Sunscreen is paramount to healthy, intact looking skin. It’s a must-do, taking the final step in my morning skincare ritual. Overexposure to the UV radiation is fraught with oxidative stress, discoloration, dark spots, sagginess and fine lines. This tends to atrophy the skin barrier function and speed up premature aging. The worst is skin cancer. I prefer sun cream to makeup on a daily basis, despite that majority of the foundations are infused with UV blocking benefit, at least SPF 15. My skin is a type of sensitive and acne-prone so I just want to liberate pores as much as possible.
There are countless sun care products in the market with a variety of formulations geared towards different skin types. They even become more cosmetically elegant. My fanatical self has a zeal for hunting them down one by one, whether they are real deals or not. In this post, I’m gonna show you my review on The Body Shop Skin Defence Multi-Protection Essence SPF 50 PA++++.
1. Infused with Chemical Filters and Skin Replenishing Ingredients, Some Are Skin Irritants
The product is cruelty-free and vegan. It claims to impart a vigorous shield against the perils of environment for everyday wearing, like UV rays, the lack of humidity and free-radicals. The signature ingredient is Red Algae or Dulse, derived from Palmaria Palmata, which is known as a sovereign skin booster from the ocean. It’s no longer so new to the beauty realm. Jam-packed with peptides, carotenoids, fatty acids and sulfated polysaccharides (carrageenan) as bioactive compounds.
Renowned for its age-defying, hydrating, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-allergic properties in skincare. Red Algae extract helps revitalize damaged skin and retard the oxidative stress as well as improve skin’s moisture reservoir and smooth out imperfections. It’s beneficial for delicate, dry and mature skin types. Aside from that, this skin-loving ingredient also works as a thickening agent to result in a silky texture and increase the fluid’s spreadability.
In terms of the active filters, the sunscreen is chemically infused with two UV absorbers. The first one is Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate (Octinoxate or Octyl Methoxycinnamate). It’s an only UVB absorbing agent to prevent sunburn. I’m pretty sure that we have heard a lot about the downsides of chemical UV filters. You can check them out in 5 things you must know before wearing sun cream. Octinoxate is considered a moderate hazard ingredient that possibly causes allergies to the skin.
According to a 2008 article of Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, Octinoxate is not photostable, its UV-absorbing ability tends to degrade when exposed to sunlight. That even deteriorates the efficacy of the product and takes a toll on the skin, like hyperpigmentation or speeding up the aging. Also, Octinoxate is quickly absorbed, penetrating deep into the skin. Many studies indicate that it’s possibly detrimental to the endocrine system, which is essential to maintain the hormonal balance.
Exposure to Octinoxate is susceptible to hormonal disruption. Octinoxate has shown to accelerate the growth of estrogen production in cells, which is linked to breast cancer. Paired with Octinoxate, another UV active is Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane (Avobenzone) to absorb UVA rays as a culprit of premature aging and skin cancer. Like Octinoxate, Avobenzone is also fast absorbed and categorized as a hormone disruptor with the lack of photostability.
These chemical filters are usually added with inactive ingredients as photo stabilizers to prolong their effectiveness in sunlight. That even makes the product more irritating to the skin. Then, the formulation consists of Octocrylene, which is the most common stabilizer, may cause an allergic reaction to the skin and the development of free radicals.
Furthermore, the product includes denatured alcohol as an antifoaming agent, an antimicrobial agent, a solvent and especially, an astringent. It helps draw the tissues in skin together, shrink the pores and leave a quick-dry finish. Otherwise, for the long-term use, Alcohol Denat. is more likely to be drying and sensitizing to the skin. It can trigger the erosion of the skin’s outermost layer, enfeebling the barrier function.
There are many other chemical compounds. Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Butylene Glycol, Cetearyl Glucoside and Carbomer provide thickening, texture-enhancing, emulsifying, emulsion stabilizing, film-forming and viscosity regulating effects. Considered generally safe, they tend to create velvety, homogenous and easy-to-diffuse consistency.
Sodium Hydroxide is a pH adjuster or a buffer, balancing the pH of the product. But, it’s a highly alkaline ingredient and must be used in small amounts.
3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid and Tocopherol, the derivatives of vitamins C and E, work as antioxidants and skin protectants. Both prevent the darkening effect of UV damage, but also enhance collagen synthesis. They are also used as preservatives with anti-aging properties. Some synthetic preservatives are Chlorphenesin and Phenoxyethanol to keep microorganisms from spoiling the product.
Last but not least, the product does contain fragrances, such as Linalool, Limonene and Citronellol. They are known as skin irritants.
