Thursday, August 16, 2018

Last Minute Sunscreen Review: La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra-Fluid Lotion SPF 60 Sunscreen (with Mexoryl)

Review of La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra-Fluid Lotion SPF 60 Sunscreen (with Mexoryl)

This review is last minute in that the end of summer is approaching (but it's not here yet! stop saying that!), and that my bottle is almost empty, so I figured I'd better write this post before I forgot what I thought of this sunscreen.

Note that I'm reviewing the Canadian version here, which contains the very effective filter Mexoryl (patented by L'OrĂ©al), which is not FDA-approved in the US for some reason. It's been used safely in Canada and Europe (and elsewhere) since the 90s, so I'm not sure what the problem is here. It's generally agreed to be one of the most effective sunscreen filters on the market. (I swear I read a Consumer Reports article last year that said this was the most effective sunscreen they tested, and that's why I bought it, but I cannot find the link anywhere. Weird.) I bought my bottle at Superstore in Canada, but I think you can get it from just about any drugstore there. If you're in the U.S., you can buy it from eBay and have it shipped from Canada or Europe.It might also be available online elsewhere--does anyone know? (There is a product sold in in the US that looks the same as this, but i doesn't contain Mexoryl. I haven't tried it.)

I'm going to try to write this post in a simple pros and cons format, to reduce wordiness. Let's see how successful I am at being brief today.


  • It really is very, very effective at protecting my skin from the sun. The southern California sun is a whole other thing, and everyone sits outside at lunch time where I work, so it's been put to the test. I also wore it for 4+ hours on a boat in direct sunlight and didn't burn or even tan. Over the past few month, my face has darkened by maybe half a shade, but to be honest that could have happened on days when I was lazy and didn't use this sunscreen. 
  • It only has a faint sunscreen scent that I can't smell for long after I apply it.
  • It's thin and easy to spread on the skin.
  • My makeup applies just fine over it (though I am not generally someone who wears a full face of opaque foundation).
  • The packaging is appropriate for the product, and it contains a little bead to help mix it up. (I'm more likely to shake it just because that rattling bead is in there than I would without it, for some reason!)

Review of La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra-Fluid Lotion SPF 60 Sunscreen (with Mexoryl)

  • It's a bit greasy. It definitely does not have a matte finish, and it has the potential to rub into my eyes and burn, if I'm not careful.
  • It doesn't play well with all of my skincare products. If I try to layer over something with silicone, like Paula's Choice Moisture Gel, it pills like fucking crazy. Waiting longer between layers doesn't seem to help. So long as I avoid silicones, and I'm careful not to rub my face too much, it's ok. 
  • It stings the sensitive skin around my eyes a bit for about half an hour after I apply it. This sensation is pretty common for me with "chemical" (i.e. organic) sunscreens. The packaging says "for sensitive skin," but if you usually have a bad reaction to chemical sunscreens or get a burning sensation that is a dealbreaker for you, I'm guessing you aren't going to like this product.
  • The bottle is pretty small. I mean, it's clearly labeled, and if you buy it in a store, you know what you're getting, but the first time I saw it in person, I was surprised., especially since it costs around $20. The bottle lasts longer than you might expect, at least.
Because the pros and cons of Anthelios are pretty evenly balanced for me, I tend to only use this sunscreen when I know that I will be spending a significant portion of the day in the sun (which is actually most work days, lately). If I'm not, I'll opt for something a bit less powerful, but easier to wear, like Kinesys (reviewed here). If I were moving back to the midwest or Canada, where the sun is not as intense, I'm not sure if I would purchase this sunscreen again or if I would just stick with something easier. Instead, I'm going to be moving back to south Texas, where the sun, like everything else there, is trying to kill me--but then maybe I'll just become an indoor cat.

I'd recommend this sunscreen if getting the best protection is your priority, but if any of the things on my cons list are going to make you avoid using it, you might as well get another sunscreen that's less potent but comfortable enough to apply every day.

Have you ever bought a foreign sunscreen, or are you happy with what's available at home?

1 comment:

  1. It is still very uncomfortably hot here in Toronto, so summer is certainly not over. I feel kind of bad wishing it would hurry up since I'll ALSO be complaining bitterly once it gets cold and dark.

    I really like this sunscreen for all of the reasons you gave, but I do find it (and the Vichy version) have a tendency to pill. It's a bummer because the protection and texture are perfect otherwise. How bizarre that Mexoryl isn't FDA-approved! I basically won't buy a suncreen without it after having so many facts about suncare drilled into my head over the years working in cosmetics.


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