10 Aug 2017

Review: Kiehl's Ultra Light Daily UV Defense SPF 50 PA++++

Out of all Kiehl's products I have tried, this is probably one of my favourites. It is super lightweight, fast-absorbing and uses premium ingredients! I would just stick to this if it aren't so pricey. Yes, we are talking about the Ultra Light Daily UV Defense SPF50+ PA++++ here. 30ml of this sunscreen is retailed for RM 155 in Kiehl's store, making it the priciest sunscreen I ever used in my wardrobe.

I spoke about the importance of getting a lightweight, broad spectrum and inexpensive sunscreens in my mega sunscreen review. Sunscreen is not a skincare luxury, it is a necessity, just like food. It not only delays aging and skin damages, but also prevent skin cancer so it is imperative that you wear sunscreen everyday. As such, it is impractical to have pricey sunscreen or those with unpleasant texture. Having said these, despite my love for Kiehl's Ultra Light Daily UV Defense SPF50+ PA++++, I don't think I will be repurchasing unless if there is good discount and deal. But for those of you who won't spending so much on a sunscreen, this is a really good option to try out!

I did not buy the full size, only miniatures from my previous purchases. I spent a few K on Kiehl's last year (some were things  I bought for my friends and relatives) so the Beauty Adviser there gave me a lot of miniatures at my request. I think I have enough to make up for a full size UV Defense, which means I save RM 155 in a way!

Anyway, the full size looks very much like the mini version but a bit "fatter". It says high protection with an emphasize on its UVA protection on the packaging. The official website claims that this is a new and improved formula with extended protection against long ray UVA (UVA1). It is also oil-free, fragrance-free, and non-comedogenic.

I really love the texture of this sunscreen. It feels like a lightweight lotion and is super easy to be absorbed by the skin. It just sinks in immediately within several pats. It doesn't leave any tacky, sticky or unpleasant finish on the skin. There is no white cast either. Easily the best sun cream I have ever used! And you know it offers sufficient UV protection despite its lightweight texture. There is a very natural powdery scent, a bit medicinal I would say. The sunscreen is also sweat-resistance (waterproof) and is quite long-lasting on the skin.


Aqua, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Drometrizole Trisiloxane, Terephthalylidene Dicamphor Sulfonic Acid, Propylene Glycol, Titanium Dioxide, Alcohol Denat, Stearic Acid, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Nylon-12, Palmitic Acid, PEG-100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Trizine, Phenoxyethanol, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Aluminum Hydroxide, Methylparaben, Sodium Cocoyl Sarcosinate, Caprylyl Glycol, Carbomer, Tocopherol, Tromethamine, Ethylparaben, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Isohexadecane, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Adenosine, Arginine, Polysorbate 80, Mannitol, RNA, Pyridoxine HCl, Disodium Adenosine Triphosphate, Histidine HCI, Zea Mays Extract/Corn Kernel Extract, Phenylalanine, Faex Extract / Yeast Extract, Tyrosine, Mentha Piperita Extract / Peppermint Leaf Extract, Rosa Gallica Extract / Rosa Gallica Flower Extract


This sunscreen uses 6 sun filters, namely octinoxate, mexoryl SX, mexoryl XL, tinosorb S, uvinul A plus, and titanium dioxide. All these provide excellent sun protection against all form of UV rays, especially UVA1 that are linked to aging and dark spots formation of the skin. Except for mexoryl I think most of you should be familiar with all of these since it came out in my many previous sunscreen reviews.

As for mexoryl, it is an excellent UV filter invented and patented by L'Oreal so you won't see it elsewhere. Mexoryl is a very effective UVA1 filter with literally no harmful side effects. It won't penetrate the skin or mimic estrogen effect. It is also pretty stable and won't degrade in the sun. However, since it is oil-soluble, you'll find that most sunscreen with mexoryl tends to be cream-based leaving behind a satin finish on your skin.

I don't want to go into too details about the rest of the ingredients because they are either in insignificantly small quantities (i.e. extracts that are in lesser amount than the preservative), or just some texture ingredients (i.e. emulsifiers, emollient, viscosity control etc.) that contribute to the consistency and applicability of this sunscreen.

You just have to remember that this is a lightweight sunscreen with awesome sun-protecting properties.


It is very hard to judge the performance of a sunscreen unless if you have a machine to measure. But judging from the texture, applicability, ingredients, and waterproofing properties of this sunscreen, I think this is considered a really good sunscreen at offering broad spectrum sun protection.


I think I would bath in this if it weren't so expensive. RM 155 for 30ml costs RM 6.40 per application at the required amount (i.e. 1.24ml). That's EXPENSIVE. So far I am doing well with a substitute I found, L'Oreal Paris UV Perfect Aqua Essence SPF50+ PA++++ is the perfect substitute for this sunscreen with its lightweight texture and quality ingredients (mexoryl!!!). I also have been enjoying Missha Aqua Sun Gel with similar lightweight consistency. But all these don't spell out my love for this Kiehl's Ultra Light Daily UV Defense. I still like it very much, and if you can afford it, I would highly recommend it for all skin types especially sensitive and dull skin!

- lightweight consistency
- no white cast
- broad spectrum protection (judging from the ingredients)

- expensive
- contains alcohol as solvent so sensitive skin need to patch test before buying

Overall impression: ★★★★☆
Repurchasing: ★★★ (if I got $$$)
You can get this from: Kiehl's Malaysia
[Disclaimer] Product is purchased with my own money. All copyright of contents and images in this article is strictly mine.
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