Sunday, October 02, 2011

Neutrogena Pure & Free Sunblock SPF 50

Neutrogena Pure & Free Daily Sunblock SPF 50 is the "natural" version of their favorably-reviewed (and best selling? Since I couldn't find that in CVS when I ran out my first tube) Ultra Sheer Liquid Daily Sunscreen. If you actually read through the ingredients/fine print, you will find out that this particular formula is called "Pure & Free" not because the bottle of liquid is "pure, natural and totally good for you". What they really mean is that the sunscreen contains 5% Titanium Oxide and 3% Zinc Oxide as the active ingredients and that (as a matter of fact), TiO and ZnO are naturally occurred. The bottle of liquid as a whole is, as natural as Pamela Anderson's chest.

While both the Ultra Sheer and Pure & Free Daily Sunblock are in liquid form (not that common for American sunscreen in the drugstore price range) and packaged similarly. The two actually feel and work quite different on the skin. 
Scent - The original Ultra Sheer is scented and has that...Neutrogena sunscreen smell. Pure & Free contains no fragrance but the ingredients give it a pulled rubber band/ rubber-undergone-friction/car tire smell, which is quite unpleasant but will go away (more like your nose will get used to it) after a month or so. OK, it smells pretty horrible.

Color - Both first appears white when dotted on and while Ultra Sheer blends away invisibly. Pure & Free sunblock, which is more of a bleached paper white (the kind with a bluish tinge) leaves a pretty obvious white cast that looks ridiculous by itself (with my summer tan), underneath makeup (it makes any concealer appears extra-yellow), underneath powder (makes powder blush/bronzer blotchy) and when I perspire (just imagine white sweat)...

Texture -  Pure and Free is more watery to the touch and it dries to a matte, completely dry (frosted glass like) touch. This might be good for some but on my normal skin (with the help of its white tint) it accentuates dry flakes that I didn't know existed and isn't that good of a base when I want to put makeup on top...

Formula - While I enjoy using the original Ultra Sheer formula, sometime it stings when it gets too close to my eye area and when my skin gets extra sensitive (Which is something I experience with all Neutrogena products containing the Helioplex, their own blend of several different chemical sunscreens). There is no sting, or other physical pain associated with the Pure & Free formula when it's equally effective preventing major sun damage. 

However, when I use this particular sunscreen several days in a roll, I tend to get a big bumpy pimple on my face that takes days to go away (And I can't find other culprit as this is the only thing I use...remember I said makeup looks horrible with it?) that now I only use it on my arms instead.

Overall: Neutrogena Pure & Free sunblock is perfect for people with extremely pale and sensitive skin (or those of you who like going for the Geisha-look). I actually don't hate it completely, as it's not the worst in the market.


  1. I think Pure and Free also broke me out but I can't handle titanium dioxide apparently. Chap stick with that ingredient make me lips swell and numb. XD I use it on my hands now.

  2. Kalmo:
    I have tried physical sunscreen from another brand SkinMedica, my skin was fine with that after two tubes of deluxe sample. Anyway, I probably won't use this on my hand since it's quite drying.

  3. I tried the Sensitive Skin SPF 60+ sunblock in the 3 oz tube since it's mineral based like the baby Pure & Free ones, I guess it's inevitable to get a white cast because it is mineral based... I just use it for my décolleté and hands, works well if I blend in carefully

  4. Thank for the review!
    I'm surprised that the texture is on the dry side. Usually physical sunblocks are so greasy.

  5. My Hubs has really sensitive skin, so I buy him Baby sunblock! I use the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer myself. Thanks for the review!

  6. Connie:
    The liquid one also look less scary when I spend quite a bit of time to blend it. But the stays.

    It actually feels slippery at first but it dries matte.I know most neutrogena sunscreen are oil-free but many of they leaves oil film on my face.

    A friend of mine really like the baby formula. I kind of like the texture and the fact that there is no used tire smell.

  7. All right, I'm not picking this one up! Just ordered a tube of Paula's Choice sunscreen, quite curious to try that.


Leave a comment and I will get back to you! Commercial links and nameless comments WILL BE removed.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...