Institut Esthederm Bronz Repair Protective Anti-Wrinkle And Firming Face Care review

Is Institut Esthederm Bronz Repair Protective Anti-Wrinkle And Firming Face Care a bronzer? An anti-aging moisturiser? A sunscreen?

Don’t you hate it when you can’t tell?!

After putting it to the test, I’ve decided it’s a face moisturiser with SPF benefits. But it doesn’t replace sunscreen. Here’s why:

What’s In Institut Esthederm Bronz Repair Protective Anti-Wrinkle And Firming Face Care?


Have you notice Institut Esthederm Bronz Repair Protective Anti-Wrinkle And Firming Face Care has no SPF? Yet, it provides broad spectrum protection. What’s going on here?!

Institut Esthederm doesn’t believe in SPF. That only tells you how long you can stay in the sun without getting a sunburn, but offers NO protection against wrinkles, dark spots and all the other havoc the sun wreaks on your skin.

You need a sunscreen that protects your skin from both UVA and UVB rays for that. The problem? Well, while SPF is an universal system, there is no universal rating for UVA. Institut Esthederm has developed its own.

Basically, the more suns you see on the packaging, the higher the protection from ALL UV rays. This cream has three suns, the maximum.

Here’s what it uses to provide sun protection:

  • Benzotriazolyl Dodecyl p-Cresol: An UV absorber that helps stabilise (i.e. keep effective) other easily degradable UV filters.
  • Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane: A.k.a. Avobenzone. It protects skin from UVA rays but it’s very unstable and degrades easily when exposed to sunlight. Avobenzone can penetrate deep into your body, so it’s not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and small children (everyone else can use it safely).
  • Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate: A.ka.a Octyl Methoxycinnamate. It protects skin from UVB rays and helps other UV filters last longer, too.
  • Ethylhexyl Methoxycrylene: Helps stabilize other UV filters, especially Avobenzone.

WARNING! It provides broad spectrum protection only if you apply it as sunscreen (1/3 of a teaspoon for the face and regular reapplications).

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Thick, but leaves no white cast or oily residue behind.


It smells like sunscreen.

How To Use It

It’s the last step of your morning skincare routine. Apply it generously and reapply as needed during the day.

Performance & Personal Opinion

Institut Esthederm Bronz Repair Protective Anti-Wrinkle And Firming Care is a product I’m not comfortable using.

It claims to protect skin while promoting tanning – that’s NOT possible. You either protect skin or promote tanning. Why?

Tanning is a sign of sun damage. Let me repeat that. Tanning is a sign of sun damage. Sun damage is just what sunscreens are trying to avoid. If your skin tans too much while using sunscreen, you need a better sunscreen. Period.

FYI, no sunscreen prevents you from tanning completely. SPF 15, still lets around 7% of UV rays reach your skin. SPF 100 lets 1% through. That small % of UV rays may cause a little tan overtime.

But if your skin gets too dark, the sunscreen you’re using isn’t up to the job. The fact that Institut Esthederm claims this sunscreen promotes a deep tan while NOT disclosing the SPF makes me VERY uneasy.

That’s why I don’t use it alone. Although the texture is on the thick side, I still slather a separate sunscreen on top. The first few days I used it alone for review purposes, I didn’t get a tan.

But then, I live in London and it’s hard to tan here, know what I mean? If I were still living in Italy, I don’t think I would have used it alone at all.

FYI, this isn’t particularly moisturising. If you have oily skin, it may be enough on its own. But dry skin needs a moisturiser underneath.

Buy hey, at least it didn’t give me pimples.

Related: Take A Number: How To Choose The Right SPF For You


Who Is This For?

Almost everyone can use it, but it’s most suitable for combination skin.

Who Is This NOT For?

Sensitive skin. Chemical UV filters (like Avobenzone) and fragrance may irritate your skin.


A bright orange tube. Eye-catching and practical.

Does Institut Esthederm Bronz Repair Protective Anti-Wrinkle And Firming Face Care Live Up To Its Claims?

