Facial Fuel UV Guard Fast-Absorbing Sunscreen for Men SPF 50+

by Kiehl's  
Price:
$36 - 1.7 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Sensitive Skin Products > Sun Products > SPF 50 and Higher Sunscreen
Last Updated:
2/21/2013
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
Yes

This fluid, fragrance-free moisturizer with sunscreen provides broad-spectrum protection, and includes sufficient UVA (think anti-aging) screening from stabilized avobenzone. We have little doubt that men with combination to oily skin will love how light this feels, and its finish is surprisingly non-greasy.

The problem? The alcohol it contains is a potential cause for concern. Adding up the amount of active ingredients plus what precedes the alcohol on the ingredient list likely means that the actual amount of alcohol is lower than it seems; however, given that the amount of sunscreen actives this contains can be sensitizing on their own, it's not a good idea to add alcohol to the mix. Besides, you can find sunscreens with similar textures from SkinCeuticals and La Roche-Posay (like Kiehl's, both of these brands are owned by L'Oreal).

If you're stuck on this particular product (though you shouldn't be), you can find the exact same thing for less money from L'Oreal's Sublime Sun Advanced Sunscreen SPF 50+.

Note: that this product is surprisingly short on anti-aging ingredients beyond those that provide sun protection. Guys, you need to know that antioxidants in skin care are essential if you want to have or maintain healthier, younger-looking skin.

Pros:
  • Provides broad-spectrum sun protection.
  • Fragrance-free.
  • Wonderfully light fluid texture and non-greasy finish.
Cons:
  • The amount of alcohol is potential cause for concern (see More Info).
  • Formula is short on the antioxidants skin needs for further environmental protection.
More Info:

Alcohol in skin-care products causes dryness and free-radical damage, and impairs the skin's ability to heal. The irritation it causes damages healthy collagen production and can stimulate oil production at the base of the pore, making oily skin worse (Sources: Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, May 2012, pages 1410–1419; Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research, January 2011, pages 83–90; "Skin Care—From the Inside Out and Outside In," Tufts Daily, April 1, 2002; eMedicine Journal, May 8, 2002, volume 3, number 5, www.emedicine.com; Cutis, February 2001, pages 25–27; Contact Dermatitis, January 1996, pages 12–16; and http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh27-4/277-284.htm). Product like this may not be as much cause for concern as those where alcohol is more prominent, but it's worth calling out because you can find similar, alcohol-free alternatives.

Energizing, lightweight daily sun shield specifically formulated for men. High level SPF broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection guards men from daily damage and premature aging.
Active Ingredients: Avobenzone 3%, Homosalate 15%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 5%, Oxybenzone 6%, Other Ingredients: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Alcohol Denat., Silica, Dicaprylyl Ether, Styrene/Acrylates, Copolymer, PEG-30 Dipolyhydoxystearate, Dimethicone, Cyclohexasiloxane, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Nylon-12, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Phenoxyethanol, Lauryl PEG/PPG-18/18 Methicone, Sodium Chloride, Caprylyl Glycol, PEG-8 Laurate, Methylparaben, Tocopherol, Poly C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Isostearyl Alcohol, Caffeine, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Disodium EDTA

This line has been around for quite some time, and has its origins in a family-owned pharmacy based in New York City. Perhaps its neighborly beginnings with a big-city heritage are what propelled Kiehl's to its long-standing status as a popular product line. Considering that Kiehl's doesn't advertise (at least not in the traditional sense, though their products get frequent press), their brand identity and status in the minds of consumers are impressive.

What gets lost in all the fashion magazine hype and company claims of "excellence" and "quality ingredients" is that almost all of the Kiehl's products hardly warrant excitement or even mild enthusiasm. Most of them are surprisingly ordinary, with a dusting of natural ingredients almost always at the very end of the ingredient list, well after the preservatives. That amounts to little more than a token attempt to make the products appear more natural to those who want to believe a plant or vitamin must somehow be better for the skin than something that sounds more chemical. Nevertheless, that token amount is enough to allow Kiehl's to brag about how its products nourish the skin or are more environmentally friendly, when they're not.

Aside from the allure of the natural, this line consists of totally ordinary and often completely unnatural ingredients. More disheartening for skin is that many of the ingredients are of questionable benefit for those with sensitive, oily, or blemish-prone skin. In some instances product ingredients are irritating for any skin type, while half of the sunscreen products are a serious problem for reliable sun protection. If you can't resist the allure of Kiehl's, just know that the product assembly will work best for those with dry to very dry skin and that, for the money, most of the formulas aren't knock-your-socks-off thrilling.

Note: Kiehl's is categorized as a brand that tests on animals because its products are sold in China. Although Kiehl's does not conduct animal testing for its products sold elsewhere, the Chinese government requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals, so foreign companies retailing there must comply. This requirement is why some brands state that they don’t test on animals “unless required by law.” Animal rights organizations consider cosmetic companies retailed in China to be brands that test on animals, and so does the Paula’s Choice Research Team.

For more information about Kiehl's, owned by L'Oreal, call (800) 543-4572 or visit www.kiehls.com.

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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