Here Comes the Sun — Screen: Clinique Sun SPF 30 Face Cream

Published in: Product Reviews, Skin Care


Do you smell that?


It’s the scent of my new sunscreen crush, Clinique Sun SPF 30 Face Cream ($17.50).

Part of Clinique’s new 10-piece Sun Protection line of face and body products, Clinique Sun SPF 30 Face Cream is an oil-free, quick-absorbing sunscreen offering protection against both UVA and UVB rays.

But its scent, or lack thereof, is what sets it apart.

The lightly moisturizing formula doesn’t leave my skin feeling greasy or sticky, so I can use it on my face AND my neck. Plus, it dries to an invisible, matte finish — no gray or white cast on my brown skin.

In terms of texture, Clinique’s Sun Face Cream feels thick and rich (a little goes a long way).

My favorite thing about it has to be the scent. Clinique nailed it down. You know how most sunscreens smell so “sunscreeny”? Sun Face Cream doesn’t. I mean it does, but it’s very faint.

Outdoorsy, active girls should love the stuff because it resists sweat and water like a champ. I’ve been applying it before going outside for runs lately, and it doesn’t sting my eyes as sweat trickles down from my forehead.

Unfortunately, it’s Clinique, so it’s not the cheapest sunscreen around…

But it’s not the most expensive one around either. It’s a tad less expensive per ounce than Shiseido 55. A 3.3-oz bottle of that goes for $38.


Clinique Sun SPF 30 Face Cream

Price: $17.50 for a 1.7-oz tube
Use: A lightly scented, waterproof facial sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: A

I’ve been a Shiseido 55 devotee for about a year now, but I think I prefer Sun Face Cream. Not only is the formula oil-free, but it feels more hydrating, absorbs quicker and doesn’t have the strong sunscreen scent.

And if you need more sun protection, Clinique even makes it in SPF 50. πŸ™‚

You might like Clinique SPF 30 Face Cream if…

  1. …you have sensitive skin,
  2. …you prefer sunscreens without a strong scent,
  3. …you need a moisturizing product,
  4. …you like non-greasy sunscreens with a matte finish,
  5. …you don’t mind paying a premium.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



Like this post? Tell your friends!

So far, 30 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Elena says:

    Thanks for the review, Karen! I’m spending my free time today researching sunscreens, actually. I’m going to redirect some of my cosmetics budget for the month on some good moisturizers and sunscreens for this hot weather. The Clinique is a little out of my price range, but I’ll keep in mind what you liked about it to screen (lol) other brands.

    Have you ever tried Neutrogena’s Dry Touch sunscreen? I have my eye on that line for the moment.

    Hope you and Tabs are having a good Sunday. πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      Hi Elena,

      I’ve used Dry Touch, and it’s pretty good. It doesn’t leave skin feeling sticky or greasy at all which is nice. There is a faint white cast at the higher SPF levels. I found it a little drying, but if you have oily skin that doesn’t need a lot of moisture it’s a good one to try.

  2. Amber says:

    To Elena — I use Dry Touch under my makeup every day. It is as good as any of the expensive primers w/SPF that I have tried! Some people have issues with it balling up, but I buy the SPF 30 when I can find it and never have trouble.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Amber,

      Thanks for the input! I’ve never had any issues with the product balling up, but that’s good to know that there may be that possibility.

  3. L says:

    Hi Karen, thanks for the heads up on the new Clinique face cream. I’m currently using their CityBlock and have been looking for something with more protection, however, I tend to develop a rash due to certain chemicals in most sunscreens. I was wondering if you’d be able to list the active ingredients in the new face cream. I’m also curious what the ingredients are for the Shiseido 55 also, thanks for all your help.

    • Karen says:

      Hi L,

      Unfortch I don’t have my original box with the complete ingredient listing for the Shiseido 55, but the active ingredients are oxtinoxate 7.4% and zinc oxide 13.9%.

      For the Clinique Face Cream the active ingredients are: oxtisalate 5%, homosalate 5%, oxybenzone 4%, avobenzone 3% and octocrylene 2.7%.

  4. Alexzandra says:

    I also use Dry Touch. I had problems with the high SPFs balling up, but I can wear the SPF 30 everyday without problems. My only complaint is that it’s not comfortable for me to wear during the summer because of the Avobenzene, but not many people seem to have that problem.