This soft, lavish cream stimulates tanning, prevents photo-ageing, corrects wrinkles and firms the skin.  It doesn’t promote tanning and I’m not sure why a brand would make a claim like that. Tanning is a sign of sun damage that eventually leads to wrinkles, dark spots, and cancer. The very thing a sunscreen is trying to avoid in the first place!
While we’re debunking this claim, this sunscreen can’t firm skin or correct wrinkles wither. It only prevents photo-ageing (and that’s a lot!).
Prevents photo-ageing and dark spots: protects the skin’s DNA and prevents cell damage thanks to our patented Global Cellular Protection technology.  All sunscreens that provide broad spectrum protection do this, wether they use this technology or not.
 Activates the natural pigmentation process for a luminous and long-lasting tan. It can’t activate the natural pigmentation process. How can slathering something on your skin do that?! Plus, you DON’T want to tan. The only way this can happen is if the SPF level is low and lets too many UV rays through!
The skin turns a deep golden colour. It does make skin darker – again, that’s a sign the sun protection isn’t too high!
Maximum protection against UV rays: UVA protection is just as high as UVB protection. As we don’t know how high is the UVB protection, this claim doesn’t mean anything.
Prevents and corrects wrinkles: the skin stays firm and toned. UV rays degrade collagen, the protein that keeps skin firm. By protecting your skin from UV rays, sunscreen can prevent this damage, keeping skin firmer for longer.
Product reserved for strong sun exposure (mountains, sea, tropics) or extended exposure. I wouldn’t use it for strong sun exposure, especially when you don’t know the SPF!

Price & Availability

£56.00 at Feel Unique and SpaceNK

Do You Need It?

Not really. As a sunscreen, it doesn’t disclose the SPF. As a face moisturiser, it’s moisturising enough only for oily skin. Chances are you’ll have to use a separate sunscreen and/or moisturiser with it anyway. What’s the point?


Dupes & Alternatives

  • EltaMD UV Pure Broad-Spectrum SPF 47 ($25.00): available at Dermstore and Walmart
  • Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection SPF 50 Sunscreen + WetForce For Sensitive Skin & Children ($42.00): available at Nordstrom and Ulta
  • Skinceuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50 ($34.00): available at Blue Mercury and Dermstore


Aqua/water/eau*, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Ethylhexyl Methoxycrylene, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Glyceryl Stearate, Glycerin, Dipropylene Glycol, Peg-100 Stearate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Cetyl Alcohol, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Cera Alba / Beeswax / Cire D´abeille, Tocopheryl Acetate, Benzotriazolyl Dodecyl P-cresol, Oryzanol, Creatine, Fragrance (parfum), Glycyrrhetinic Acid, Mannitol, Methylpropanediol, Oryza Sativa (rice) Bran Oil, Pentylene Glycol, Pongamol, Butylene Glycol, Trilinolein, Caprylyl Glycol, Xanthan Gum, 1,2-hexanediol, Acetyl Tyrosine, Aspartic Acid, Cerium Oxide, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Helianthus Annuus (sunflower) Seed Oil, Polyethylene, Disodium Edta, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Sodium Dextran Sulfate, Polysilicone-11, Sodium Hydroxide, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Oleoyl Tyrosine, Potassium Sorbate, Triolein, Tripalmitin, Acrylates/c10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Linalool, Hexyl Cinnamal, Hydroxycitronellal, Oleic Acid, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-di-t-butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Medicago Sativa (alfalfa) Extract, Trilinolenin, Phenoxyethanol, Propylene Glycol, Alcohol, Limonene, Carbomer, Sodium Lactate, Tristearin, Tris(tetramethylhydroxypiperidinol) Citrate, Benzyl Benzoate, Polysorbate 20, Geraniol, Copper Gluconate, Bht, Citronellol, Asiaticoside, Artemia Extract, Madecassic Acid, Carnosine, Tocopherol, Asiatic Acid, Triarachidin, Isoeugenol, Coumarin, Disodium Adenosine Triphosphate, Citral, Laminaria Digitata Extract, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Red 33 (ci 17200), Acetyl Hexapeptide-1, Dextran. 

* Cellularwater (aqua/disodium Adenosine Triphosphate/carnosine/mineral Salts).