This daytime moisturizer with sunscreen is another outstanding product from the Topix Replenix line—a brand whose SPF products consistently impress us.
The "Physical" in Sheer Physical Sunscreen Cream SPF 50 refers to its active ingredient zinc oxide, a mineral that shields skin much like a blanket would, hence the term "physical." In contrast, sunscreen actives such as avobenzone are often labeled "chemical" sunscreens because the manner in which they work involves a chemical reaction. However, physical sunscreens (titanium dioxide is the other one) are chemicals, too, so don't construe that such SPF products are "chemical-free" because that's not the case. Everything around us is composed of chemicals; "chemicals" is not a bad word!
Name aside, this fragrance-free sunscreen has a creamy -smooth texture best for normal to dry skin. The gentle formula and the choice of zinc oxide as the sole active ingredient also makes this a winning option for those with sensitive or rosacea-affected skin.
Worth noting is that the amount of zinc oxide (which in this case does not leave a telltale white cast) lends a matte finish, yet this product remains slightly moist on skin, something those with oily skin may find too heavy. Contrary to claim, you will be aware you have this on; it's not that light!
As with all of the Replenix SPF products we rated highly, this contains a very good mix of antioxidants with lots of research behind their use in products like this. Such ingredients are important additions to a sunscreen because they enhance its effectiveness while helping to defend skin against free radicals, which are generated every time skin is exposed to UV light.
Note: Because this product is regulated in the United States as an over-the-counter drug, its inactive ingredients are listed in alphabetical order rather than in descending order of content. Although this is allowable, we have far more respect for companies that choose instead to list their non-active sunscreen ingredients in descending order of concentration, so you know more about what you are putting on your face, just like with any other skin-care or makeup product.
- Provides broad-spectrum sun protection.
- Contains several tried-and-true antioxidants.
- Cosmetically elegant, wonderfully silky texture is easy to apply and wears well under makeup.
- The zinc oxide does not leave a telltale white cast.
- The ingredient label is in alphabetical order instead of descending order of concentration, so you can't tell how much of any ingredient, whether it's good or bad, you are actually putting on your face.