bioderma photoderm max sun mist spf 50+ review

I never thought I’d see this happen, but we’d had 6 days IN A ROW of tropical, 30ºC degrees weather here in London.

When the weather is that hot, my body just longs to spend a carefree day at the park, sitting underneath a London Plane’s tree reading a good job or having a romantic picnic with Mr BWB.

But if I don’t pile on the sunscreen, I’m also gonna get a bad case of sunburn. I mean, I’m so pale, I burn after 5 minutes in the sun. Can you imagine what those hot temperatures can do to me? (Hint: it’s NOT pretty).

To keep me safe during my hottest UK summer yet, I enlisted the help of Bioderma Photoderm Max SPF 50+. Did it do the job? Let’s find out:

What’s In Bioderma Photoderm MAX Sun Mist SPF 50+?


Bioderma Photoderm MAX Sun Mist SPF 50+ uses the new generation of chemical filters to protect your skin from UV harm without irritating side effects:

  • Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate: A new generation chemical filter that provides high UVA protection. It’s also very stable in the sun (i.e. it doesn’t stop working after 2 hours like Avobenzone). It’s used worldwide except for Canada and the US (the FDA loves to takes decades to approve new UV filters…)
  • Homosalate: weak UVB filter. If it were used alone, the sunscreen would be useless!
  • Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate: A.k.a. Octyl Methoxycinnamate. It protects skin from UVB rays and helps other UV filters last longer, too.
  • Ethylhexyl Salicylate: A.k.a. Octyl Salicylate, an UVB filter with a slightly oily consistency and a mild floral scent.
  • Ethylhexyl Triazone: Another UVB filter (how many are there?!).
  • Iseethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine: A.k.a. Tinosorb S, a photostable UV filter that provides broad spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays. According to a 2007 study on the efficacy of 18 UV filters used in the EU, it has the best SPF protection (in vitro).

It’s very refreshing to see a chemical sunscreen without Avobenzone. For years, this was the only option for proper UVA protection.

While not as dangerous as the natural brigade makes it sound, Avobenzone can cause irritations in sensitive skin. Leaving it out makes this sunscreen gentler for more skin types.

Related: Is Avobenzone In Sunscreen Really Dangerous?

How effective is your sunscreen? Sign up to the newsletter below to receive the “Sunscreen Audit” Worksheet and find out if your sunscreen is really up to the job:


Alcohol Denat is one of the most misunderstood ingredients in skincare. Word on the street is that it’s terribly drying and irritating.

To an extent, that’s true. The reason you feel so bad after you gulp down one too many cocktails is that alcohol is drying out every cell in your body, giving you a bad case of dehydration.

Does the same thing apply to skin when you slather alcohol on it? It depends. If alcohol’s all you’re slathering on, then yes, it will dry out your skin.

But if you use alcohol together with moisturizing ingredients, they’ll counteract its drying effects. Science confirms this. Recent studies show that alcohol isn’t as drying as we once thought.

Having said this, everyone’s skin is different. If your skin is particularly sensitive to alcohol denat and doesn’t tolerate it well, this sunscreen isn’t for you.

But what does alcohol do in a spray sunscreen? It’s a volatile carrier that helps create a thinner solution and texture.

Related: The Truth About Alcohol-Free Skincare: What Does It Really Mean? (Hint: It’s Not What You Think)


When you first spray it on, the liquidy texture is very oily and greasy. But it absorbs within a few minutes.


After the alcohol smell has evaporated (give it a couple of minutes), it smells fresh and subtle.

How To Use It

Spray generously on all areas of exposed skin 20 minutes before leaving the house. Reapply as needed during the day.

P.S. If you’re going to use it on the face, spray it on your hands first and then pat it on. But be careful, the texture is very liquidy!

Performance & Personal Opinion

If you’re a regular here, you know I’m not a huge fan of spray sunscreen. They’re super practical, but their clear texture means you can’t see if you’ve applied enough. Not the best recipe for sun protection.

Bioderma Photoderm Max SPF 50+ is a light yellow in colour. Once it sinks in, it dries to a transparent finish that leaves no residue on. But, it helps gauge how much sunscreen you’ve just put on. I like that.

You know what I don’t like? How it feels on my face. It’s not just greasy and oily for a few minutes – I could put up with that for excellent sun protection, especially when it’s 30ºC in the shadows.

My problem is that it dries to a shiny finish. Shiny, not dewy. My skin isn’t particularly oily and yet it looked like I had just had a close encounter with a frying pan…

On my body, it’s a completely different story. Maybe it’s because my skin there is drier, but the shiny finish was more brightening than oil-like.

So, that’s how I used it. Before leaving the house, I’d generously spray Bioderma Photoderm Max SPF 50+ all over my body and use the Cream version on my face. Worked much better for me.

The sun mist did a great job at keeping me safe from UV harm. Even when I was out for hours, I didn’t get any sunburn, redness, or anything like that. Plus, the spray bottle makes reapplication a breeze.

Related: My Full Review Of Bioderma Photoderm Max SPF 50+ Aquafluid

bioderma photoderm max sun mist spf 50+

Who Is This For?

Anyone can use it, but it’s best suitable for dry and combination skin. Especially if you’re looking for an easy-to-reapply sunscreen on the go.

Who Is This NOT For?

  • Oily skin may find it too greasy
  • If you have sensitive skin, the alcohol may bother you a little


A bright yellow bottle with a spray applicator. It’s eye-catching and practical.

Does Bioderma Photoderm MAX Sun Mist SPF 50+ Live Up To Its Claims?

Offers a very high protection across the entire UVA-UVB solar spectrum and protects against the harmful effects of UV rays and free radicals thanks to antioxidant active ingredient. True.
Can be reapplied easily thanks to its no spreading application. True.
Very water resistant. True. But you still need to reapply it regularly. Towel drying, sweating, and playing in the water all remove sunscreen from your skin. If it isn’t there, it doesn’t matter if it’s water-resistant, it won’t protect you.

Price & Availability

£17.00 at Escentual, Feel Unique, and Look Fantastic

Do You Need It?

If you’re looking for a spray chemical sunscreen for your body that provides high protection without the irritation, this is a great option to consider.

Dupes & Alternatives


Alcohol Denat, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Homosalate, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Ethylhexyl Triazone, Cyclohexasiloxane, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Aqua/Water/Eau, Tocopheryl Acetate, Fragrance (Parfum), BHT, Tocopherol, Ectoin, Mannitol.