I first heard about La Roche Posay Anthelio Daily Antioxidant Sunscreen Serum on Eva Chen (The former Lucky Editor in Chief turned to work for Facebook)'s Instagram, specifically in one of her empty posts with mini reviews. Words from her mean a lot given the sheer amount of products she is exposed to (and that she never need to get "friendly with the PR").
I remember last year it was around the low 30 dollars range (I am an avidstalker of drugstore you know) and a few months later it just got 10 dollars more expensive, elevated to a "higher class". I understand gradual price change but hike like this tend to leave a bad taste in my mouth.
Anyway, when I got a 10-dollar off 40 CVS coupon. I ended up grabbing this as I was running out of lighter sunscreen for the summer.
So the sunscreen is entirely chemical. I found it funny that the concentration are rounded to two digits after decimal, when many other brands just go with full number.
To be honest I would prefer some physical blocks as well (as they are more stable and give a minimal but noticeable coverage). Since this has some skincare benefits, I would let it pass (or so I thought).
The rest of the ingredients are just water, -coney fillers, pheonoxyethanol and caprylyl glycol (that's really high up in the list for preservative). The Vitamin C - glucose derivative comes fairly late, right before some plant extract (I am not sure what skullcap does). The list is fininished with starch and more emulsifier.
If I took a good look about the ingredients. This doesn't look too promising on the skincare side but maybe it mixes well with the sunscreen?
The Anthelio AOX Sunscreen Serum has a light lotiony texture and a faint yellow tint. It smells like sunscreen (which gets stronger as it's exposed to sunlight) and inevitably stings the crap out of my eyeballs if it gets too close (and when I sweat like a donkey during the heat waves).
On the skin, feels light as it's spread through and leaves a bit of oily film. I notice it leaving my face smooth and soft the first few times I used it (but the effects wore out before it start dulling my skin), this is a typical behavior/false effect of any products heavy on the -cone on me.
A little pro is that the bottle is very hygienic pump bottle with coating inside, which protects the integrity of the actives.
What turned me off wasn't the sting or slip. Somehow my skin gets bad reaction from this. Granted, many chemical sunscreens give me little hives or clogged pores (the reason I slack off on sunscreen) but never enough for me to ditch them alltogether.
After a week of continuous use, I noticed small red bumps allover my face (including the left side that is relatively safe/not picked). It was hard pinpointing the culprit because on the day of outbreak...
1. It was the start of a heat wave (I broke out like a mofo while I was in south China with that heat and 90% humidity).
2.I started testing out new skincare items (Holy Snails Shark Sauce and El Dorado).
3.I ate a "healthy dose" junk food for lunch and dinner. It was impossible to cook without turning my greenhouse of a living room into an oven(I mean it's perfect for winter and I love the natural light I get).
After some careful elimination, La Roche Posay was confirmed as the sinner: I stopped breaking out as soon as I avoided using it (and the hives came back as soon as I used it for a day). I suppose I can't handle all the potent sunscreen. Since the skincare aspects hold no appeal to me (if I want vitamin C, I will just get a Vit C serum instead of relying on the tiny concentration in a suncreen), this is almost useless for me.
Well, my dry legs will appreciate the dewy finish and could use some protection (in times of heatwave, I am back to my Texas gear: Freebie tees and athletics shorts again). Not all is lost.