2. Very Lightweight and Blendable Consistency – but Weak Protective Barrier
Please don’t get a long face when going through that heap of ingredients. Just make sure that we are able to get a good understanding of the product. To begin with, the sunscreen has pretty watery consistency with a milky white color and low viscosity. When diffused all over my face, it feels extremely lightweight without giving off an unflattering white cast.
I’m not surprised about this since it’s crystal clear that the product is a chemical sunscreen. Unlike sunblocks with physical (mineral) filters, the chemical ones are more cosmetically elegant, laying a thin texture and spreading evenly. But, that makes them easily penetrate the skin and irritating.
The product brings about cooling and at the same time, tingly sensations. However, that seems to shortly happen. The fluid isn’t runny at all. It’s easy to diffuse all over my face and swiftly melts into skin. You may find a little bit tacky in the first few seconds. Later, the product is genuinely hydrating and refreshing. It leaves a clean, smooth looking complexion.
The consistency results in a transparent finish with luminosity, neither overwhelming sheen nor greasiness. The Multi-Protection Essence doesn’t give any makeup effects, like blurring imperfections or brightening up the skin tone. Literally, makeup-free all day long.
My skin is a type of combination, prone to dry and even, sensitive, usually getting blemishes and redness due to stress, weather changes and menstruation. Well, I guess there is a ton of reasons that nasty zits sneak up on skin. The sunscreen imparts a very feather-light texture, then, it’s less likely to aggravate the congestion.
The product claims to be non-comedogenic or non-acnegenic. This is allegedly go-to for oily, acne-prone skin. However, we can’t be totally sure about this, whether your skin will suffer from allergic breakouts because of some particular ingredients or not. Anyway, I think the sunscreen might be ideal in the hot, warm weather, like summer to avoid increasing shine and oily traces.
The emollient property is indeed nice, but I feel sorry that it’s not powerful enough to keep my skin nourished throughout the day. I tried skipping my moisturizer before sunscreen. After going outdoors, my skin looked exerted, it ended up being dull and flaking with dry patches, creasing on the forehead, chin and under-eye areas. Thus, to get the best of both worlds, applying moisturizing cream before the sunscreen is what I swear by. In addition, piling serum on beforehand helps provide ultimate replenishment during the entire day.
Ok, it’s time for my verdict. Most skin types can give it a go. If your skin is a type of very dry, you absolutely need to fulfill your skincare routine prior to the sun protection. The product alone seems not able to hydrate the skin for the whole day and it provides a pretty poor protective barrier against external aggressors.
Speaking of sensitive skin, the product claims that it’s suitable for delicate ones. I’m like “Are you sure?” – Well, That sounds skeptical to me. Obviously, the formula contains synthetic fragrances (Parfum, Linalool, Limonene and Citronellol), all of which have been put on “the blacklist,” notorious for aggravating sensitive skin. Likewise, some are considered moderate hazard ingredients, like Alcohol Denat. So confusing!
You can test it with small amounts on jawline areas first to see the reaction. Then, use the product in moderation. Otherwise, in case of very, very sensitive skin, which is easily plagued by redness, inflammation and flare-ups, like dermatitis, psoriasis and rosacea, I think that you are better off avoiding it. Mature skin can try it as well.
Above all, I still recommend swapping in mineral sunscreens. That will be a better option for all skin types. To be honest, I might be a bit biased, I have been enamoured with physical sunscreens. They are formulated with Zinc oxide and Titanium Dioxide for the broad-spectrum sun protection. Those are safe and photostable, sitting on the skin surface to block the UV rays.
3. A Sturdy, Clean Packaging – Quite Affordable
Housed in a flat, squeeze plastic soft tube (40 ml), which looks clean and tough. Designed to withstand physical damage. The small, pointed mouth is sealed well with the big cap to keep debris, bacteria and pollution from sneaking inside and the fluid can’t be spilled out. Moreover, the tube is handy and weightless for on-the-go uses. It retails for £17.00. I think it’s quite affordable. You can find the product’s description and ingredients on the back of the cardboard box.
4. My Rating (6/10): Might Not Come Back to It
I like its lightweight consistency for everyday wearing. However, neither the sun protection nor the moisture-protective barrier is as good as what I expected from those potent ingredients. I just can’t stand the chemical filters and some other skin irritants.
I’m gonna give it 6 out of 10. This is my very personal opinions and maybe, many girls out there still find it amazing. So sad, it doesn’t work for me.
I hope the review is helpful and informative enough about the Body Shop Skin Defence Multi-Protection Essence SPF 50 PA++++. If you have any questions or ideas, please be open to me. I’d love to hear you out. Thank you so much for joining me! Have a wonderful day and stay beautiful!