Review: The Body Shop – Skin Defence Multi-Protection Lotion SPF 50+ PA++++ (2024 Updated)


In the realm of skincare, sunscreen emerges as a non-negotiable guardian of healthy, vibrant skin. It’s the cornerstone of my morning skincare routine, a vital shield against the myriad harms of UV exposure. Overexposure to the sun’s rays can lead to oxidative stress, discoloration, dark spots, sagging skin, and the formation of fine lines, not to mention the accelerated aging of the skin and the dire risk of skin cancer. On most days, I find myself reaching for sunscreen over makeup, despite many foundations offering UV protection, typically with at least SPF 15. With my skin being sensitive and prone to acne, my goal is always to keep my pores as free and clear as possible.

The Body Shop Skin Defence Multi-Protection Lotion SPF 50+ Featured

The market is inundated with a plethora of sun care products, each boasting unique formulations tailored to different skin types and concerns. These products have evolved to become more cosmetically appealing and user-friendly. As someone deeply passionate about skincare, I relish the opportunity to explore these products, determining which ones truly deliver on their promises.

In this review, I’ll share my experience with The Body Shop Skin Defence Multi-Protection Lotion SPF 50+ PA++++. This product is a notable contender in the sun care lineup, promising high-level protection against harmful UV rays. Let’s delve into its features, effectiveness, and overall suitability for sensitive, acne-prone skin types.

1. Analyzing the Ingredients of The Body Shop Skin Defence Multi-Protection Lotion SPF 50+ PA++++

a. Red Algae: A Marine Marvel for Skin Health

The Body Shop’s Skin Defence Multi-Protection Lotion, formerly known as Skin Defence Multi-Protection Essence SPF 50 PA++++, stands out in the skincare world for its commitment to being cruelty-free and vegan. It promises a robust defense against environmental hazards like UV rays, a lack of humidity, and free radicals. At its heart is the marine-derived Red Algae or Dulse, extracted from Palmaria palmata, making a significant impact in the beauty industry with its rich content of peptides, carotenoids, fatty acids, and sulfated polysaccharides.

Renowned for its multitude of skin benefits – from age-defying to hydrating – Red Algae is an effective combatant against oxidative stress and is particularly kind to delicate, dry, and mature skin types. Its role extends beyond mere skin nourishment; it also enhances the product’s texture, making it silky and easily spreadable.

b. Navigating the Complexities of Chemical Filters in Sunscreen

Delving into the active ingredients of The Body Shop’s Skin Defence Multi-Protection Lotion SPF 50+ PA++++ reveals a reliance on chemical UV absorbers, specifically two types. The first, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate (commonly known as Octinoxate or Octyl Methoxycinnamate), is integral to the lotion’s ability to fend off UVB rays, the kind known for causing sunburn. Yet, the story of Octinoxate in skincare is tinged with concerns. Recognized as a moderately hazardous ingredient, Octinoxate has been flagged for its potential to cause skin allergies.

In a study published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology in 2008, Octinoxate’s stability under sunlight was scrutinized. The findings pointed to a notable shortcoming: Octinoxate isn’t photostable. Its capacity to absorb UV light diminishes upon exposure to sunlight, leading to a decrease in the product’s overall effectiveness and potentially accelerating skin aging processes such as hyperpigmentation.

Beyond its efficacy in sun protection, Octinoxate raises questions regarding its impact on the body’s internal systems. Rapidly absorbed into the skin, it’s been implicated in studies suggesting potential harm to the endocrine system, crucial for hormonal balance. Concerningly, exposure to Octinoxate has been linked to an increased production of estrogen in cells, a factor associated with breast cancer.

About The Body Shop Skin Defence Multi-Protection Lotion SPF 50

Complementing Octinoxate in this sunscreen formulation is Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, better known as Avobenzone, which primarily targets UVA rays—those responsible for premature aging and an increased risk of skin cancer. Similar to Octinoxate, Avobenzone is quick to absorb and has been classified as a possible hormone disruptor, lacking in photostability, which raises questions about its long-term suitability in sun care products.

