Best Facial Sunscreen

Being cursed with ridiculously fair skin in the wrong century for it to be cool, I have to pay close attention to things like sunscreen.   When the sun finds me  I get peppered with freckles, turn pink and start to itch, so I have learned to seek out shady spots at the beach, wear protective clothing and walk with embarrassing accessories like a UV blocking umbrella (which I might review later – it’s most excellent for those who want to repel the opposite sex).

Cloying icky sunscreen is not fun.

My problem with sunscreens is that I have to wear them, yet hate how they feel.  When I put them on  it’s like someone has applied a tacky goo that locks in the heat, pulls on my clothing and makes me sweat.  Applying makeup on a face shellacked with sunscreen has been an absolute nightmare.  I can feel the layer of products sitting on my face and speckling on a layer of cosmetics afterwards just makes me cringe.

I  have experimented with many brands of facial sunscreens in an effort to find a solution to this dilemma.  Usually I don’t find them to be any better than the body versions.  All of them, no matter how sheer, just feel icky.    I wasn’t holding out much hope when I ordered yet another sunscreen to try out a few weeks ago, but halleluiah.  Great success!

Can you see my tropical product lizard, taking a sneak peek at my latest find?
One of my fans.

This is without a doubt, the BEST most comfortable sunscreen I have EVER found for my face.  I did not think wearing a good photo-stable sunscreen that felt pleasant was possible until this little miracle product found its way into my hands.

Go for the XL version, or go home.
  • I had to order this in from outside of Canada, because local stores don’t stock the version I was after.  Shoppers Drum Mart stocks plain Anthelios fluid, but I was after the Anthelios XL version which has ingredients that make it extra photo stable.
Tropical breakfast table in the Caribbean + sunscreen

I have tried this product out in two different climates:  dry cool temperatures in Canada and sweltering sticky humidity in the Caribbean.    It works in both environments.  In Canada I apply a light layer of moisturizer to my skin before I apply the Anthelios XL product.  Some people online had mentioned that it could be a little drying and I found that moisturizing helps my skin feel comfortable.

In the Caribbean I don’t need any moisturizer.  My dry skin always feels dewy here and I am able to liberally apply Anthelios XL fluid to my skin by itself and it’s not drying or tight feeling at all.  It totally depends on the climate you live in.

Antehlios XL Fluid comes in two versions:  the original is a milky white color and the Tinted Fluid version looks like liquid foundation.  I heard that the original version can leave a slight white cast on the skin so I decided to give the tinted fluid version a try.

I am very fair and the tinted version works great for me.  It looks rather dark when you pour some out onto your skin to swatch, but it goes on very sheer once rubbed in so I imagine it will work well for a range of skin tones.  (I wear MAC NW20 concealer for reference.)

This product is very liquid and runny, so be careful when you pour it out of the little spout at the top .   Before applying it you have to shake it vigorously and then pour a little onto your fingers so you can rub it in.  I always apply a generous layer to my skin and it’s still very comfortable to wear, so don’t be stingy!

A drop rubbed into my finger.

It gives a  sheer hint of color to my skin and since my complexion is fairly even sometimes I just wear this on its own without foundation.  I’m including a series of pictures showing how this seemingly dark color sheers out and blends into the skin.

La Roche Posay body sunscrenn (left) Anthelios XL Tinted Fluid (right)
Starting to blend the various sunscreens.
More blending....
Just the Antheliox XLTinted Fluid now before it's totally blended in.
North of the white line is the sunscreen after it is 100% blended into my skin. (My skin is blotchy because my fake tan is fading! Ignore the red mosquito bite.)

The swatches on my arm at the top look slightly pink and dark, but I find the product applies a lot lighter on my face.  My skin has yellow undertones and this still seems to work alright for me color wise.  I don’t think it was designed to work like a foundation or tinted moisturizer – they’ve just added a hint of color to combat the white cast of the original formula and it blends into the skin leaving only a sheer veil of colour.

To summarize, here are a list of Antehlios XL’s pros and cons:


Comes in a regular and tinted formula

Non perfumed

Paraben free

Water Resistant

Comfortable to wear on its own and under makeup

My freckles actually FADE when wearing this regularly.

Suitable for those who have sun allergies


Now formulated with Tinosorb S in addition to Mexoryl SX and XL which makes it extremely photo stable.


The XL version can be hard to find – I had to order mine online

Expensive .  I paid $29.00 USD plus $10.00 shipping to get this to Canada.

You only get 50ml of product – I wish it contained more for the price.

I purchased my sunscreen at: – shipping was quick and the customer service was excellent.  I’ll definitely be back to buy another bottle when mine is running low.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s