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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
  • Blackheads, Enlarged Pores
  • 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

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Skin Balancing Ultra-Sheer Daily Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 30

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Customer Ratings:

78 out of 100
(Based on 206 Reviews)
Page of 9 Next »
  1. sk
    Reviewed on Wednesday, May 27, 2015
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    dryness/stinging
    • For some reason this cream causes my skin to dry out, and it stings. For that reason it doesn't moisturise well, I don't have very sensitive skin so that was a surprise to me. Will be trying the hydralight one and see how that goes.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Thursday, May 28, 2015

    Hello, and thank you for sharing your experience with us - we're sorry to hear this didn't work as expected for you! Please contact a member of our Customer Care team, who can assist you with a possible exchange or refund.

    —Paula's Choice Research Team
  2. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Tuesday, May 26, 2015
    20 out of 100
    • Rating
      Worst / 4
    burn+tight
    • It dries my skin and tightens. Also, my skin feels like it's burning. Terrible, so disappointated.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Wednesday, May 27, 2015

    Hello, and thank you for sharing your experience with us - we're sorry to hear this didn't work as expected for you! Please contact a member of our Customer Care team, who can assist you with a possible exchange or refund.

    —Paula's Choice Research Team
  3. Teghan B.
    Reviewed on Wednesday, April 15, 2015
    20 out of 100
    • Rating
      Worst / 4
    Leaves skin feeling tight, dry sheen
    • I wanted to like this as I ordered the full skin balancing kit, but was disappointed. It left my skin feeling very tight and dry, so uncomfortable. The finish isn't greasy, it dries a bit too much actually, but still manages to have a high sheen that showed even under my foundation. The whole point of the kit is to help balance so people with oily skin don't have the high sheen issue! This one was a miss for me.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Wednesday, April 15, 2015

    Hello, and thanks for sharing your experience with us - we're sorry to hear this didn't work as expected for you! Please contact a member of our Customer Care team for information on a possible exchange or refund.

    —Paula's Choice Research Team
  4. Natalie C.
    Reviewed on Sunday, April 05, 2015
    20 out of 100
    • Rating
      Worst / 4
    Stings
    • This product stings my face. The more I used it, the more it stung, until day 3 when I just couldn't take it anymore. I'm guessing it's the sunscreen products, because I have noticed that different sunscreens sting my face. I'll be maybe looking for a moisturizer with physical, instead of chemical, sunscreen ingredients.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Monday, April 06, 2015

    Hello, and thank you for sharing your experience with us - we're sorry to hear this didn't work as expected for you! Please contact a member of our Customer Care team for information on a possible exchange or refund, and also for recommendations on a mineral sunscreen that might work for you!

    —Paula's Choice Research Team
  5. Ruby
    Reviewed on Saturday, March 28, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Best SPF moisturizer I've used
    • This product exceeded my expectations. It leaves such a soft and lovely finish.

  6. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Sunday, March 15, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    More Matte than Any Other
    • Hurray! This is way more mattifying than the "Resist Daily Mattifying Fluid SPF 50." So it does not have "matte" in the name but does the job way better for my oily T-zone. I have tried at least a bottle of all of Paula's SPF lotions for combo skin, both newer and older, both avobenzone and mineral based, and this one is a winner for me. Also, I find that it stings less than the Resist Mattifying Fluid. Thank you!

  7. Iris T.
    Reviewed on Thursday, March 12, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Love This Product
    • This is a great product. Doesn't leave a white cast and blends easily over my moisturizer. You don't need much, as seems to be the case for all of Paula's products. so it's long lasting. It's very light feeling on the skin. Thanks Paula!

  8. Meredith
    Reviewed on Sunday, March 08, 2015
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    Nice
    • I tried three PC moisturizer samples. I liked this one, but it still left me a little shiny at the end of the day, but not as bad as the Resist SPF 50 one. Again, it has a runny texture but it absorbs well. It also didn't dry out my face as much as the Resist SPF 30. I have sensitive skin and did not have any problems with it stinging my face or eyes. However, I wonder how this will do during summer, high humidity days.

