The Lightweight Mineral Sunscreen That Protects You From More Than Just UV Rays

by Gio
dr dennis gross dark spot sun defense sunscreen spf 50

I’ve found the sunscreen I’m gonna be wearing all summer.

It’s so lightweight, I don’t even notice I’m wearing it. It doesn’t pill when I layer foundation on top. And it doesn’t make me look like Caspar The Ghost.

The icing on cake? It doesn’t keep me safe from UV harm only. This baby fights pollution, too. Meet Dr Dennis Gross Dark Spots Sun Defense Sunscreen SPF 50:

Key Ingredients In Dr Dennis Gross Dark Spots Sun Defense Suscreen SPF 50

Titanium Dioxide And Zinc Oxide To Provide Broad Spectrum Protection

Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are my fave UV filters. These two white minerals are so gentle, even babies older than 6 months can use them. If you’ve been skipping sunscreen because they always irritate your skin, check them out.

They also give you better UV protection. Most chemical UV filters protect you from either UVA or UVB rays. That’s why you need to use 4 or 5 at the same time to reach broad spectrum protection.

Zinc oxide provides broad spectrum protection ON ITS OWN. So why not use it alone? It’s super thick and greasy. Making it share the workload with titanium dioxide is one way to keep the texture lightweight and easy to spread.

FYI, titanium dioxide can protect from all UVB and most UVA rays, making it the perfect partner for Zinc Oxide.

Still, these white minerals are thicker than chemical UV filters and can leave a white cast behind. I don’t know how Dr Dennis Gross Dark Spots Sun Defense Sunscreen SPF 50 did it, but these problems are almost non-existant here (more on this soon).

Related: 3 Reasons Mineral Sunscreens Are Better For Sensitive Skin

Mela-C Defense Complex To Protect Against Environmental Pollution

I love sunscreens that go the extra mile. Dr Dennis Gross Dark Spots Sun Defense Sunscreen SPF 50 contains Mela-C, an antioxidant complex that fights the free radicals pollution, UV rays and co form when they touch your skin. This complex is made up of:

Related: All The Different Types Of Vitamin C Used In Skincare: Which One Is Best?

dr dennis gross dark spot sun defense sunscreen spf 50 review

Natural Oils To Moisturize Skin

Dr Dennis Gross Dark Spots Sun Defense Sunscreen SPF 50 is loaded with natural oils, like safflower and olive oils. These oils are rich in fatty acids that strengthen the skin’s protective barrier, helping to keep it soft and moisturized for hours.

Plus, these oils have their fair share of antioxidants that help fight free radicals and keep your skin younger for longer.

Related: Olive Oil For Skincare: What It Does & How To Use It

Let’s Put It To The Test: Personal Use & Opinion

I’ve tried a lot of mineral sunscreens in the past 8 years. I have pale skin so the white cast isn’t a big issue for me. The thicker, hard-to-spread texture bothers me more but I can live with that if it means I get better sun protection.

Dr Dennis Gross Dark Spots Sun Defense Sunscreen SPF 50 has managed to overcome both issues. Its texture is thicker than most chemical sunscreens, but incredibly lightweight for a mineral one. It spreads easily on the skin, it doesn’t tag and works well under most foundations – without pilling.

Once it blends into your skin, you can hardly see the white cast at all. The only exception? Darker skintones. You need a mineral sunscreen that’s tinted. Anyone else, NO white cast! Yay!

I apply the recommended 1/4 of a teaspoon every morning (and reapply as needed, of course) and – I kid you not – I feel like I’m not wearing anything.

FYI, I skip moisturizer in the morning. In this weather, my skin isn’t so dry and the natural oils in this sunscreen are enough to keep it soft and moisturized for hours.

I’ve been using it for weeks and never had any issues with burning or anything. Granted, London ain’t no tropical island but I have no doubt that this sunscreen would keep you safe on holiday too – as long as you apply it properly.

Too often, sunscreens fail because you don’t apply enough. That’s why I’m so happy this sunscreen has such an elegant formula. You can pile it on and don’t feel the grease on your skin. I’m stocking up, ladies.

The only thing I don’t like? Dr Dennis Gross Dark Spots Sun Defense Sunscreen SPF 50 has a couple of citrus extracts that gave it the faintest summery scent. They’re present in very low amount, so they’re unlikely to cause irritations. But if you’re one of the unlucky few who reacts badly to anything citrusy, you may want to pass on this.

Available at: $42.00/£44.00 at Cult Beauty, Dermstore, Net-A-Porter, Nordstrom and Sephora


Have you tried Dr Dennis Gross Dark Spots Sun Defense Sunscreen SPF 50? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide (4.9%) Zinc Oxide (4.42%) Inactive Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Glycerin, Isononyl Isononanoate, Pentylene Glycol, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Coconut Alkanes, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Butylene Glycol, Melatonin, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Tocopherol, Nordihydroguaiaretic Acid, Echium Plantagineum Seed Oil, Boerhavia Diffusa Root Extract, Saccharide Isomerate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Phospholipids, Sphingolipids, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Flower Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Glycolic Acid, Sodium PCA, Zinc PCA, Oleanolic Acid, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38, Acrylates/Carbamate Copolymer, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Bis-Ethylhexyl Hydroxydimethoxy Benzylmalonate, Aluminum Hydroxide, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, BHT, PEG-60 Almond Glycerides, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin, Sodium Hydroxide, Isohexadecane, Caprylyl Glycol, Polysorbate 60, Carbomer, Propanediol, Stearic Acid, Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate, Tromethamine, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil



Jeff May 28, 2019 - 3:28 pm

are you serious? the % of the sunscreen ingredients are so low, I read a study once saying such low % are not very effective, I use at least 20’% zinc , not a paltry 4

Gio June 4, 2019 - 7:58 pm

Jeff, can you point to a study? I’ve seen many people make the claim you need at least 20% zinc oxide to provide good sun protection, but oddly enough, no one ever mentioned a source!

It’s not just the concentration that determines how well zinc oxide protects from you UV rays. Size matters, too. Zinc oxide comes in many sizes and each one works better at different %. Also, you need to formulate in a day that disperses properly on the skin. And don’t forget that other filters in the formula count towards the overall SPF rating, too.

So, it’s totally possible to formulate an effective sunscreen with a smaller concentration of zinc oxide. As long as the brand has done the testing to prove the sunscreen provides the SPF stated on the bottle, I don’t have a problem with it.

If you find a study that claims the contrary, I’d be interested in it. For now, I find it interested that “zinc oxide is effective only at 20%” claims come from companies that use that much. And their sunscreens are incredibly thick and white as a result.

Rachel Rivard May 28, 2019 - 10:29 pm

How would you compare it to EltaMD sunscreen? I’ve been wanting to try it but now you’ve given me a new option. I’m pale so no worries about white cast.

Gio June 4, 2019 - 7:47 pm

Rachel, which EltaMD sunscreen? the main difference is the antioxidants. EltaMD sunscreens are pretty basic and just sun protect and moisturise. This has a few antioxidants that can boost your sun protection further.

JD May 29, 2019 - 8:42 am

Hi. Could you please reference the study? As far as I know, the % of ingredients that are not that important because formulation is important. Hence, even if the % is small, if the formulation allows the product to provide the protection that it claims on its package, then that’s what matters. Hence, if it is, say, SPF 50 with broad spectrum after proper testing, then that’s enough. If I’m wrong, then I’m willing to learn something new.

Gio June 4, 2019 - 7:18 pm

JD, you’re spot on!

Comments are closed.