Skin Balancing Ultra-Sheer Daily Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 30

Let the sun be the only thing that shines. This oil-free moisturizer with SPF 30 is a multi-tasker. Controls oil. Improves skin tone.
Item #: 156
  • Acne Breakouts, Anti-Aging, Blackheads, Brown Spots, Enlarged Pores, Wrinkles
  • Combination, Oily Skin
  • Dries to a smooth matte finish
  • Antioxidants and cell-communicating ingredients make skin look and act younger
  • Protects skin from signs of aging like brown spots and wrinkles

Expiration Date 2/2016

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Customer Ratings:

81 out of 100
(Based on 171 Reviews)
« Prev Page of 7 Next »
  1. kylie b.
    Reviewed on Thursday, April 17, 2014
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    Stings my skin
    • I have been using the hydralight products and out of curiosity I thought I'd give some samples of this line a try. The skin balancing ultra sheer daily defence SPF30 has a runny consistency and goes in easy. It would be great for oily skin that is not sensitive to any products. However this made my skin burn which lasted for more than 5 mins after applying. I will be sticking to the hydralight daily moisturiser or trying the resist option.

  2. Gabrielle G.
    Reviewed on Monday, April 14, 2014
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Good SPF for oily skin
    • It took a while for me to get the hang of using this product. I've found that it has to set completely before applying makeup, else the makeup adheres to the product and breaks down as it sets to a powder finish. On dry skin days, I use a serum to supplement it. The SPF is effective, and the balancing part of this formula helps keep it on an oily face. Just don't get it near the eyes or lashes: it burns like heck.

  3. Yanti
    Reviewed on Friday, April 11, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    My daytime SPF moisturiser
    • Using this SPF moisturizer can be tricky. I did try several trial and error before I finally found the best method :) in the morning, i'll wash my face with Clear cleanser, use Skin Balancing toner and then put moderate amount of this on top. I rarely wear powder, foundation or make up. However, this SPF moisturizer keeps my skin radiant and flawless the whole day. My skin is no longer seen as oily but dewy. I love it and dont dare to change anything in my routine. All is now perfect for my skin

  4. DEBORAH
    Reviewed on Wednesday, April 09, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Absolute favorite
    • Having tried them all over the past 15 years, Paula's sunscreens work well for me. This is my favorite for the face. The liquid texture goes on so smoothly that no areas are missed during a very easy application. It soaks in immediately vs running into my eyes (creating tears and other sensitivities). The finish is truly spectacular: soft w/ no shine, not overly moisturizing (at 51), and works well under anything. Prep w/ cleanser, toner, exfoliant & serums and may you get great mileage.

  5. Emilio S.
    Reviewed on Monday, March 31, 2014
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Bitter Sweet
    • I'm 22 years old, male, and have been diagnosed with severe cystic acne. I have combo skin leaning more towards normal than oily. This does NOT aggravate my acne whatsoever. In fact, I find it hard to believe that it causes acne on some people. To my understanding, acne prone skin is under high oxidative stress and this product has lots of antioxidants, green tea being one and really good for acne prone skin according to some studies. My only con is that this leaves my skin abnormally shiny.

  6. AL
    Reviewed on Tuesday, March 25, 2014
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Awesome Sunscreen
    • This is a wonderful, light sunscreen which you can wear anytime. I have often put it on my face after a work out where I am still sweating and it has stayed on. It is easily absorbed by the skin with a nice matte finish. There haven't been break outs either. I do wish it came in a larger bottle and would like it to be cheaper.

  7. SS
    Reviewed on Sunday, March 23, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Best sunscreen ever
    • This is the best facial sunscreen I have ever used. Period. I've tried all kinds of super expensive ones and this one agrees the most with my combination skin. It does not leave my face shiny like most other sunscreens and I do not have the sensitivity issues that others have mentioned despite my daily use of Paula's 2% BHA liquid. It does not cause breakouts like most other sunscreens that I use which allows me to apply it liberally, as one should for maximal sun protection.

