Hello! I am a sunscreen daily type of gal. I go through a 50ml every 4 to 6 weeks; that’s 9 to 13 sunscreen a year! Since having moved to Paris , my sunscreen stash has changed quite a bit; switching things up for local French brands. I have tried 8 so far and here’s my reviews.


Here’s the video version of the review, otherwise, please keep reading 😉


Where did I buy?

All mine has been purchased at City Pharma (brick and mortar store, no online store). I always buy from City Pharma because it is the cheapest in Paris. O and because I am a cheap skate 😛 I usually buy in bulk when there’s a promotion.


Take it this way, even when regular pharmacy do the buy the 2nd product for 1/2 price, the overall price will still be more expensive than City Pharma when it comes to pharmacy brands skincare. For instance, Le Roche-Posay facial sunscreen 50ml will sell for 14 EUR (16.99 EUR at the pharmacy near where I live), but at City Pharma, the reguar price is 9.99 EUR. Plus, there are frequent promotions at City Pharma, so for a heavy user like myself, braving the crowd at City Pharma is worth the effort.


All product links lead to the respective official site, which most are for information only and not for purchasing.



All comments are based on me applying 1.25ml (1/4 Tsp) or more onto my face. **this is the minimum application quantity for the face in order for the sunscreen to work per the UV protection labelled.


Reviews are based on 100% used up, unless stated otherwise. Even the worst of products, I’d have tried them out for a week.


My skin type: 30+, Asian, hyper-pigmentation, dehydrated combination skin. For more details on my skin type – click here.


La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL non-perfumed dry touch anti-shine gel-cream

UV protection: spf 50+ UVA

Product size: 50ml

Made in France

La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL non-perfumed dry touch anti-shine gel-cream

This is a fantastic summer sunscreen. It certainly keeps the face demi-matte. This gel-cream sets on the face VERY quickly, it is important to work it into the face asap, else it will leave a white streak on the face. The finish is smooth like a primer and dry to touch. Zero tackiness which is what I love about this product.


A huge problem was that it didn’t play well with my makeup, or at least not with the ones that I’ve tried (MAC face & body, Baremineral original foundation, Primavista powder foundation, Clarins true radiance…). It pilled to a horrible mess unfortunately near my hair line. I have tried to use a different moisturise and foundation to see if it was one of my products that didn’t play well, sadly, nothing had worked out.


With that being said, I still think it is an excellent skincare. I love using this one on my no makeup days, especially on a hot day or outdoor days.


Will I repurchase? Yes


Official website: https://www.laroche-posay.com/products-treatments/Anthelios/Anthelios-XL-Non-perfumed-dry-touch-gel-cream-SPF50-p24078.aspx


La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL ultra-light fluid

UV protection: spf 50+ UVA

Product size: 50ml

Made in France

This bottle cannot be cut *LOL* I tried

This is a very liquid formula. It sets on the skin very quickly and forms a film like sort of  glossy finish. It doesn’t pill and plays well with makeup. I think there’s alcohol in the formula, I can faintly smell it.


Upon initial application, there are some small grains. It is not scrub like though. They disappear after I rub the sunscreen into my skin. I have no idea what they are.


I cannot use this directly without a moisturiser though. My skin feels a bit too tight by late afternoon if I use this one directly without a moisturiser.


Will I repurchase? Maybe


Official website: hm… I can’t find it on their official site


Uriage hyséac fluid sunscreen for the face moisturizes, matifies

Sun protection: spf 50+ UVA

Product size: 50ml

Made in France

Uriage Hyséac fluid sunscreen spf 50+ UVA.

Oily mess formula, visible white cast and it stung my eyes. The formula is very liquid and is not suitable for squeeze tube packaging. Do not buy. The end.

Uriage Hyséac fluid sunscreen spf 50+ UVA.
Can you see the mess? The formula is clearly too liquid for this packaging. Uriage Hyséac fluid sunscreen spf 50+ UVA.

Will I repurchase? No.

Will not use this again even if I am paid. Thanks.


La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL non-perfumed comfort cream

UV protection: spf 50+ UVA

Product size: 50ml

Made in France


This is my favourite one. Love love love~~~Like its name, it is super comfy and feels like a moisturiser. I can use this without a moisturiser and all over my eyes without any issues (I am a contact lens wearer). It acts very much like a moisturiser, never quite dries down completely. It makes my skin supple.


It plays well with makeup, but I’d recommend only applying foundation after a 10min+ wait. Otherwise, I find it makes the blending a bit more difficult than normal. If you’ll use a powder foundation (e.g. Baremineral original foundation), I recommend using a loose powder prior to application to set the sunscreen first.


