Cetaphil claims Daily Facial Moisturizer with SPF 50+ is "specifically formulated" as a facial moisturizer, designed to hydrate and nourish skin while providing sun protection. The fragrance-free formula absolutely can hydrate and nourish skin, but because the packaging no longer claims that it contains broad spectrum sun protection, this facial moisturizer has recently been downgraded to our poor, one-star rating.
True to its chief claim, Daily Facial Moisturizer with SPF 50+ does provide sun protection but as of summer 2015, all claims regarding broad-spectrum sun protection have been removed from the product's packaging. The drug facts on the label further indicate that "this product has been shown to help prevent sunburn, not skin cancer or early skin aging." See More Info for details.
Because of the inclusion of synthetic sunscreen actives, those with sensitive skin or who have issues like eczema or rosacea should take note: some of the synthetic sunscreen actives included in this formula can cause a reaction in sensitive skin, meaning this isn't as non-irritating as claimed, either. Synthetic sunscreen actives such as the octinoxate, octisalate, octocrylene, and oxybenzone included here are certainly effective and good for most skin types, it's just something to keep in mind if you have a damaged skin barrier.
Although this is marketed for those with normal to dry skin, it absolutely isn't non-greasy as claimed. It will, however, make skin feel moisturized and smooth thanks to the amount of emollients it contains. Also, the amount of titanium dioxide lends a slight white cast that cannot be blended away (though it's much less noticeable than that of many other mineral sunscreens). It's also disappointing that antioxidants were given short shrift. A token amount of vitamin E is all that's included, which won't help this product compete with others at the drugstore that offer a range of potent antioxidants.
Overall, in spite of its acceptable aesthetics and fragrance-free formula, as of the time of this updated review (August 2015), Daily Facial Moisturizer with SPF 50+ now earns our lowest rating for its lack of broad-spectrum sun protection and antioxidants.
- Makes skin feel moisturized.
- No longer contains broad spectrum sun protection.
- Synthetic sunscreen actives could potentially irritate sensitive skin.
- Formula is not as non-greasy as claimed, and leaves a slight white cast on skin.
- Lacking in antioxidants and cell-communicating ingredients.
Sunscreens Not Rated "Broad Spectrum": Although this sunscreen may contain ingredients that have the potential to provide broad-spectrum sun protection, it also bears this warning as part of the Drug Facts labeling: "Skin Cancer/Skin Aging Alert: Spending time in the sun increases your risk of skin cancer and early skin aging. This product has been shown only to help prevent sunburn, not skin cancer or early skin aging."
This product's label indicates that the formula did not meet the broad-spectrum testing requirements of the FDA (U.S. Food & Drug Administration, 2012
), so it isn't as anti-aging capable as many other SPF-rated products. To ensure your sunscreen provides both UVA and UVB protection, it must be labelled "broad spectrum" and also contain one or more of these UVA-protecting ingredients listed as "active": avobenzone, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, Mexoryl SX (ecamsule) or Tinosorb (Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 2005