Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Product Review: Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid Lotion Sunblock

If you are anything like me, you want to protect your skin. But, perhaps you're not a fan of adding yet another layer of product to your face because sunscreen can feel sticky and oily, make you look shiny, and cause breakouts -- at least when applied to the face. 

Often times, the easiest solution to most of these discomforts is to simply buy a sunscreen specifically formulated for the face. They are oil free, which helps eliminate the greasy feeling and resulting breakouts. But they don't always feel light or reduce shine. 

A few months ago, I came across the Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid Lotion sunscreen. I was excited at the prospect of a sunscreen that was oil free but also promised to:
  • Be  ultra-light and weightless on the skin
  • Not cause breakouts
  • Result in a matte finish  on your skin (it actually says this on the back of the bottle)
It also has great SPF coverage and offers broad spectrum protection. I purchased the SPF 55, but it comes in various strengths. 
How could I turn away, especially for the price, $11.99 for 3 oz. Here's a closer shot of the bottle so you can seem most of the specs and claims.

After using Neutrogena Clear Face for several months, I have to say I'm pretty darn happy. I really like the light weight liquid consistency because I believe it does feel lighter on the skin. It feels like something between a serum and a lotion. In fact, it feels like a watery lotion. The oil-free, light-weight formula did not make my skin feel congested or suffocated, and also did not cause me any break outs. 

As for its claim to leave skin matte, I'd say yes and no. I think at the higher SPF, there is still a bit of shine, although far less than I've experienced with other oil-free facial sunscreens. I wonder if I would have experienced differently at a lower SPF (lets say 30 instead of 55). For some reason, the higher the SPF on some products, the shinier I think the can look. I'm not sure why this happens, and if you do, please enlighten me.

However, once I got the amount of product down (it can be tricky to get used to the liquid consistency and accidentally over pour), I was happy to find my t-zone wasn't exacerbated by the product and definitely felt much less oily. Not perfectly matte, but certainly a noticeable difference that would make me forgo other facial sunscreens that don't have a mattifying claim. Another byproduct of figuring out the right amount of product to use -- it felt even lighter, likely because I was in fact wearing less. 

Now, here's the deal. I realize it's sunscreen, and as such, you should be applying liberally. I'm not suggesting that you skimp. I'm simply suggesting that you apply a little less than you normally would. Until you get used to the new consistency, apply a little at a time until you build it up to a place where you feel comfortable that you've applied liberally without losing the ultra-light, mattifying effect.  It will eventually become second nature.

This is definitely something I would repurchase.

For the sake of comparison, the picture below shows the Neutrogena sunscreen on the top left next to a regular lotion sunscreen on the right. As you can see, the regular consistency is thicker. 

For the sake of full disclosure, the sunscreen on the right, is Dermaolgica Oil Free Matte, which I purchased recently because I wanted to compare how a high-end sunscreen works (and because I've heard great reviews on it).

Have you tried the Neutrogena Clear Face sunscreen? What was your experience?

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