Is Neutrogena Clear Face Sunscreen worth a try?…

Updated July 16, 2014.

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com’s Medical Review Board.

Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid Lotion Sunscreen with SPF 30 is a light, non-greasy, and fast-absorbing sunscreen that is designed with oily, acne-prone skin in mind.

Apply as directed, and this product will help protect your skin from sunburn and sun damage.

It’s not a moisturizer/sunscreen combo, so it won’t moisturize your skin if you’re feeling dry.  But it’s light enough that you can apply it over your regular oil-free moisturizer.  And it’s perfect if you need solely a sunscreen product that is made for blemish-prone skin types.

Active Ingredients:  Avobenzone 2.5%, homosalate 5%, octisalate 4%, octocrylene 3%, oxybenzone 4%.  (These are the “sunscreening” ingredients).

Inactive Ingredients:  Acrylates/dimethicone copolymer, BHT, bisabolol, butylene glycol, C12-15 alkyl benzoate, capryloyl glycine, caprylyl glycol, cedrus atlantica bark extract, cetyl dimethicone, chlorphenesin, cinnamomum zeylanicum bark extract, diethylhexyl 2, 6-naphthalate, dimethicone, disodium EDTA, ethylhexyl stearate, ethylhexylglycerin, mannan, neopentyl glycol diheptanoate, phenoxyethanol, polyester-7, portulaca oleracea extract, propylene glycol, sarcosine, silica, sodium polyacrylate, steareth-100, steareth-2, styrene/acrylates copolymer, trideceth-6, xanthan gum, water. 

Price:

About $11 for a 3 fluid ounce tube

Where You Can Buy It: 

Look for this sunscreen at your local drug store or big box store, like Target or Walmart.  You might even find it at the grocery store (I got mine at Save Mart).

Pros:

  • It’s incredibly light and non-greasy.
  • No funky sunscreen smell.
  • It’s fast absorbing.
  • Broad-spectrum protection with SPF 30 (and also comes in SPF 55).

Cons:

  • The cinnamon bark extract might be irritating to some people.

Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid Lotion Sunscreen SPF 30 Guide Review:

Finding a good facial sunscreen when you have acne had proved, to me, to be near impossible.  Not only did I need good sun protection for my skin, but I also needed a product that was light and fast-absorbing.  A product that I could use under my makeup without feeling goopy.  That wouldn’t suddenly turn shiny if I started to sweat, and that was non-greasy so my teenagers would actually use it too.  And, of course, it absolutely could not make our acne problems worse.

I tried (what seemed like) millions of facial sunscreens.  While many of them were good, they all fell a bit short.  

But Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid Lotion Sunscreen is the closest I’ve found to a perfect facial sunscreen.  

I was looking for an actual sunscreen product not a moisturizer.  I’ve plenty of oil-free moisturizers in my cabinet.  I needed a sunscreen that would protect my fair skin from hours outdoors during the hot California summers.  This product fits the bill nicely, and is one of the first sunscreens I’ve found that is made especially for acne-prone skin.

First, it’s amazingly light.  It takes just a minute to fully absorb, but once it does it’s not greasy or heavy at all.  

Another bonus – it doesn’t have that funny sunblock scent.

My kids, who have the typical oily teenage skin, use this product too.  They love that it doesn’t leave their faces looking shiny.

The price is another positive.  It’s just $11 per tube, way cheaper than many of those posh facial sunscreens, and I like this drugstore find better.

In reviewing ingredients, one caught my eye: cinnamomum zeylanicum.  Cinnamon bark extract can irritate the skin, and some people are more sensitive to it than others.  If you’re unsure, try this sunscreen in just a small area to test for irritation before applying it to the entire face.  (This is a good practice when you try any new skin care product, actually.)

In short, I’m in love with this sunscreen.  While I’ll probably use my moisturizer/sunscreen combos during the dreary winter months, Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid Lotion is my go-to product when I need some serious sun protection without the worry of triggering a breakout.

Looking for more sunscreen reviews?  Take a look at these:

Cetaphil DermaControl Oil Control Moisturizer with SPF 30

Murad Anti-Aging Moisturizer SPF 20 for Blemish-Prone Skin

Purpose Redness Reducing Moisturizer with SPF 30

Readers Respond: What’s Your Fav Facial Sunscreen?