Face Sunscreen Guide 2022 Part 1: European Sunscreens

Face Sunscreen Guide 2022, Part 1: European sunscreens

26 '
Intro
At a glance

My Face Sunscreen Guide 2022, Part 1: let me introduce you to 10 different European sunscreens I tried this year!

Do you like traditions? Well, I do too! And this year, I’m certainly not going to break away from them since my “Sunscreens Guides” articles are your favorites, as you’ve often told me. So I’m starting my 2022 Sunscreens Guide series with the Europeans ones! And this year, I tested quite a few, you’ll see 😉

I feel like I’m rambling every year when I write this intro, but I know these disclaimers are necessary, especially if you discover my work with this article!

It needs to be said: I am a sunscreen addict. I know it’s not a well loved product in general, but I adore it. Well, to be honest, what I prefer is trying a lot of them to find gems that will hopefully help my readers to use them more comfortably.

And for that, I have no problems looking outside my immediate geographical environment. First of all, because I live in Dubai and I find that the choice here is limited (certainly, a little less limited than before, since I’ve been living here for 9 years but still!).

And also, as I often say, because I have clear preferences in terms of sunscreens. For me, Asian sunscreens are the best. So yes, I still review European sunscreens for good measure and because my reader base in France demands them every year (no, I’m not exaggerating lol). I understand that for people reading this post from Europe, it’s easier to go to the pharmacy to buy your sunscreens than to place an order online from the other side of the world…

But for me, living in Dubai, I still have to order online for everything, whether it’s Asian or European sunscreens. And even in 2022, I still find that the textures of Asian sunscreens are much more pleasant and suitable for everyday use than European ones.

Granted, there has been a lot of progress! Especially if I re-read my articles from 4 years ago, even I have to admit it 😉, little by little, European consumers understand the importance of using a sunscreen product all year round and brands are providing sunscreens with textures more adapted to this use!

Fingers crossed, in 2 or 3 years, European sunscreens will probably be at the same level as Asian ones, at least we can hope they will 😁.

In the meantime, this year, I hope you’ll appreciate the effort, but I really gave European sunscreens a chance: I tried 10 of them, 4 more than last year! Well, actually, it’s probably because I traveled a lot in France and England in March and April. So, I too have been hanging out in the pharmacies!

So, suspense! Did my tests this year finally convince me that European sunscreens can hope to be at the same level as Asian ones? Let’s find out with my round-up of the European sunscreens I tried in 2022!

Note:
A tip for the impatient, you can go directly to the product you are interested in from the “Jump To” menu at the top of the page (the red ‘Jump to’ box on desktop, and in the top menu bar, the three dots on mobile) 😉.

Face Sunscreen Guide 2021, Part 1: European sunscreens Skincare Face Sunscreen Guide 2021, Part 1: European sunscreens I must warn you. This year, I tried so many new sunscreens that it was impossible to feature them all in one article, it would have been way too long! I decided to write three separate articles, and I’m going to start today with the European sunscreens. So let’s do this! Read more

How I choose my sunscreens (in 2022):

If you already read my guide from last year, my criteria didn’t really change, but I prefer to repeat them. A reminder never hurts 😉.

I won’t go into details about how I use my sunscreens (how much I apply, when I apply them, how I remove them etc) as I have already covered this in detail in many of my previous articles!

If you haven’t seen them already, I would encourage you to read my other articles on the topic, as they are very comprehensive (if I can say so myself 😅) and should help you get a clearer understanding of sun protection:

Sun protection: Q&A and common myths: everything you always wanted to know about sun protection! Really, if you only have to read one, this is the one!

Face sunscreen guide 2018: my 2018 face sunscreen selection.

Face sunscreen guide 2019: my selection of face sunscreen products for 2019.

Guide: how to choose the best sunscreen? How to understand the protection in your sunscreens and how to choose it according to your needs.

Face Sunscreen Guide 2020: my selection of face sunscreen products for 2020.

Guide: how to reapply your sun protection during the day: how to stay effectively protected throughout the day, even if you wear makeup.

Face Sunscreen Guide 2021, Part 1: European sunscreens: my selection of European face sunscreens for 2022.

Face Sunscreen Guide 2021, Part 2: Japanese sunscreens: my selection of Japanese face sunscreens for 2022.

Face Sunscreen Guide 2021, Part 3: Korean sunscreens: my selection of Korean face sunscreens for 2022.

For this year’s face sunscreen guide, I have chosen products solely for a daily use. This means that not all of them are suitable to be used on the beach or at the pool (= meaning most of them aren’t water-resistant).

If you wish to find products suitable for the beach or for sports, I would refer you to my last article on the matter: Guide: how to choose the best sunscreen? where I give you some suggestions about more resistant sunscreen products for outdoor activities.

So here is the list of important criteria for me when I choose a sunscreen product.

First, the UV protection! I prefer a product that filters both UVA and UVB filters. In general, my sunscreen products have a SPF50+ and a PA ++++ (more explanations on these two values in this article about choosing sunscreen).

Chemical or mineral filters? Both!

And I also like it when the two are combined. To know the difference between mineral and chemical filters, their pros and cons, I invite you to read my article Sun protection: Q&A and common myths, where I explain the differences in more detail.

I’m a fan of mineral filter products in the summer because they have a mattifying effect that I appreciate when it’s hot and humid, as it is in Dubai right now. They are also known to be less irritating for everyday use. But it’s true that depending on the formula, they can leave a fairly visible white cast that isn’t the most attractive! For me and my fair skin, it looks acceptable, but if you have darker skin than me (not that difficult), it might be more noticeable!

