My Sunscreen Dilemma Solved: Chanel UV Essentiel SPF30

Chanel UV Essentiel review

I have a shameful confession to make: I am not always very good about using a separate sunscreen on my face. It’s not because I’m lazy, but because I can’t seem to find anything that works well under makeup without making my T-zone an oil slick within an hour or two in summer. Enters Chanel UV Essentiel, and suddenly my long-standing skincare dilemma is solved: now I can have my SPF and stay presentable too!

Chanel UV Essentiel SPF30

Chanel UV Essentiel (30ml/1 oz. RRP in Belgium: 50 euros) has three different SPFs to choose from (20, 30, and 50). Besides UVA and UVB, it also claims to fight against pollution and sun spot formation. You have to shake the bottle before use, and the product itself is a lightweight white liquid. It has a rose scent that lingers for a while, but not in an overwhelming kind of way (I suppose they opted for this over the typical sunscreen smell).

Chanel UV Essentiel packaging

What I like the most about Chanel UV Essentiel is the texture. As I have confessed, wearing a separate sunscreen isn’t always pleasant in summer (ironically, that’s when you need it the most), because most of the time the texture is too heavy on its own. My T-zone greases up fast, and before you know it, I can just about fry something on it. If I try to put anything else on top, things get worse. I basically constantly had to decide between looking presentable and having proper sun protection.

Chanel UV Essentiel however, is amazingly light. With a majorly physical blocker (titanium dioxide), it does leave a bit of a white cast. It can, however, be covered up with makeup afterwards. When it’s really warm, I use this on top of my serum before I apply a tinted moisturizer/BB cream. If your skin is drier, you can always use a lotion underneath. Out of all the sunscreens I have tried, Chanel UV Essentiel has to be crowned as the one that has the best texture! It might seem insignificant, but think about this: would you rather have other sunscreens that you don’t want to use because they feel icky on the face, or one that you can actually use every day?

Here is the ingredient list:

Chanel UV Essentiel SPF 30 ingredients

Bottom line: While Chanel UV Essentiel is probably not the most budget-friendly sunscreen you’ll see, it is pretty much the first sunscreen I personally find lightweight enough to wear in summer. It works well under makeup, so if that has always been a problem for you, I would suggest you check out Chanel UV Essentiel!

What about you? Are you good with sunscreens? What sunscreen do you usually use under makeup?

Sunny, your beauty culture translator xx

Mostly Sunny disclosure



  • http://onestarrynight.com Sarah @ OneStarryNight

    OHH I’m curious about this now. I never use an individual sunscreen on my face, then again I’m mostly nocturnal so it’s not an issue for my extremely pale skin. I tried the L’Oreal Miracle Blur one and the texture… and the scent… left a lot to be desired.

    • http://mostlysunnyblog.com/ Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Hey Sarah, you should check this one out! I used not to use a sunscreen, either. I’m just growing older and more cautious! More protection probably can’t hurt!

  • http://www.beautyloves.be/ BeautyLoves

    I have the “old” one with SPF 50, it’s really great but still lightweight. I think it is worth the money, because it works and really, you only need one bottle as it lasts forever.

    • http://mostlysunnyblog.com/ Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Hey Stamatia, I’d definitely repurchase when I run out! Between using an expensive sunscreen and not using any because I hate the texture, it’s probably better for the skin to do the former!

  • b eauties

    most suncreens dont work well with my oily skin

    • http://mostlysunnyblog.com/ Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Check this one out! I wore it here in Taipei today, and it fared well! Mind you, my skin gets pretty oily in the heat and humidity!

  • taf

    I have oily skin so always, always opt for daycream with SPF all-in-one product — hate having to layer! The best one I’ve used is Avene’s Hydrance Optimale Light Hydrating Cream. It mattifies like a champ and works well under makeup. Now that it’s winter I’ve just bought something slightly more hydrating, but the Avene is one that I’ll definitely repurchase.

    • http://mostlysunnyblog.com/ Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Hey Taf, I really could do with a mattifying product for my T-zone in summer! Got to check the Avene one you mentioned out!

      • taf

        Saw that you mentioned you were in Taipei below — and looked at your about page and noticed you’re also from Taiwan! I moved to New Zealand when I was six and haven’t been back since I was fifteen, so keen to pay a visit and also see what the beauty counters are like. I’m from the 屏東 region, where are you from?

