Face Sunscreens to Approach with Caution

DISCLAIMER: At the time this blog post was written, Paula’s Choice was owned by TA Associates, a private equity firm. Unilever, which is not cruelty-free, announced on June 14, 2021, that it would be acquiring Paula’s Choice. Since I do not support cruelty-free companies owned by parent companies that are not cruelty-free, I will no longer purchase or review Paula’s Choice products.  I am not removing this review since I know many of my readers will still want to support Paula’s Choice.

In my previous post, I discussed the importance of wearing sunscreen daily. I also provided a thorough review of my favorite face sunscreen, Australian Gold Botanical SPF 50 Tinted Face Sunscreen Lotion. That is a mineral sunscreen that I would highly recommend!

sunny forest

Even though the Australian Gold sunscreen works very well for me, I became curious about a couple of non-tinted face sunscreens earlier this year. I decided to try them and see if they might be good additions to my skincare collection. These are both highly rated products, but unfortunately they did not work well on my combination skin. 

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The products I will be sharing with you today are the MyChelle Dermaceuticals Sun Shield Liquid SPF 50 Non-Tinted and Paula’s Choice Youth-Extending Daily Hydrating Fluid SPF 50. These are two very different products despite the fact that they are both liquid formulations and both have an SPF of 50.

Since I would not personally recommend either of these products based on my own experiences, my reviews of each will be shorter than what you might expect based on previous review posts.

Please keep in mind that while these products performed poorly on my skin, they work well for many others and may be a good option for you. It is always a good idea to keep an open mind. 🙂

Please note that I am not a skincare professional. I am simply an individual that enjoys learning about and using skincare products. Speak to your dermatologist or esthetician if you have any concerns.

MyChelle Dermaceuticals Sun Shield Liquid SPF 50 Non-Tinted

Product claims directly from MyChelle.com

Non-tinted formula with 100% Zinc Oxide mineral broad-spectrum protection. Blends weightlessly and seamlessly for a smooth, matte finish.

Other product details

  • Price: $24.00
  • Net weight: 1 oz.
  • Cruelty-free
  • Reef-friendly
  • Unscented
  • Not water-resistant
  • 100% mineral sun protection
  • Non-tinted (there are two tinted options: light/medium and medium/dark)
  • Active Ingredients: Zinc Oxide 20.5%
  • Inactive Ingredients: Bentonite, Bisabolol, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Capryloyl Glycerin/Sebacic Acid Copolymer, Caprylyl Glycol, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Oleosomes, Cetearyl Alcohol, Citric Acid, Diheptyl Succinate, Galactoarabinan, Glycerin, Glyceryl Caprylate, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Jojoba Esters, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Seed Oil, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Tocopherol, Water
  • Available at Ulta.com and Amazon.com

My opinions and experiences with MyChelle Dermaceuticals Sun Shield Liquid SPF 50 Non-Tinted

Sun protection/Ingredients. This sunscreen has a lot of good things going for it! The #1 ingredient is zinc oxide, which in my opinion is the best sunscreen ingredient available. There are no other active sunscreen ingredients. Zinc oxide provides broad spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays. The SPF level is 50, and that is excellent! The inactive ingredients list includes ingredients that moisturize, as well as mattify the skin. 

Using the product. After cleansing my face each morning, I apply toner, serums, and moisturizer before applying sunscreen. I usually don’t wait more than a few minutes between my other skincare steps and sunscreen. When I applied this sunscreen on top of those other products the way I normally would, I immediately started having problems. 

Attempt #1: The product was extremely difficult to blend into the skin and leaves a white cast no matter how much time is spent blending. Once I sufficiently blended the sunscreen on my skin, it still looked streaky with a lot of pilling (if you’re not familiar with this term in regards to skincare, it’s the same as pilling on an old sweater…it’s very annoying!). Foundation also balled up when applied on top of the sunscreen.

I wanted to give this product a fair shot, so I tried it a couple of other ways. 

