Product Review: Rodan + Fields SOOTHE Mineral Sunscreen

Reviews, Skin Care

rodan-fields-mineral-sunscreenRodan + Fields SOOTHE Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 ($41, is a lightweight sunscreen that’s formulated to be minimally irritating, part of a system of Rodan + Field’s intended to reduce irritation and redness. I was excited to try it when they sent the sunscreen over and I have to say, it’s an excellent physical sunscreen product.

Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide

Zinc Oxide is one of the best physical sunscreens because it blocks both UVA and UVB rays.

This is the power duo of mineral sunscreens. These are physical sunscreens, which means that instead of a chemical process in your skin — as with chemical sunscreens — these physically block the sun from entering your skin.

Though they’re physical sunscreens, they’re transparent in normal light, which is why they’re so often used. Zinc oxide is better able to block UVB, as well as UVA rays, while titanium dioxide primarily serves to block UVB (Skin Pharmacology and Physiology). Zinc oxide is a better sunscreen agent than titanium dioxide, as titanium dioxide does not block as widely alone the spectrum as zinc oxide (Skin Cancer Foundation).

The good news is, Rodan + Fields SOOTHE Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30’s main active ingredient is zinc oxide — at 12% — followed by titanium dioxide — 2%.

While there’s been some concern about absorption into skin when micronized, there’s little evidence to show this is an issue. What studies have been done with electron microscopy have found that they have very limited penetration of the first layer of skin and are not a concern (Skin Pharmacology and Physiology).

Another there’s no reason to be concerned is that silicones, which this sunscreen has, help to keep these ingredients from penetrating skin.

Sodium Hyaluronate

Sodium hyaluronate is the salt of hyaluronan and is a natural moisturizing factor.

This is sort of an old favorite. While Rodan + Fields SOOTHE Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 isn’t intended to be your main moisturizer (you’re suppose to use SOOTHE Moisture Replenishing Cream first), it still has some ingredient to keep skin hydrated and sodium hyaluronate is one of those. Sodium hayluronate doesn’t necessarily have long-term antiaging effects, but it does help to keep skin at optimization (Murad).

Sodium hyaluronate is a natural moisturizing factor (NMF) that acts as an occlusive, pulling moisture from the environment into skin. So, it’s a good ingredient for preventing transepidermal water loss (TEWL) (Journal of Investigative Dermatology). However, it can also draw out water from the deeper layers of skin.


Phenoxyethanol is an alternative to parabens as a preservative.

Rodan + Fields SOOTHE Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 doesn’t used the often seen and recently controversial parabens, but instead uses phenoxyethanol. While I believe parabens are safe, I understand those who wish to eschew them.

Phenoxyethanol is an antimicrobial agent, inhibiting and eliminating strands of bacteria, rather than working as an antioxidant (Letters in Applied Microbiology). It’s even been shown to work against strains of bacteria like E. coli (Microbios).

Though large doses can be lethal, it’s not harmful in the proportions found in cosmetics. In tests on babies’ skin, it was found to be quickly metabolized by the skin and do very little damage (BMC Vet Res).

Overall, it’s considered safe in cosmetic formulations.

[Read More: Spotlight On: Phenoxyethanol]

Personal Use and Opinion

Rodan + Fields SOOTHE Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 is unscented, so it has the mildest sunscreen-like scent that dissipates very soon after application. The sunscreen is lightweight, absorbing into skin with no residue. It’s definitely the kind of sunscreen that can be layered easily over a moisturizer and then reapplied several times throughout the day. And thanks to the gentle, fragrance-free formula, users should have minimal irritation.

Bottom Line

Rodan + Fields SOOTHE Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 is a mineral sunscreen with ample amounts of zinc oxides that actually blocks UV-rays from entering your skin. The formula is light and and comes without skin irritating frangrances and other ingredients. It absorbs quickly into skin, making it perfect to go over a moisturizer and be reapplied every 2-3 hours.

Product Rating:  9/10

  • High or optimized concentration of key ingredients: 3/3
  • Unique formulation or new technology:  2/3
  • Value:  3/3
  • Sunscreen: 1/1
ACTIVE: Zinc Oxide 12%, Titanium Dioxide 2%. INACTIVE: Cyclopentasiloxane, Water, Butylene Glycol, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Dimethicone, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Caprylyl Methicone, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Caprylyl Glycol, Glycerin, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein/PVP Crosspolymer, Sodium PCA, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Camellia Sinesis Extract, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Panthenol, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Chloride, Alumina, Methicone, Silica, Phenoxyethanol

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