However, European mineral sunscreens are just not great. Every time I tried one, it was a disaster (super thick, white, greasy, just terrible). You won’t actually see any mineral sunscreen in my selection today.

I really like chemical filter based sunscreens if I want a more glowy effect and a completely transparent texture. In the past, I found them more irritating than mineral sunscreens. But the formulas I tried this year use newer chemical filters, and I didn’t really experience any irritation. Some of them are even very soothing!

I prefer to use them during the winter because they make me look a bit too shiny in the summer, but there is one notable exception that I’ll mention below 😉.

And I also like hybrid sunscreens that contain both chemical and mineral filters, because they usually have excellent protection and resistance, so I like them for when I know I’ll be exposed more! 🙂.

“Reef-safe sunscreens”:
I’ll say it again and again, but please don’t talk to me about organic mineral sunscreens or so-called “clean” sunscreens you hear about from the Clean Beauty crowd. I’m begging you!
I don’t care if they claim to be “clean” and “ocean friendly” since the scientific consensus is that what is really damaging the marine environment is global warming, coastal pollution and excessive fishing. Think about it the next time you’re tempted by a “reef safe” sunscreen to put in your suitcase for your vacation on the other side of the planet, where you’ll travel by plane, exploding your carbon footprint 🙃 (I’m being provocative and controversial here, but hey, the hypocrisy of this greenwashing marketing argument annoys me so much, I don’t have the patience to be diplomatic anymore lol)
Here is a serious and recent resource on what scientific studies say about the impact of sunscreens on corals and reef: https://youtu.be/P-ZvEJWcT4c

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As for the rest of my ingredients I look for in sunscreen formulas, I appreciate when they contain antioxidant ingredients because they enhance the anti-ageing prevention effect of the product.

Formulas which contain too much fragrance are not my favourites (I don’t mind a bit of fragrance but not when it lingers all day) and if my skin is sensitized, I set aside formulas that contain too much alcohol. Alcohol can be a little irritating in the long run, although it’s true that it can considerably lighten the texture of the sunscreen formulas. I’m lucky my skin tolerates it pretty well, most of the time.

Now, regarding the finish of my sunscreen products, I prefer when the product doesn’t leave a white cast. But if it’s just slightly white, and makeup can cover it, it’s fine.

And finally, I prefer when my sunscreen is compatible with makeup. I prefer to avoid those that make my foundation pill and/or make it look super greasy after only a few hours.

Generally speaking, I’m not a fan of tinted sunscreens.
The color never looks good on me, because I apply a good amount of product so that it’s really protective and I always end up straight orange! It’s also something I really dislike about them: especially with tinted sunscreens, I feel you tend to apply less product, as you would do with a foundation. However, with sunscreens, a generous application is crucial if you want to be well protected!

By the way, if you want to see a picture of the quantity of sunscreen needed to be well protected, please check my first article about sun protection. You’ll see, the quantity you need to use is definitely not a pea size of product!

Here is a selection of the different European sunscreens I tried this year!
I’ve organized them according to the type of UV filters they contain, and the links to order them online are at the end of each paragraph, underlined in red 😉.

100% Chemical Sunscreens:

The textures of chemical sunscreens are generally very pleasant, lightweight, and imperceptible on the skin. Most of them are completely transparent, which is very nice! Some of them have a glowy finish, so be careful if your skin tends to look shiny during the day. If you have a dry skin though, you’ll probably really love them! 🙂

La Roche Posay Anthelios UVMune 400 SPF50+:

∎ Price:
From $15 to $20 for 50ml.

∎ Protection:
SPF 50+

∎ Made in:
France

∎ Texture:
A very liquid fluid that you have to shake before applying and that absorbs very easily. It dries in just a few seconds leaving no residue on the skin. It contains a patented innovation specific to L’Oréal, the Netlock technology. This innovation is based on the principle of emulsion: UV filters are trapped in micro-droplets that form a uniform, ultra-thin and resistant film once applied to the skin. It’s not completely new, this technology was already used for the previous versions of the La Roche Posay Anthelios Invisible Fluid sunscreen that I’ve been talking about here for at least three years 😉.

∎ UV filters:
– Mexoryl XL (exclusive filter from L’Oréal): filters UVA and UVB rays.
– Tinosorb S: filters UVA and UVB rays.
– Mexoryl 400 (exclusive filter from L’Oréal): filters UVA rays.
– Uvinul A Plus: filters UVA rays.
– Mexoryl SX (exclusive filter from L’Oréal): filters UVA rays.
– Avobenzone: filters UVA rays.
– Octisalate: filters UVB rays.
– Uvinul T150: filters UVB rays.

The UVMune 400 technology combines eight UV filters to protect against all types of UVA and UVB rays. To protect against long UVA rays, the formula contains a new UV filter exclusive to the L’Oréal group, the result of 10 years of research and 25 patents: the Mexoryl 400, which is particularly effective against ultra-long UVA rays, considered the most harmful to the skin.

∎ Complete list of ingredients:
Aqua/​Water, Alcohol Denat, Triethyl Citrate, Diisopropyl Sebacate, Silica, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Ethylhexyl Triazone, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Glycerin, Propanediol, C12-22 Alkyl Acrylate/​Hydroxyethylacrylate Copolymer, Sodium Citrate, Methoxypropylamino Cyclohexenylidene Ethoxyethylcyanoacetate, Perlite, Tocopherol, Caprylic/​Capric Triglyceride, Acrylates/​C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Caprylyl Glycol, Citric Acid, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Drometrizole Trisiloxane, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Terephthalylidene Dicamphor Sulfonic Acid, Triethanolamine, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate.

