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Skinceuticals Sheer Physical Uv Defense SPF 50 Broad-spectrum Sunscreen Fluid, 1.7-Ounce

Sheer Physical UV Defense is a physical transparent sunscreen with true broad spectrum coverage from UVA and UVB rays. This unique formulation provides a non-irritating, ultra sheer texture for all skin types, even the most sensitive.

Key features

  • Broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection
  • Sheer, mattifying texture with a transparent finish
  • Paraben-free and non-comedogenic
  • For all skin types

Honest reviews


Can A Sunscreen Be Elegant?

Recently, I was advised by a dermatologist that SPF 15 just wasn’t going to cut the mustard if I was going to start using retinol-based products. She recommended SPF60, but because she’s European (I’m military overseas) wanted me to buy Anthelios by LaRoche-Posay.Unfortunately, the LaRoche-Posay sunscreen contains avobenzone, to which I’m highly allergic. And I mean highly.So, I embarked upon a quest for a non-goopy, non-ooky, non-whitening zinc/titanium oxide based, high SPF sunscreen. Boy, was that painful! Too many times, I either felt like I had bathroom caulk on my face or looked like an extra in a vampire movie. (The Twilight Look may be fine for a cute, chiseled, twenty-something young man but just doesn’t cut it for a 40-plus woman…)Trolling thru Amazon, I hit upon the Skinceuticals sunscreen line, but saw no reviews for the newest, Sheer Physical Defense SPF 50. I rely heavily on the reviews on this site and others to inform and guide my decisions. Even with nothing to go on I figured, “What’s another $30 when you’ve already wasted so much money and been so frustrated?”The sunscreen arrived about five days ago and I’ve worn it every day since then. It goes on incredibly well and is absolutely weightless; within a couple of minutes you don’t even know that you’re wearing sunscreen. It’s absolutely amazing.However…It absolutely reeks.I mean it really does. I honestly wondered if I’d gotten some type of factory reject or a bottle gone bad. But, it doesn’t expire until 2012, and the box was completely sealed. (And the seller is perfectly reliable.)Fortunately, after a couple of minutes the odor goes away, but initially it’s a bit of a shocker.The other surprise was the small bottle. But, after initially squirting out enough to cover my entire body, I realized that it’s not goopy, but liquid, so requires far less product to do the job. (Warning: Don’t squirt!)Yes, it’s expensive, but a little bit goes a long way, and it looks so good on your face that you’ll be able to get by with either nothing but blush or a light powder. (Note: You can use it around your eyes without any burning OR having your eyeshadow crease and your mascara run. How many other products can claim that???) So, it all works out in the long run. Besides, how much money have we all wasted buying facial sunscreens that were awful?Bottom line: THIS IS THE SUNSCREEN WE SENSITIVE SKIN FOLKS HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR!!And, just to ensure that I had enough on hand, I waited to write this until I placed an order for two more bottles. ;~)

Bonita Jessup, PA

Not great for Acne Prone Skin

I tried this sunscreen because my dermatologist promised me that I would not break out from it. For me and my acne prone skin this product was not great………it went on a bit chalky and when I sweat it came back out of my skin in a white milky substance. It also felt greasy on my skin and made me break out like crazy. However, I do like to use this product on my hands and arms as it does provide great coverage.The only product that works for my acne skin is Elta MD Clear.

Neva South Walpole, MA

Best I’ve Found

After trying many non-chemical sunscreens, I’ve settled on this one. What it doesn’t do: run down my skin when I sweat and make me look like a melted candle, gunk up in creases in my skin (just a tiny bit in neck lines after a while), sting my eyes, cake up in the container opening, come off if I splash my face with water, leave a greasy or heavy matte white coat on my face. It seems to be truly water- and sweat-proof in ordinary activities, unlike other products I’ve tried that claim to be so, including so-called sport sunscreens. I like how light it is, it spreads easily and dries virtually sheer, and other creams and make-up layer well over it. It’s pricy so I only use it on my face and neck and use cheap stuff on my hands and the rest of me.

Josefina Cedar Hill, MO

Best Sunscreen Ever

This is the best high SPF sunscreen I have ever used, and I think I’ve tried them all.It blocks out both UVA and UVB rays but the formula is very lightweight so it does not cause break outs, it does not leave a white residue on the skin and it does not feel greasy. As an added side benefit it seems to leave a subtle glow on my skin once it is absorbed (You know that “glow” I am talking about? It’s not shiny skin, but radiance!!!!)This bottle lasted me through the summer as you only need a small bit at a time.I would compare this product to La Roche Posay Anthelios which I used to use at the recommendation of my dermatologist, but this product is MUCH MUCH better.The only slight issue I have with this sunscreen is that I don’t like the smell, but it’s nothing offensive, and disappears quickly.

