A good facial SPF is a product I have struggling to find. I last reviewed one that was recommended to me by a friend back in 2015. While that worked fine in terms of SPF, it sadly didn’t work well on my skin in combination with other skincare or under makeup. It was too rich and after giving it a consistent try, I found it pilled off. This meant I was back on the look out for a good face SPF that would not only protect my face from the sun, but also looks good under makeup and preferably works as part of my skincare routine. You can imagine how great I thought this TBS Skin Defence SPF might work for me as it promises to deliver just that.
The Body Shop Skin Defence Multi-Protection Essence
Starting with the name: the fact that this is called an essence suggests that it will be thin enough to work under makeup and is easily incorporated into a skincare routine. The price tag is sadly a bit high, even for a TBS product. The Skin Defence Essence retails for €28 for 40 ml and €35 for 60 ml. I have the 40 ml as I first wanted to try this.
What of course drew me in was the packaging. I think this is some of the most high end looking packaging The Body Shop has ever done. It looks sophisticated and chic. The fact that this comes in a separate box really does it for me. It not only means you are sure you get a fresh product, it also makes the product look more legit.
When it comes to skincare I always want to know how the product is dispensed. My preferred way is by pumping out the product, however a handy squeeze tube is also good enough for me. I don’t like products where I have to stick my fingers into the jar. Simply because it makes for a cleaner application and it doesn’t disturb the product and keeps its ingredients stable. While that is important for any skincare product, I think it goes even more for an SPF, so props for TBS for getting that right.
The Ingredient List
With skincare products, I am always a touch skeptical of the promises that they make. This is supposed to be a lightweight product that includes some super amazing ingredients to help protect the skin. So this should not only give you SPF protection, but also pollution and other things that could damage your skin. Interestingly, The Body Shop does not market this as a separate SPF, but as a moisturizer with SPF.
And that is where this product lacks for me. The Body Shop claims this is suitable for sensitive skin. This may not have given me any problems yet, but look at the second ingredient on the list. Yep that is straight up alcohol. At first it didn’t bother me too much, but after a few uses I could smell it. This smells like rubbing alcohol and while it may not have caused my skin to break out or get itchy, it is well known that straight up alcohol is one of the most common skincare ingredients that causes irritations.
One promise this product definitely does make good on is the lightweight texture of the product. This is one of the thinnest SPFs I have ever tried. It blends into the skin very easily, does not leave a whitecast and it sits very well under makeup. It is difficult to gauge how much of this you need to get the full SPF 50 effect though. Since it is so thin, I am questioning whether the amount I use is enough to do as much as it should do. Additionally I feel this does not deliver in terms of moisturizing my skin. My skin needs something more to really get some moisture into my skin. The heavy amount of alcohol doesn’t really seem to be helping either.
I am a bit up in the air on this one. While it works well as an SPF, I don’t think it works well enough as a moisturizer. It is summer now though and so I can get away with a lighter moisturizer so it is not causing me any issues now, but I should not use this into the winter time. It simply isn’t effective enough. I wish The Body Shop would have marketed this Skin Defence SPF in a different way. Instead of a moisturizer with SPF, they should have just marketed it as an SPF. That way more people would feel enticed to layer this under other skincare products and get a better effect that way. And if you’re sensitive to alcohol in skincare products? Stay far, far away from this one. I know I will not be repurchasing this once I run out.
What facial SPF do you use?