    Alexzandra´s last blog post..Weekend Wishlist and Haul Pics

  5. Doreen says:

    Hi Karen! Thanks for the heads up on this; I’ll have to try it out sometime and see how it stacks up to my Cetaphil SPF 50 sunscreen. I actually really like the Cetaphil, even though it can be a little TOO moisturizing sometimes (I like to mix a blob with my foundation). I think I’ll try Neutrogena’s Sensitive Skin SPF 30 lotion next time.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Doreen,

      You’re welcome. I’ve never tried the Cetaphil — sounds like something I would like during the winter though because my skin is always so thirsty.

  6. lesley says:

    Hi Karen! Thanks for updating on this, with summer coming, I think I will definitely have to see how this one works for me! Currently Hubby and I are totally in love with Biore’s Preservationist SPF 30 sunscreen, but I might have to give this a try anyway since it’s only about 3-4 dollars apart in price for similar amounts.

    Did you think this was more moisturizing than Biore’s Preservationist or do you think Clinique’s Face Cream needs a moisturizer prior to application?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lesley,

      I think this is more moisturizing. I tried that Biore sunscreen but it wasn’t moisturizing enough for my skin (it’s so great for oily types, though). You could probably get away with just using the Clinique sunscreen if your skin isn’t very dry during the summer. I’m always slathering on the moisturizer prior to my sunscreen though (for the getting old part, LOL!).

  7. Elena says:

    Thanks Amber and Alexzandra for the feedback! πŸ™‚

  8. Zulfa says:

    Thanks for this review. I have been using Neutrogena Dry Touch for outdoor activities, but my SO balks at the scent. This will be a great alternative.

  9. Terre says:

    Hi Karen, thanks for the tip! I bought Shiseido one after reading about it on here, & I like it, but the Clinique one sounds even better.

  10. Stephie says:

    Woot! I just ordered this online to get the Clinique GWP. I’m getting it on Wednesday and I am so excited. I really hate it when sunscreen leaves that white cast and is difficult to absord into my skin. I find that a lot of moisturizers w/ SPF have the same problem. I can’t wait to try it out once it arrives, thanks to your good blessings πŸ˜›

    • Karen says:

      Hi Stephie,

      YAY for GWP! I swear those things suck me in all the time. πŸ™‚ I hope you like this sunscreen as much as I do! WHich one did you get, the 30 or the 50?

  11. Evie says:

    Hmm, I may have to check this out. I’ve been pretty loyal to my Aveeno sunscreen, but I’m always on the lookout for something I can wear for all day hikes without worrying about looking like an oil slick. I mean, yeah, I’m out in the woods and everything, but that doesn’t mean I need to *look* like it, right? πŸ˜‰

  12. Vonvon says:

    Wow!! time to check it out at my nearest Clinique counter. Might be going for a trip to the beach in a month and will need a good sunscreen. Yea, I hate sunscreen with those ‘sunscreeny’ smell, and after application, you could feel a layer on top of your skin. Hope this one will not have all that!

    Vonvon´s last blog post..Review: Estee Lauder TIME ZONE Line and Wrinkle Reducing Moisturizer SPF 15

  13. Megan says:

    I’ll have to check this out. I love love love shiseido….so if this is better and cheaper… I’m in.

  14. Alison says:

    Hi Karen!

    I might give this one a try. Chemical sunscreens generally cause prickly heat on my skin, I’ve been using a mineral sunscreen from Liz Earle (I live in the UK and this is a great UK brand), I have very fair skin and this can create a white cast but it is great for preventing me from getting burned and this also doesn’t have a scent which I like.

    Do you think the Clinique will make my skin react? I know their products a usually formulated for more sensitive skins.


  15. Stacie says:

    I’ve been curious about this stuff. I think I’ll have to give it a try! Thanks, Karen!

  16. cloudburst says:

    How does it hold up after wearing it a fe hours? I find even the matte finish screens grease me out after a while. I recently bough Biore’s Dual Fusion because it is a way cheaper alternative to my usual Lancome Bienifiat, so far so good!

  17. Lorena says:

    Hi Karen,

    For any type of sunscreen, should it be put underneath foundation? I’ve always been confused about that…hahahaha Thanks!

  18. Michelle says:

    Ooh I want this πŸ™‚

  19. Christina says:

    I love the Shiseido, but my derm flipped out on me when I said that was what I was using. Apparently, Neutrogena has the only stable sunscreen available in the US (the other option being Lancome’s Meroxyl) so…even though I have huge issues with SPF70 Facial Sunscreen from Neutrogena, I still use it.

    It balls up, doesn’t moisturize well (such that I have to apply an additional moisturizer, which then results in my face being shiny), destroying my makeup through my primer…what else. Oh yeah, that white cast.

    Sigh, but it is the best. I just wish the technology of the sunscreen could be shared with Shiseido or something because their formula is so great.

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