my face or clogs up my pores but leaves a really nice matte finish..personally, I stopped using my primer in replacement of this sunblock lotion

Kristin Alexander, AR


My mom uses this stuff all the time and loves it! She uses the other products with it and can’t say enough about how good it is!

Lara Hazel Hurst, PA

GREAT facial sunscreen.

Not greasy, wonderful sun protection, works great under make up. I use mineral powder and it is perfect. Liked the 35 but like this much more.

Rosemarie Richfield, OH

Awesome Sunscreen

The ingredients were what really got me to purchase this- nothing pore clogging or damaging to the skin on the face- I’m so sensitive with lotions, that I had a feeling this one would be a keeper. It is perfect for daily use- only a little is needed to cover entire face- Its so important to use sunscreen every day, even in winter, your skin really needs the protection and this lotion will do the trick 😉

Willie Atwater, CA

Best one I’ve found

I have tried many different sunscreens. This is my favorite. I’ve bought it twice from amazon. It doesn’t leave me white like other brands. I like this for SPF 50 and Keys sunscreen for SPF 30.

Cherie Fort Lyon, CO

Great sunscreen

Previous to this, my favorite sunscreen was Neutrogena Pure and Free, which is about $10 for 1.4 ounces; with that in mind, the price of this didn’t bother me, since its twice as much product, for not too much extra; and trust me, the extra quality is worth the extra $10 or so.I’m obsessed with skincare, but I really HATE most facial sunscreens; they usually sting my face/and or eyes, cause rashes or breakouts, and are really shiny and greasy. What I liked about the Neutrogena sunscreen is that it has a high SPF, is VERY gentle, and VERY matte! Matte is a must as I have oily skin. The only things I didn’t like about that sunscreen are the runny consistency, which made application difficult, and the horrid white cast it left without makeup.This sunscreen is a thicker, creamy formula, that doesn’t leave a white residue at all, and is just as matte! It also has a high spf, and lots of zinc, which is really great for your skin in addition to blocking the sun. It has lots of silicone in it, which in some products makes me break out, but I haven’t had any issues so far. Additionally, it kinda acts like a primer thanks to all those silicons!The one downside is I occasionally do get a bit of balling up when I put makeup over it; it’s usually pretty minor, still kind of annoying! But this is the best sunscreen I’ve found thus far, so I’ll stick with it.

Dana Keensburg, IL