Sunscreen for the face: expensive and not always reliable

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Written By Kampretz Bianca

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Almost no part of the body receives as much sun as the face. This is where the skin is particularly thin and sensitive. Facial sunscreens promise to protect you from harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation. But not all products are reliable, as demonstrated by a joint test carried out by consumer protection organizations from several countries – including Association for Consumer Information (VKI) from Austria.

Various recommended creams available from us

Of the 13 creams tested, only seven performed well. Five did not meet the advertised sun protection factor of 50 or 50+. Most of the tested products are also available in Germany and can be ordered online. They only come from expensive brands that are sold internationally. Cheap retail brands were not selected.

Compared to body lotions, face creams are very expensive: 50 milliliters cost around 14 to 24 euros in the test. Good for the body There are pushes from 1 euro for the same value.

You can trust these seven

Who is ahead? In the test, seven were impressive due to their reliable sun protection factor, application and labeling (prices depending on supplier):

  • Avène Fragrance-free cream 50+ invisible finish (23.90 euros for 50 ml)
  • Bioderma Photoderm aqufluid spf 50+ (22.50 euros for 50 ml)
  • Derma Face 50 sun lotion (price according to online research: around 16 euros for 50 ml)
  • Eucerin Hydro Protect Ultralight Facial Sun Fluid SPF 50+ (22.95 euros for 50 ml)
  • La Roche Posay Anthelios uvmune 400 50+ (22.90 euros for 50 ml)
  • Nivea Sun Triple Protect ultralight fluid 50+ (13.99 euros for 50 ml)
  • Nuxe Sun delicately melting, high-protection sun cream SPF 50 (25.90 euros per 50 ml)

The Caudalie Viosun Protect 50+ facial sunscreen received good marks for compliance with sun protection and application, but according to VKI it did not have a satisfactory statement.

Five failed

Five products did not meet expectations: four of them did not provide the claimed protection against short-wave UVB rays and one product did not provide protection against longer-wave UVA rays. UVA rays penetrate deeper into the skin and promote premature aging with wrinkles, folds and yellowing. UVB rays can cause sunburn. In the long term, both types of radiation can cause skin cancer. You can find out which products are affected by contacting us Partner organization VKI.

Plasticizers were not yet the focus

It was not investigated whether the products contained plasticizers. Since the beginning of 2024, it has been suspected that sunscreen may contain substances that are harmful and critical to health. We explain the history in our FAQ Sunscreen suspected of being harmful – what’s wrong with it?

Less liquid than conventional products

Sunscreens for the face are based on the same sun protection filters as body creams. Compared to these, according to VKI, they contain more moisturizing active ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid, and antioxidants, such as vitamins E and C. According to the Austrian testers, the creams tend to be formulated in such a way that they are less liquid and do not fall into the eyes. so easily.

Suppliers advertise that the creams are absorbed particularly quickly, are non-greasy, non-sticky and leave no residue on the skin. During the application test with 30 people tested, they confirmed that the products do not stick and are easy to spread.

Tip: You can find good products for the whole body in our Test of 20 sunscreens.

Ideal face protection: Should be half a teaspoon

  • Apply the products generously to your face. Take at least half a teaspoon for your face and half a teaspoon if you want to protect your neck and back of the head.
  • When using To invent First apply sunscreen and then makeup.
  • Reapply regularly – if you sweat and swim a lot, you will need to reapply more frequently.
  • Children can also use facial products, explains VKI. If you are looking for conventional sunscreen for children, you will find many recommendations in our test.
  • If the cream gets into your eyes, rinse with cold water.

UV protection: the test method is consistent with our

We also use the method that partner organizations use to verify the UVA and UVB protection of products Sunscreen Studies. It is the HDRS method (Hybrid Diffuse Reflectance Spectroscopy), in which a laboratory test is combined with a test on volunteer guinea pigs. If there are discrepancies between the claimed protection and laboratory results, testing is carried out using ISO methods.

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