03.13.2015
12
656
Skin Balancing Ultra-Sheer Daily Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 30
Rating
2 fl. oz. for $26
Category:Skin Care > Moisturizers (Daytime and Nighttime) > Moisturizer with Sunscreen
Last Updated:03.13.2015
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

Skin Balancing Ultra-Sheer Daily Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 30 is a lightweight daytime moisturizer for combination to oily skin. The silky, sheer formula provides broad-spectrum sun protection to prevent and reduce wrinkles and brown spots, with critical UVA protection coming from stabilized avobenzone.

It's loaded with potent antioxidants and cell-communicating ingredients proven to help your skin look and act younger while minimizing oil and smoothing dryness. This leaves a fresh matte finish without feeling heavy, slick, or greasy like many facial sunscreens. The formula is designed to work well under makeup, and, like all Paula's Choice products, is fragrance-free. The lightweight texture and matte finish make this an ideal choice for breakout-prone skin.

Pros:
  • Broad-spectrum sun protection in a lightweight texture, suitable for acne-prone skin.
  • Fights signs of aging with potent antioxidants and cell-communicating ingredients.
  • Matte finish minimizes oil and is ideal for combination to oily skin.
  • Fragrance-free and wears well under makeup.
Cons:
  • None.
Claims

Ultra-light, silky, sheer facial moisturizer smoothes and softens skin as it prevents multiple signs of aging, including wrinkles and brown spots. Antioxidants and cell-communicating ingredients help skin look and act younger; helps keep excess oil at bay and leaves a fresh matte finish.

Ingredients

Active Ingredients: Oxybenzone 4%; Avobenzone 3%; Homosalate 7%; and Octocrylene 2%; (sunscreen agents). Other Ingredients: Water, Butylene Glycol (slip agent), Silica (absorbent), Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract (antioxidant), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder (water-binding agent), Ascorbyl Palmitate (vitamin C/antioxidant), Phospholipids (cell-communicating ingredient), Superoxide Dismutase (antioxidant enzyme), Adenosine (cell-communicating ingredient), Tocopherol (vitamin E/antioxidant), Bisabolol (anti-irritant), Boerhavia Diffusa Root Extract (antioxidant/anti-irritant plant extract), Colloidal Oatmeal (plant-based anti-irritant), Panthenol (skin-conditioning agent), Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract (antioxidant), Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract (anti-irritant), Cetyl Dimethicone (silicone-based emollient), Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate (absorbent/thickener), Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer (film-forming agent), Titanium Dioxide (opacifying agent), Sorbic Acid (preservative), Sodium Hydroxide (pH adjuster), Steareth-21, Steareth-2, Polysorbate-20 (emulsifiers), Disodium EDTA (chelating agent), Phenoxyethanol (preservative).

Brand Overview

Paula's Choice Skincare At-A-Glance

Strengths: Fragrance-free products; all products formulated based on extensive published research on how ingredients can benefit skin; uniquely formulated AHA and BHA products; effective skin-lightening options; gentle cleansers; toners that go beyond the norm; all sunscreens provide broad spectrum protection (including UVA-screening ingredients); proven anti-acne products; antioxidant-rich serums and moisturizers; anti-aging products that work as claimed; gentle yet effective natural products; most foundations provides sun protection and come in a range of neutral colors; unique brow products; on-the-go teeth whitener; lipstick with sunscreen; impressive, reasonably priced makeup brushes; samples are available for most products.

Weaknesses: Does not offer a complete collection of makeup; makeup shade range isn’t as extensive for darker skin tones; limited concealer options.

Disclosure: Paula Begoun is creator of Beautypedia and founder of Paula's Choice Skincare products. Reviewing thousands of skincare and makeup products over the past 30 years, both on this site and in her best-selling books, Paula's mission has always been to help consumers find the best products possible for their skin. The Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains this commitment. In addition, The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same rating standards and criteria, whether it is a Paula's Choice product or another brand.

Paula's Choice Skincare was established in 1995 when best-selling beauty author and consumer advocate Paula Begoun (known as The Cosmetics Cop) decided to develop her own products. Like most of us, she was fed up with products that overpromised results, cost a lot of money, and failed to deliver—or made matters worse!

As a natural evolution of Paula's personal mission to help consumers find the best products for their skin, the line has grown into an extensive range of skincare and makeup products that are formulated to meet the needs of almost every skin type and skin concern imaginable. From acne to wrinkles, oily skin, rosacea, large pores, eczema, redness, sagging, dry skin, and on and on, Paula's Choice offers a solution.

Paula's Choice Skincare stands apart from other cosmetics brands. The formulas contain only ingredients that have substantiated, published research showing they are beneficial and effective—so you get visible results. Stable packaging is another feature of the brand, using innovative, opaque, and air-tight or air-restrictive components that keep antioxidants and other light- and air-sensitive ingredients from breaking down (unlike jar packaging, which compromises what might otherwise be an effective formula). The line is also 100% fragrance-free, which is best for all skin types, especially for those with sensitive skin or rosacea.

From cleansers to broad-spectrum sunscreens to anti-aging serums to specialized treatments, Paula's Choice Skincare has you covered from head to toe with innovative, state-of-the-art products. The brand also offers professional-quality makeup products including concealer, foundation, eyeshadow, lipstick, and more. (Paula started out as a makeup artist so she definitely knows her way around a face!)

Paula's Choice Skincare does not test on animals and also takes an environmentally friendly approach by featuring minimalist, recyclable packaging. Another plus—the Customer Service team is among the best in the industry, offering a "100% satisfaction or your money back" guarantee.

For more information about Paula's Choice, call (800) 831-4088 or visit www.paulaschoice.com.

