Cetaphil UVA/UVB Defense SPF 50 Sunscreen


Galderma announced in February a new SPF 50 Facial Sunscreen called Cetaphil UVA/UVB Defense SPF 50. Actually Galderma is not promoting this product as a sunscreen, but as a facial moisturizer.

Said to be non-greasy and hydrating, the UVA/UVB Defense SPF 50 contains 4 chemical filters as well as micronized titanium dioxide to offer a very high sun protection factor of 50. Thus the Defense 50 contains both chemical and physical sun protecting factors.

The Cetaphil range of moisturizers and cleansers are reasonably well tolerated and liked by rosacea sufferers. My daily regime still includes the Gentle Skin Cleanser and Moisturizing Lotion.

Although some rosacea sufferers may not be able to tolerate the chemical sunscreens in this product, it is good news for those who can because the Cetaphil range of products are easily available and generally quite affordable.

The web site for the Cetaphil UVA/UVB Defense SPF 50 lists the following components

Active Ingredients: Octinoxate 7.5%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 7%, Oxybenzone 6%, Titanium Dioxide 5.7%

Inactive Ingredients: Water, Propylene Glycol, Glycerin, Dimethicone, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Cyclohexasiloxane, Stearic Acid, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Aluminum Hydroxide, Dimethiconol, Disodium EDTA, Tocopherol, Cyclopen-tasiloxane, Triethanolamine, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylparaben, Chlorphenesin, Cetyl Alcohol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Methylparaben, Xanthan Gum

What do YOU think ?

This product doesn’t appear to have been used by many rosacea sufferers to date.

The Cetaphil UVA/UVB Defense SPF50 reviews at amazon.com do suggest that users are liking the high sun protection offered, as well as the product being quite moisturizing and easy to apply.

If rosacea sufferers can get past the 4 chemical sunscreens in this product then it may well become a good choice for when you need super sun protection.

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About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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7 Reader Comments

  1. Auburn says:

    Hi David,

    A while ago, I bought a 2-pack Cetaphil cleanser which came with a 1.7 oz/50 ml sample of this moisturizer. I had forgotten about it until I saw this post, last night.

    This morning I used it after cleansing. It does go on very smoothly but it feels rather greasy, a tad much, actually, and leaves the skin quite shiny and somehow tacky. This may present a problem for those who need to apply makeup right away.

    It’s been about two hours now since I put it on and my skin feels very soft (though still slightly tacky below the jaw line) and I’m pale but still a bit shiny, particularly in the oily areas of my face.

    I’m used to applying virgin coconut oil after cleansing, which goes on very smoothly and doesn’t leave my skin shiny or with that tacky feeling I dislike so much. CeraVe and SkinMilk also leave my skin soft and pleasingly matte :).

    The good news is that this Cetaphil product didn’t make my skin red on contact like jojoba oil and the Aveeno Ultra-calming moisturizer do.

    I will continue to use it for a few more days and report back.

    Now on to read those Amazon reviews.

  2. Thanks as always for your comments Auburn, so kind of you share so much of your experiences.

    I imagine this product won’t be available in Australia for quite some time, so I won’t be able to try it. I like the idea of SPF50, especially in a place like Perth.


  3. Auburn says:

    My pleasure, David. 🙂

    I said I’d report back, so here are my thoughts:

    I agree with many of the Amazon reviewers in that this is a good, long lasting, moisturizer that protects the skin from the sun rather well, absorbs quickly and does not irritate sensitive skin. Unfortunately, as many noted, this product is not “fragrance free” as advertised (it smells just like any other sunblock), it leaves the skin shiny all day and, as I mentioned earlier, feeling tacky for quite a while after application.

    Dark complected reviewers didn’t like the “white cast” the product left on their skin. However, being fair skinned, I see this as a plus because it hides diffuse pinkness, making my face look quite pale. 🙂

    So, for me, after three days of using this product as a moisturizer twice daily after cleansing, the big cons are the sunscreen scent, tacky feeling and glossy look so I went back to my regular skincare products.

    Incidentally, the little “sample” (1.7 oz/50 ml) of Cetaphil UVA/UVB Defense SPF 50 I got with the Cetaphil cleanser pack turns out to be the regular size, which around here sells for just under $15. Although a small dab will cover your face nicely, I think it’s rather expensive as a sunscreen for the whole body.

  4. jason says:

    Titanium oxide is good, but not sure about the rest. As we found with our own little experiment, high SPF values and labels claiming “UVA/UVB” coverage don’t mean a whole lot.

  5. Hazell says:

    Hi I am still looking for a sunscreen but have tried several which are not good with my skin, I also cant use fragrance, lanolin, nickel, allergy to all 3. Plus I have seborreic derm also rosacea with papules so I am still looking but feeling fed up as not even my treatment is working. I do use cetaphil gentle wash, cetaphil moisure cream find these are ok but will avoid there sunscreen if it has fragrance.

  6. golden says:

    Hi, i am interested to buy this product but is it safe to have Oxybenzone as one of the active ingredients?

  7. Alexis g says:

    I have papsule rosacea, eczema and malasma. I MUST wear sunscreen I tried this sunscreen and it’s just ok to me. I usually use Neutrogena Spf 100. Getting back to cetaphil, it is greasy but they all are. I just think sunscreen is so important. Just another dilemma when dealing with multiple skin issues . In the end, everyone needs to wear sunscreen.

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