To bolster the performance of these chemical filters, especially under sunlight, manufacturers often incorporate photostabilizers. However, such additives, while enhancing UV protection, may have their downsides. For instance, Octocrylene, commonly used as a photostabilizer, has been associated with allergic reactions and the potential to generate free radicals.

In summary, while chemical filters like Octinoxate and Avobenzone play a pivotal role in shielding the skin from harmful UV rays, their inclusion in sunscreens such as The Body Shop’s Skin Defence Lotion comes with a set of complexities. Potential skin irritants, stability issues under sunlight, and concerns about systemic impacts necessitate a nuanced understanding for users, particularly those with sensitive skin or specific health considerations. The pursuit of effective sun protection, it seems, is as much about understanding the ingredients as it is about the benefits they offer.

c. Delving into the Spectrum of Ingredients: Balancing Benefits and Risks

As we explore the varied ingredients in The Body Shop’s Skin Defence Multi-Protection Lotion SPF 50+ PA++++, we encounter denatured alcohol, serving multiple roles as an antifoaming, antimicrobial agent, and astringent. Its presence contributes to the skin’s tightened appearance and reduced pore visibility, offering a quick-drying finish that many find appealing in a sunscreen. However, it’s crucial to approach Alcohol Denat. with caution, particularly for long-term use. Known for its drying and sensitizing potential, it may compromise the skin’s outer layer, diminishing its protective barrier.

Moving beyond Alcohol Denat., the lotion is formulated with a range of chemical compounds that enhance its texture and stability. Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Butylene Glycol, Cetearyl Glucoside, and Carbomer are among these ingredients. They collectively contribute to the product’s thickening, texture-enhancing, emulsifying, and viscosity-regulating properties. Generally regarded as safe, these components work synergistically to give the sunscreen a velvety, uniform consistency that spreads easily across the skin.

An essential aspect of formulation is pH balance, for which Sodium Hydroxide is employed. Acting as a pH adjuster or buffer, it helps maintain the product’s stability and effectiveness. However, it’s vital to recognize Sodium Hydroxide’s highly alkaline nature, necessitating its careful and limited use to avoid potential skin irritation.

The Body Shop Skin Defence Multi-Protection Lotion SPF 50

Antioxidants play a pivotal role in skin care, and The Body Shop’s sunscreen includes 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid and Tocopherol, derivatives of vitamins C and E. These antioxidants serve dual purposes: protecting the skin from the darkening effects of UV damage and promoting collagen synthesis, vital for maintaining skin elasticity and youthfulness. Additionally, they double as preservatives, enhancing the product’s longevity.

Yet, the presence of fragrances in the lotion, such as Linalool, Limonene, and Citronellol, introduces another layer of complexity. While fragrances can elevate the sensory experience of a product, they are also known irritants that can be problematic for sensitive skin types.

In summary, The Body Shop’s Skin Defence Multi-Protection Lotion SPF 50+ PA++++ presents a complex array of ingredients, each playing a unique role in delivering the product’s promised benefits. While it offers a refined texture and efficient sun protection, the presence of certain ingredients like Alcohol Denat. and fragrances may raise concerns for long-term skin health and sensitivity. This intricate blend of components underscores the importance of understanding individual skin needs and reactions when selecting a sunscreen, ensuring that the choice aligns with both skin type and personal health considerations.

2. Very Lightweight and Blendable Consistency – but Weak Protective Barrier

a. Feather-Light Texture & Hydrating Finish, But Limited Protection

Embarking on this exploration, we delve into the sensory experience of The Body Shop’s Skin Defence Multi-Protection Lotion SPF 50+ PA++++. While the list of ingredients may seem daunting, it’s essential to understand how they translate into the actual product application. Initially, the sunscreen presents a notably watery consistency, characterized by its milky white color and low viscosity. Upon application, it imparts an extremely lightweight feel, seamlessly merging with the skin without leaving any unappealing white residue.

