Product Review: Pur-lisse SPF 30 Pur-Protect Essential Daily Moisturizer

hopper woman sun

As I’ve mentioned before, I wear sunblock on my face every day, even during winter, even in the city. And I’ve often had a difficult time finding a facial sun-protection product that I really like.

So I’m sorry to say that if I had to list my beauty-related disappointments of 2012, a top complaint would be the wretched reformulation of my long-cherished Pomegranate Antioxidant Hydration with SPF 20, made by 100% Pure. It was recently changed from a medium-weight, but easily absorbed, facial moisturizer with a high level of physical sunblock to a thick, dry, un-blendable white paste. (I did leave a negative comment about this change on the 100% Pure product page, but customer reviews are no longer being shown there. Interesting.)

I know; I know. This should be my biggest problem in life. But it was such an ideal everyday combination product. Now I’m forced to audition a few other sunblock-moisturizer hybrids, and I’ll be sharing the results of my efforts here.


A sample packet of Pur-lisse’s SPF 30 Pur-Protect Essential Daily Moisturizer recently came my way, so I wore it every day for a week to find out whether it would work for me. Maybe I was just imagining that 100% Pure’s product was so special…?

I did enjoy a few things about Pur-lisse’s facial suncreen-moisturizer very much. It blends quickly and absorbs well. It has a light, pleasant citrus scent. It gave my skin a semi-matte finish and an almost primer-like surface (thanks to its silicones!) that kept my foundation looking fresh through the workday. The full-size product is packaged in a tube, which is always convenient.

On the other hand, you never really know how a product suits you until you’ve been wearing it for several days. (This is why stores should always make samples available, without any difficulty or guilt attached.) Pur-Protect Essential Daily Moisturizer clogged my pores and gave me some minor, but noticeable, break-outs before the week was out. I don’t know whether the chemical sunscreen ingredients bothered me, now that my skin has become so accustomed to zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, or whether the citrus oils were the culprits. In any case, I won’t end up purchasing a whole tube of this product. It feels like a good quality facial sunscreen, with light-to-medium hydrating properties, so if your complexion doesn’t react badly to any of these ingredients, you may wish to give it a try. For me, however, the search continues…

Ingredients:  Avobenzone (2.0%), Homosalate (6.5%), Octinoxate (7.5%), Octisalate (5.0%), Oxybenzone (4.0%), Water (Aqua), Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Tocopheryl Acetate, Hydrolyzed Lupine Protein Octenylsuccinate, Hydrolyzed Algae (Seasilk) Extract , Hydrolyzed, Soy Protein, Sodium Hyaluronate, Camellia Sinensis Leaf (White Tea) Extract, Nymphaea Coerulea Flower (Blue Lotus) Extract, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Dicetyl Phosphate, Ceteth-10 Phosphate, Aminomethyl Propanol, Carbomer, Disodium EDTA, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Geraniol *, Limonene *, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Cymbopogon Martini Oil, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Juniperus Mexicana Oil, Tagetes Minuta Flower Oil, Michelia Alba Flower Oil.

Pur-lisse SPF 30 Essential Daily Moisturizer sells for $55 (1.7 oz.) at the Pur-lisse website and other etailer sites.

Disclaimer: I received a small sample packet of this product as part of a BeautyArmy subscription box.

Image: Edward Hopper, Morning Sun (1952), Columbus Museum of Art.


10 thoughts on “Product Review: Pur-lisse SPF 30 Pur-Protect Essential Daily Moisturizer

  1. Such a bummer about your other product getting reformed. I’m still searching for my ideal facial moisturizer/SPF. I actually like Clarins Multi-Active Day really well, I just wish there was more SPF in there… le sigh

  2. i use the purlisse spf30 fairly regularly and love it. i have normal to dry skin, which is the skin type the purlisse SPF is for. do you have oily skin? that might explain why you broke out. great for normal skin. not for oily skin.

    1. I have dry skin that is clog-prone, and in the winter I do need some extra hydration. I’m still not sure what the problem was here… I’m still thinking that it must be the chemical suncreen. I bet it would work very well for some people, however.

  3. I had similar experience with La Roche Posay Anthelios. It used to have a nice sheer finish, but now I end up looking like a white ghost, and I’m fair to begin with.

    My recent discovery is Paula’s Choice SPF 45 (non-greasy smth for face and body). The only thing is that it contains Vitamin C, and if your skin doesn’t tolerate it, it will sting. I had to adjust to it slowly by wearing it once a week and then more and more often. Now, my face no longer stings, and I just love the finish and the light texture. I wear a separate moisturizer underneath. Thankfully, Paula’s products are available from her Dutch branch, so I get to practice my Dutch and buy some nice skincare.

    But the topic of sunscreen is something I can talk about at length, because I think that it’s the only product that truly makes a difference in how my skin looks. I wear sunscreen every day, even indoors. For the summer, I love Japanese formulas like Shiseido’s Anessa, which stand up to heat and humidity perfectly (but they often contain alcohol, which can be a problem for some skins).

    1. Victoria, It’s such an important product category! It’s so necessary, but there are so many variations, and so many ways that things can go wrong, especially for someone with sensitive or reactive skin. My all-time favorite sun-protection product is Pratima’s Neem Rose Face Sunscree, which I reviewed here:
      I can wear it alone in the summer, but in the fall/winter, I really do need more moisture. That’s when I usually rely on the 100% Pure product. Alas! I’ve been mixing some Pratima into my night moisturizer for day use, but then it’s a bit too heavy, and I’m lazy about the extra step.

  4. Have you tried the Josie Maran one (Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 40)? Sephora has a smallish travel size, which is great to try it out (and to take on trips – love it!). I had a similar problems finding a good SPF moisturizer – I wanted higher than 15 SPF, cruelty free and no parabens, etc. and no white pastiness. This meets all my requirements and I have repurchased several times.

  5. I absolutely love Elta MD, which is recommended and sold by my dermatologist. I use the SPF 46, meant for acne prone skin. It is chock-full of zinc and niacin, which is great for reducing redness. I order it from Dermstore and they ship it monthly. Titanium Dioxide makes me break out horribly, I wonder if that is what caused you an issue with this sunscreen…? Elta MD has a great product line. I also just ordered the AM therapy lotion for dry days, and I use the Moisture formula (in a jar) if I am obscenely peeling from Tazorac. I’ll bet the company might send you samples if you request them….

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