Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer SPF 50 with Purescreen for Sensitive Skin

by Neutrogena  Healthy Defense
Price:
$13.99 - 1.7 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Moisturizers (Daytime and Nighttime) > Moisturizer with Sunscreen
Last Updated:
8/12/2013
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
Yes

With its gentle, fragrance-free blend of mineral sunscreens (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide), Neutrogena has created a winning broad-spectrum sunscreen for sensitive skin. The lightweight creamy lotion spreads easily, sets quickly, and leaves a satin matte finish on skin. Yes, this feels slightly tacky, but it’s also quite tenacious: you can be assured of long-lasting protection, but don’t forget to reapply as needed. The only disappointing part of this sunscreen is its lack of antioxidants and skin-identical ingredients, something the face always needs. A teeny-tiny amount of anti-irritant bisabolol is present, but it’s clearly an afterthought and unlikely to benefit your skin. Neutrogena did a great job with the aesthetics (this doesn’t leave a strong white cast on skin) and those with sensitive skin can pair it with an antioxidant-rich serum such as Paula’s Choice RESIST Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum.

Neutrogena Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer with Purescreen for Sensitive Skin features an exclusive blend of 100% naturally-derived sunscreens to physically block the sun’s damaging rays. This lightweight, non-greasy formula is designed to give you both UVA and UVB protection while being gentle enough for sensitive skin--providing superior anti-aging sun protection and keeping skin hydrated.

Active: Titanium Dioxide (5%), Zinc Oxide (3%), Other: Water, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Ethylhexyl Isononanoate, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Dimethicone, Silica, Ethylhexyl Hydroxystearate, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, PEG-100 Stearate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Alumina, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, PEG-75 Stearate, Pentylene Glycol, Bisabolol, Caprylyl Glycol, Isohexadecane, Chlorphenesin, Aluminum Stearate, Disodium EDTA, PPG-12/SMDI Copolymer, Ceteth-20, Steareth-20, Dipropylene Glycol Dibenzoate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Polysorbate-60, PPG-15 Stearyl Ether Benzoate, BHT

Johnson & Johnson–owned Neutrogena has been around for over 50 years, and they've come a long way since they launched their first transparent, bronze, detergent-based bar soap (it also contains tallow). The bars are still sold, and while we still don't recommend them (they are too drying for all skin types), the good news is that Neutrogena has come a very long way from where they started. In fact, several of their products represent truly state-of-the-art options.

Strolling the skin-care aisles of any drugstore or mass-market store reveals that Neutrogena vies for shelf space and prominence with only one other brand, Procter & Gamble's Olay. For the most part, both companies offer a similar assortment of products, with Olay being slightly more focused on anti-aging products and Neutrogena going for broader appeal, offering a nearly equal amount of antiwrinkle and anti-acne products. Regrettably the latter category presents few viable options.

Where Neutrogena really excels (and has for years) is with water-soluble cleansers, AHAs, retinol, and sunscreen products. Their Healthy Skin lineup offers some beautifully formulated moisturizers with glycolic acid, and the sunscreens offer something for everyone, including some ingenious options for those with oily skin (or anyone who finds the texture of high-SPF products as unappealing as slathering your skin with Crisco).

A recent self-proclaimed advance in sun protection came with Neutrogena's Helioplex complex. It is not the superior breakthrough Neutrogena makes it out to be. It's a good system to keep avobenzone stable for longer, but Helioplex isn't the only way to get the most out of this important UVA sunscreen. If it were, why didn't Neutrogena scrap all of their other sunscreens that don't use Helioplex technology? And why do they still offer a handful of SPF-rated products that leave skin vulnerable to UVA damage? Although they offer a proportionately greater number of sunscreens that provide excellent UVA protection, it's hard to unequivocally deem them a sun-care leader when they still sell inadequate sunscreens.