This feather-light texture is a hallmark of chemical sunscreens, distinct from their physical (mineral) filter counterparts. They are celebrated for their cosmetic elegance, offering a thin, evenly-spread texture. However, this very quality that lends them their cosmetic appeal also raises concerns about skin penetration and potential irritation.

Upon application, the lotion induces a cooling sensation, accompanied by a slight tingle. This initial experience is fleeting, quickly giving way to an overall feeling of hydration and refreshment. The lotion’s consistency ensures that it spreads effortlessly across the face, integrating smoothly into the skin. In the initial moments post-application, you might notice a subtle tackiness, but this sensation dissipates, leaving the skin feeling hydrated and smooth.

What stands out is the lotion’s finish – it achieves a transparent sheen, radiating a healthy luminosity without veering into excessive shine or greasiness. Notably, the Skin Defence Lotion steers clear of offering any makeup-like effects. There’s no blurring of imperfections or artificial brightening of the skin tone. Instead, it embraces a makeup-free approach, supporting the skin’s natural appearance throughout the day.

The Body Shop Skin Defence Multi-Protection Lotion SPF 50+ tested on my hand

In summary, while The Body Shop’s Skin Defence Lotion excels in delivering a lightweight, hydrating sunscreen experience, it’s important to consider the balance it strikes between cosmetic elegance and the strength of its protective barrier. Its formulation and finish make it a pleasant daily sunscreen, especially for those who prioritize a natural, no-makeup look. However, understanding its limitations in terms of protection and potential for irritation is crucial for making an informed choice that aligns with your specific skincare needs and preferences.

b. Non-Comedogenic Claims and Suitability for Varied Skin Types

As someone with combination skin, which tends to lean towards the dry and sensitive spectrum, I often grapple with blemishes and redness triggered by an array of factors, including stress, weather shifts, and hormonal changes. These experiences make me particularly cautious about the skincare products I choose. The Skin Defence Multi-Protection Lotion’s feather-light texture is a notable attribute, as it minimizes the risk of exacerbating skin congestion, a common concern for those with similar skin types.

The product touts itself as non-comedogenic and non-acnegenic, suggesting its suitability for oily and acne-prone skin. This claim, while reassuring, is not a guaranteed assurance against allergic reactions or breakouts, as individual responses to specific ingredients can vary greatly. Despite this, I’ve found that during warmer seasons, like summer, the sunscreen is a viable option for controlling shine and preventing the exacerbation of oily skin concerns.

However, there’s an aspect of the lotion that leaves room for improvement – its moisturizing capability. In my own routine, I experimented with forgoing my usual moisturizer prior to sunscreen application. The outcome was less than ideal. After spending time outdoors, my skin appeared lackluster and developed dry patches, particularly noticeable on the forehead, chin, and under-eye regions. This experience underscores the importance of a comprehensive skincare approach. For optimal results, I advocate applying a moisturizing cream before the sunscreen. Incorporating a serum into your regimen can further enhance skin hydration and overall nourishment throughout the day.

Ultimately, while The Body Shop’s Skin Defence Lotion offers certain benefits, particularly in terms of texture and lightness, it may not suffice as a standalone product for those seeking intensive hydration or with very dry skin. Its compatibility with various skin types, especially sensitive ones, is subject to individual skin reactions and the potential irritants within its formula. Thus, it’s essential to consider your unique skin needs and possibly supplement it with additional skincare steps to achieve the desired balance of protection, hydration, and comfort.

c. Mineral Sunscreen: A Preferable Alternative?

As I conclude my thoughts on The Body Shop’s Skin Defence Multi-Protection Lotion, it’s clear that while it’s a viable option for most skin types, its effectiveness varies. Those with particularly dry skin should not rely solely on this product for hydration; it’s imperative to have a comprehensive skincare routine in place. The lotion itself, despite its claims, doesn’t seem to offer an adequate protective barrier to last throughout the day, especially against environmental stressors.