Attempt #2&3: I waited 20 minutes after applying my other skincare products, before I applied the sunscreen. It was much easier to blend in this time, but still had some pilling. It was still quite streaky as well. I applied foundation 30 minutes later and there wasn’t as much pilling this time but some places looked streaky or cakey.

Attempt #4: “For science,” I decided to see what would happen if I applied this sunscreen to freshly washed skin (no other skincare products). This time, the product performed very well. It was easy to blend into the skin and absorbed quickly. There was also no pilling, streaking, or caking! I applied liquid foundation 30 minutes later and it blended seamlessly. 

It is important to note the directions for this product on MyChelle.com: SHAKE WELL BEFORE USE (I did this each time I used the product). For daily use, apply to clean, dry skin and allow to absorb completely before applying makeup (I allowed plenty of time for absorption with every attempt but the first). 

Since many of us include more products in our skincare routine than just face wash and sunscreen, I don’t think it’s fair for MyChelle to expect its customers to only apply this product to completely bare skin. You also shouldn’t have to wait 30+ minutes before applying makeup. That is just my opinion, but I know most of us don’t have that kind of time to wait between steps.


After testing this sunscreen every way I could think of, I determined that this product is simply a dud for me. I ended up returning it to Ulta.

I had very high expectations for this product, given the many great reviews, quality ingredients, and high price tag ($24.00/oz. YIKES!). I was very disappointed that I could not make it work for my skin. 

It is very possible that the tinted versions work better than the non-tinted one, as most of the reviews I saw were for the light/medium shade. However, both of the tinted versions of this product are too dark for me. 

I hope that MyChelle will improve this formula and consider adding a “fair/light” shade to the range to be more inclusive for all. Most non-tinted sunscreens leave a white cast, but on the face it is very off-putting. I think it might be better if they remove the non-tinted option entirely.

Paula’s Choice Youth-Extending Daily Hydrating Fluid SPF 50

Product claims directly from PaulasChoice.com

An innovative water-light formula that contains a vital selection of antioxidants and broad-spectrum sun protection to fight visible signs of aging and prevent premature aging of skin.

  • Promotes a healthier, younger-looking appearance
  • Fights against environmental stressors
  • Fluid formula leaves a matte finish

Other product details

  • Price: $33.00
  • Net weight: 2 oz.
  • Made in the USA
  • Cruelty-free
  • Unscented
  • Not water-resistant
  • 100% chemical sun protection
  • Non-tinted
  • Part of the brand’s Resist line of anti-aging products
  • For normal, oily, and combination skin types
  • Active Ingredients: Avobenzone 2.0%, Octinoxate 7.50%, Octisalate 5.0%, Octocrylene 2.0%
  • Other Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Glycerin (hydration/skin replenishing), Silica (absorbent agent), Dimethicone (hydration), Tocopherol (vitamin E/antioxidant), Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract (Matricaria), Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract (antioxidants), Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract (antioxidants), Camellia Oleifera (Green Tea) Leaf Extract(antioxidants), Peucedanum Graveolens (Dill) Extract (antioxidants), Sambucus Nigra (Black Elderberry) Fruit Extract (antioxidants), Avena Sativa (Oat) Bran Extract (skin-soothing), Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract(antioxidants), Lycium Barbarum (Goji) Fruit Extract(antioxidants), Hydrogenated Lecithin (skin-restoring), Titanium Dioxide (texture-enhancing/texture-enhancing), Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer (hydration), Diethylhexyl Syringylidenemalonate (hydration), Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer (film-forming/suspending agent), Xanthan Gum (texture-enhancers), Sodium Carbomer (texture-enhancers), Benzyl Alcohol (preservative), Sodium Benzoate (stabilizer), Potassium Sorbate (stabilizer), Phenoxyethanol (preservative)
  • Available at PaulasChoice.com and Amazon.com

My opinions and experiences with Paula’s Choice Youth-Extending Daily Hydrating Fluid SPF 50

Paula’s Choice is a brand that I trust. All of their products are backed by years of thorough research. I have tried at least five of their products in addition to this one and they are high quality. Unfortunately, this Paula’s Choice face sunscreen was a “no-go” for me.

