Saturday, January 29, 2011

Review: Cetaphil UVA/UVB Defense SPF 50

I've been reading beauty blogs and catching up on makeup & skincare on the Internet for a couple of years now, and I've never read any skincare-related topic that would say DON'T wear sunscreen. I grew up associating the idea of wearing sunscreen only with swimming though. It was this thick, goopy lotion that came out of a pink and blue bottle:

Photo credit: Amazon. Memories anyone?

It had a smell which I kinda liked and it tasted yucky (did so accidentally and a long long time ago, ok? :) ). When I read about needing to wear sunscreen even when you're not headed for the pool, I didn't like the idea. Sunscreen feels sticky and has a very distinct smell. Did I want that to be with me everyday?

Hence the search for a good sunscreen. The one I'll review today is the Cetaphil UVA/UVB Defense SPF 50.

Photo credit: DermaDoctor

Description (on box and bottle): This light, non-greasy moisturizer nourishes and hydrates your skin while also protecting it from the sun's harmful rays.
  • Broad Spectrum Sunscreen
  • Protection from UVA and UVB Radiation
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Non-greasy
  • Fragrance free
Price & Amount: I was able to buy this in Duty Free for around $17 (P748 with $1 = P44) for 50mL / 1.7 fl. oz. I have only ever seen it there and not in our Watsons or Mercury Drug pharmacies, so while this isn't exactly locally unavailable, it's hard to find. (Edit: Kira commented below that it's available in Watsons for P800+. Thanks, Kira! When I find it I'll update this again for the exact price.)

Packaging: While doing my research (a.k.a. Google), I found that when this first came out it was in a typical squeeze-tube bottle that could fit in one's pocket. The version I have now is slimmer and with a pump, so it's very hygienic. The expiry date is embedded on the top part of the bottle, so you never forget when you should throw it out. You may have to push the pump several times to get product out, but one pump gives a small enough amount of product for you to gauge how much you need. For the face, I used two pumps.

Review: Though marketed as a moisturizer, this one of the few Cetaphil products that contain SPF. I was very excited when I saw this because I had been looking for a facial sunscreen, and I have good memories of Cetaphil's facial wash. For a moisturizer the consistency is a bit thick, but not goopy. if you consider it as a sunscreen it's actually a bit on the runny side. Spreading it around gives a slight white cast and takes some time to absorb, and if not spread evenly enough, would be rather obvious for a skincare product. The fragrance-free claim to me only means that there was no added fragrance, but did not mean that the product was unscented. It still had that sunscreen smell, but I couldn't smell it anymore when I applied it on my face.

Though non-greasy, it did leave my face more shiny than usual. The first time I tried it a few months ago, I wore it under a layer of BB cream. I was horrified halfway through the morning when I looked in the mirror and discovered that my face was rather shiny--I have dry, sensitive skin, and that amount of shine that early in the day was new to me. Today when I put it on, it stung my eye and mouth areas. :(

Conclusion? I am disappointed. If there is one thing you need about a sunscreen for the face, it's supposed to be gentle and non-greasy, and Cetaphil provided neither. To be fair, the BB cream I used usually had a bit of a dewy effect on my face so that might have contributed to it. Also, my face started getting really sensitive due to the weather, but this experience has made me afraid of trying it again. I might in the summer, though. If it still doesn't work then, I'll just use it on the rest of my body instead. The hunt for a sunscreen continues...


  1. Hi Kari! I've been curious about this ever since it hit the shelves at Watsons, but was put off by the Php 800+ price tag.

    You might want to try Leyende's Place in the Sun SPF 30 Php 400/50ml, it's just a tad thicker than my Skin hour day cream, but at least its organic and skin-friendly :)

  2. Hi Kira! Oh so available na pala siya dito. Thanks for letting me and potential readers know! Will edit this post after this comment.

    I am really eyeing Leyende and the V&M tinted sunblock you reviewed. I think I just need an enabler :D hehe!

  3. The ones available here are the tubes, haven't seen the ones with pumps yet.

    Hahaha! V&M make great products, if there is one thing I'd recommend it's the Bare it all cream in lavender mentholated. I swear, the minty-ness is very addicting!

    Btw, I have 1 more sunscreen to review from Bare Naturals. Hopefully I can write about it this week :)

  4. Ooh sige, will note that Bare It All cream when I see V&M products in person. :D I'll wait for your review on Bare Naturals!

  5. Anonymous11:46 AM

    Hi Kari, what watsons branch did you find a cetaphil spf50 thanks!

  6. @Anonymous Hi Anonymous, I haven't seen it in a Watsons here actually! I got mine from Duty Free in Paranaque.

  7. Hi Ms. Kari,
    Aside from Duty Free do you have an idea of other stores where we can purchase this?Big Thanks! :)
    ~Pauline @Kallony


Always glad to get feedback. Thanks for your comments. :)