The Body Shop Skin Defence Multi-Protection Lotion SPF 50+ Opened

For individuals with sensitive skin, the product’s claim of being suitable is a point of contention for me. The inclusion of synthetic fragrances like Parfum, Linalool, Limonene, and Citronellol, all of which are notorious for irritating sensitive skin, makes me question its suitability. Moreover, the presence of moderately hazardous ingredients, such as Alcohol Denat., adds to the confusion.

It’s prudent to conduct a patch test on a small skin area, like the jawline, before fully integrating a new product into your routine. This is particularly crucial for those with highly reactive skin prone to redness and flare-ups. Despite these concerns, individuals with mature skin might find this product beneficial.

However, given my personal experience and preference, I advocate for the use of mineral sunscreens, especially for those with sensitive or problematic skin. Mineral sunscreens, containing Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide, offer broad-spectrum protection in a safe and stable manner. These ingredients form a physical barrier on the skin’s surface, effectively shielding it from harmful UV rays without the risk of irritation or hormonal disruption often associated with chemical filters.

In essence, while The Body Shop’s lotion may be suitable for some, others might find mineral sunscreens to be a more reliable and skin-friendly choice. They provide not just effective protection from the sun’s rays, but also peace of mind, especially for those with sensitive or reactive skin types.

3. Practical Packaging Meets Affordability

Let’s turn our attention to the packaging and value of The Body Shop’s Skin Defence Multi-Protection Lotion. Encased in a sleek, flat tube crafted from durable plastic, the product comes in a 40 ml size that strikes a balance between minimalism and practicality. The design ensures resilience against physical wear and tear, an aspect often overlooked but crucial for maintaining product integrity.

The tube is equipped with a small, precisely designed nozzle, securely sealed under a robust cap. This feature not only prevents unwanted spillage but also acts as a barrier against external contaminants like bacteria and pollutants, safeguarding the product’s purity. Additionally, its lightweight and compact form make it an ideal companion for those who are always on the move, fitting easily into any bag or purse.

At a price point of ‎£17.00, the lotion presents itself as an economical choice, especially considering the volume and quality it offers. For those interested in a deeper dive into its contents, detailed information about the product’s composition and ingredients is readily available on the packaging itself, as well as on the accompanying cardboard box.

In wrapping up my review of The Body Shop – Skin Defence Multi-Protection Lotion SPF 50+ PA++++, I’m grateful for your time and hope the insights provided have been of value. Should you have any queries or thoughts to share, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m more than happy to engage in further discussion and assist wherever possible. Thank you for accompanying me on this exploration, and I wish you a wonderful day ahead. Remember, true beauty radiates both inside and out!

The Body Shop – Skin Defence Multi-Protection Lotion SPF 50+ PA++++
Overall Rating

Might Not Come Back to It

I like its lightweight, non-greasy and fast-absorbing consistency on a daily basis. However, neither the sun protection nor the moisture-protective barrier is as good as I expected from those potent ingredients. I just can’t stand the chemical UV filters and some other skin irritants.


  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use
  • Non-greasy
  • Mildly hydrating
  • Tough packaging
  • Affordable


  • Chemical UV filters
  • Not longwear
  • Vulnerable to external factors
  • Quite irritating


  1. Thank you! Actually a good review, with more information than what I’ve found on the web. Would look forward to more Body Shop reviews, I buy there all the time :-)

    • Thank you so much for letting me know your thoughts on my review. This is just my personal experience. Some products don’t work for me but they do for others. Body Shop is really a great brand with an arsenal of wonderful skincare products. Hope you’ll find more fun things on my blog. Have a nice day!

  2. Hi! I didn’t have any skin problem with the body shop sunscreen. And i’m usually extremely picky about the texture of sunscreen. This sunscreen is the only one I can stand.

    Too bad to know that it is actually not blocking the sunrays

    • Wow! That’s so awesome. I’m so happy since it works like a charm for your skin. Anyway, our experiences can vary for different skin types. My review just bases on my personal experience. My skin is quite sensitive so I need to swap in more gentle sunscreens. Anyway, thank you so much for sharing your thought with me! I really appreciate that.

