Cetaphil Sheer Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 Review

This sunscreen is thick and leaves a greasy finish. It's also incredibly difficult to wash off.

Cetaphil makes some of the most trustworthy skin care products you’re likely to find at the drugstore today. Lots of people have raved about their lotions, including me. But a few months ago, I tried one of their sunscreens, and I could instantly understand why this company isn’t famous for its sunscreen. I’ve only used it a few times because it makes me look like a ghost, so I tend to reach for other sunscreens instead of this one. Plus, it only provides SPF 30 protection instead of SPF 50. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the ingredients in this product and ask my dad why some water resistant suncreens are so difficult to wash off.

Cetaphil Sheer Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 Review

Cetaphil Sheer Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 ingredients

Active ingredients: zinc oxide (10%), titanium dioxide (3%) Inactive ingredients: aloe barbadensis, leaf juice, arachidyl alcohol, arachidyl glucoside, avena sativa (oat) kernel extract, behenyl alcohol, butyloctyl salicylate, c30-38 olefin/isopropyl maleate/ma copolymer, caprylic/capric triglyceride, cetyl peg/ppg-10/1 dimethicone, citric acid, ethylhexylglycerin, glycerin, glyceryl stearate, glycine soja (soybean) seed extract, magnesium sulfate, neopentyl glycol diheptanoate, phenoxyethanol, polysorbate 60, silica, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, sorbitan tristearate, stearyl alcohol, stearyl/octyldodecyl citrate crosspolymer, tocopherol, vp/hexadecene copolymer, water

My Dad the Chemist’s review of Cetaphil Sheer Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30

Cetaphil Sheer Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 review

Cetaphil Sheer Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 contains a mix of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, the only two FDA-approved mineral sunscreen filters in the U.S. In comparison to many other mineral sunscreens that contain 20 percent or higher of zinc oxide, this product only contains 10 percent…but you wouldn’t be able to tell without reading the ingredients label. Although the product name says that it’s “sheer,” it’s definitely not. It leaves a really noticeable white cast (see image below). It’s also a little difficult to wash off.

Cetaphil Sheer Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 Review rubbed in white cast

My dad said that this was probably due to the film forming polymer that coats the active ingredients, which enables the product to make its water resistant claim. I asked my dad if he had any tips for washing off this sunscreen. He suggested using a loofah instead of my fingernails, and opting for mineral sunscreens that don’t make water resistance claims if you’re not going to be sweating or swimming anyway. In theory, this make sense. But in reality, I haven’t been able to find many mineral sunscreens that aren’t formulated to be water resistant. Most of them seem to put this claim on the label, so I’m always searching for one that either isn’t water resistant or isn’t too difficult to wash off (like this Baby Bum sunscreen that’s currently my favorite).

I prefer Cetaphil Sheer Mineral Face Liquid Sunscreen SPF 50 over this product. That one was definitely more expensive (most facial sunscreens typically are), but for good reason. It offers a higher degree of SPF protection, is slightly easier to wash off, and doesn’t leave as much of a greasy residue after application. It does still leave a white cast, though. The facial sunscreen also contains moisturizing ingredients like allantoin and bisabolol.

Cetaphil Sheer Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30, on the other hand, contains oat extract, which is kind of interesting. Other mineral sunscreens that also contain oats are Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Face Sunscreen SPF 50 and Aveeno Positively Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50. This product is actually very similar to those two sunscreens, so if you’ve tried those two and didn’t like them, then you won’t like this sunscreen either. Actually, I’d rather recommend those two over this one because at least they offer more SPF protection in comparison to this one.

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