  8. Chris S
    Reviewed on Friday, March 21, 2014
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    Ok, but stings around the eyes
    • I bought 3 samples, the hydralight, resist for oily and this, and liked this best when I tried it. The first day was good, but then I started getting stinging around my eyes, and I would really love to be able to use it on my lids, as they could get burnt/sun damaged. Also, not liking the smell now that it has been opened for a week. Would get Hydralight next time.

  9. Alexa E.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, March 18, 2014
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    Tips on how to reduce stinging
    • Ok, I was very disappointed at first because it's far from being as wonderful as SPF 15 version - mostly because of runny texture and skin irritation/stinging. I almost gave up on it but recently figured out how to make it work. I have a combo skin, so in the morning I wash my face and first apply a light moisturizer w/o sunscreen (such as HydraLight Moisture-Infusing Lotion), wait for about 15-20 min and then apply this Skin Balancing Ultra-Sheer Daily Defense. Result: almost 0 stinging.

  10. Kelly
    Reviewed on Wednesday, March 12, 2014
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    another will be better
    • Ordered both the Skin Balancing and Hydralight sample kits. I found this Skin Balancing day moisturizer to be too runny/thin and not enough moisture for my combo skin in a very dry, winter climate. At least it didn't cause a breakout, which I appreciate. The Hydralight day moisturizer was a bit better, but I decided to go with the Resist super-light wrinkle defence, and hopefully that will work.

  11. Patsy W.
    Reviewed on Saturday, February 22, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Love this!!!!
    • I was using the SB Ultra Sheer Daily Defense and it made my skin dry. I have extreme combination (acne, blemishes, dry, oily, flaky, sensitive). I Called customer service and they sent me samples of this product let me tell you it felt so good on my skin!!!!! My skin is so soft moist and smooth. Wow for daily use.

  12. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Sunday, February 02, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Excellent Sunscreen
    • Please don't change this sunscreen. It's perfect. It feels like nothing on the skin. Unless my skin has really dry patches, in which case it does sting for a few seconds (that's expected with the active sunscreen ingredients). Yes, it's not moisturizing, but I don't want moisture for my combo skin. I can put on a moisturizer where I need it before the sunscreen. My pores are pumping out more oil than necessary and I'm prone to cystic breakouts. I can't live without this sunscreen.

  13. CHRISTINA S.
    Reviewed on Friday, January 31, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    also a make-up primer!
    • I love this product. It's true, it is thin, but that is the point. It applies sheer, not thick and greasy. I think the Silica ingredient leaves my skin primed and ready for make-up...better than any other product.

  14. Kali, A
    Reviewed on Monday, January 13, 2014
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    overall improvement
    • I agree with others that the new formula has a runny, sometimes gritty texture initially. However, for my oily skin that is prone to acne breakouts, the new formula definitely seem to matte and control shine far better than the old formula, and I love the way it feels once it's absorbed on the skin. I'm also glad that the spf is now 30 instead of 15. I find that a little goes a long way, especially given the new consistency.

  15. Lois M.
    Reviewed on Thursday, January 02, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    FINALLY!
    • Where has this sunscreen been all my life? It is great for my combination-oily skin and goes straight in. It leaves NO WHITE CAST and serves as a perfect base for my foundation. Another grand slam, Ms. B.

  16. Helen
    Reviewed on Thursday, December 19, 2013
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    Nice and sheer but it stings
    • PC has been a God-send for my combination skin adult acne as it was also hard to find products that took care of anti-aging and acne at the same time (and that wasn't too expensive). I generally do not wear sunscreen because of the usual thicker texture factor and I liked the texture on this one, but just like other reviewers stated... this made my face hot, red, and stings. It works fine for now on the rest of my body but I'm in search of another Paula's Choice SPF that will not sting my face.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Thursday, December 19, 2013

    We're sorry this product didnt' work for you. Sunscreens can be tricky and individual reactions can vary. Please contact us for assistance with selecting an alternative daytime moisturizer.

