Monday, July 9, 2012

Vichy Laboratories Capital Soleil Sheer Lotion SPF 60 Bare Skin Feel Sunscreen Review

Vichy Laboratories Capital Soleil Bare Skin Feel Lotion SPF 60 is new to the Vichy line this year. It contains Mexoryl XL and SX as well as Parsol 1789 and octocrylene to ensure a broad spectrum photostable protection from UVB, short UVA and long UVA rays. Photostability means that the sun filter does not deteriorate immediately at its first contact to heat or light. It then offers complete protection for two hours of continuous sun exposure instead of only 30 minutes. Beauty Squared was sent this product for consideration.

The Capital Soleil Bare Skin Feel Lotion claims:
  • non-sticky, non-greasy texture and dry-touch feel
  • quick drying
  • leaves skin well hydrated and protected against dehydration caused by exposure to the sun (enriched with Vitamin E)
  • good for all skin types
  • water resistance
The recommended retail price is $29.95 for 150 mL.




I wear sunscreen on a daily basis on my face and neck in the usual form of Lancome's Beinfait Multivital SPF 30 moisturizer. I will wear sunscreen on my body when I know I'm going to be out for prolonged periods of time in the sun, usually when I'm running, swimming or climbing. I tan very easily and rarely burn. I have to be exposed to extreme amounts of sun to burn, such as the time I spent 10 hours outside baking under the white hot sun in Greece. Even then I have never had more than a very mild sun burn.

Because I'm very active in the outdoors during summer, I have tested many different formulations of sunscreen in the hopes of finding just the right one. I've tried many of the "non-greasy" and "dry touch" formulas (sprays, creams, lotions) and have found that they all end up somewhat greasy and tacky.

I tested this sunscreen both on my face and body during numerous running sessions. Out of all the "non-greasy" sunscreens I have tried (Neutrogena, and Cetaphil), this one definitely was the least greasy and tacky feeling which I appreciate. It has a very thick texture that takes a bit of rubbing in to make even, but I found once I worked it into my skin it was about as non-tacky as a sunscreen was going to get. I also appreciated that its claims of being water resistant stood up. Despite sweating a fair amount during my workouts, I did not end up with stinging sunscreen in my eyes. 

I would definitely recommend this sunscreen. It does have a heavier texture, but once it's massaged in it feels and looks less greasy and sticky than other lighter weight sunscreens. Is it perfect? No, but for me it's the best sunscreen I've used in a few years. The perfect sunscreen would feel like you have nothing on but I don't know if that's possible given the type of ingredients needed to actually provide UVA and UVB protection.

Grade: A-


I am a big sunscreen-wearer and advocate. I am a fan so far as to say that it keeps my skin from burning (which I do very easily) but God I wish it were easier and more pleasant to protect me from the sun. I'd prefer banning summer completely over using most sunscreens. So I was excited to try this "bare skin feel" sunscreen. 

First things first, any post Beauty Squared does about sun protection has to include the most recent updates. In a number of countries around the world, caps have been placed on how high an SPF a product can claim. Most recently, the US FDA announced that they would look into placing restrictions on brands claiming an SPF of 50 and up, since they don't have data to prove that SPF higher provides any more protection. In Europe, the maximum sunscreen claimability is SPF 50+ and in Australia only to SPF 30+. Canada may soon be close behind, but still, I look at SPF 60 with a healthy dose of scepticism. 

The texture of the Bare Skin Feel is non-greasy and creamy. Like you'd expect a pricier sunscreen to feel. It applies well and the whiteness of it fades as you work it into your skin. The scent is inoffensive. While I wouldn't call it a "bare skin feel", it's not overly shiny and certainly not sticky. However, on reapplication, things change. Suddenly, it gets streaky and sticky, gumming up on your skin. I've tried it a few times and varied how much I applied to see if it was because I was applying too much, but it happened each time. After only an hour or so since the first application, I got white streaks that would not go away. Even areas that seemed to not have white streaks, developed them shortly after reapplication. And each application got worse. It wasn't pleasant and certainly not a "bare skin feel". According to the idea behind SPF numbers, if I burn within 10 minutes without a sunscreen, SPF 60 would keep me burning for 60 minutes. So reapplying every hour of being exposed to the sun, and especially after your skin gets wet or sweaty, is key. I can't imagine having to reapply this more than twice since it looks terrible when layered.

But, despite the white, streaky appearance of my skin, I did not burn. I wore and reapplied and reapplied this while sitting in the sun for 4-5 hours and being in the water and was conscientious with my application. I was rewarded with not a single bit of pink and burned skin in the end. So it does work for not allowing you to burn. If you don't have a problem with the streaking and gumminess, this is a sunscreen for you.

So while it works, it also doesn't give you that bare skin feel it claims to. I would like to give it a higher grade but I have to stick with a...

Grade: B

1 comment:

  1. Actually, it would be 10 minutes x 60 = 600 minutes, or 10 hours. I personally wouldn't go past 3-5 hours without reapplying, but every hour might have been too frequent.