Regulars amongst you know just how fussy I am about sunscreen. I use sunscreen. Liberally, compared to most, and I use it daily. Rain or shine, indoors or outdoors. SPF50 PA++++, no compromise.
What this means is that if a sunscreen that comes before me is anything less than that, I don’t even give it a look in. That’s just how fussy I am.
Let me also say that my preference lies with the Japanese sunscreen, because their formulation is second to none – lightweight, comfortable and effective.
Some time last year however, I was introduced to the Murad City Skin Age Defense Broad Spectrum Mineral Sunscreen SPF50 PA++++
Murad, not being a Japanese brand therefore, had me scratching my chin. Did I want to try it? Most Western brand formula had put me off thus far. But the label “mineral sunscreen” drew me in like a fish at the end of a hook.
I wanted to know how this fared, and if it might find its place among my very carefully selected Holy Grail sunscreen selection.
Murad City Skin Age Defense Sunscreen – a mineral sunscreen
First, why the label mineral sunscreen. This indicates that in the Murad City Skin Age Defense sunscreen are physical mineral based UV blockers, primarily zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
These ingredients sit on the surface of your skin, forming some sort of “shield” and blocking the UV rays from reaching your skin and causing damage.
Contrast this with chemical blockers, that work a little differently, absorbing and dispersing UV vs blocking, but work similarly to protect skin from damaging UV rays. I wrote a little about it here if you want to know more.
While many mineral sunscreen purists extol the virtues of a purely mineral sunscreen for full protection against UV rays, the problem with mineral sunscreens have always been about texture. They are usually thick in texture, and leave a white cast on your skin due to the high content of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
A cosmetically elegant mineral sunscreen!
It is heartening therefore to note that the Murad City Skin Age Defense Mineral Sunscreen is nothing like that.
Peach tint for brightening skin
The first thing you’d notice is the slight peach tint to the product. This makes it kinder going on the skin, and avoids the dreaded white cast problem. I will have to tell you that I don’t know how effective this tint is on very deep skin tones, especially if you are liberal with application as I am. That bit you see up there, will just be sufficient to cover my nose 😛
If you have tried it and have a deep skintone, I’d appreciate your sharing your experience in the comments so others are aware 🙂
On light skin tone like mine, the peach tint not only helps the sunscreen blend better with my skin without looking stark white, it also seems to give my skin a slight brightening effect. This latter effect is quite flattering, and makes for a very good makeup base.
Lightweight, creamy, comfortable texture
The second thing I noticed was the texture. The Murad City Skin Age Defense Mineral Sunscreen is creamy, but lightweight. It spreads easily, and I do not find it drying at all, unlike most mineral based sunscreen.
It is in fact quite comfortable on drier skins like mine. If you have very oily skin, then you may find it a little heavy. But for anyone with combination to dry skin, this one is very comfortable and feels elegant.
I like that it does not feel oily nor does it feel greasy as the day wears on. It isn’t drying, but it seems to stay put, and even makes for a lovely primer especially under longlasting foundation that tends to be a little more drying.
One thing I appreciate about this Murad City Age Defense Mineral Sunscreen is this – there is no scent. This is unlike the newly reformulated Shiseido Perfect UV Protector Multi-Defense, which I no longer use because of its reformulated texture, and the scent. Ugh!
With sunscreen, I use a lot of product each time, so not having a scent makes it far more comfortable to use and less irritating!
It’s sunscreen – use ENOUGH product to protect skin!
I will have to say however, that I absolutely DISAGREE with anyone who says that the texture allows for “a little to go a long way”. While it does, I do not subscribe to this notion when it comes to sunscreen.
Do note that you should be using about a teaspoon of sunscreen on your skin to achieve proper protection. I don’t use that much, naturally, but I use about half a teaspoon each time, just on my face.
For me therefore, texture is very important, for it not to be heavy. However, if you are skimping on use due to texture and price, then I’d advise you to skip this. Find yourself something that suits your skin and wallet better. Just being honest! 😛
Murad City Skin Age Defense Mineral Sunscreen protects from strong, searing tropical sun!
Thus far, it’s ticked all the boxes for me. The final test as far as I’m concerned, is how it performs for me, under our hot tropical sun.
While I stay out of the sun as much as I can, I cannot help being exposed to its harshness, and that’s the other box ticked. My skin felt comfortable even after going out in the sun, and did not feel burnt or toasty, nor did I feel it turning red.
This isn’t scientific of course, and is purely anecdotal. However, it is my personal measure of how effective a sunscreen is, as UV-B rays are what heats up your skin and causes it to burn. So if my skin does not feel over-heated then something must be working right?! That’s my logic anyway 😛
The other thing is that I did not notice my existing pigmentation spots getting any darker, nor any new ones forming. For someone who pushes back against this every day, and who is prone to hyperpigmentation, this is important for me.
Murad claims a whole host of other benefits – anti-pollution, shielding against blue light from our devices and vitamin c, but for me those are secondary to its key function – protecting against UV rays.
For this purpose, it passes the sunscreen test with flying colours!