Will I repurchase? Yes.

**I am still waiting for restock and I’m starting to get worried because I can’t find it on their official site >_<


Official website: N/A (!?!?!?!) I bought mine around Jan 2019 at City Pharma.


La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra sensitive eye innovation cream

UV protection: spf 50+ UVA

Product size: 50ml

Made in France


I hate this one so much.

  1. It stung my eye and causes me to tear intermittently during the day.
  2. The fragrance is STRONG. I could smell and taste it the whole day.

There is really no saving grace from these 2 major failures. What sort of “sensitive eye innovation” are they talking about? This is just one of those BS product name. This product is real rubbish.


In the name of fairness, that’s talk a bit about the plus.

  1. Comfortable to wear even without a moisturiser.
  2. Keeps the skin supple.
  3. Work into the skin easily without drag.
  4. The packaging is tempering-proof. It comes in an exterior box and if the product has been used, there will be clear sign of it in the mouth of the pump.
  5. The pump can adjust the product quantity.


There is a non-perfumed version of this. I don’t think I will buy it to try out because this one stung my eyes so bad.


Will I repurchase? No.

Will not use this again even if I am paid. Thanks.


Official website: https://www.laroche-posay.com/products-treatments/Anthelios/Anthelios-Ultra-cream-SPF50-p24064.aspx


Bioderma Hydrabio eau de soin moisturising anti-UV mist

UV protection: spf 30 PA+++

Product size: 50ml

Made in France

Bioderma Hydrabio eau de soin moisturising anti-UV mist product review-0973.JPG

NOT a complete empty, but I’ve had it since Jan 2019. I have used it continuously for over 10 days

This products leaves me quite confused. The mist is very fine, so the application is very even and easy. As a setting spray, or a light mist, it is great. HOWEVER, if I really do use this to the point where I’ll have 1.25ml on my face (for the full spf 30 PA+++ protection), it gets superbly sticky, so that’s a fail. It also leaves me feeling pretty insecure about the protection that I’m getting, so it is definitely not my go to daily sunscreen product. I


Setting spray is not part of my makeup routine at all, so I am having a hard time finishing this. I am trying to use this one up for after swim; short period protection for my 5 minutes walk to home.


Official website: https://www.bioderma.fr/fr/nos-produits/hydrabio/eau-de-soin-spf-30


La Roche-Posay Anthelios pocket size

UV Protection: spf 50+ UVA

Product size: 30ml

Made in France

La Roche-Posay Anthelios pocket size

It never sets. I can feel the sunscreen. It remains somewhat tacky. I don’t like this one for facial use at all. It feels too much like an old school beach sunscreen. I bought it because it looked cute. It was clearly a mistake. The formula is quite liquid so after each use it makes a total mess around the lid. Not safe to put into my handbag without a plastic sleeve.


The saving grace?

  • It does plays alright with makeup, especially if I have a dry spell day.
  • It does not sting my eyes at all.
  • It is small and easy to bring with for hikes.


Will I repurchase? No.


Official website: https://www.laroche-posay.com/products-treatments/Anthelios/Anthelios-Pocket-SPF50-p23950.aspx


Eau Thermale Avène mineral cream

UV protection: spf 50+ UVA

Product size: 50ml

Made in France


This stuff stays on even if I wash with soap. Cleansing oil or makeup remover is essential… It also gives the strongest white cast that I have EVER seen. Please refer to the photo (or see my Youtube video for what it looks like at 13:40).


The video demonstrates the extend of the white cast way better than my photo. The whiteness looked WAY worse in real life.

For an instant 18th century French court look… use Avène mineral cream sunscreen! Effectively turning your face white 😛

Ironically, the cream feels very nice, but this thing is really not usable with a cast like that. I have actually attempted to use this, but my friend promptly told me that I look sick LOL.


Okay, on a side note, I think this is an excellent product for babies because the water resistant property is so strong AND there is no fragrance. The cast is so strong that I am certain that it can reflect any light. Babies don’t care about white cast right?


This was not a empty. Do you blame me though?


Official website: https://www.eau-thermale-avene.fr/solaire/peaux-intolerantes/mineral-et-compact/creme-minerale-spf50


Have you tried any of these products? What’s your favourite French pharmacy sunscreen?


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French pharmacy sunscreen review, empties



Salut, I am Joyce. 30 something living in Paris. Appreciate little things and share giggles. Prudent, no nonsense reviews. #ExploreLaughRepeat


  1. Thanks for your reviews Joyce! I am interested in finding a sunscreen to use in place of my morning moisturizer but I wonder if I’d have to reapply over the course of the day (every two hours) because that would affect which formula I choose. Do you reapply your sunscreen throughout the day? Do you have to choose a lighter formula because of this?