    —Admin
  17. KIM S.
    Reviewed on Monday, December 09, 2013
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    It's ok
    • Love how well it absorbs, but it is way too runny. I have to be very careful otherwise I can end up with half the bottle in my hand. I will probably switch to something else once I've used this up.

  18. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Tuesday, December 03, 2013
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Love the light texture
    • Finally, I've found a sunscreen that is super light, doesn't make me break out, feels great and absorbs easily. This SPF is absolutely the lightest I've found and sinks right into my skin. It doesn't leave any sort of residue or white cast, which I really appreciate. I do find that I have to use a separate moisturizer (Moisture Boost) as this alone is not enough, but I am thrilled to have found reliable sun protection for my breakout-prone skin.

  19. Amy S.
    Reviewed on Sunday, November 24, 2013
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    don't change a good thing!
    • I loved the moisturizer with 15 spf. Why did you change it? The 30 is far too much sunscreen. It burns my sensitive skin and it's gritty and watery! Go back to the other formula...please!

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Tuesday, November 26, 2013

    Thanks for your feedback! We're sorry the new formula isn't meeting your needs; however, we cannot go back to the previous version, as we've moved away from offering SPF 15 sunscreens.

    —Admin
  20. Kara W.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, November 05, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Finally found my favorite day lotion!
    • So, I have combination skin, very oily in the t-zone but can get dry everywhere else. I have searched for a long time for a lotion that provides the right amount of hydration, doesn't make me shiny throughout the day, and looks great under foundation. This is it! I finally found it! This feels great on the skin, lightweight yet hydrating. Makes my foundation look better than any other lotion and my face does not get shiny later in the day. I love it! For my type of skin, this is the best!

  21. Heather W.
    Reviewed on Sunday, November 03, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    The best!
    • I have used all of Paula's suncreens for oily-combination skin, and the one is by far the best. It is like adding water to your face and there no residue. I love the lightness!

  22. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Thursday, October 31, 2013
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    Not for everyone
    • I don't want to fault this sunscreen for a personal sensitivity I may have, but this product stings my skin terribly. The stinging goes away after a few minutes, but it definitely made me realize that I can not do chemical sunscreens. I only wish that I had not spent the money on such a high quality product to find out. Before you buy this, make sure your skin tolerates chemical sunscreens. I also thought it left a very shiny finish on my skin. I will definitely be trying the Hydralight next.

  23. Cynthia
    Reviewed on Thursday, October 31, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    perfect for warm humid climates, no breakouts!
    • I'm loving the Resist Ultra-Sheer SPF 30, but I had originally purchased this SPF and decided to give it a go. It is so light and invisible, and non-irritating, it has me thinking twice about which one I will choose. This will be the winner, hands down, when summer comes around and the Resist may feel a bit heavy. Paula's CLEAR products have given me skin to show off and I also appreciate how truly sheer this is. I like my fair skin and freckles and this SPF doesn't cover them up.

  24. Rebecca A.
    Reviewed on Thursday, October 31, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    No Breakouts!
    • I was worried about using this because I was seeing such great results with Paula's acne products and didn't want to add a product that might cause breakouts. But my acne has continued to disappear! I actually found that this worked great with the CLEAR line, which was drying to my skin if used too often. Very happy with this product.

  25. Grace
    Reviewed on Wednesday, October 23, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Amazing!
    • Absolutely fantastic for oily skin. Doesn't leave skin feeling greasy and doesn't leave behind a residue on skin. Finally I found a sunscreen that works with my oily oily skin! Thanks PC!

