Chanel UV ESSENTIEL Daily Multi-Protection Facial Sunscreen SPF50+

Chanel UV ESSENTIEL Daily Multi-Protection Facial Sunscreen SPF50+

A few weeks ago I talked a bit about how a good sunscreen is worth its weight in gold (which is almost how much this one cost, funnily enough!), so today I thought I’d show you the product I’m using at the moment, which is Chanel’s UV Essentiel Daily UV Care in SPF50+.

Now, it would be wrong of me to suggest that anyone should base their sunscreen choices on which bottle will look best on their new dressing table, so I’ll just gloss over how nice the white bottle is (I mean, I DIDN’T pick it because it looks nice, but let’s face it, it doesn’t hurt, right? I mean, if you have a few different choices in front of you, and they’re all basically the same in terms of price and quality, you’re going to pick the one with the prettiest bottle, aren’t you? Or is that just me? I’ll shut up now), and say that the REAL reason I bought it is because, as I said in my ‘Makeup Tips for Redheads‘ post, ever since my Lancome Genifique Soleil was discontinued (Story of my life, right?), I’ve been looking for a facial sunscreen to replace it.

Now, at the moment, both my current foundation and day cream contain SPF 18 or more, which is great (If I ruled the world, ALL products for the face would contain sunscreen), but if I’m going to be outdoors for longer than usual, or spending time in very strong sunlight, I like a bit more protection than that, which is where the problems start. Most of the drugstore brands I’ve tried have been of the thick, gloopy variety – the kind that stops you from burning, but which does it by basically turning your face into an oil slick, and making you look like a ghost. I honestly wouldn’t have thought it was possible for me to be any paler, but give me some gloopy sunscreen, and call me Caspar – until midday at least, by which point all of my makeup will have slid down my face. Then you can call me ‘Girl Without a Face’, because that’s what I look like without makeup, and with a thick layer of white cream covering my features.

So, not a fan of thick sunscreen then, is what I’m saying, which is why I now turn to slightly higher-end brands, who seem to be more likely to make high SPF sunscreen which has the consistency of moisturiser, rather than the consistency of glue.

Which brings me  (at last) to Chanel UV Essentiel.

This DOESN’T have the consistency of glue, I’m pleased to report. No, this is more like the consistency of water. That’s not a good thing, unfortunately. Imagine picking up a bottle of water, tipping some of it onto the palm of your hand, then attempting to apply it to your face, making sure you don’t miss a bit. Not easy, is it?

Now imagine that the bottle of water cost you £40.

Not cheap either, is it?

The first time I tried this, I tipped it up, and it spilled all over my dressing table – THAT’S how runny it is. I mean, it’s not QUITE the consistency of water, but it’s way, WAY runnier than I’d expect a moisturiser/ sunscreen to be, which makes it really hard to apply it without spilling some. At first I hoped that it had just gotten shaken up in transit or something, and would go back to “normal”, but nope: it’s still exactly the same, and I actually have to put tissues down on my dressing table every time I use it, to catch the inevitable spillage. This alone is the reason I deducted marks from its final score (Which you can see at the bottom of the post, by the way: nifty, huh?), because, other than that, I don’t have any complaints. This is a broad-spectrum sunscreen, which protects the skin from both UVA and UVB rays and, as promised in the product description which lured me in, it does have a “silky finish” which “provides a perfect canvas for makeup application”. Well, as “perfect” a canvas as my skin EVER provides, anyway.

Most importantly for me, the product is absorbed quickly, and, unlike so many other sunscreens I’ve tried, doesn’t leave a greasy, shiny residue behind. In fact, it really does feel much more like a moisturiser than a sunscreen, so you can apply it, then use your makeup on top as usual, without feeling like your suffocating your own skin, by wearing a mask made of grease. Oh, and it smells nice, too, although not overpoweringly so: most sunscreens I’ve used in the past have such a strong scent that it just takes one whiff off it to transport me back to whatever holiday destination I last used it in. That’s not always a bad thing, obviously, but when it’s a product I’m using every day I don’t want it to be over-powering my perfume.