∎ Alcohol?
Yes.

∎ Fragrance?
It depends. There’s a version with fragrance, and one without. I have the fragrance-free one.

∎ Antioxidants?
Yes, vitamin E.

∎ Other skincare ingredients in the formula:
Some hydrating glycerin.

∎ White cast?
Not on me, it’s transparent.

∎ Irritating? Comedogenic?
Not on me. My skin tolerates it well.

∎ Mattifying?
The finish is semi-matte, and my skin doesn’t look shinier than usual during the day.

∎ Drying?
Not on me.

∎ How does it look with makeup?
It’s a good makeup priming product.

∎ Would I repurchase?
Yes (I already did, I stocked up when I went to France 😆). This sunscreen from La Roche Posay is one of my go-to’s. It’s been reformulated a few times but I still love it. This version is even more protective of UVA, as explained above, which I think is great. It’s a little “richer” than the previous version but it’s hardly noticeable on the skin, IMO. It’s still nice to use. I feel super protected with it, even when I’m very exposed (it’s also a proper sunscreen for outdoor activities in my opinion), and it works great as an everyday sunscreen with makeup on top. It works well in all situations! If you buy it in Europe, it’s very affordable and super easy to find. Yes, it contains alcohol, but my skin doesn’t react to it, so it doesn’t bother me. In short, for me, it’s a banger!

∎ Shop for this product:

La Roche Posay Anthelios UVMune 400 SPF50+

Garnier Ambre Solaire Super UV Fluide Visage SPF50+:

∎ Price:
From $10 to $15 for 50ml.

∎ Protection:
SPF 50+

∎ Made in:
Germany

∎ Texture:
A very liquid fluid that you have to shake before applying and that absorbs very easily. It dries in just a few seconds leaving no residue on the skin. It contains a patented innovation specific to L’Oréal, the Netlock technology. This innovation is based on the principle of emulsion: UV filters are trapped in micro-droplets that form a uniform, ultra-thin and resistant film once applied to the skin. It’s the same technology as the product above, and no wonder, Garnier and La Roche Posay both belong to the L’Oreal group. And I think this Garnier product is very similar to the old version of the La Roche Posay sunscreen (= the one called “Shaka Fluide”). The formula is almost the same one.

∎ UV filters:
– Tinosorb S: filters UVA and UVB rays.
– Avobenzone: filters UVA and UVB rays.
– Mexoryl XL (exclusive filter from L’Oréal): filters UVA and UVB rays.
– Mexoryl SX (exclusive filter from L’Oréal): filters UVA rays.
– Octisalate: filters UVB rays.
– Uvinol T 150: filters UVB rays.

∎ Complete list of ingredients:
Aqua/​Water, Alcohol Denat, Diisopropyl Sebacate, Silica, Isopropyl Myristate, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Ethylhexyl Triazone, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Glycerin, C12-22 Alkyl Acrylate/​Hydroxyethylacrylate Copolymer, Propanediol, Drometrizole Trisiloxane, Perlite, Caprylic/​Capric Triglyceride, Tocopherol, Hydroxyacetophenone, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sodium Hyaluronate, Thermus Thermophillus Ferment, Phenoxyethanol, Triethanolamine, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Caprylyl Glycol, Terephthalylidene Dicamphor Sulfonic Acid, Acrylates/​C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Potassium Sorbate.

∎ Alcohol?
Yes.

∎ Fragrance?
Non.

∎ Antioxidants?
Yes, vitamin E.

∎ Other skincare ingredients in the formula:
Yes, hydrating hyaluronic and glycerin.

∎ White cast?
Not on me, it’s transparent.

∎ Irritating? Comedogenic?
Not on me. My skin tolerates it well.

∎ Mattifying?
The finish is semi-matte, and my skin doesn’t look shinier than usual during the day.

∎ Drying?
Not on me.

∎ How does it look with makeup?
It’s a good makeup priming product.

∎ Would I repurchase?
Why not, if I can find it at a good price? But I admit that if I have the choice, I’d rather purchase the La Roche Posay Anthelios UVMune 400 SPF50+, which is the more advanced version of this product. In a lot of countries in Europe, they sell both at almost the same price, so why choose the old version when you can have the latest innovation with the new filter? 😉.

∎ Shop for this product:

Garnier Ambre Solaire Super UV Fluide Visage SPF50+

Eucerin Sun Protection Oil Control Gel-Cream SPF50+ (2022 version):

∎ Price:
From $13 to $17 for 50ml.

∎ Protection:
SPF 50+

∎ Made in:
Europe (Poland or Germany, depending on the country where you purchase).

∎ Texture:
A cream gel with a light, non-greasy texture that absorbs quickly and leaves a semi-matte finish.

∎ UV filters:
– Tinosorb S: filters UVA and UVB rays.
– Avobenzone: filters UVA rays.
– Uvinul A Plus: filters UVA rays.
– Uvinul T150: filters UVB rays.
– Ensulizole: filters UVB rays.

∎ Complete list of ingredients:
Aqua, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Alcohol Denat, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Butylene Glycol Dicaprylate-Dicaprate, Ethylhexyl Triazone, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Dibutyl Adipate, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Phenylbenzimidazole Sulfonic Acid, Silica, Tapioca Starch, Behenyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Carnitine, Glycyrrhetinic Acid, Glycyrrhiza Inflata Root Extract, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Copernicia Cerifera Cera, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Carrageenan, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Hydroxide, Trisodium EDTA, Hydroxyacetophenone, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol.