I have to say that I am quite impressed by this Murad City Skin Age Defense Mineral Sunscreen. It is compact and portable (I do shake it up before using) and it works very well as a sunscreen to protect my skin, while feeling comfortable on the skin.
Not waterproof or water-resistant so stay out of the water!
Unlike my favourites however, this doesn’t claim to be waterproof nor water-resistant. So, while it makes cleansing a bit easier at the end of the day, it means you should NOT use it if you’re planning a beach holiday or going swimming. If you sweat a lot, be sure to reapply or you’ll lose its benefits.
Perhaps the name should be a give away. It is a City Age sunscreen so perhaps it wasn’t made for swimming or sports in mind LOL! 😀
However, I do not recommend that you take this opportunity to skip your double cleanse routine, because mineral sunscreen works by sticking to your skin, and it can be hard to remove. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s gone. So, double cleanse whenever you use sunscreen, which is basically everyday 😛
Will I switch to the Murad City Age Defense Mineral Sunscreen?
Yes and No.
I have updated this post to reflect subsequent use of this sunscreen, and I must say that I am continued to be impressed by it. It is cosmetically elegant to use. It feels comfortable, and it protects my skin well. I would, in all good conscience, recommend this wholeheartedly to anyone looking for a good mineral based sunscreen with high SPF protection, and an elegant formula.
However, there are 2 snags in the ointment. The waterproof issue (which isn’t really a snag unless you want a sunscreen to take to the beach) which isn’t really an issue if all you want is a sunscreen for daily use in the city.
The second is more important – price.
Those of you who wailed at me about how expensive the Shiseido Perfect UV Protector is, will wail even louder when you realise that this Murad City Skin Age Defense Mineral Sunscreen is about 1.5 times the price of the Shiseido!
Therefore, as much as I like this, and think it is a decent, even good product, I hesitate to swap my usual Japanese sunscreens for this (Presently my favourite is the Kanebo Allie sunscreen). But, if you have a problem getting Japanese sunscreens where you live, then know that this Murad City Skin Age Defense Mineral Sunscreen is a decent and good alternative to consider.
For myself, I must say that I am seriously considering repurchasing one in the future, once I’m through with my bottle. I might have to grit my teeth and gird my loins a little while I do it 😛
RELATED READING: The Shiseido Perfect UV Protector which is a Holy Grail product of mine, has been reformulated in 2018 and I no longer use it READ WHY HERE
IN A NUTSHELL
The Murad City Skin Age Defense Mineral Sunscreen SPF50 PA++++ is a mineral based sunscreen using zinc oxide and titainium dioxide as its UV blockers. The percentage (titanium dioxide 2.7% and zinc oxide 10.0%) is quite high which is very good. The peach tint helps prevent you from having the dreaded white cast associated with mineral based sunscreen and gives skin a slight brightening effect. I like the texture, which is slightly creamy, but lightweight on the skin. I do think it suits those who have a combination to dry skin type for oily skin types might find it heavy if you use too much. I find that it protects my skin well, and has a good texture, which is important. However, it isn’t waterproof so do not take it swimming nor when you play sports and are liable to sweat. I do find the price quite prohibitive, as there are far more affordable options out there. For sunscreen, which I use liberally, it isn’t justifiable for me to pay this price.
Lightweight and comfortable texture
Peach tint prevents the dreaded white cast on skin
Good UV blockers
Compact and portable
Not waterproof nor water resistant
Creamy texture may lull users into thinking they can use less product on the skin as it can feel heavy on oilier skin types
WHO WILL LIKE THIS: Anyone who wants a good mineral sunscreen that does not leave a white cast
PRICE: RM298 | US$65 for 50ml
If you’re interested in the ingredient list for the Murad City Skin Age Defense Mineral Sunscreen here it is:
Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide 2.7%, Zinc Oxide 10.0%; Inactive Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Glycerin, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Polyurethane-35, Polyglyceryl-3 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Xanthophyll, Retinyl Palmitate, Ascorbic Acid, Bisabolol, Hydrolyzed Jojoba Esters, Urea, Yeast Amino Acids, Trehalose, Inositol, Taurine, Betaine, Biosaccharide Gum-4, Hydroxyphenyl Propamidobenzoic Acid, Silica, Tapioca Starch, Sucrose, Pentylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Stearic Acid, Dimethicone/PEG-10/15 Crosspolymer, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, PEG-8 Dimethicone, Octyldodecanol, Sodium Propoxyhydroxypropyl Thiosulfate Silica, Triethoxysilylethyl Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Hexyl Dimethicone, Aluminum Hydroxide, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Iron Oxides (CI 77491)
There’s quite a lot of silicone in there, which explains the slip to the product, so do take note if you are particularly sensitive. I don’t find it too heavy or slippery so I did not mention that in terms of its texture.
Have you tried this Murad City Skin Age Defense Mineral Sunscreen? Do you use other Murad products?
I’ve tried a couple of Murad products, but none have jumped out at me thus far, except this one and the Overnight Detox Moisturiser. I’ll tell you about that one another day. Have you used anything from Murad you’d like to share? Or perhaps what’s your sunscreen preference these days? You know mine! 😀