Tanisha Island Heights, NJ


Love this product! It goes on light w.o. any color and does help matte your skin. Truly fantastic

Wanda Elsie, KY

Difficult to see where you are applying it

I’ve been a fan ofUltimate UV Defense SPF 30 – Skin Ceuticals – Day Care – 90ml/3ozfor years and decided to try this one instead, I don’t like it as much. Because it’s a liquid, it’s difficult to apply evenly to your skin and tell where it’s going. Also, throughout the course of the day, I noticed my skin was not any less oily than it normally is with the other Skinceuticals Ultimate sunscreen.So, for me, this sunscreen provides no benefit over my prior Skinceuticals sunscreen. When it runs out, I’m switching back.

Alyce Grantsburg, IN

This is one of the best suncreens I’ve used

This is one of the best suncreens I’ve used. It goes on invisibly, and works really well under makeup. I actually wanted to order the tinted version, but the untinted one is just as nice.

Vera Liguori, MO

Breakouts and spots

My dermatologist recommended this for my sensitive, acne-prone skin. I took a sample and applied every day on my honeymoon in Thailand. I came back with lots of new dark spots and freckles so needless to say I was disappointed in the coverage. To make matters worse, it gave me horrible acne. I originally chalked this up to the hot, humid weather in Thailand but I tried again when I was back in The States and my skin was clear only to get a new crop of blemishes. I would not recommend this if you have sensitive, acne-prone skin.

Estelle Ringoes, NJ

An excellent product

Lightweight, invisible, very protective. I have sensitive skin and I do not react to this product. I highly recommend it.

Christina Abernant, AL

Love this stuff!

This really works! It is light and blends in super easy and it’s SPF 50!! You have to try it because once you do, you will continue to buy it in the future 🙂

Katharine Belvidere, NC

Amazing and skin healing

This is a light as air sunscreen. I have acne… or i used to. I started wearing this under my acne solutions after the advice of an esthatician. Now i have less acne and removed acne creams almost entirely. My skin is more radiant now. The zinc helps to even out my skin tone and make my dark spots less visible under makeup as a primer or alone. I was told they have a skin colored version of this sunscreen. But i’m quite pale so i use this instead. However, it isn’t clear and will stay whitish. Most women wear at least a powder and most of us wear foundation. A little powder of your skintone will fix the slight white back to normal.This sunscreen when used everyday will prevent burns even on days you forget to use it because it builds your skins defenses against heat and sun.This particular screen uses the uva blocking mineral sunscreens that are non-toxic on the surface of your skin. But don’t put it on your lips. It is toxic when ingested.

Lana Stow, OH


I don’t really like the smell but it is thin and does dry clear, therefore, applying makeup on top of it works fine. I prefer Elta.

Mandy Gibbstown, NJ

Soooo Incredible!!!

This is my first time using a product from Skinceuticals, I’ve seen many good reviews about their products, well I was looking for a good sunscreen, at my job I expend time indoors as an outdoors as well. When this product arrived to my door and I looked at it, my first impression was “what a small bottle” but the time was passing by and a little goes a long way, believe me a small bottle like this last forever, what I always do is to don’t press the bottle too much, the product is liquid so it will comes out quickly. I apply that all over my face and neck, I skip the eye area, but even so, no irritation at all or burning sensation to my eyes, it isn’t greasy, no white color left behind, it disapear once it’s apply, I am very sensitive to strong smells, it’s smell is not strong, I’d say instead doesn’t have a smell at all!. Very good product, Highly recommend it.

April Redig, SD

Not for me.

I visit a popular skincare forum and so many people raved about this sunscreen for having good UVA protection (rare in the USA) and being "cosmetically elegant". However despite my skin being oilier, it still dried it out like crazy. I peeled from this stuff it was so bad.

Sharon Etna, ME

It clogged my pores

I love all the product details, but this product clogged my pores and I started getting little blackheads. I love how lightweight it is.

Maryellen Coleman, GA

Great Physical Sunscreen

I really like this light formula for days when I will be out in the sun. It does have a rather chemical smell, but it is "fragrance free." It also is free of parabens, which is important to me. It applies well under makeup and does not leave a white cast to the face. It also dries matte, unlike Josie Maran’s physical sunblock, which can leave an oily finish.

Concetta Cedarbluff, MS