∎ Alcohol?
Yes.

∎ Fragrance?
No.

∎ Antioxidants?
Yes, Licochalcone A, that comes from licorice.

∎ Other skincare ingredients in the formula:
Hydrating glycerin, and some carnitine and tapioca starch, which have an absorbing and matifying effect.

∎ White cast?
Not on me.

∎ Irritating? Comedogenic?
NOt on me, ma skin tolerates it well.

∎ Mattifying?
The finish is semi-matte, and my skin doesn’t look shinier than usual during the day.

∎ Drying?
No, and especially compared to the old version, it’s definitely more comfortable!

∎ How does it look with makeup?
It’s a good makeup priming product.

∎ Would I repurchase?
Yes, definitely. I find this year’s version much more convincing than the one I tried last year! This sunscreen is no longer drying, and it doesn’t pill at all if I wear makeup over it. It’s not completely matte, but I don’t find my skin more shiny than usual when I wear it either, and it’s comfortable all day long, staying fairly lightweight on the skin. It also has the advantage of being very easy to find in pharmacies (even here in Dubai) and it’s not very expensive. A really pleasant surprise!

∎ Shop for this product:

Eucerin Sun Protection Oil Control Gel-Cream SPF50+ (2022 version)

Avene Fragrance-Free Fluid Ultra Light SPF50+:

∎ Price:
$22 for 50ml.

∎ Protection:
SPF 50+

∎ Made in:
France

∎ Texture:
A cream that seems fluid at first, but leaves a rather greasy finish on the skin..

∎ UV filters:
– TriAsorB™: filters UVA and UVB rays.
– Tinosorb S: filters UVA and UVB rays.
– Uvinul A Plus: filters UVA rays.
– Uvinul T150: filters UVB rays.

∎ Complete list of ingredients:
Avene Thermal Spring Water (Avene Aqua), C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Ethylhexyl Triazone, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Starch (Oryza Sativa Starch), Phenylene Bis-Diphenyltriazine, Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Glyceryl Stearate, Stearyl Alcohol, Tapioca Starch, Vp/​Eicosene Copolymer, Benzoic Acid, Caprylic/​Capric Triglyceride, Caprylyl Glycol, Glyceryl Behenate, Glyceryl Dibehenate, PPG-1-PEG-9 Lauryl Glycol Ether, Red 33 (Ci 17200), Tocopheryl Glucoside, Tribehenin, Xanthan Gum.

∎ Alcohol?
Non.

∎ Fragrance?
Non.

∎ Antioxidants?
I didn’t see any in the formula, but the brand still claims the antioxidant action of this product.

∎ Other skincare ingredients in the formula:
Moisturizing glycerin and absorbing rice powder.

∎ White cast?
It leaves a very light yellow cast, but on my fair skin, it isn’t very noticeable. On my tee shirt collars, however, it’s a different story…. 😬.

∎ Irritating? Comedogenic?
Not on me.

∎ Mattifying?
No, it’s not! On my skin, it doesn’t set and leaves it quite shiny, and even greasy, disco-ball style, throughout the day.

∎ Drying?
Well, one thing you can’t blame this product for is having a drying effect, that’s for sure 😆.

∎ How does it look with makeup?
If you’re hoping to make your makeup last longer with this product, you’re out of luck. It’s so shiny that makeup runs off much faster.

∎ Would I repurchase?
No, certainly not. First of all, because I’m still annoyed by Avene’s communication during the release about their new filter (a reminder of what happened here: Review: Avene Intense Protect SPF50+) and also because I really hated this product. To claim to be “ultra-light” when it leaves such an oily finish, I think it’s rich, I swear. The brand claims a super fast absorption, an imperceptible finish on the skin… My bangs were stuck to my forehead and all greasy after 10 minutes, and on top of that it left yellow stains on my tee-shirt collar. In short, a complete fail. I was asked for my review of this sunscreen and I must admit that I didn’t really want to talk about this brand in my sunscreens round-up because of what happened last year. And frankly, I should have followed my intuition 😆.

∎ Shop for this product:

Avene Fragrance-Free Fluid Ultra Light SPF50+

SVR Sun Secure Blur Optical Mousse Cream SPF50+:

∎ Price:
FRom $12 to $17 for 50ml.

∎ Protection:
SPF 50+

∎ Made in:
France

∎ Texture:
A very unusual texture: it’s like a cream/foam, quite silicone-heavy, like a makeup primer, if you get the idea. It’s actually this rather unique texture for a sunscreen product that allows it to claim its “pore blurring” effect.

∎ UV filters:
– Tinosorb S: filters UVA and UVB rays.
– Iscotrizinol: filters UVA and UVB rays.
– Uvinul A+: filters UVA rays.
– Uvinul T 150: filters UVB rays.

∎ Complete list of ingredients:
Aqua/​Water/​Eau, Silica, Isododecane, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Diisopropyl Adipate, Isopropyl Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Ethylhexyl Triazone, Beheneth-25, Diethylhexyl Butamido Triazone, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Coco-Caprylate/​Caprate, Dimethicone/​​Bis-Isobutyl PPG-20 Crosspolymer, Pentylene Glycol, Cetearyl Alcohol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Niacinamide, Coco-Glucoside, Sodium Polyacrylate Starch, Ethylhexylglycerin, Caprylyl Glycol, Parfum (Fragrance), Glycerin, Tocopherol, Ci 77492 (Iron Oxides), Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Lecithin, Ci 15850 (Red 6), Lepidium Sativum Sprout Extract, Triethoxycaprylylsilane.

