Back in January I wrote up a review of the Clinique skin serum I picked up at Sephora and mentioned that I also had a sunscreen to review. And here it is 😀
I purchased the Algenist Ultra Lightweight UV Defense Fluid because I was looking for SPF that wasn’t in the form of a moisturizer. I have a moisturizer that I use and love (one for day and one for night) and I didn’t want to change those out for a moisturizer with SPF because it’d just be a waste of money, regarding the other moisturizers that I already owned.
And what inspired this sudden need for more SPF?
This video.

I mean if that doesn’t freak you out then I don’t know what will.
As somebody that swam competitively for 14 years, I have had my fair share of sun exposure. And I’ve been surrounded by a lot of people  that took sun care as something less than serious. Swimmers – at least the swimmers I know – should take sun screen more seriously. I can’t even tell you how many swim meets I’ve been to while growing up where nobody had nor cared about sunscreen. Anyways, for 14 good years, 14 summers, 14 years worth of massively bad sunburns that I didn’t put much thought into, I didn’t really realize how quickly your skin can go from good to bad.
Recently I’ve noticed how much harder it is for my skin to heal from things like breakouts, or even minor sun burns. I have some rosacea on my cheeks, which I know is from sun damage. Freckles and moles have formed over the last 6 or 7 years, again which I know is from sun damage.
After watching that video, I finally went to look for a good sunscreen. It was the year for skin for me so a part of taking the best care of my skin came with a good sunscreen. I also wanted to get a sunscreen to add to the SPF that’s included in some makeup because I just didn’t feel like there was enough SPF coverage in my foundations. 
A lot of the sunscreens at the drugstore have broken my face out. I think because they were too thick. A lot of them were also either combined with a moisturizer, which I think attributed to the breakouts, or too greasy for my skin, again adding to the breakouts. I’d notice a lot of clogged pores, bladkheads, and new millia forming on my face after using sunscreens. Even when they were labelled non-greasy, or specifically for the face, or dermatologist tested sunscreens. I’ve just simply had bad luck with them.
So, having tried all of them, I then went looking at higher end sunscreens, in hope that I’d find a sunscreen that wasn’t combined with a moisturizer, and that wasn’t heavy or greasy. This actually proved to be a difficult feat since most of the ones I found were combo products.
On Sephora, however, I found Algenist, which is a San Francisco brand that offered what they said was a lightweight product that was simply an SPF. Being a Bay Area native, I was already sold lol. But also reading the details of this product totally sold me:

What it is:
An ultra-sheer, weightless fluid for everyday protection against broad-spectrum UVA/UVB damage. 

What it does:
This fast-absorbing, ultra-lightweight fluid provides daily protection against broad-spectrum UVA/UVB damage. Alguronic Acid combines with antioxidant-rich botanicals and UVA/UVB protecting actives to delay signs of aging caused by sun and environmental stressors. This oil-free, sheer formula has a silky texture and weightless feel, designed to apply smoothly on top of other skincare products and under makeup for a soft, matte finish.  

-Alguronic Acid: Increases cell regeneration and elastin synthesis. 
-Vitamin E and Green Tea: Contain antioxidants that protect the skin against signs of aging, and help minimize fine lines and wrinkles. 
-Bearberry and Licorice Root Extracts: Contain antioxidants that help protect the skin against sun damage, and boost skin radiance and luminosity.  

What it is formulated WITHOUT:
– Parabens
– Sulfates 
– Synthetic Dyes
– Phthalates
– GMOs
– Triclosan 

What else you need to know:
Alguronic Acid is a unique and powerful regenerative compound from microalgae. This rare ingredient was discovered unexpectedly by a biotechnology laboratory in San Francisco, CA, focused on researching renewable energy solutions. Algenist is the only line of skincare products to contain the antiaging power of Alguronic Acid. 

Research results:
In comparison testing, Alguronic Acid outperformed other well-known active antiaging ingredients, demonstrating superior antiaging benefits: 
-54% decrease in UV cell damage 
-55% increase in cellular regeneration 
-32% increase in elastin synthesis 
-26% decrease in melanin production 
*Average results measures following an in-vitro test with Alguronic Acid.

For $28, you get 1 fl. oz. This is fairly expensive considering the size, (the bottle fits comfortable in the palm of my hand) however you don’t need that much product to cover your whole face since it’s a lightweight formula.
Inside the bottle, there’s a little shaking mechanism, like the Chanel VitaLumiere Aqua Foundation. It definitely needs to be shaken well before using. Under the cap there’s a precise nozzle where you can squeeze the product out from. The bottle is a little on the firm side so we’ll see how easy it is to get all of the product out when it starts to run out. Otherwise, the packaging isn’t bad.
I do agree with the description, it’s a fast-absorbing formula. I like to apply this onto my face right after I apply a moisturizer, so there’s a little slip on my face. It helps spread the product even though it’s, at first, a very easy to spread formula. It sets very quickly though.That was something that I had to figure out after I used it for the first time. I think I used too much of the product the first go around because I didn’t realize how quickly the product settled on the face. And with too much product, I found that it felt stiff on my face, and felt almost too matte and itchy, the way that mattifying creams behave on the skin. Really, if you apply this right after you apply your moisturizer, you’ll only need a dime sized amount for your whole face.
It definitely gives a soft matte finish. And again, when the right amount is used, it does feel relatively lightweight on the skin.You can for sure tell that there’s another layer of product on your face, but it feels soft and not too drying. There was no visible white cast on my face from the product.
When I applied makeup on top, the first time around, it was definitely hard to blend makeup. But it’s because I used too much product. When using a smaller amount, the soft matte finish doesn’t make makeup any more difficult to sit on top of. I always apply a primer anyways, so I found that the primer also didn’t go on patchy or stick to certain spots of my face.
I can’t tell you what all of these ingredients do, or if they really actually work, because I’ve been using this for about a month and then in conjunction with other skin serums and products that also claim to help with anti-aging, skin evenness and the like.
I did notice a few, small breakouts when I first started using this product, especially on a daily basis. Since they weren’t cystic breakouts, I wasn’t too concerned. However, I did notice more clogged pores and blackheads after the addition of this sunscreen. In order to rid of those I’ve added more exfoliating products and masks, which has taken care of the breakouts as well as the blackheads and clogged pores.
As a sunscreen, I do like this product. I think it’s a little pricey. But judging by how little product I can use for my entire face, I think it’s benefits will eventually outweigh the price point for me. I think I may purchase it in the future, since it’s working very nicely for me. The texture and feel and effects, with the lack of major breakouts, are so far much better than any of the Neutrogena, Olay, and Garnier sunscreens I’ve used.
I do want to eventually try the Kiehl’s sunscreen, which is a little bit more expensive, but for now I’m really enjoying this product, and feel good knowing that I’m adding more protection to my face.
Just as a side note, if you’re planning on being photographed heavily, try to avoid SPF at all. Flash photography reflects negatively off of SPF, giving you ghost face.
Do you guys have any sunscreens that you like to use? Or is there another product that you’ve recently added to your skin care routine that you’ve found is a holy grail for you? I’d love to know!

2 thoughts on “Algenist Ultra Lightweight UV Defense Fluid SPF 50 | Review

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