Cetaphil Daily Defence SPF50 review: A sensitive skin staple

You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again: if there’s one thing you do for your skin, make it daily SPF. And if you’re looking for one that’s fragrance-free, super gentle and non-irritating, you might want to make it the Cetaphil Daily Defence Moisturiser with SPF50.

Cetaphil Daily Defence SPF50 review

Cetaphil Daily Defence Moisturiser SPF50 review

I’ve been using SPF daily for a couple of years now (yup, should’ve done it way sooner), but finding the right one has been a total minefield. Some are sticky, some make me break out, some sting my eyes and some leave me with the most horrific white cast. No, thank uuuuuu.

It’s for those reasons that I expected the worst from the Cetaphil Daily Defence Moisturiser SPF50. Thankfully, I was totally wrong. The product totally exceeded my expectations and has now gained a permanent place in my winter routine, when my combination skin needs an extra kick of moisture.

Key product benefits & claims

Product: Cetaphil Daily Defence SPF0+

Key benefits & claims:

Suitable for: All Cetaphil products are recommended for ‘anyone looking for gentle but effective everyday skincare’.

Price: £10-13

The texture & consistency

The Cetaphil Daily Defence Moisturiser SPF50 is white (obv) and pretty damn thick.

When I first squeeze some product out of the tube, my instant thought was “oh, god, this ain’t gonna work”. It has a thick and gloopy feel and appearance; similar to the type of sun creams that you’d put on your body.

Cetaphil Daily Defence texture

The good news? Despite the thick consistency, it absorbs into the skin nicely and, after a couple of minutes, isn’t too sticky. It does take a little longer to rub in that other SPFs I’ve tried (think La Roche Posay Anthelios), but feels totally fine once you’ve massaged it in.

My one criticism of this product is that I’ve found it to pill slightly (form tiny white balls that make applying makeup a nightmare), but only when I layer it with too many serums and primers. It could just be a particular product of mine that doesn’t gel with the Cetaphil product. I’m yet to figure out the culprit.

Anyway, for this reason, I don’t tend to use it when I’m doing an evening/night out makeup look – but that’s okay, as I don’t need SPF then anyway. In the daytime, when I just stick to my simple routine and use Revolution Hyaluronic Acid underneath, it doesn’t pill at all and makes for a really nice makeup base.

The results

The Cetaphil Daily Defence SPF50 leaves my skin feeling hydrated and instantly soothed. If you’ve got sensitive skin that reacts to anything and everything, you’ll love this! It’s so gentle and nourishing; I use tretinoin daily and this really helps to prevent dryness.

Even though I bought this for the sole purpose of SPF protection, it’s actually become my moisturiser and SPF in one. I still love the Cerave Moisturising Lotion (and still use it at night and in the day if my skin is feeling a lil dry), but the Cetaphil SPF50 gives me more than enough hydration day-to-day. It saves me time and money, so I’m not complaining.

In terms of sun protection, it works. I started using this in the late summer months and it had me covered on (the very few) super hot and sunny days we had. No burn whatsoever and only a hint of a tan came through all summer long (which, since learning about how much sun damages prematurely ages you, is exactly how I like it).

I’ve got very acne-prone skin (read my acne story) so SPF is, generally, not my friend. However, the Cetaphil Daily Defence Moisturiser doesn’t break me out or clog up my pores at all. They do state that it’s non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores), so unless you’re allergic to any of the ingredients, this is a winner for acne-prone skin.

The scent

It’s totally fragrance-free, with no scent whatsoever.

The packaging

The Cetaphil Daily Defence Moisturiser comes in a small plastic tube with a green cap. It’s easy to use and doesn’t leak. The bottle contains 50g, which doesn’t seem like much, but it’s lasted me 6 months and I’m only just running out.

Cetaphil Daily Defence packaging

Cetaphil states that the ‘tube and lid- plastic may be recycled where local facilities exist’, which I’m a little unimpressed by. If other brands are creating fully curbside recyclable bottles, why can’t they? Note to Cetaphil: focus on sustainability, please and thank you.

Good for, bad for…

In my opinion, the Cetaphil Daily Defence is perfect for sensitive, dry or acne-prone skin types. It’s fragrance-free, ultra-gentle, non-irritating and pretty damn nourishing. And, as I said, I’m pretty certain it won’t break you out, even if you’re a super acne-prone gal like me.

Oh, and if you’re about to start your accutane journey, I think this would be an amazing SPF to add into your routine (check out my accutane guide or accutane skincare routine for more accutane know-how!).

I don’t think this would be the best choice for very oily skin types. One thing it definitely isn’t is mattifying. It leaves a slightly tacky finish, which you may find too much when combined with your skin’s natural oils.

I have combination skin and, in the future, I don’t think I’ll use this in the summer when my skin becomes a little oilier. I’ll swap it out for my trusty La Roche Posay Anthelios. However, Cetaphil is totally perfect for the winter, when my skin craves a little extra nourishment.

Cetaphil Daily Defence ingredients

AQUA, C12-15 ALKYL BENZOATE, GLYCERIN, ETHYLHEXYL SALICYLATE, TITANIUM DIOXIDE, BUTYL METHOXYDIBENZOYLMETHANE, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, BISETHYLHEXYLOXYPHENOL METHOXYPHENYL TRIAZINE, OCTOCRYLENE, CYCLOPENTASILOXANE, STEARIC ACID, DIMETHICONE, METHYL METHACRYLATE CROSSPOLYMER, NYLON-12, PETROLATUM, ALUMINUM HYDROXIDE, AMMONIUM POLYACRYLOYLDIMETHYL TAURATE, DISODIUM EDTA, DROMETRIZOLE TRISILOXANE, ETHYLHEXYL TRIAZONE, ETHYLPARABEN, GLYCERYL STEARATE, HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN OIL, HYDROXYPROPYL METHYLCELLULOSE, METHYLPARABEN, MYRISTYL MYRISTATE, PEG-100 STEARATE, PHENOXYETHANOL, POTASSIUM CETYL PHOSPHATE, PROPYLPARABEN, SODIUM CHLORIDE, STEARYL ALCOHOL, TEREPHTHALYLIDENE DICAMPHOR SULFONIC ACID, TOCOPHEROL, TRIETHANOLAMINE.

Cetaphil Daily Defence SPF50 ingredients

How to apply Cetaphil Daily Defence

Here’s an example routine…

Cetaphil Daily Defence SPF50+ review: An affordable daily SPF

This gentle, soothing and hydrating SPF is a great option for anyone looking for an affordable and reliable daily SPF. It’ll protect your skin and prevent dryness, all for around a tenner. Bargain.

As I said earlier, I feel that this product is best suited to dry and sensitive skin types. If you’re more of an oily guy or gal, you might find it a little too tacky.

Cetaphil Daily Defence SPF50 review

If you do give it a try, make sure to let me know how you get on in the comments! And before you go, check out a few more of my recent skincare reviews…

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