∎ Alcohol?
Non.

∎ Fragrance?
Yes, and not just a little! I hate that tropical/ monoi/ coconut scent. If it was subtle, I wouldn’t mind it too much I guess, but it lingers, and if I’m unfortunate enough to need to wear a mask, I’m guaranteed to feel nauseous 🤢.

∎ Antioxidants?
Yes, some niacinamide (which is also anti-aging and brightening) and vitamin E. There is also a liposomal antioxidant complex with Beta-carotene and Detoxophane® that acts as a cellular shield on the skin (Detoxophane® is a patented ingredient, it’s a purified extract of organic Swiss watercress seedlings that contains glucosinolates, which are known to be activators of detoxification enzymes, so quite effective against pollution).

∎ Other skincare ingredients in the formula:
Yes, hydrating glycerin.

∎ White cast?
On my fair skin, it looks orange because it has a slight apricot tint 😆.

∎ Irritating? Comedogenic?
On me, it’s not comedogenic, and my skin tolerates it well. But my eyes are a different story! It burns them like hell. The last time I used it, it took me two days to recover. My eyes stayed irritated for such a long time, it was so annoying! I know this is very individual, so not sure if this applies to everyone, but unfortunately, this has been my experience… 🙁.

∎ Mattifying?
Yes, it’s quite effective to help the skin stay matte all day.

∎ Drying?
It’s not the most hydrating sunscreen I tried, but it’s fine.

∎ How does it look with makeup?
It’s a good makeup primer, as it’s designed to blur the pores and smooth the skin. But I personally find that the texture is quite heavy, and you can really feel it on the skin, especially at the end of the day. I was looking forward to remove it after a few hours. I can tell you that 😆.

∎ Would I repurchase?
No. Too bad. The formula was promising with all the antioxidants it contains, and this unique texture, which works well as a mattifying and blurring makeup base. But the scent is a turnoff for me, and my eyes took too long to recover from it lol If you add to that the heaviness of the product on the skin, it’s a total fail for me.

∎ Shop for this product:

SVR Sun Secure Blur Optical Mousse Cream SPF50+

SVR Sun Secure Extreme Ultra-Matte Gel SPF50+:

∎ Price:
From $18 to $20 for 50ml.

∎ Protection:
SPF 50+

∎ Made in:
France

∎ Texture:
A silicone heavy, rather greasy gel when you apply it. Unfortunately, it stays greasy on me, it never sets, it stays sticky and shiny on my skin all day.

∎ UV filters:
– Tinosorb S: filtre les UVA et les UVB.
– Iscotrizinol: filtre les UVA et les UVB.
– Uvinul A+: filtre les UVA.
– Uvinul T 150: filtre les UVB.

∎ Complete list of ingredients:
Isododecane, Dimethicone/​Bis-Isobutyl PPG-20 Crosspolymer, Diisopropyl Adipate, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Isopropyl Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Coco-Caprylate/​Caprate, Ethylhexyl Triazone, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Diethylhexyl Butamido Triazone, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Tocopherol, Caprylic/​Capric Triglyceride, Parfum (Fragrance), Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Lepidium Sativum Sprout Extract.

∎ Alcohol?
Non.

∎ Fragrance?
Yes, and not just a little! I hate that tropical/ monoi/ coconut scent. If it was subtle, I wouldn’t mind it too much I guess, but it lingers, and if I’m unfortunate enough to have to wear a mask, I’m assured to feel nauseous 🤢.

∎ Antioxidants?
Yes, some vitamin E.

∎ Other skincare ingredients in the formula:
No.

∎ White cast?
Not on me, it’s transparent.

∎ Irritating? Comedogenic?
On me, it’s not comedogenic, and my skin tolerates it well.

∎ Mattifying?
Contrary to what the name suggests, I find it very greasy. And it doesn’t really set, and makes me look like a disco ball during the day. I don’t understand the name “ultra matte gel” at all; on me, it’s the opposite!

∎ Drying?
Nope, it’s not drying. (considering the greasiness of the formula, that’s not surprising lol)

∎ How does it look with makeup?
Good luck applying makeup on a French fry lol! If you thought this product would make your makeup last longer, you’re out of luck: it turns everything into a greasy mess in a few hours.

∎ Would I repurchase?
No. The fragrance is a deal breaker for me, and the finish is way too greasy. So yes, it’s great that it’s a waterproof sunscreen. It’s also quite resistant, but hey, especially in the summer at the beach or pool, I don’t want to look like a French fry in the heat! If you add to that the heaviness of the product on the skin, it’s another fail from SVR for me 🙁.

∎ Shop for this product:

SVR Sun Secure Extreme Ultra-Matte Gel SPF50+

EVY Technology Daily UV Face Mousse SPF30*:

(disclosure*: gifted by the brand)

∎ Price:
$30 for 50ml.

∎ Protection:
SPF 30

∎ Made in:
Sweden

∎ Texture:
An airy foam, a bit like a shaving foam. It’s super fun to use! But, not only that… This texture allows it to stick to the skin to form a very resistant and long-lasting protective film. This is what makes EVY sunscreens so special 🙂.

∎ UV filters:
– Octocrylene: filters UVA and UVB rays.
– Tinosorb S: filters UVA and UVB rays.
– Uvinul A Plus: filters UVA rays.
– Avobenzone: filters UVA rays.
– Uvinul T150: filters UVB rays.