It's common to see commercials and magazine ads for Neutrogena's plethora of products designed to combat breakouts and blackheads. It's nothing short of amazing that, after all these years, the majority of these products, while well intentioned, still don't get it right. Far too many of them contain irritating ingredients such as alcohol, witch hazel, and menthol, none of which are the least bit helpful for someone struggling with breakouts. If your dermatologist recommends these products for acne without reservation, definitely consider a second opinion! Even Neutrogena's on-the-spot benzoyl peroxide product contains some potentially problematic thickening agents. Despite this, if you choose carefully, there are some great products (including a BHA lotion) that can make a positive difference.

What's most frustrating and, frankly, surprising, is that Neutrogena's enormous assortment of products represents both the best and the worst the cosmetics industry has to offer. Given their worldwide distribution and research capabilities, they really should be offering a consistent range of effective, irritant-free products to address a variety of skin types and conditions. As things stand now, healthy, protected skin is only assured if you know which Neutrogena products to look for and which ones to never put in your shopping cart.

For more information about Neutrogena, owned by Johnson & Johnson, call (800) 582-4048 or visit www.neutrogena.com.

Neutrogena Makeup

Neutrogena's "beautiful and beneficial" pronouncement is a great tag line, but most of their makeup doesn't live up to that assertion. This line was lacking in several key areas when it first hit store shelves in 1999, and although some things have improved, the number of problematic products is a bit startling. (I'm not aware of any cosmetic line that uses menthol or its derivatives as often as Neutrogena.) Each product carries on about the vitamins it contains, yet compared to the leading roles played by cosmetic staples like silicones and thickening agents, the vitamins have mere cameo roles, and as such have little to no impact.

There are a few key items to seek out, especially if you're looking for makeup with excellent sun protection. We also found their lip gloss to be one of the best at any price, and a few of their foundations successfully bridge the gap between skin care and makeup.

The most frustrating aspect of this line is that almost all of it is packaged so you cannot see the color. Even worse, the color swatch on the box is a poor representation, not only of how the color looks in the compact, but also how it looks on your skin. What would truly be beneficial is for Neutrogena to offer more revealing packaging or provide testers or offer trial sizes. Their overall collection and in-store displays aren't nearly as tempting as most other drugstore makeup lines, so in most cases they're relying on their constant magazine and television ads to drive shoppers to explore the world of Neutrogena makeup, or they're relying solely on those who don't mind guessing what color they are really buying. It's obviously working, because despite the problematic elements, this is a line that has survived and is very well distributed.

Member Comments

Summary of Member Comments

  1. How would you rate the results? (4 = Best)

    2 / 4 Average
  2. Was this product a good value? (4 = Best)

    2 / 4 Average
  3. Would you recommend this product? (4 = Best)

    2 / 4 Average
Page of 1
  1. Giselle H.
    Reviewed on Monday, April 28, 2014
    • Recommend
      1 / 4
    • Results
      1 / 4
    • Value
      1 / 4
    Doesn't work for me
    • If it were possible to give this zero stars I would. This stuff is not only extremely thick but it smells gross, it makes my face really white, (that's because of the sunscreen) and it sticks to my dry patches. I bought this because it got really good reviews on here and because I've been looking for a new moisturizer for summer and hot sun, (I live in Texas). Another con about this is that it is so small and expensive. I've only used it 3 times and I'm already done with half of the tube.

  2. Julia E
    Reviewed on Sunday, April 27, 2014
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Value
      4 / 4
    This has been discontinued.
    • Loved this product but it's been discontinued - no longer available in stores and not listed on Neutrogena's website anymore.

    Paula's Choice Research Team Response
    Replied on: Monday, April 28, 2014

    Hello, and thanks for your comments! You're right - this isn't shown on Neutrogena's website, so we contacted the company to see about its availability. Neutrogena says it's still available, just not shown on its site. We'll keep you posted if we hear anything else!

    —Paula's Choice Research Team

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:

View Media Highlights

 

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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