  2. Kolby Kothman-Meyer Reply

    Joyce, Thank you for your detailed review 🙂 I have since found your blog because of it. Greetings from an eternal immigrant in neighboring Germany.

  3. Marie Elene Reply

    Hi Joyce, since u using Clarins since teenager, im wondering why are u not using Clarins UV sunscreen? or maybe u can give a review?? really appreciate it..

  4. Out of your list, I’ve only tried the Avène mineral cream and it is so thick and pasty! And the white cast is unreal. I try to only use mineral / physical sunscreens (Titanium Dioxide and / or Zinc Oxide) so it is challenging to find formulas that don’t look terrible on the face. The only French pharmacy one I liked was the La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral Tinted Ultra-Fluid Lotion but the tint is so dark / orange. For now, I use Korean / Japanese ones but I’m not sure if I trust their SPF ratings entirely. I’m thinking of buying Peter Thomas Roth Max Mineral Naked Lotion but it’s pricey at $50 CAD. I’m really hoping to see more offering from French pharmacy brands for cosmetically elegant mineral sunscreen formulas!

    • Hoiyin also tried this Avène disaster 🤣 hard to forget a cast like that. I think in terms of cosmetic elegance, Japanese brands are the best (usually a mixture of chemical and physical sun though). What is your favourite physical sunscreen?

      • I did purchase the Peter Thomas Roth Max Mineral Naked Broad Spectrum SPF 45 UVA/UVB Protective Lotion and I am really enjoying it! It contains 1.93% Titanium Dioxide and 19.24% Zinc Oxide and has a light tint and doesn’t feel heavy or greasy on the face.

        Others that I’ve tried and liked:
        • Innisfree Perfect UV protection cream triple care SPF 50+ PA+++ – it contains Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide but I cannot find the % breakdown of them. Feels similar to the Peter Thomas Roth but a bit more hydrating.
        • Paula’s Choice Resist Super Light Wrinkle Defense SPF 30 – contains 13% Zinc Oxide. I don’t mind that it doesn’t contain Titanium Dioxide since Zinc Oxide covers most of the UV spectrum. This is lightweight and feels very matte on the skin, also has a tint. The protection factor isn’t as high as I’d like though
        • Consonant Skincare (Canadian brand) The Perfect Sunscreen SPF 30 – contains 6% Titanium Dioxide and 10% Zinc Oxide. This is a tinted thicker formula which I can wear on its own like a BB cream. I wished it had higher SPF.
        • Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection SPF 50 Sunscreen + WetForce for Sensitive Skin & Children – this one I only use on my body since I experience the most white cast with this one. It contains 9.1% Titanium Dioxide and 19.3% Zinc Oxide. It is the most stubborn, long lasting sunscreen I’ve ever tried – great for outdoor activities.
        • Australian Gold Botanical Sunscreen Mineral Lotion SPF 50 – I’m slightly suspicious of this one since it only contains 4% Zinc Oxide and 4% Titanium Dioxide. The protection is good but not as good as the Shiseido however this applies and wears so nicely. I mostly use this for the body but it can also be applied to the face and doesn’t look terrible.

        My friend is in Korea right now and she just picked up the Make P:rem UV Defense Me Blue Ray Sun Fluid SPF 50+ PA++++ for me. It is also a physical sunscreen and has been is highly rated online. I can’t wait to try it!

        • Stashy~~ you are so right that we unknowingly sell each other stuff 🤣 I still have another 5 to 6 months worth of sunscreen left in my stash, but I already want to buy the ones that you’ve recommended.

          😔 I miss your blog

  5. Omg I have the exact same Avene sunscreen and it is horrific! Strong white cast! I have never encountered such a strong white cast before… it is impossible to blend into the skin! 😅😂It was my biggest regret buy of last year. I can’t even use it underneath foundation.

    • Wahaha it is one of those unforgettable product indeed. I have not tried it with any makeup. It was simply horrific 🤣 I totally panicked when it didn’t wash off with regular face wash.

      • I am really considering to throw mine away or maybe I can try mixing it? I don’t know because I hate waste too.

        • Seriously, throw it away is probably less wasteful than mixing it with other stuff. There is no rescue for this level of white cast. Hm… give it to a friend who has a baby? 😅 I genuinely thinks that it is an excellent option for babies

  6. The La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL non-perfumed comfort cream sounds incredible! I hope they re-stock it!

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