∎ Complete list of ingredients:.
Aqua, Butane, Propylene glycol, Octocrylene, Ethylhexyl Isononanoate, Stearic acid, Diethylamino hydroxybenzoyl hexyl benzoate, Palmitic acid, Isobutane, Butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane, VP/Hexadecene copolymer, Dipropylene Glycol, PVP, Polysorbate 20, Ethylhexyl triazone, Triethanolamine, Bis-ethylhexyloxyphenol methoxyphenyl triazine, Sodium hyaluronate, Sodium Palmitoyl Proline, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dimethicone, Nymphaea Alba Flower Extract, Hydrolysed silk, Glycerin, Allantoin, Propane, Tocopheryl Acetate, Hydrolysed Collagen, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Butylene Glycol, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate.

∎ Alcohol?
No.

∎ Fragrance?
No.

∎ Antioxidants?
Yes, a vitamin C derivative, and vitamin E.

∎ Other skincare ingredients in the formula:
Hydrating hyaluronic acid and glycerin and soothing allantoin.

∎ White cast?
Not on me, it’s transparent.

∎ Irritating? Comedogenic?
Not at all, on the contrary, for me it’s like a skincare product, very comfortable and enjoyable to wear.

∎ Mattifying?
Not really, but it doesn’t make my skin look more shiny than usual either.

∎ Drying?
No, quite the contrary, it’s hydrating.

∎ How does it look with makeup?
It’s a good makeup priming base.

∎ Would I repurchase?
Why not! Now, if I have to buy another product from this brand, I’d rather go for the SPF50 version (which I’ll talk about below), but the SPF30 version is very nice too, a little lighter in texture than the SPF50.
This is a very unique sunscreen. Before testing it, I had heard a lot about it and was eager to try it out!
Its airy foam texture is really nice. You just have to know how to manage the amount of product to apply (for the face and neck, it’s the equivalent of a golf ball) and the foamy texture literally melts into the skin upon application to set itself in a waterproof and ultra-resistant protective film.
To avoid getting it in my hair, I apply it in two successive layers. It’s easier. After a few minutes, the product sets and becomes semi-matte. This formula is packed with skincare ingredients. And what also makes it special is that it’s very resistant and water-resistant, so it feels very nice on the skin. It’s typically the sunscreen I would take with me on vacation to be very well protected. It also works pretty well with makeup on top. In short, it’s a good all-around product, both for the city and the beach!
Personally, I prefer it in the winter because I can feel it slightly more on my skin than other lightweight, fluid sunscreen formulas that I like to use when it’s warmer, but if you have drier skin than I do, you’ll probably enjoy it in any season! It’s a little more expensive than the other sunscreens in my selection, but it’s a pretty unique concept product, which likely explains the price difference.

∎ Shop for this product:

EVY Technology Daily UV Face Mousse SPF30

EVY Technology Daily UV Face Mousse SPF50:

∎ Price:
$32 for 50ml.

∎ Protection:
SPF 50

∎ Made in:
Sweden

∎ Texture:
An airy foam, a bit like a shaving foam. It’s super fun to use! But not only that… This texture allows it to stick to the skin to form a very resistant and long-lasting protective film. This is what makes EVY sunscreens so special 🙂.

∎ UV filters:
– Octocrylene: filters UVA and UVB rays.
– Tinosorb S: filters UVA and UVB rays.
– Uvinul A Plus: filters UVA rays.
– Avobenzone: filters UVA rays.
– Uvinul T150: filters UVB rays.

∎ Complete list of ingredients:
Aqua, Octocrylene, Butane, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Propylene Glycol, Ethylhexyl, Isononanoate, Stearic Acid, Palmitic Acid, VP/Hexadecene Copolymer, Isobutane, Bis-ethylhexyloxyphenol methoxyphenyl triazine, Dipropylene Glycol, PVP, Ethylhexyl Triazone, Propane, Polysorbate 20, Triethanolamine, Bis(Cyano Butylacetate) Anthracenediylidene, Sodium Palmitoyl Proline, Butylene Glycol Dicaprylate /Dicaprate, Silica, Nymphaea Alba Flower Extract, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate.

∎ Alcohol?
No.

∎ Fragrance?
No.

∎ Antioxidants?
Yes, a vitamin C derivative, and vitamin E.

∎ Other skincare ingredients in the formula:
Hydrating glycerin.

∎ White cast?
Not on me, it’s transparent.

∎ Irritating? Comedogenic?
Not at all, on the contrary, for me it’s like a skincare product, very comfortable and enjoyable to wear.

∎ Mattifying?
Not really, but it doesn’t make my skin look more shiny than usual either.

∎ Drying?
No, quite the contrary, it’s hydrating.

∎ How does it look with makeup?
It’s a good makeup priming base..

∎ Would I repurchase?
Why not!
This is a really unique sunscreen. Before testing it, I had heard a lot of people talk about it and was eager to try it out!
Its airy foam texture is really nice. You just have to figure out how to manage the amount of product to apply (for the face and neck, it’s the equivalent of a golf ball) and the foamy texture literally melts into the skin upon application to set itself in a waterproof and ultra-resistant protective film.
To avoid getting it in my hair, I apply it in two successive layers, that way it’s easier. After a few minutes, the product sets and becomes semi-matte. This formula is full of skincare ingredients, and it feels like a skincare product. It’s very nice to wear. And what also makes it special is that it’s very resistant and water-resistant, so it feels very nice on the skin. It’s typically the sunscreen I would take with me on vacation to be very well protected. It also works pretty well with makeup on top. In short, it’s a great all-around product, both for the city and the beach!
Personally, I prefer it in the winter because I can feel it a bit more on my skin than other lightweight, fluid sunscreen formulas that I like to use when it’s warmer. However, if you have drier skin than I do, you’ll probably enjoy this in any season! It’s a little more expensive than the other sunscreens in my selection, but it’s a pretty unique concept product, which probably explains the price difference.