  3. hello…I am happy with your quick responses… plz also guide me…. My problem is that i cannot use make up like foundations etc. i always only apply sun block or sunscreen. For this reason i search only those sun block or sun screen which has some whitening texture for whole day. Neutrogena sunscreen spf 30 was best but that is not available anymore. That gave my face with fair and glowing look for whole day. i was applying only a lipstick with that product. My color is fair and skin is dry. Please recommend me this one or any other sunscreen having white look and glow on my face.

    • It’s my pleasure to answer your question. I’m glad that we have the same habit. Because of my sensitive and congestion-prone skin, I also frequently wear sunscreen rather than foundations. And, put lipstick on when going for work. Based on your description, it seems quite similar to some of products that I have used, like sunscreens from Korean brands.

      Korean sunscreens are mostly designed to give brightening and glowing effects without causing a thick, white cast. For example, IOPE UV Shield Sun Protector SPF50+PA+++, which brightens up skin tone with a luminous finish. But, it does not provide moisturizing properties. you need to apply your toner, serum and moisturizing cream beforehand to ultimately keep your skin hydrated throughout the day.

      In addition, there is History of Whoo Wrinkle Sun Cream 50+ PA+++ and Sulwhasoo Hydro-aid Moisturizing Soothing UV Protection Cream SPF 50+ PA+++. I have recently used some samples of these two. They are high-quality sunscreens with skincare elements. They tend to naturally leave a vibrant, luminous complexion.

      If you don’t like Korean beauty products, you can try Juice Beauty Stem Cellular CC Cream SPF 30 or Juice Beauty tinted mineral moisturizer SPF 30. These two work as tinted moisturizers to mimic the foundation with the infusion of good botanicals and mineral broad-spectrum sun protection for everyday wearing. You can choose your suitable shade and they both give a radiant finish with pretty thick, creamy consistency.

      Otherwise, if you don’t want it to be tinted, you can pick the color Sheer of Juice Beauty tinted mineral moisturizer SPF 3o. It literally delivers whitening and gleaming effects on skin. Even though many suncare products claim to contain moisturizing properties, it’s still necessary to apply moisturizer before sunscreen. Thank you so much for sharing your thought with me. I really hope my suggestions can be helpful for you.

  4. I’m thinking of getting this for my husband who has to wear factor 50 as he has a history of skin cancer. The problem he has with other suncreams on his face, is that they tend to run into his eyes if he gets hot and sweaty which irritates his eyes. Do you think this body shop one would be worth a try? Many thanks

    • Above all, I’m really thankful for reaching out to me with this big question. In the past, when I used the product, it did give quite irritating sensation when it got into my eyes. And, your husband used to suffer from skin cancer, I recommend him to choose sunscreens with mineral filters, including Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide, for broad-spectrum sun protection. They are gentler and more protective to the skin than the chemical ones.

      The body shop sunscreen is a type of chemical, which is more likely to aggravate the skin with low photo-stability. It means that the chemical sunscreen tends to break down in terms of its ability to absorb the UV rays, when exposed to sunlight. That can put your husband’s skin in danger. Not to mention that the product does contain other skin irritants. Then, for your husband’s safety, in addition to mineral sunscreen, he can wear sun protective clothing when heading outdoors and avoid being under sunlight so long. Thank you so much for your concern! I really hope you will find better choices for your husband’s well-being.

  5. The body shop sunscream is not good. After applying this product every time my eyes start burning and irretation.i am very dissapointed after buying such a expensive sunscream i will not recommend this product to my enemy also.

    • I’m really disappointed that the product didn’t get you good experience. I think that could be due to some irritants in the formula. I also give up on it because they possibly cause bad effects to skin at some points. You should stop using it if it makes you feel uncomfortable. Thank you so much for sharing your thought with me. This really helps me out a lot.


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