Review: La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Extreme Fluid SPF50+

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This is my first French sunscreen review! Before I go into the actual review I want to quickly talk about how the European UVA rating system works. I have explained the PA(++++) system in Asia, but these sunscreens use a PPD system. PPD stands for Persistent Pigment Darkening and it measures the UVA protection. Here is how it compares to the Asian PA system:

PA+ – 2 – 4 PPD
PA++ – 4 – 8 PPD
PA+++ – 8 -16 PPD
PA++++ – 16+ PPD

It’s recommended that you use at least PA+++, so above an 8 in the PPD scale. This sunscreen is a 32 according to the French website. But I THINK (I had a hard time trying to research both products as I wasn’t 100% sure on the different names…please correct me if I’m wrong) our formulas are slightly different. I have included a list of both ingredients and in brackets I wrote what the ingredient is called in Australia, as sometimes things are listed differently overseas.

The Australian version contains:

  • Octocrylene
  • Titanium Dioxide
  • Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane
  • Bemotrizinol
  • Ecamsule
  • Drometrizole Trisiloxane
  • Octyl Triazone

Whereas the French version contains:

  • Octocrylene
  • Titanium Dioxide
  • Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane
  • Drometrizole Trisiloxane
  • Ethylhexyl Triazone (Octyl Triazone)
  • Bis-ethylhexyloxyphenol methoxyphenyl triazine (Bemotrizinol)
  • Terephthalylidene Dicamphor Sulfonic Acid (Ecamsule)

As you can see, it is identical ingredients but they’re listed in a different order. We also don’t have access to the inactive ingredients in the Australian formula because it’s not the law to label them.  All in all, I still think it’s a very high protection sunscreen even though I’m not 100% sure if the formulas are the same.

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This is a combination sunscreen using both chemical and physical filters.

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It’s quite thick but runny at the same time.

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How it feels: 

I feel it’s a little greasy but it does rub into the skin fine. It feels a bit heavy on my face and I can definitely see a shine. There was no noticeable cast however and it did sink in pretty quickly. It smells strongly of alcohol and sunscreen.

Overall Impression: 

The reason I was so excited to use this sunscreen was because of the high PPD rating. It’s extremely high UVA protection and is the type of sunscreen you would want to use if you’re worried about getting wrinkles. However, it wasn’t as cosmetically elegant as others I have tried. I think the greasiness is a little bit of an issue but I would definitely use this daily in summer. Not so much winter. It’s also a bit uneven on my face, but would be fine under makeup.

It claims to be paraben and fragrance free but it contains denatured alcohol as the 4th ingredient. Because of this, I would probably recommend it for those with normal-oily skin as dry skin may find it a little bit drying. Alcohol is used to help the product absorb into your skin more quickly.

I’m a bit neutral on this product as I don’t think its ok for my dry and sensitive skin. But the packaging does claim that it’s for normal to combination and acne prone skin. If you have those skin types then I think this product would work for you. I think the high PPD rating is a reason to use this, even if it’s not as cosmetically elegant as lower rated sunscreens.

Ingredients: 

See cosdna (or photo of back of bottle for Australian formula)

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