∎ Shop for this product:

EVY Technology Daily UV Face Mousse SPF50

Riemann P20 Suncare For Kids SPF50+:

∎ Price:
From $15 to $20 for 200ml.

∎ Protection:
SPF 50+

∎ Made in:
Denmark

∎ Texture:
A pretty rich cream, but it spreads pretty well if you massage it. On me, it leaves a rather greasy film.

∎ UV filters:
– Tinosorb S: filters UVA and UVB rays.
– Tinosorb M: filters UVA and UVB rays.
– Tinosorb A2B: filters UVA and UVB rays.
– Uvinul A Plus: filters UVA rays.
– Octisalate: filters UVB rays.
– Uvinul T150: filters UVB rays.

The mix of these 6 filters means the P20 is a very, very protective sunscreen, probably one of the most protective on the market. It’s also known as having a very important protection against UVA (its PPD is 50).

∎ Complete list of ingredients:
Aqua, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Ethylhexyl Triazone, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Dibutyl Adipate, Phenoxyethyl Caprylate, Canola Oil, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Glycerin, Silica, Methylene Bis-Benzotriazolyl Tetramethylbutylphenol, Hydrogenated Ethylhexyl Olivate, Tris-Biphenyl Triazine, Vp/​Acrylates/​Lauryl Methacrylate Copolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Acrylates/​C12-22 Alkyl Methacrylate Copolymer, Decyl Glucoside, Hydrogenated Olive Oil Unsaponifiables, Xylitylglucoside, Caprylyl Glycol, Anhydroxylitol, EDTA, Benzoic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Propylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Disodium Phosphate, Pentylene Glycol, Xylitol, Glucose, Dehydroacetic Acid, Disodium Peroxodisulphate.

∎ Alcohol?
No.

∎ Fragrance?
No.

∎ Antioxidants?
No.

∎ Other skincare ingredients in the formula:
Hydrating glycerin, and nourishing olive oil.

∎ White cast?
On my fair skin, no, but I’ve seen feedback from people with darker skin tone than mine and apparently, it can tend to leave a white cast.

∎ Irritating? Comedogenic?
Not at all, my skin tolerates it very well.

∎ Mattifying?
No, it’s the opposite, it makes my skin look shiny during the day.

∎ Drying?
No, on the contrary, it’s very comfortable (on me, it even feels too nourishing/greasy lol).

∎ How does it look with makeup?
On me, it doesn’t work. The finish is too shiny, it makes my makeup disappear after a few hours.

∎ Would I repurchase?
I don’t think so. But if you want a super protective sunscreen to use in situations where you are very exposed, and if you want a very resistant and waterproof sunscreen, the P20 is the one. Big plus, it’s also suitable for children’s skin. Of course, you’ll have to reapply it during the day and after each bath, like all sunscreens. No exception!
But is this product appropriate for an everyday use compatible with makeup? For me, the answer is no. It’s way too greasy for my personal taste. Of course, this is my experience, and if your skin is drier than mine, you probably won’t have the same feeling as I did. So in short, I’m glad I tried it and if I go to the beach or pool this summer, I’ll probably put it in my bag to use on my body. But for me, it’s not really suitable for the face, at least not for mine, lol.
Note: on my fair skin, it doesn’t leave any white cast, but I know that on darker skin tones, it tends to be quite visible.

∎ Shop for this product:

Riemann P20 Suncare For Kids SPF50+

Combo sunscreens (with both mineral & chemical filters):

The “heavy-duty” formulas. I use them when I want to be sure I’m very well protected, and if I know I’m going to be out in the sun for a fair amount of time.

La Roche Posay Anthelios Oil Correct SPF50+:

∎ Price:
From $25 to $32 for 50ml.

∎ Protection:
SPF 50+

∎ Made in:
France

∎ Texture:
A rather lightweight cream, which feels a bit “grippy” when applied, and leaves the skin feeling quite comfortable but a bit shiny.

∎ UV filters:
– Titanium Dioxide: mineral filter for UVA and UVB rays.
– Tinosorb S: chemical filter for UVA and UVB rays.
– Mexoryl XL (exclusive filter from L’Oréal): chemical filter for UVA and UVB rays.
– Mexoryl SX (exclusive filter from L’Oréal): chemical filter for UVA rays.
– Avobenzone: chemical filter for UVA rays.
– Uvinul A Plus: chemical filter for UVA rays.
– Octisalate: chemical filter for UVB rays.
– Uvinul T150: chemical filter for UVB rays.
– Ensulizole: chemical filter for UVB rays.

∎ Complete list of ingredients:
Aqua/​Water/​Eau, Silica, Isopropyl Palmitate, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Ethylhexyl Triazone, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Dicaprylyl Ether, Niacinamide, Drometrizole Trisiloxane, Phenylbenzimidazole Sulfonic Acid, Diisopropyl Adipate, Triethanolamine, Glycerin, Zea Mays Starch /​ Corn Starch, Diisopropyl Sebacate, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Pentylene Glycol, Tocopherol, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Perlite, Acrylates/​C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Caprylyl Glycol, Ci 15510 /​ Orange 4, Ci 16035/​Red 40, Inulin Lauryl Carbamate, Isopropyl Lauroyl Sarcosinate, P-Anisic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Silica Silylate, Sodium Polyacrylate, Terephthalylidene Dicamphor Sulfonic Acid, Titanium Dioxide, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Tromethamine, Xanthan Gum, Zinc Pca, Parfum/​Fragrance.

