• Always apply SPF at least 20 minutes before going outside unless otherwise stated.
  • Always apply last after moisturiser, before makeup - unless otherwise stated.
  • Reapply every two hours if in active sun (on holiday, sunbathing, generally being outside all day)
  • Reapply after swimming or excessive sweating/drying off with a towel.
  • No point going under SPF30 or over a 50 (unless specified by a doctor, obviously)
  • I would politely advise you to not buy these products (actually any SPF) from third party retailers such as On and TKMaxx they have the potential be at least one season old and thus already degrading in SPF quality. Check labels. Read expiry dates. EltaMD, Heliocare and medical/professional brands should always be bought from dedicated clinics/salons/spas and the others always from an authorised retailer.

Product/Brand: Chanel UV Essential SPF50

Broad Spectrum? UVA symbol (in EU)? Broad Spectrum/UVA symbol present

Physical or chemical? Chemical

Main SPF active ingredients? ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate - Octinoxate methylene bis-benzotriazolyl tetramethylbutylphenol - Tinosorb/Bisoctrizol bis-ethylhexyloxyphenol methoxyohenyl triazine - Tinosorb S/Bemotrizinol diethylamino hydroxybenzoyl hexyl benzoate - Uvinul A Plus %s unknown

Full inci: water, ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, alcohol, methylene bis-benzotriazolyl tetramethylbutylphenol (nano), C12-15 alkyl benzoate, glycerin, isononyl isononanoate, dicaprylyl carbonate, bis-ethylhexyloxyphenol methoxyohenyl triazine, polyglyceryl-6 distearate, diethylamino hydroxybenzoyl hexyl benzoate, pentylene glycol, dimethicone, steareth-21, propanediol, faex (yeast extract), kalanchoe pinnata leaf extract, glycyrriza glabra (licorice) root extract, decyl glucoside, ammonium acryloyldimethyltaurate/vp copolymer, jojoba esters, dimethicone/vinyl dimethicone crosspolymer, phenyoxyethanol, fragrance, butylene glycol, caprylyl glycol, xanthan gum, cetyl alcohol, polyglyceryl-3 beeswax, ecotoin, propylene glycol, sodium citrate, citric acid, bht, 1,2-hexanediol, maltodextrin

Cream/gel/spray/oil? Gel/cream

White/ash residue on darker skins? No

Absorbs well even at high SPF? Yes

Works under makeup? Yes

Does it leave you shiny? No

Sticky? No

Cruelty-free? No

Fragranced? Yes

Suitable for all skin types? Unless very sensitive to fragrance or you have a known allergy to the ingredients, yes

Water resistant/waterproof/sweat resistant? No

What else?/Antioxidants/any skin benefits?

So Chanel say:
‘Beyond offering an anti-UV protection against UVA and UVB rays (SPF 50), the new UV ESSENTIEL combines two natural and complementary powerful ingredients:
– Life Plant PFA extract is created from a plant capable of growing and living in extreme UV exposure conditions. Life Plant PFA acts as a stress protector and prevents DNA damage. It also helps to prevent premature signs of aging.
– Desert Yeast Extract deactivates the stress receptors (called AhR**) that are overstimulated by exterior pollutants in order to regulate the damaging effects of pollution on the skin and thereby reduce the premature appearance of dark spots and signs of aging. It also stimulates skin’s natural defences to reinforce its barrier function and helps skin maintain an optimal hydration level. The impact of outdoor and indoor pollutants is regulated.
UV ESSENTIEL prevents the appearance of skin aging, pigmented spots, wrinkles and dryness.’

The problem is, because the EU classes SPF as a cosmetic and not healthcare/a drug (like the FDA in the USA), there is no legal obligation to list percentages of the actual sunscreen ingredients on the pack, so unless the brand tell us, we don’t know. And as much as I love a lot of Chanel products, and I genuinely do (the Hydra range is lush, and I love this SPF), Chanel have never been good at listing their ingredients anywhere online. Neither they, nor a single one of their stockists including Boots, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, Harrods and Debenhams listed the ingredients. I had to type these out from the packaging. It’s 2019 guys. Come on.

So I don’t know enough about the other ‘special’ ingredients because they’re listed as their registered legal inci name on the packaging and listed as their Chanel marketing name on every single stockists website. Who knows.

I do really like using this SPF though. If that helps..

You Need This IF: You love luxury skincare, you love Chanel and you love the fragrance of the products. It's a good SPF.

You don’t need this if: You don't want fragrance, and are concerned about your budget.

CHANEL UV ESSENTIAL SPF50 is £46.00 for 30ml and available from all Chanel stockists (although it seems to be out of stock in most places at the moment) and Chanel online:

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