Thursday, May 25, 2017

Pros and Cons: Paula's Choice Resist Super-Light Daily Wrinkle Defense SPF 30 Sunscreen

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Paula's Choice Resist Super-Light Daily Wrinkle Defense SPF 30 Sunscreen Review

I finally finished my bottle of Biore Watery Gel sunscreen (reviewed here), and since I thought my favorite sunscreen had been discontinued, I had to decide what to use next. (As it turns out, Kinesys is back, and for now can be purchased on their website: US/Canada. I haven't ordered anything yet, but I'll post more when I've got my hands on some of their sunscreen again.) The Paula's Choice Resist Super-Light Daily Wrinkle Defense SPF 30 Sunscreen is a holy grail for a lot of people, so I decided to use a credit to try out a tube of it for myself.

After using it for several weeks, I have mixed feelings. What I like about it, I really like; what I don't like is kind of a deal-breaker. So I think it makes sense to write this review as a basic pros/cons list.


  • Ingredients: The sunscreen in this product is zinc oxide, which is reliable, stable, and good for most sensitive skin. It also contains some other potentially beneficial skincare ingredients like antioxidants.
  • Texture: It's not too thin and not too thick. It's easy to apply an even layer on my face, and it really does feel like there's nothing on my skin after a few short minutes. It's supposed to be a "moisturizer + SPF," but if it's moisturizing, the results are very subtle. I don't mind that. It is meant for combination or oily skin, after all.

Paula's Choice Resist Super-Light Daily Wrinkle Defense SPF 30 Sunscreen Review

  • Finish: Zinc oxide can leave a white cast on the skin, so this lotion is lightly tinted to counteract that. It leaves my skin matte and adds a tiny bit of sheer coverage. It also works very well under makeup, a lot like a primer. It provides a bit of oil control and keeps my makeup in place longer.

Here are some frowny before and after photos. In the first photo I have nothing on my face. In the second photo, I have just the Paula's Choice Resist SPF 30. You can see that the tint is very, very sheer, but if you look at the freckles under my eyes, for instance, they are less visible in the second photo. (Also if you ever doubted how invisible my eyelashes are, here you go. This is the nakedest face I've ever published on my blog.)


  • Price: This is a $33 sunscreen. The tube contains 2 oz./60 ml, which for daily facial use would probably last around 6 months, I'm guessing. So if this is the perfect sunscreen for you, I can see $66 a year or so being worthwhile. It's better to buy something you love and actually wear it everyday than to buy something cheap that you hate and avoid applying sunscreen at all. For me, it's way too expensive when I factor in the issues described below.
  • Smell: This is the biggest problem for me. It's really a YMMV situation, because most reviews I've read say that this sunscreen has no scent at all. I've only found one other person who noticed the smell I'm talking about here. When I apply this sunscreen, there's no really noticeable scent, at least nothing that bothers me. When I step outside, however, I get a big whiff of something strange, almost like burnt plastic or latex with a sour note. I can smell it for as long as I remain outside, but when I go back in, it's gone. Even when I go out to head home at the end of the work day, hours and hours after I first applied my sunscreen, I get the smell again. Could it be that the product is reacting to the sun somehow to release the smell? It's not the wind, because I don't smell it in a drafty indoor space. It's so odd! And very unpleasant. (I made my husband smell my face when we were outside the other day to see if I was just imagining it, and he noticed it too.)
  • Eye irritation: I have less of a problem with this particular sunscreen smearing or running into my eyes than with others I've used in the past, but I do have to be careful not to rub my eyes or the lotion will get into them and make them itch and burn.
  • Tint: I mentioned the tint as a sort of benefit above, in that it removes some of the white cast that would ordinarily be left by the zinc. The tint does, however, make this sunscreen more fussy to use than most others I've tried. I'm used to applying my facial sunscreen to my face and then bringing it down to my neck and exposed parts of my chest. More than once, while trying to do that with this stuff, I've accidentally smeared a bit of it onto the neckline of my shirt and then had to change out of an otherwise perfectly good, clean shirt. It's a hassle, when I'm in a hurry, to have to use a separate product for my neck and chest (or to have to pick out another top to wear! Ugh!!). You pretty much have to treat this stuff like makeup by, for instance, washing your hands after you apply it. Plus I have my doubts about how invisible the tint would be on people with darker skin. If you have a deep skin tone and have tried this sunscreen, I'd be interested to hear your results.
Here is it swatched on white paper, so you can see what a mess it would make if you got any on your clothing:

Paula's Choice Resist Super-Light Daily Wrinkle Defense SPF 30 Sunscreen Review

Personally, I don't think I will buy another tube of Paula's Choice Resist Super-Light Daily Wrinkle Defense once I've finished the one I have, even though I can understand why it's such a favorite. The texture and finish are really lovely and it plays exceptionally well with makeup. The smell is a big turnoff for me, but I'd guess you probably have a less than 5% chance of having that same problem, judging from reviews. But the smell combined with the finicky application is too much for me. I like to be able to apply my sunscreen quickly and move on. There's a reason I don't wear foundation every day, after all. 

Does this sound like a sunscreen that would work for you?

(You can get $10 off $15 from Paula's Choice when you sign up for a new account using my link--I get a credit too, which is what allowed me to review this sunscreen.)


  1. Very interesting review. Kiehl's Clearly Corrective eye cream with spf 30 is the eye cream that does not burn my eyes. It is also tinted like a light concealer. There are samples packs, so you can try it. Please ignore my bad english...

    1. Oh thanks! I haven't tried that one. And your English is great!

  2. I went through a few foils of this sunscreen and decided it's not for me. Tint was a total deal-breaker. I feel that my skin tone falls into light-medium range and even for me the tint was way off. Also, I found it a bit drying. Ironically enough I didn't have smell issue (ironically, because EVERYTHING smells to me).

  3. This is one of my very favorites and I'm on tube 4 or 5. I've not noticed the smell but that would be a deal breaker for me too.

    I do my skincare and makeup either nude or in a bra so I've not had trouble with it on my clothes. My husband has worn it in a pinch and later admitted he liked how good his face looked LOL


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