∎ Alcohol?
No.

∎ Fragrance?
Yes, a slight floral fragrance.

∎ Antioxidants?
Yes, some niacinamide (which is also anti-aging and brightening) and vitamin E.

∎ Other skincare ingredients in the formula:
Hydrating glycerin, exfoliating and purifying salicylic acid, and purifying zinc. It also contains a silica derivative, Airlicium, and cornstarch, two absorbing ingredients for combo to oily skin.

∎ White cast?
No, on me it’s transparent. The cream is slightly orange when it comes out of the bottle, but it doesn’t tint my skin.

∎ Irritating? Comedogenic?
It stings my eyes a little. But it doesn’t irritate my skin and doesn’t break me out.

∎ Mattifying?
No, it’s not. Not only does it leave my skin a bit shiny after I apply it, but it also doesn’t mattify at all during the day. Too bad for a product that promises matte skin for 12 hours 🙁.

∎ Drying?
No, quite the contrary, it’s quite hydrating.

∎ How does it look with makeup?
It “grips” my foundations, and makes them look patchy. It also tends to result in the makeup pilling. In short, it’s not a great makeup priming product.

∎ Would I repurchase?
No, clearly not, it’s a fail. Too bad, I really liked the idea of a formula with purifying ingredients and the promise of a mattifying product. But this formula doesn’t work for me. Not only it doesn’t mattify my skin, but it stings my eyes and doesn’t work with my base makeup products, which it makes look patchy and “pilly”. Very disappointing…

∎ Shop for this product:

La Roche Posay Anthelios Oil Correct SPF50+

In conclusion:

Admit it, it’s not a big surprise… European sunscreens were never my favorites and the selection of products I tried this year still didn’t convince me. There were even several (very) big fails in the batch.

But I would say that out of the 10 products I tried, the one that stands out has been my favorite for many years, the La Roche Posay Anthelios UVMune 400 SPF50+ , which is still a staple of mine since I discovered it (three years ago now), despite all the reformulations.

Another great reformulation, the Eucerin Sun Protection Oil Control Gel-Cream SPF50+ (2022 version) which I really like, much more than the previous version!

I’d also point out that the Garnier Ambre Solaire Super UV Fluide Visage SPF50+ isn’t bad at all. But only if you can find it easily and at a cheap price, otherwise the La Roche Posay Anthelios UVMune 400 SPF50+ from which it is clearly inspired by (well, actually it’s inspired from one of its previous versions) is still much more interesting. And if you’re in Europe, it’s also sold at almost the same price. So, the original is always better than the copy, in my humble opinion 😉

Finally, the EVY Technology Daily UV Face Mousse SPF50 is still quite unique and exciting. And its high protection and resistance means it’s a great option when you’re very exposed to UV rays.

In my second part of my 2022 sunscreens guide, I’ll focus on Japanese ones and I can already promise you it’ll be much more exciting! I tested fewer products but they’re almost all great. So, stay tuned 😉.

Edit:
The second part is available here: Face Sunscreen Guide 2022, Part 2: Japanese sunscreens

And the third one here: Face Sunscreen Guide 2022, Part 3: Korean sunscreens

Comments (16)

  1. Thank you Bonnie for all the work. The Anthelios Uvmune has been in my bathroom for a week and I confirm your conclusions🌞

  2. Hi Bonnie
    Really enjoy your reviews and appreciate all the work you put into it!
    Wanted to know what your thought are on oil base sunscreen such as Kari Gran, Plumscreen,
    Honu etc. to name a few?
    Thanks!
    F

  3. Hello Bonnie,

    Based on your review, it would appear that Avene’s FLUID ULTRA LIGHT is just as bad last year’s INTENSE PROTECT with no improvement. Is that correct?

    The INTENSE PROTECT was the greasiest thing I have ever used. On top of that, the sunscreen stained my t-shirts yellow. I made the mistake of tossing them in the washer with bleach and they came out permanently ruined with dark neon pink hues.

    Your review tells me that that this “ultra light” fluid is still greasy and the staining must be a remaining problem as this product also has the red pigment in the ingredients list. There must be something about this TriAsorB filter that requires the ongoing use of pigment in the formula.

    • Hi Kerry 🙂
      To be fair, the Fluid Ultra Light is not as greasy as the Intense Protect, which is just pure grease in my experience lol
      But it’s not “Ultra Fluid”, and certainely not “fast absorbing” as claimed by the brand, it’s definitely emollient!
      I agree for the staining, there must be something with this new filter…

      • Thanks for confirming it: the staining is most unfortunate.

        I can deal with emollience, but I can’t tolerate wondering whether my work clothing will be stained or (worse yet) whether I will be permanently staining my pillows and sofas if I happen to rest my head/face for a nap.

  4. Thank you Bonnie, your articles are very informative. I usually use Japanese or Korean sunscreens. This article reintroduces me back to European sunscreens which I have not used in a while as find the drugstores here in my country do not have the same products as in Europe due to regulations. But a friend found an online website where most of the sunscreens you recommend on here are on the online store and they ship to us. I am really excited to get to try these amazing sunscreens soon.

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