  9. Kyle H.
    Reviewed on Friday, March 06, 2015
    20 out of 100
    • Rating
      Worst / 4
    Extremely irritating
    • I really wanted to love this product, I was in desperate need of a moisturizer with SPF that wasn't totally greasy, and this stuff does have a great texture, soaks in nicely and doesn't leave too much of a white cast, unfortunately for me almost immediately after I apply it my entire face feels like it's burning almost as if it's on fire, I really don't have sensitive skin so I'm guessing I have an allergy to one of the ingredients.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Monday, March 09, 2015

    Hello, and thank you for sharing your experience with us - we're sorry to hear this didn't work as expected for you! Please contact a member of our Customer Care team, who can assist you with a possible exchange or refund.

    —Paula's Choice Research Team
  10. yooyoung j.
    Reviewed on Monday, February 23, 2015
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    review after using all
    • It was really perfect for oily t-zone skin. I felt my pores were tightened and it made my foundation applied well and even. The texture is like water. The skin tone became natural not white. BUT!!!! irritating!! ?? I'm not sensitive type but irritating!!!! I couldn't use it around my eyes. Everytime I applied it all over my face, I had to wash up my face. So I have used it only for my forehead and nose.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Monday, February 23, 2015

    Hello, and thank you for sharing your experience with us - we're sorry to hear this didn't work as expected for you! Please contact a member of our Customer Care team, who can assist you with a possible exchange or refund.

    —Paula's Choice Research Team
  11. corinna b.
    Reviewed on Monday, February 16, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Great Stuff
    • This is the second moisturizer I've ordered from PC. The first time, I got the SPF 30 "Skin Recovery" one. I loved it, but it was heavy and made my face greasy at the end of the day. This one was the most affordable on the site, so I tried it next. It's great! Same SPF, but no white cast, and NO greasiness. It's so light that I use another basic moisturizer underneath to add a little moisture. It's liquidy, so you have to be careful dispensing it. No smell. Smooth application. Wonderful product.

  12. bimbola p.
    Reviewed on Monday, February 09, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Finally
    • I think I've finally found my sunscreen. I have oily, acne and blemish prone dark skin so it's been a struggle finding the perfect sunscreen. I have a cabinet full of bottles I can now toss or just use on my body instead. Most leave a white cast and even the oil free ones still leave an oil slick so I can't wear make up. This dries matte, is sheer and I can wear my make up immediately afterwards. In fact on day 1, i found myself constantly touching my face to be sure I wasn't imagining it.

  13. Mena M
    Reviewed on Monday, February 02, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Love it!
    • Skin type: combination/oily Skin tone: olive I have searched for years for something that would give me the protection I need without containing dimethicone, which breaks me out something fierce. When I opened the sample I was surprised at the liquid consistency, but I have to say I've grown used to it...in fact, I like it. It does look a bit chalky on the skin, but with a little rubbing it dries into a clear matte finish that keeps my face shine-free for 8 hours. Two weeks, no zits!

  14. Victoria J
    Reviewed on Sunday, January 25, 2015
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    Stings :(
    • I love the texture of this and how it makes my skin look.....moisturized but not greasy at all however it stings around my nose and mouth so I have to find something new.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Monday, January 26, 2015

    Hello, and thank you sharing your experience with us - we're sorry to hear this didn't work as expecteced for you! Please contact a member of our Customer Care team, who can assist you with a possible exchange or refund.

    —Paula's Choice Research Team
  15. Erin S.
    Reviewed on Saturday, January 24, 2015
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Pretty Good.
    • I really like this moisturizer for everyday use. It's not too heavy on my oily skin and provides just the right amount of moisture. My only complaint is that it worked better around my eyes. Whenever I have tried it around my eyes, my skin feels irritated and uncomfortable.

  16. amanda z.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, January 13, 2015
    20 out of 100
    • Rating
      Worst / 4
    irritating
    • This makes my skin look amazing; I have oily skin and this is the most beautiful spf I've used. Sadly, its unbelievably irritating, it stings my entire face and CAUTION: don't put near your eyes!!! I tried it two more times, just too painful I've read this from other reviewers, and don't consider my skin to be really sensitive, so I tried it. What a shame, I would have given it five stars and bought it if it weren't for the stinging. Though I don't mind the cucumber smell.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Wednesday, January 14, 2015

    Hello, and thank you for sharing your comments with us - we're sorry to hear this didn't work as expected for you! Please contact a member of our Customer Care team, who can assist you with a possible exchange or refund.