        • http://mostlysunnyblog.com/ Sunny @Mostly Sunny

          Eee Taf, you’re from Taiwan too??? I’m born and raised in Taipei. You should definitely come back to check out the beauty counters. There are SO MANY of them and there’s always some kind of discount/gwp going on LOL

  • Jacqueline Ma

    I’ve been using this for years. I’m so glad you like it. Being in Singapore, I chose the highest SPF.

    • http://mostlysunnyblog.com/ Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Hey Jacqueline, glad to hear you like it, too!

  • http://redhotjillypeppers.com/ Redhotjillypeppers

    I only wear a sunscreen on my face when I’m actually tanning. Pretty bad, I know :)

    • http://mostlysunnyblog.com/ Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Hey Jill, I slack off when it isn’t sunny, but otherwise I try!

  • http://kissandmakeupsbeautyblog.com/ Kiss & Make-up

    Halleluja! I think I need to put this on my wish list… I have the same problem as you and I find it so difficult to find a seperate SPF product that doesn’t turn me into an oil monster and my make-up into a disaster.

    • http://mostlysunnyblog.com/ Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Hey Melissa, try this one! It’s OK even in Taipei. I think it stands a pretty good chance in Switzerland!

      • http://kissandmakeupsbeautyblog.com/ Kiss & Make-up

        Sunny! I might have found a budget-proof alternative :-D After I read your post, I started rummaging through my sample collection and I found a sample of the Vichy Capital Soleil SPF 50 (woohoo!) Mattifying Face Fluid with dry touch. For the sake of beauty (yeah right :-P) I just sat on my patio in my bikini for two hours with this sunscreen on my face, and it performed great. It kept my skin pretty matte, it didn’t leave a white cast, and it felt dry to the touch indeed. I applied it over a full face of make-up even, and I gotta say it didn’t mess it up too much. I thought I’d tell ya :-)

        • http://mostlysunnyblog.com/ Sunny @Mostly Sunny

          OOO another reader mentioned this too! Now I have to look into it when I’m back in Belgium (I can find Vichy here but I’m sure it’s cheaper in Belgium)!

          • http://kissandmakeupsbeautyblog.com/ Kiss & Make-up

            I had my mom buy the full-size for me yesterday. It was only 17.90 in Belgium. It was way more expensive here.

          • http://mostlysunnyblog.com/ Sunny @Mostly Sunny

            Whoa that’s a good deal! Definitely stock up!

  • ValleyDoll

    This sounds like something I MUST have for the packaging alone ;-)!
    I really need to pay more attention to UV protection. Do not want to look old and wrinkly in 10 years.

    • http://mostlysunnyblog.com/ Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Hey Eva, I used to be a slacker, but I’m getting better and better! Heard too many horror stories by now!

  • TracyBeautyReflections

    Wow cool! I wonder if it’s here and how much it is? But I really do love my Bioderma SPF50, although I have dry skin so separate sunscreens don’t bother me! Glad you found something that works for you!

    • http://mostlysunnyblog.com/ Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Hey Tracy, I think it’ll pretty much be everywhere, so I hope you’ll get to check it out soon! I haven’t looked into the Bioderma one, but I’ve heard great things about it!

  • LifeOfBun

    A light rose smell instead of that heavy sunscreen sounds like a blessing already! :P

    • http://mostlysunnyblog.com/ Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Haha if you’re not allergic to fragrance I can imagine it’s more pleasant.

  • http://procrastinatingpretty.blogspot.com/ TheProcrastinator

    I had a tiny little sample of this (the packaging was shockingly high production quality), and I really liked it! I’m trying the Caudalie sunscreen next, but I agree that this texture is amazing.

    • http://mostlysunnyblog.com/ Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Hey girly, I’ve tried the Caudalie. It’s not bad, but for my skin type it’s still too rich in summer (especially if I want to layer some kind of makeup over it).

  • Gail Annacarto

    I have used the SPF 50 for years – they now added 2 more strengths and they changed the formula – I was in love with this but now – I hate it – I have contacted Chanel and asked a few SA if they changed it – all but one SA told me its the same – its not – Chanel quit answering my emails – I begged them to bring the old formula back and if you look at the ingredients they are not the same – Can anyone else who has used the old formula share their feelings.

