French Sunscreen Comparison: Creamy Edition

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How to cite: Wong M. French Sunscreen Comparison: Creamy Edition. Lab Muffin Beauty Science. December 2, 2014. Accessed May 22, 2024.

Here’s the next installment in my sunscreen review series – this time we’re looking at La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Comfort Creme SPF50+ and Uriage Bariésun Creme SPF30.

Both of these French sunscreen are targeted at dry/normal skin, not oily/normal skin like mine, so it’s quite likely that they’ll behave differently on drier skin. Unlike the fluid sunscreens I’ll be reviewing next time, they have less alcohol, which means they’re a bit less dehydrating for your skin, if your skin is dehydration-prone.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Cream Comfort SPF50+

Ingredients: Aqua/Water, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Glycerin, Alcohol Denat, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine (Bemotrizinol), Titanium Dioxide [nano]/Titanium Dioxide, Pentylene Glycol, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane (Avobenzone), Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Caprylic/Capric Trygliceride, Pentaerytrithyl Tetraethylhexanoate, Propylene Glycol, Ethylhexyl Triazone (Uvinul T 150), Stearyl Alcohol, Talc, Drometrizole Trisiloxane (Mexoryl XL), Nylon-12, Synthetic Wax, Aluminum Hydroxide, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/ Steareth-8 Methacrylate Copolymer, Ammonium Polyacryldimethyltauramide / Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Caprylyl Glycol, Cassia Alata Leaf Extract, Disodium EDTA, Glyceryl Isostearate, Glycine Soja Oil/Soybean Oil, Isopropyl Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Maltodextrin, PEG-8 Laurate, Phenoxyethanol, Stearic Acid, Terephthalylidene Dicamphor Sulfonic Acid, Tocopherol, Triethanolamine, Xanthan Gum.

(I think this might be the same as the Melt-In Cream, just renamed.)

This comes out as a yellow-tinged cream. It’s a bit hard to rub in, and has a bit of that greasy feel that body sunscreens have, despite having alcohol relatively high on the ingredients list (alcohol usually helps sunscreens sink in). However, despite the greasy first impression, I can apply this in the morning, blot the oil off gently with blotting paper half an hour later and apply translucent powder, and it doesn’t need blotting again until the late afternoon.

The sunscreen ingredients are bemotrizinol, titanium dioxide, avobenzone, Uvinul T 150, Mexoryl XL and Mexoryl SX – the Meroxyl components are particularly stable UVA absorbers, giving this sunscreen an impressive PPD of 42 in addition to an SPF of 50+, which means it’s pretty much top of the class in both UVA and UVB protection.


However, when I applied this to my dry, clean skin, it balled up slightly and rolled off, which means it was incredibly difficult to apply the recommended 1/4 teaspoon required for full sun protection, and more sunscreen balled off when I tried to apply make-up over it. Here’s what the balling looks like on my clean hand:


It might work better on someone with better applications skills or different skin, but for me this was the most frustrating thing about the sunscreen.


– Very high UVA and UVB protection
– Fragrance-free and hypoallergenic


– Slightly greasy
– Contains some alcohol that may be drying
– Balls up on skin, some sunscreen rolls off and can’t get full protection


Uriage Bariésun Creme SPF30

Ingredients: Aqua, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Uriage Thermal Spring Water, Methylene Bis-Benzotriazolyl Tetramethylbutylphenol (Tinosorb M), Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane (Avobenzone), Ethylhexyl Triazone (Uvinul T 150), Glycerin, Triacontanyl PVP, Nylon-12, Butylene Glycol, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Decyl Glucoside, C20-22 Alkyl Phosphate, C20-22 Alcohols, Xanthan Gum, Glucose, Parfum (Fragrance), Chlorphenesin, Benzoic Acid, Tetrasodium EDTA, Tocopheryl Acetate, O-Cymen-5-ol, Trehalose, Propylene Glycol, Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate.

This is a lightly scented cream, with a slightly thicker texture than the LRP sunscreen. It’s a bit less greasy and sticky than the LRP sunscreen as well and is more matte, but still has a bit of a greasy feel, and balls up in the same way. It’s alcohol-free though, and slightly more moisturising.

The sunscreen ingredients in Uriage Bariésun Creme SPF30 are Tinosorb M, avobenzone and Uvinul T 150. The UVB protection is lower than the La Roche-Posay cream and the UVA protection isn’t provided, but it’s probably lower too (although it does contain a few UVA absorbers so it’s likely to be decent). (There’s an SPF50+ version too, which has more UVB protection, and an incredible PPD rating of 65.)


– High UVB protection, likely high UVA protection
– Very moisturising
– Alcohol-free and hypoallergenic


– No UVA rating provided
– Balls up on skin, some sunscreen rolls off and can’t get full protection


Verdict: I prefer the texture of the Uriage sunscreen, but the LRP sunscreen takes the cake for its high UVA and UVB values. However, it just won’t work with my skin, so it’s not giving me the quoted UVA and UVB protection. If it works on your skin, these are great, but if it balls up, I would recommend trying something else. I’d be curious to see whether the SPF50+ version of the Uriage Creme also balls up – if it doesn’t it would be an great sunscreen, but I expect it will!

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2 thoughts on “French Sunscreen Comparison: Creamy Edition”

  1. If you’re still on the hunt for sunscreens, I heard Biore UV Perfect Face Milk PA++++ SPF50 is good and has a high PA rating!

    • Oh goody! I love Watery Essence but I’m always so worried about the low PA because of my hyperpigmentation-prone skin, I’ll have to check it out! Thanks for the rec 🙂


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