« Prev Page of 7 Next »

What makes this product unique?
Skin Balancing Ultra-Sheer Daily Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 30 is a sheer, very fluid daytime moisturizer that offers multiple anti-aging benefits for combination to oily skin. The silky, thin formula provides broad-spectrum sun protection to prevent and reduce wrinkles and brown spots. 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. Your skin will feel soft and have a fresh matte finish. With daily use, your complexion becomes younger-looking and healthier, and you’ll see discolorations fade. Perfect as the last step in your skincare routine before makeup!

This product contains no added dyes, is 100% fragrance-free, and is clinically proven to be non-irritating.

Who is this product for?
Skin Balancing Ultra-Sheer Daily Defense is a specially formulated anti-aging daytime moisturizer for normal to oily or combination skin. Excellent for those prone to breakouts.

Sources to support the claims made for Skin Balancing Daily Defense SPF 30

Archives of Dermatological Research, March 2010, pages 71–83; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, September 2009, pages 299–304; Skin Research and Technology, August 2009, pages 338–345; Dermatologic Surgery, July 2009, pages 1,057–1,065; Experimental Dermatology, June 2009, pages 522–526; Clinics in Dermatology, November-December 2008, pages 614–626; Skin Therapy Letter, September 2008, pages 5–9; Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, July 2008, pages S7–S12; Food and Chemical Toxicology, April 2008, pages 1,298–1,307; Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Volume 72, pages 796–806; Future Oncology, December 2008, pages 841–856; Journal of Pathology, January 2007, 241–251; International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology, July-September 2005, pages 497-502; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, January 2002, pages 117–125; Clinical Experimental Dermatology, October 2001, pages 573–577; and Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, September 1999, pages 661–665.

Key Ingredients: octocrylene, phospholipid, adenosine , Boerhavia diffusa root extract, silica, Salix alba extract, avobenzone, superoxide dismutase, ascorbyl palmitate, bisabolol, homosalate, Camellia sinensis, Ginkgo biloba leaf extract, tocopherol, colloidal oatmeal, oxybenzone

Product 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).

DIRECTIONS: Apply liberally before sun exposure as the last step in your morning skincare routine. Allow a moment to dry before applying makeup. For extra sun protection and to create a flawless finish, follow with a Paula’s Choice foundation and pressed powder with sunscreen.

Detailed instructions on how/when to apply your Paula's Choice products can be found in our How to Put Together Your Own Skincare Routine article.

Should I reapply Skin Balancing Ultra-Sheer Daily Defense during the day?

As with any SPF-rated product, you'll need to reapply every 2 hours if you've been perspiring or have engaged in activities that may cause the sunscreen to become diluted or wear off, such as going for a swim. For casual, limited sun exposure on a daily basis when you're not perspiring, reapplication isn't necessary. For long days outdoors, most experts recommend reapplying at regular intervals, as well as seeking shade, wearing protective clothing, and limiting your time in direct sunlight during peak hours (typically between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.).

How does Skin Balancing Ultra-Sheer Daily Defense SPF 30 differ from your former Skin Balancing Daily Mattifying Lotion SPF 15?

The major difference is the significant increase in SPF ratings. Skin Balancing Ultra-Sheer Daily Defense also contains a higher amount of avobenzone and no longer contains octinoxate as an active ingredient, as some people find that sensitizing when used around the eyes, and we wanted to avoid that potential issue.

One other difference is that Skin Balancing Daily Mattifying Lotion SPF 15 contained the cell-communicating ingredient niacinamide, whereas the updated Skin Balancing Ultra-Sheer Daily Defense SPF 30 does not. Instead, the current formula contains a different mix of cell-communicating ingredients. Also, the latest version contains a broader range of antioxidants, including stabilized vitamin C and pure vitamin E—both known to boost skin's environmental defenses and help prevent collagen breakdown.

Is Skin Balancing Ultra-Sheer Daily Defense SPF 30 suitable for breakout-prone skin?

Yes. Its lightweight, fluid texture and soft matte finish are ideal for breakout-prone skin. This daytime moisturizer with sunscreen also works beautifully under makeup or applied over any Paula's Choice serum.

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