Review: The Body Shop – Skin Defence Multi-Protection Lotion SPF 50+ PA++++ (2021 Updated)

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.

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

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 Lotion SPF 50+ PA++++.

1. Infused with Chemical Filters and Skin Replenishing Ingredients, Some Are Skin Irritants

The product (old name: Skin Defence Multi-Protection Essence SPF 50 PA++++) 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.

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

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 the 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 been 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.

The Body Shop Skin Defence Multi-Protection Lotion SPF 50

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

The consistency results in a transparent finish with luminosity, neither overwhelming sheen nor greasiness. The Multi-Protection Lotion 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 the 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 beforehand helps provide ultimate replenishment during the entire day.

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

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 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 the 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

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

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.

I hope the review is helpful and informative enough about The Body Shop – Skin Defence Multi-Protection Lotion 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!

The Body Shop – Skin Defence Multi-Protection Lotion SPF 50+ PA++++$28

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 what 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. Reese

    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 :-)

    • Alice Nguyen

      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. H

    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

    • Alice Nguyen

      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. Fari

    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.

    • Alice Nguyen

      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. Deborah Mackenzie

    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

    • Alice Nguyen

      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. Amar lepcha

    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.

    • Alice Nguyen

      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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