    • http://mostlysunnyblog.com/ Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Aww I’m so sorry to hear about this, Gail! I don’t know the old formula so I don’t know the difference. Is there a way for you to secure some more bottles of the old formula?

      • Gail Annacarto

        I noticed that someone posted a review of the new one on Makeupalley – I was able to find one bottle at Macys and bought it – the old one was such a nice primer for makeup and I am probably on my 4th bottle – I do live in Florida so I use it everyday and it does last a long time – I tried Clarins and Kiehls but always go back to Chanel – I might try the Shiseido one as I love their powder sunscreen for the face and the hair and body spray but never tried the daily face one. They have a limited edition of the compact that very cute – check it out
        .http://www.shiseido.com/foundation/suncare-foundation,en_US,sc.html

        • http://mostlysunnyblog.com/ Sunny @Mostly Sunny

          Hey Gail, I think you just sold that to me LOL It’s strange how I spent most of my life in Taiwan but I never looked into these! I think it’s about time!

          • Gail Annacarto

            You will love both – I am going to try to get a sample of the everyday sunscreen and compare to both Chanel’s – will let you know. Thanks for the great reviews and your time

          • http://mostlysunnyblog.com/ Sunny @Mostly Sunny

            You’re welcome, Gail! Please keep me posted. Now I’m so intrigued!

  • http://papayapieces.com/ Sofia

    Ah, I have the same dilema so I’ll keep this in mind next time I look for an spf. Have you tried the Nuxe one? I got that list year and its very nice (taking into account I have the same melting problem). If you’re ever in Spain try the Isdin brand too, they make one called Fluid Fusion which is fantastic!
    PS i’ve been cheating because I’ve been wearing Bobbi Brown BB cream with lots of spf…

    • http://mostlysunnyblog.com/ Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Hey Sofia, nope I haven’t tried the NUXE one! The Isdin thing does sound fab! I’ll definitely keep that in mind!

      I think the concern with not wearing a separate sunscreen is we don’t use enough BB cream and so on, so the SPF in there doesn’t offer enough protection. I can definitely understand though! If you spend most of your time indoors, it’s probably not as bad (or so I hope)!

      • http://papayapieces.com/ Sofia

        True, I’ll wear proper sunscreen if I’m outdoors a lot, or on summer vacation. And I’ll wear something like BB cream (or moisturizer and foundation both with spf) if I’ll only be boringly indoors all day..

  • Amy

    I totally have the same problem, Sunny. I have used mostly Annemarie Borlind products on my face and love them, but sometimes use a Laura Mercier illuminating moisturizer with SPF. I also tried a cheap project a few weeks ago, Neutrogena Clear Face “no breakout” sunscreen, and it works really well! But immediately after reading your article, I put Chanel’s sunscreen on my list! It sounds fabulous.

    This is a totally different topic, but do you know anything about Bobbi Brown’ s Extra Bright line? Have you gotten samples or otherwise tried it? I saw it the other day and was tempted!

    • http://mostlysunnyblog.com/ Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Hey Amy, you should definitely check this out! I’ve been wearing it in Taipei and I’m so impressed!

      Unfortunately I haven’t tried the Bobbi Brown line. Is it fairly new? Usually you have a good chance for getting samples when a line is new!

      • Amy

        Yes, I was at a US counter earlier this week and they said it was newly launched. Apparently it was tested in Asia (I think the rep said Japan?) and had very positive feedback, and now they’re launching it here; not sure about Europe though! Anyway, let us all know if you get some! Enjoy your time in Taipei!

        • http://mostlysunnyblog.com/ Sunny @Mostly Sunny

          Hey Amy, in that case we might not get it at all or we might get it later in Belgium. I’ll take a look while I’m in Taipei soon!

  • http://buyingcrueltyfree.com/ Catherine

    So glad you found something that works for you. I’m having a similar dilemma, still on the search for my HG

    • http://mostlysunnyblog.com/ Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Hey Catherine, I hope you’ll find something that works well for you soon!

  • http://www.pinklavenders.com/ Rainy Days & Lattes

    Glad you found this!! =) I just use mattifying Japanese sunscreens from Kanebo or Shiseido. I find they work very well. I must try this Chanel one though ^_^

    • http://mostlysunnyblog.com/ Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Hey Jen, now come to think of it I should finally try a Shiseido sunscreen. I have heard SO much about them!

