Anthelios 50 Mineral Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid, SPF 50 Face
1.7 fl. oz. for $33.50
Category:Skin Care > Sensitive Skin Products > Sun Products > SPF 50 and Higher Sunscreen
Last Updated:12.02.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

This sheer, tinted daytime moisturizer with sunscreen lists titanium dioxide and zinc oxide as the active ingredients, so it provides reliable broad-spectrum sun protection. The fact that it's also fragrance-free makes it a gentle option for those with sensitive or rosacea-affected skin, too.

Sensitive or not, if you have normal to oily skin, you'll likely appreciate this product's thin, fluid texture and lightweight matte finish. It is definitely an intriguing option for those who find that most SPF-rated products feel too heavy or leave their skin shiny.

We wish the formula contained more than a trace amount of vitamin E (tocopherol) for antioxidant benefits. Research is clear that combining antioxidants with sunscreen gives skin a significant environmental boost and helps further offset the damaging effects of UV light.

Note: This product's warm tint completely eliminates the white cast the combined amount of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide can leave.

  • Provides effective broad-spectrum sun protection.
  • Fragrance-free and suitable for sensitive skin.
  • Fluid, silky texture is easy to apply.
  • Doesn't leave skin feeling slick or looking shiny.
  • Water-resistant formula is ideal for active people, but you still must reapply after perspiring heavily or toweling off.
  • Contains only a tiny amount of vitamin E for antioxidant protection.

For the first time, a mineral sun filter and powerful anti-oxidants are combined in a unique patent pending formula that offers 100% mineral sunscreen in a unique lightweight, non-whitening texture. The first line of defense is an advanced UV filtering system featuring an optimized blend of Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide to offer broad spectrum protection with demonstrated efficacy against UVA rays. The second line of defense features CELL-OX SHIELD™, a powerful patent-pending antioxidant complex featuring Senna Alata.


Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide 6%, Zinc Oxide 5% Cosmetic Ingredients: Water, Dimethicone, Isododecane, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Undecane, Triethylhexanoin, Isohexadecane, Nylon-12, Caprylyl Benzoate, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Silica, Tridecane, Dicaprylyl Ether, Talc, Dimeithicone/PE-10/15 Crosspolymer, Aluminum Stearate, Pentylene Glycol, PEG-9 Polydimethysiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Alumina, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Magnesium Sulfate, Propelene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, PEG-8 Laurate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Tiethoxycaprylylsilane, Diethethylhexl Syringylidenemalonate, Tocopherol, Propelene Carbonate, Cassia Alata Leaf Extract, Maltodextrin, Benzoic Acid, PEG-9.

Brand Overview

La Roche-Posay At-A-Glance

Strengths: A few good cleansers; anti-aging formulas tend to be stably packaged to get the most out of the air/light-sensitive ingredients; many fragrance-free options; a unique lip moisturizer; some praiseworthy specialty products.

Weaknesses: Some problematic, overly irritating exfoliants; several ho-hum moisturizers and sunscreens; ineffective skin-lighteners; disappointing toner.

L'Oreal-owned La Roche-Posay has a pharmaceutical lineage based in France, and the company speaks of their thermal spring water as the cornerstone of their commitment to dermatological skin care. Sound familiar? L'Oreal-owned Biotherm makes similar claims for the water in their products, yet their marketing niche is spas, while La Roche-Posay caters to doctors and consumers interested in effective, no-frills skin care. Regardless of the source of their water, or how many minerals there may be in it, or the other benefits they assert it has, water is water and skin can't tell the difference. Even if the water were somehow "special," it takes a lot more than water to create and maintain healthy skin. This is something La Roche-Posay is aware of, because they do offer a fairly broad range of products to address the various needs of skin.

Their thermal spring water is said to be a rich source of selenium. Selenium is a nonmetallic element that has potent antioxidant ability. However, almost all of the research surrounding its benefits pertains to dietary or supplemental consumption, not to topical application. According to the research, selenium is absorbed into skin and helpful when applied topically only when applied as l-selenomethionine (Source: Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, July 2004, pages 149–155). It is unknown whether the water La Roche-Posay uses contains this form of selenium, but we wouldn't bank on it for a unique benefit.

For a dermatologist-oriented line like La Roche-Posay, most of the products are surprisingly devoid of state-of-the-art or other interesting ingredients. There are some standout products, such as those with retinol and stabilized vitamin C; however, most of them are one-note options that offer the help of their promoted ingredient but don't commingle it with anything else of value to skin. It's ironic that although there's not a jar package to be found in this line, most of the moisturizers lack light- or air-sensitive ingredients, so jar packaging actually wouldn't be a problem. In fact, most of the moisturizers are downright monotonous. For the money, these products will leave your skin wanting more.

If you steer your way to the well-formulated products La Roche-Posay offers, you will find some first-rate options. They're not as varied as what many other lines offer, but for a pragmatic, no-frills approach to serious skin care, they'll do just fine. In fact, among all of the L'Oreal-owned skin-care lines, La Roche-Posay comes closest to successfully competing with the best of the best. It's up to you to decide if "close" is good enough. However, if you need to avoid fragrance and a range of potentially irritating plant extracts prevalent in the products of many brands, this line may suit your skin to a T.

Note: La Roche-Posay is categorized as a brand that tests on animals because its products are sold in China. Although La Roche-Posay 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 La Roche-Posay, owned by L'Oreal, call (888) 577-5226 or visit www.laroche-posay.com.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

Member Comments
Summary of Member Comments
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Formula Change

I bought this and loved the formula......until I found denat. alcohol as one of the first ingredients. So disappointing :(

Reviewed by
Beautypedia Team Response

Hello there!  Thanks for your feedback.  According to La Roche-Posay's U.S. site, alcohol denat. is not an ingredient in this formula (but there have been a few other recent changes - namely the only active is now titanium dioxide at 11%, so we'll work on getting the review updated as needed).


Would you recommend this sunscreen for acne prone skin? I noticed that the titanium dioxide content (11%) is quite high. Thank you.

Reviewed by
sophia b
Beautypedia Team Response

Hi there! The truth is that any product can provoke a breakout when you’re prone to them to begin with. However, the percentage of sunscreen actives in terms of minerals alone isn’t a significant factor. What matters more is the overall formula, i.e. whether there are an abundant of thickening agents or heavy emollients combined with the percentage of mineral actives.  Here, the Anthelios 50 Mineral Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid, SPF 50 Face is quite lightweight and is free of the common rich, heavier moisturizing ingredients. While we can’t ever say that a product won’t break you out (non-comedogenic is a fantasy), this product is much less likely to do so.  - Nathan

antioxidant question

I really do like this product. Especially living in a high humidity place like Florida. You mention in the review overview that you would like to see more antioxidants in the product. Will using a serum with antioxidants underneath this product give the same boost to the sunscreen as would using a sunscreen with antioxidants already in it?

Reviewed by
Beautypedia Team Response

Hi there!  You can absolutely do that!  :)

your ingredients list is wrong

I can't go by your ingredients list because it is incorrect. the antheolis site and drugstore.com ingredients list differs from yours. customers count on your site for correct information

Reviewed by
Beautypedia Team Response

Hello, and thanks for your comment. It's very likely this product has been reformulated since we first reviewed it, so we definitely appreciate it when people inform us of changes so we can keep our information as up-to-date as possible! We will revisit this review and alter it as needed. Thank you!

—Paula's Choice Research Team
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