Why are all Paula's Choice Skincare products rated highly? The Paula's Choice Skincare Team would not launch a product unless it was worthy of a high rating from The Beautypedia Team. Paula and The Beautypedia Team were researching and reviewing products long before Paula's Choice Skincare ever existed and consumers were constantly requesting a skincare brand that met all of Beautypedia's criteria. As a result, The Paula's Choice Skincare Team was created and uses the same research and criteria to formulate Paula's Choice products as The Beautypedia Team uses to review products.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment that Paula Begoun, founder of Beautypedia and Paula's Choice Skincare made over 30 years ago-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
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04.18.2014
Better than you think.

As noted in previous reviews, this product IS runny. It's a liquid, folks. Similar to Neutrogena's liquid sunscreens. In addition, the grainy texture that was obvious in the first roll-out of this sunscreen are gone; it has been adjusted. This is very calming for a sunscreen with synthetic actives (at high concentrations no less) and I find I can use this around my eyes with no stinging and watering. Highly recommend this sunscreen!

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Reviewed by
NATHAN R.
01.25.2014
Too Grainy & Runny... Not Mattifying at all either

This product was way too thin of a texture and too liquid-y for me to use as a moisturizer, the grainy texture of it also was a terrible feeling that made me feel I was just scratching my face while applying it on. Also, I have to say that there was nothing mattifying about this moisturizer either. Hated that I had to return it though but I had to.

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Reviewed by
Anonymous
10.15.2013
Better before they changed it

I was very happy with this product before it was reformulated, but now it's just disappointing to use on my face. I still buy it for my arms (which I treat with BHA), but it's too thin to use during Canadian harsh winters, and my face dries out instantly. However, I will mention that I liked it during the summer months, so I can't give it a very low rating. It's just not convenient for my situation, year round.

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Reviewed by
Li O.
08.17.2013
Too Thin

I totally agree with Brenda A. The lotion is too thin and grainy and you have to be very careful that it doesn't run out too quickly. I preferred the texture of the previous product that it replaced.

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Reviewed by
Sheila F.
08.11.2013
Thin and Grainy

You have to be very careful when applying this sunscreen because of the tube packaging. If you squeeze the tube, instead of allowing the thin liquid sunscreen to dribble out on it's own, you will end up with a mess. This product would have been much more user friendly if it had been housed in pump packaging. The sunscreen itself has a weird, almost gritty feel to it when applying. Sometimes my skin is not happy with the harshness of the chemical sunscreen ingredients, making my face tingle.

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Reviewed by
ChristineL
07.20.2013
Too harsh

Too much emphasis on SPF in products. This is not really an updated formula - this is a completely new product. I much prefer the oil free moisturizer that this replaced. Please return to the prior formula :-)

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Reviewed by
BRENDA A.
05.20.2013
Too Runny

The previous SPF 15 version of this product was perfect for me, so I ordered this one next. The texture is very thin, not a lotion. More difficult to apply and a slight stinging sensation. I have oily skin with a tendency for blocked pores and have been happily using PC products for many years, especially the sunscreens for oily skin. I will continue with this until the next version comes out. Please change the consistency back to a lotion! Thanks.

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Reviewed by
CHRISTINA G.
05.05.2013
Overall Good

This product easily absorbs into skin and doesn't feel slick at all. It may not prevent oil breakthrough, but it does not cause an oily feel either. I am very pleased with the product. My only concern is the burning sensation I feel for about 10 minutes after I apply it.

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Reviewed by
Anonymous
04.22.2013
Disappointing

After trying and discarding Paula's Shinestopper, because it didn't live up to its hype, I was hoping Skin Balancing Ultra Sheer Defense would be an effective mattifier. It is not. It does not mattify oily skin. I generally like Paula's Choice products but find them ineffective in reducing oily sheen. Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer (a Beautypedia recommendation) works for me.

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Reviewed by
JEANNE F.
04.21.2013
Thin, runny, & not matte

I was overjoyed to see Paula coming out with an SPF 30 for oily skin. It turned out it ran over my fingers like a really obnoxious Neutrogena sunscreen I tried a couple summers ago. Once I got it on my face, the shine showed through after only about 4 hours. The only way to make this stuff behave is to cover it with Shine Stopper. I wish I could find one product to do the work of both! The closest-to-matte sunscreen from PC is actually the hand cream.

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Reviewed by
JUDITH B.
04.20.2013
Perfection.

I have super oily skin that's sensitive; my expectations for this product were low (the SPF 15 version that this replaced was a disaster for my skin, leaving it extra oily). This is -- I've seriously tried everything Paula has ever recommended for oily skin! -- not only the best sunscreen I've ever tried, but pretty much perfect. No, the finish is not dead matte; how could it be with the sunscreen actives? "Fresh matte," is true...and it stays that way. This is a game-changer for oily skin.

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Reviewed by
DUSTIN R.
04.17.2013
Not Matte

This product does not leave a matte finish. It also made my skin burn for about an hour, something I've not had with other moisturizers like Murad or Philosophy. Even though those are supposedly full of irritating ingredients. It was shiny for about 10 minutes after applying. Once it dried down it was more dewy than matte and by mid morning I had to blot my forehead, something I never have to do with better mattifying moisturizers.

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Reviewed by
Amy H.
04.17.2013
Beautypedia Team Response
Thank you for your review, and it is unfortunate this wasn't a fit for you! The truth is no skin-care product, no matter how well formulated, will work for everyone. However, we can ensure that you don't feel stuck with a product that didn't meet your needs. Please contact our Customer Care Department and they will be happy to help with a credit or exchange.
—Admin
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