  • http://beautyreductionista.blogspot.ca/ Liz

    Neutrogena Waterlight works well enough for me but it ain’t no Chanel, I know. Will have to try this some day!

    • http://mostlysunnyblog.com/ Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Hey Liz, I used to love Neutrogena sunscreens (the spray!), but I don’t think I’ve seen them in Belgium! I might not have looked hard enough though!

  • She Loves Praline

    I love Vichy Dry Touch SPF50 when out and about in the sun – it doesn’t leave a white cast and dries down quite matte. I’ve tried the Chanel in UV Essentiel in SPF50 and have repurchased twice – I switched to Vichy because of the price and I get through it so quickly! Do you know if there’s much of a difference in texture between the SPF50 and the SPF30?

    • http://mostlysunnyblog.com/ Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      OOO now I’m interested in the Vichy one! I like the fact that it doesn’t have a white cast!

      I haven’t tried the SPF50 version yet. The SPF30 one is pretty thin and liquid-y. I know the higher the SPF, usually the thicker the texture. I have to check it out next time I’m at a counter!

  • peggy timmermans

    This sounds good! Do you always wear foundation or bb cream? Even when it’s very hot?

    • http://mostlysunnyblog.com/ Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Hey Peggy, nope! Sometimes I do a tinted moisturizer, and other times just a moisturizer with a bit of an SPF (like Caudalie Vinoperfect Day Perfecting Fluid). It all depends on what I’m doing that day!

  • http://www.nailsandcupcakes.com/ Isabelle

    This one sounds great for me! I haven’t been a good girl when it comes to daily separate SPF either.. But mostly because my skin is oily & does not like the option very well. This one, however.. How long do you think 30ml would last you using it once a day on your entire face?

    • http://mostlysunnyblog.com/ Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Hey Isabelle, I need some more time to find out about that! It’s pretty thin, and unless you plan to pile it on it should last quite some time.

  • Man Yee Lau

    Oh, this one sounds great! Maybe I should try it in the future. :D At the moment, I am head over heels for the Dior Capture Totale Solaire Global Anti-Aging Suncare with SPF 20 (that’s a mouthfull). It is such a lightweight suncreen for under my bb cream. It doesn’t feel sticky at all and it keeps my face oil free and shiny free for the whole day! This was different when I was using the Clinique Super city block sunscreen. The substance is already a bit oily and it makes me sweat like crazy when I top another layer of foundation of bb cream on it. Honestly, it is love love love. I bought mine at the Planet Parfum sales for just 66.77 € instead of 99.39 € for 50ml. And today I went for another tube because apparently, it is discontinued now. So I need to stock them up! :D

    • http://mostlysunnyblog.com/ Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Hey Man Yee, thanks for the heads-up! I’m so sorry to hear it has been discontinued! I hope Dior is launching something new and BETTER!

  • Joyce (bronzer bunny)

    i don’t seem to get along with chanel base products, but i am so glad it is working for you! I am using a lancome SPF and it is quite nice! though i’m terrible about wearing consistently lol

    • http://mostlysunnyblog.com/ Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Hey Joyce, I try to do that in summer. I definitely slack off in autumn/winter, especially because it gets SO cloudy and rainy in Belgium!

      • Joyce (bronzer bunny)

        i’m glad i’m not the only one ;) though we should probably both start to wear sunscreen year round! haha

  • http://mirror-reality.com/ Phil

    Ah I had the same issue for the longest time, then I just stopped using moisturizers underneath my sunscreen and problem solved. No more oil slick after a few hours. Just use a serum if need be or get a creamy sunscreen but nothing underneath. it won’t be real skincare beneficial but you’ll be looking good :)

    Going to the beach I just slather on sunscreen on it’s own.

    Btw if you apply the recommended amount of SS, this makes you look WHITE :D

    • http://mostlysunnyblog.com/ Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      I normally don’t use a moisturizer underneath my sunscreen, but with most sunscreens my problem is not solved! I stand a good chance with this one even in Taipei though. I’m impressed!

      And yes, if you slather this on it will result in a very visible white cast. I know it’s horrible, but partially for oil control I’m going with a thin and well-blended layer.