Sun protection/Ingredients. This sunscreen does a great job of protecting skin from the sun. It has an SPF of 50 and is broad spectrum to protect against both UVA and UVB rays. The biggest problem I have with this product is that it is a 100% chemical sunscreen. The active ingredients are Avobenzone 2.0%, Octinoxate 7.50%, Octisalate 5.0%, and Octocrylene 2.0%. 

I am skeptical about the safety of these ingredients. They work by absorbing UV rays instead of reflecting them like mineral sunscreens would. These ingredients are being researched for safety, and I prefer to avoid them until I know they are safe. There are currently claims that chemical sunscreens may cause hormonal disruption or cancer.

Paula’s Choice was kind enough to provide descriptors for many of the ingredients in the inactive ingredients list. There are a lot of beneficial ingredients included. There are many hydrating ingredients and so many antioxidants! Antioxidants are great for preserving skin’s youthfulness.

Using the product. This sunscreen is easy to apply and it sinks in quickly without leaving an unattractive white cast. It also feels very hydrating! My first impression based on these things was “wow, this is a great sunscreen!”

As I blended the product around my eye area, however, I noticed that my eyes felt irritated. I thought that feeling would probably fade, but it doesn’t. I believe this eye irritation is due to the chemical sunscreen ingredients (the active ingredients that provide UV protection). This is a pretty big issue for me because I want to make sure my whole face is protected, but not at the cost of irritating my eyes.

Foundation blends very easily on top of this Paula’s Choice sunscreen. It looks flawless from a distance, but I always find that it does not look so good up-close! It appears flaky, kind of like “skin dandruff.” Those little pieces can be carefully brushed away, but you risk disturbing the foundation. This is an inconvenience that completely turns me off to this product.


I tested this sunscreen for several days and decided that it is another flop for me, in the face sunscreen category. I am not returning this one, however. I have been keeping it in my purse to use on my hands in the car (on the rare occasions that I remember I have it).

Just like with the MyChelle sunscreen, I had very high expectations for this one from Paula’s Choice. It has an impressive list of (inactive) ingredients and the Paula’s Choice name behind it. I also thought that for $33.00 ($16.50/oz.) it should be pretty good!

Paula’s Choice Youth-Extending Daily Hydrating Fluid SPF 50 is not a good product for my skin, but it has received many fantastic reviews from others. I look forward to trying more of their products to find out what works for me and what doesn’t. At some point, I will probably try their Super-Light Wrinkle Defense SPF 30 which is a tinted mineral sunscreen. It looks like it could be similar to my favorite face sunscreen from Australian Gold!

I love sharing positive product reviews here on IntegriBeauty, so this post was a little bit difficult for me. I hope it was helpful and informative! If nothing else, it might give you more insight into what you want to look for in your next sunscreen.

If you’ve tried either of these face sunscreens from MyChelle or Paula’s Choice, please share your thoughts below!

As always, thank you for reading. 🙂


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2 thoughts on “Face Sunscreens to Approach with Caution

  1. Hi Lauren,
    I just found your site and enjoy it very much!
    I have tried the Paulas Choice Sunscreen. And I used the whole tube – because of the price and the amount one would need to cover the whole face and neck – as an eye cream with spf 😉
    I often have problems with mineral sunscreens around my eyes, they make my eyes watery… but the PC Fluid was the bomb. .
    Greetings from Germany,

    • Hi Carina! I’m so glad you found IntegriBeauty and that you’re enjoying my content! That’s wonderful that the Paula’s Choice sunscreen worked so well for you. I was disappointed that it didn’t work for my skin, but it definitely has great qualities, especially the high level of SPF! Have you tried any other Paula’s Choice products? It’s a great brand with so many reliable products. 🙂


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