    —Paula's Choice Research Team
  17. Sarah
    Reviewed on Tuesday, December 30, 2014
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    The first PC Product I Ever Bought
    • This is the first PC product I ever purchased and at the time I really liked it. It didn't break out my acne-prone skin and was a decent moisturizer. Then I tried the Resist Super Light Wrinkle Defense SPF 30 and LOVED it. I made the switch but received a sample the other day of this one and it made me remember why I switched. Its a great product but felt heavier and the pronounced smell of SPF made me feel like I was at the beach. If you need to save a few bucks this is a great product though.

  18. Paul
    Reviewed on Thursday, December 25, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Primary sunscreen~
    • Best sunscreen I have used. I do not have issues with chemical sunscreens so this one is perfect for me. It takes a few minutes for the SS to absorb into the skin, but once it settles in you cannot even notice it. Also, it is moisturizing enough to feel comfortable on my skin. I did not break out from the SS and did not experience much, if any, sting from its application. It doesn't help with my oily skin, however. Only accutane would I'd imagine.

  19. Angel, Y
    Reviewed on Wednesday, December 24, 2014
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    Great matte finish; stings and burns
    • Lightweight, absorbs quickly, awesome matte finish. Only downside is that it burns/stings my entire face especially around the eye area and apples of the cheeks.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Monday, December 29, 2014

    Hello, and thanks for contacting us - we're sorry to hear this didn't work as expected for you! Please contact a member of our Customer Care team for information about a possible exchange or refund.

    —Paula's Choice Research Team
  20. sara b.
    Reviewed on Thursday, December 11, 2014
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    water light
    • I love how light this is, and how fast it absorbs... the only thing is, I feel like this product turns my face yellow? Is that even possible? It doesn't last, it's only temporary. I would still recommend this, and I will repurchase.

  21. Sarah H.
    Reviewed on Wednesday, December 10, 2014
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    Non-shiny but stings eye area
    • Nice matte finish, but not enough moisture for my combination skin and stings and caused a rash on my eyelids

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Wednesday, December 10, 2014

    Hello, and thanks for your comments - we're sorry to hear this didn't work as expected for you! Please contact a member of our Customer Care team, who can provide information about a possible exchange or refund.

    —Paula's Choice Research Team
  22. Siouxi V.
    Reviewed on Saturday, November 22, 2014
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    It Burns
    • I can only use this mixed in other products, because on its own in stings like hell. It also makes my face feel tight and oily all at once. When will i ever find SPF that my skin agrees with???

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Monday, November 24, 2014

    Hello, and thanks for the feedback - we're sorry to hear this didn't work as expected for you! Please contact a member of our Customer Care team for information about a possible exchange or refund.

    —Paula's Choice Research Team
  23. Dustin P.
    Reviewed on Wednesday, November 12, 2014
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    so far so good
    • Im on day 2 of using this I like it, but I feel the consistency should be housed in better packaging. Kinda made my face itch, but most chemical sun scree s do that to me. I like that I dont need a separate moisturizer.

  24. M. J.
    Reviewed on Friday, November 07, 2014
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Still better than anything else I've tried
    • I used the SPF 15 for years and was really hesitant to order the SPF 30. The new formula is still matte on my skin and doesn't seem to make me break out, but it stings now, especially around the eyes and on the cheeks. I wish the 15 were still available, I don't feel that my lifestyle requires 30 on a daily basis.

  25. CAROLINE S.
    Reviewed on Friday, October 31, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Terrific/Lot of chemicals?
    • I'm giving this product 5 stars because like almost every other Paula product I use it is truly exceptional. However, I was disappointed to see the #15 spf version discontinued a while back. In recent years Paula seems to be on an intense ingredient bandwagon, pumping up her products with all kinds of chemicals, especially anti-aging this and that. Back in the day Paula valued simplicity, and strongly criticized hocus-pocus potions. Still a believer, but miss the more down to earth philosophy.

Page of 9 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.

Expiration Date 2/2016

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: Use as the last step in your morning skincare routine. Apply liberally to face, eye area, and neck 15 minutes before sun exposure. Use a water-resistant sunscreen if swimming or sweating. Reapply at least every 2 hours if skin is exposed to sun.

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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