Fuck, It Works: A Review of Dermalogica Invisible Physical Defense Sunscreen

I have long been on a mission to find a physical face sunscreen that doesn’t make me look like a ghost. I’ve found one.

It’s Dermalogica Invisible Physical Defense Sunscreen SPF 30. And the name is as long as the price is high, hence the name of this post.

I paid $45 for 1.7 oz of sunblock, and I regret to inform you that it doesn’t leave a white cast at all.

I have been trying to find a mineral sunscreen that does not leave a white cast and have settled for ones that do leave a white cast, but that I convinced myself weren’t that bad. I most recently was using Clinique Mineral Sunscreen Fluid for Face and I thought it was fine. Did my face look paler than it actually is? Sure. But that was just the way it had to be. If I didn’t want to use a chemical sunscreen, but did want to use sunblock daily, then this was just the way it was for my tan self, right? On this very blog two years ago, I had even given into using one where the white cast wasn’t awful, but that made my face really sweaty. Basically, I thought using a mineral sunscreen required some amount of sacrifice.

And I know there are tinted mineral sunscreens out there, too, but those never seemed versatile enough for me. They’d be fine as a tinted moisturizer sort of thing, but I always pictured wearing one to the gym (lol in the before times), wiping my brow on my sleeve, and ending up stained with a bunch of brown stuff. There are plenty of times I don’t want to wear makeup, but do want to wear SPF.

But now I’ve tried Dermalogica. A sunscreen that is so confident in not leaving a white cast that the brand uses photos of the product on actual dark skin to prove its point. (I have seen a few demonstrations of “no white cast” on already white skin on this here internet.) It goes on smoothly. It doesn’t make me sweaty. It smells slightly of lavender. It works well under makeup. IT DOESN’T LEAVE A WHITE CAST.

According to what Dermalogica’s Senior Director of Education told The Zoe Report, “Due to its lipid base and microparticles of zinc oxide, Invisible Physical Defense SPF30 offers great dispersion.” Look, I’m not entirely sure what that means, but apparently, this is why it works. (By the way, the product description says that only “non-nano Zinc Oxide is used,” but you can read some more about what that means here.)

Here are photos to prove my point, but, I mean, one it’s rubbed in there’s really nothing to see. That could be my bare, non-SPF’d arm for all you know. (I promise it isn’t.)

As a comparison, I put on some CeraVe Hydrating Sunscreen, which I bought to try as a body sunscreen and which leaves a pretty intense white cast. (To be fair, it doesn’t claim not to.)

Now, to be clear, I haven’t worn the Dermalogica to spend several hours at the beach on a bright day, so this is not a review of its longevity or effectiveness when spending time under the hot sun. For now, I am just thrilled about having a sunscreen to wear daily. I now want to wear sunscreen everyday, which means that we shall soon see how long 1.7 oz of $45 sunscreen lasts. ‘Cause, fuck, this one actually does what it says.

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