So, it’s a decent sunscreen (I mean, I haven’t gotten sunburnt while I’ve been using it, so that’s good. We haven’t had much sun, mind you, so there IS that…), and it fulfils most of my criteria. Unfortunately, however, the runny consistency is a bit of a deal-breaker for me, and is the only reason I probably won’t buy it again: I don’t like feeling like I’m wasting such an expensive product by it dribbling onto the floor every time I try to apply it, so while I like the fact that it’s thin enough to absorb quickly, I think it needs to be just a little bit thicker, to make it easier to use.  Of course, there’s always a chance that I just got a randomly runny tube of it, or am being even clumsier than usual when I use it, but I’m probably not going to risk another £40 to find out for sure.

It IS a nice-looking bottle, though: can’t take that away from it.

14 Comments
  1. I’ve been very happy with Devita Solar SPF30+ but it might be too greasy for you. Natural products always contain oils from plant. I’ve golden olive skin tone and Devita Solar doesn’t leave a white cast on me.

  2. You know sun damage is an area of science I specialised in for about 15 years, right? So I too am all about the Spf 50′ 3 star UVA rating too. After trying a variety I have finally found one for the face I can absolutely recommend. It adsorbs quickly, no nasty whiteness and I can use blur creams and CC cream on top with no mess or streaks. It is Filorga factor 50. I order it through Cocooncenter from France – with shipping it’s a tad over £20. But they sell so many fab French pharmacy beauty things I usually buy lots of goodies at the same time. This product was developed for application post cosmetic surgery procedure, where it is essential to protect new skin from the sun. http://www.cocooncenter.co.uk/filorga-uv-defence-anti-ageing-anti-brown-spot-sun-care-spf50-40ml/15518.html

    1. Remind me to pick your brains on this at some point – I’ve been really all kinds of scare stories lately about sunscreen, and it’s made me realise how little I really know about it, even although I get through gallons of the stuff every year!

    1. I agree – love this product and is really does leave a dry touch rather than an oil slick. I have dry skin and use a bit of moisturiser mixed in unless it’s really hot weather (then just hydra

      1. Sorry – posted too soon. If it’s really hot I just use hydrating serum and the Anthelios on top without moisturiser. It’s only about 9 euros here (France) making it very good value compared to Kiehl’s etc.

  3. My favorite face sunscreen ever is Biore Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF50. It’s Japanese so I buy it on eBay, but it’s absolutely fantastic: it dries down to a velvety, invisible matte finish, and won’t affect make up application at all. My other current favorite is Neutrogena Dry Touch SPF100 which I use on my body and also dries down velvety and not greasy.

  4. I am absolutely loving Kiehls Ultra light daily uv defence spf 50 at the moment. Light enough to go under makeup, thick enough to not spill on my dressing table (I am incredibly clumsy, and have knocked it over repeatedly!)

  5. I love Sunumbra sunscreens. They are on the thick side, but not so much they are uncomfortable to wear, and they don’t leave a white cast behind either.

    This one sounds nice too, but the texture is a deal-breaker for me as well. At this price, I wouldn’t want to waste a drop!

  6. Have you tried Asian sunscreens? Biore, Shiseido, and Hada Labo all make fantastic SPF 50+ sunscreens for the Japanese and Korean markets. My personal favorite is Biore Aqua Rich Watery Essence, which I buy for $10 on Amazon. It’s not greasy at all, no white cast, and works perfectly under makeup. It feels like you aren’t wearing sunscreen. I’m rarely loyal to any product, but I’ve gone through many bottles of this stuff.

  7. Hi Amber! Just discovered your blog while looking for pale foundations, and I love it! Just wanted to share my recent experiences with sunscreen! I have had similar problems with sunscreens (AKA hated every one I’ve tried…), but recently I discovered the Asian Beauty subreddit (reddit.com/r/asianbeauty) and decided to give an Asian sunscreen a try. It seems like there are a ton of resources/reviews of other similar products, too and a pretty wide variety. I ordered this Biore one, and I love it so far! My skin usually looks shiny just a few hours after applying powder, but today I wore only the sunscreen (like primer) and foundation without that problem! From what I have gathered from others online, Japanese and Korean sunscreen products are more like cosmetics, rather than just greasy SPF goop. As someone with the same or very close to your skin tone, UV protection is very important to me, too! And I love that Asian sunscreens are labeled with both the UVB (SPF) AND UVA protection, unlike American brands with just the vague ‘Broad Spectrum’! This one was only $10 for a decently sized bottle, and I would wholeheartedly recommend it, at least from my limited experience so far. 🙂

    http://www.amazon.com/Biore-JAPAN-Sarasara-SPF50-Sunscreen/dp/B00SM99KWU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1451966309&sr=8-1&keywords=biore+sunscreen

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