Avene Mineral Ultra-Light Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion SPF50 is a really good daily sunscreen option. It is by far the lightest textured mineral sunscreen I’ve come across (that isn’t loaded with alcohol). It feels sort of like a whipped lotion, if that makes sense.
I’ve been using it for a couple weeks with no major reactions or breakouts. It appears to be quite gentle. Which it should be, considering that Avene advertises this particular sunscreen as a product for sensitive, intolerant, hyper-reactive skin. It’s fragrance-free, which is a good start. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are also good sunscreen ingredients for sensitive skin, since many have allergies or reactions to chemical sunscreens. Aside from these ingredients, the formula is basically an emulsion of silicones and polymers that are supposedly not going to cause breakouts or reactions. However, many people could have sensitivities to these ingredients. So calling it hypoallergenic seems misleading. The formula also contains some vitamin E.
Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide (4%), Zinc Oxide (6%) Inactive Ingredients: Water, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Cetyl Dimethicone, Dimethicone, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Styrene Acrylates Copolymer, Dimethicone/PEG-10/15 Cross polymer, Dimethicone PEG-8 Laurate, Polymethylmethacrylate, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Acrylates/ C12-22 Alkylmethacrylate Copolymer, Lecithin, Trisiloxane, Oleic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Sorbitol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Alumina, Methicone, Isostearic Acid, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Sodium Chloride
It is very light and sheer, and doesn’t leave any noticeable white cast. I also find it to be fairly matte, which I like. Matte enough that I could consider wearing it without makeup on top. Although it also sits really well under makeup. I haven’t had makeup application cause any pilling or balling, which is fantastic. It will ball up if you try to apply too much though. The lotion feels like it spreads across your skin and only the amount required gets absorbed, then the rest just sort of balls up and you can carefully brush it off. It took me a few tries to figure out the correct amount to use. But now that I’ve figured it out, it works great.
I do have a couple issues with this sunscreen though. First, it isn’t really all that hydrating. If worn alone, I find that my skin looks a bit dried out by midafternoon while simultaneously looking oily in some spots. I’m combo oily, but if you’re quite oily this would probably be good for you. Second, it can be a bit difficult to layer with other products. I have been layering my Dr Dennis Gross Clinical Concentrate Hydration Booster (full review HERE) under sunscreens for months, but if I go to apply this Avene sunscreen over it, it just balls up and won’t really apply properly. It will layer with some products better than others though. My Hylamide Low Molecular HA (review HERE) layers beautifully underneath and provides better hydration throughout the day. Basically, anything that sinks in completely and doesn’t leave any kind of residue on your skin should work.
Those looking for a more natural option won’t like this, it is definitely not natural. However, if you have oily, sensitive skin and are looking for a good mineral sunscreen then this is definitely worth a try. I am probably going to switch to something a bit more hydrating since we are going into the colder months of the year. But this is a great warm weather option if you’re looking for something light and matte.
Avene Mineral Ultra-Light Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion SPF50 comes in a 1.7oz bottle for $28USD. Find it at Amazon, DERMSTORE and Net-A-Porter.
UPDATE JUN ’17: I’ve recently come back to using this now that the weather is warmer and I don’t need my morning routine to provide as much hydration. I must say, I actually love this sunscreen now. It provides the perfect amount of hydration (not a lot), and it’s light and matte. An excellent summer SPF! Avene has also upgraded the bottle size from 1.3oz to 1.7oz, so it’s an even better value now!