Review | Paula's Choice Calm Redness Relief SPF 30 Mineral Moisturizer for Normal to Oily Skin

Everyone and their mother knows the importance of sun protection. However, the majority of people aren't aware of the fundamental difference between chemical-based and mineral-based sunscreen. If you're blessed with having non-sensitive skin, this fact probably won't affect you whatsoever. On the other hand, if you have reactive or sensitive skin prone to redness (rosacea) and breakouts like me, you surely know what a pain in the neck it can be to find a mineral-based sunscreen that doesn't break you out and that comes in a cosmetically elegant formula. Look no further, my fellow sensitive friend, because Paula's Choice Calm Redness Relief SPF 30 Mineral Moisturizer has got you covered.

Paula's Choice Calm Redness Relief SPF 30 Mineral Moisturizer for Normal to Oily Skin - New PackagingDescription: A lightweight mineral-based sunscreen that calms and soothes sensitive skin while protecting it against damaging UVA/UVB rays.
  • Diminishes the appearance of redness
  • Helps keep skin looking younger, longer
  • Non-greasy lotion leaves a soft matte finish
  • Use as the last step in your AM skincare routine
Why is it different?

CALM Redness Relief SPF 30 Mineral Moisturizer Normal to Oily Skin pampers sensitive, reddened skin with its gentle, broad-spectrum mineral-based sun protection and soothing antioxidants, all in an ultra-light silky lotion that leaves a soft matte finish.

What does it do?

Moisturizes while providing soothing skin relief and preventing the appearance of premature aging from sun damage. The SPF 30 is a significant benefit as it decreases the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging caused by the sun if used as directed with other sun protection measures. It’s gentle enough for sensitive skin and even suitable for skin prone to rosacea.

How to use

Use as the last step in your AM skincare routine. Apply liberally 15 minutes before sun exposure. If you don’t apply liberally, you will need to reapply every two hours after your skin is exposed to direct sunlight. If you plan to swim or perspire you must apply a water-resistant sunscreen.

Aqua, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Zinc Oxide (6%), Cyclomethicone, Titanium Dioxide (2,32%), Dimethicone, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Polysorbate 80, Caprylyl Methicone, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Isohexadecane, Cetyl Alcohol, Propylene Glycol, Polyglyceryl-6 Isostearate, Allantoin, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Alumina, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glycerin, Panthenol, Algae Extract, Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Triethoxysilylethyl Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Hexyl Dimethicone, Caprylyl Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Diethylhexyl Carbonate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin. 

Volume: 60 ml

Price: €24.78 (Paula's Choice); €33.95 (Lookfantastic); €36.56 + €4.74 shipping (Superskin Hrvatska)

Paula's Choice Calm Redness Relief SPF 30 Mineral Moisturizer for Normal to Oily Skin


As I've pointed out in the beginning, finding a sunscreen that works well with sensitive or reactive skin prone to redness (rosacea) and breakouts is a daunting task, to say the least. Although this product isn't absolutely perfect, it comes close enough to receive Holy Grail status in my skincare arsenal. I've already featured it in my Minimalist Summer Skincare Routine as well as in my Oily Skin 101 | How to Build Your Basic Skincare Routine post, so have a look if you're interested in my approach to skincare in general. I'm very picky when it comes to skincare products, so calling something Holy Grail is not some buzzword I use lightly.


The product comes in a sleek plastic squeezy tube with a flip cap on top. You can easily squeeze out every single drop without having to cut the container in half when the product comes close to its end. Also, I really appreciate that everything you need to know about the product is printed on the back, including the full ingredient list. The first time I bought the product I received it in its former packaging (image above). The second time I received it in the new packaging (the first image in the post). I'm relieved to say that nothing has changed (the ingredients, the formula nor the tube) except the colour and design printed on the tube. The new design is right up my minimalist alley, but I didn't mind the old one either.


The manufacturer claims it's a lightweight non-greasy silky lotion, and I somewhat agree. It definitely feels like a silky lotion and it's easily spreadable on the skin. The formula is loaded with silicones which certainly helps with spreadability, but makes the lightweight non-greasy claim agreeable only to an extent. If you aren't accustomed to the feeling of silicones on your skin, it won't feel as lightweight and non-greasy as, for example, a water-based silicone-free moisturizer. However, in comparison to other mineral-based silicone-free sunscreens, it does feel lightweight and non-greasy. Another major plus for me is, although the product feels like it would slip and slide around the face, it quickly sinks into the skin and leaves a wonderful primer-like feeling on the skin.


The manufacturer claims it has a soft matte finish, but I have to disagree. On my oily skin, it has more of a soft dewy finish than a soft matte one. It's not super shiny, but it's clearly more dewy than matte.


The manufacturer claims the product calms and soothes sensitive skin while protecting it against UV rays as well as diminishes the appearance of redness plus helps skin looking younger, longer. Yes, yes, and yes! It feels calming and soothing on the skin from the moment I apply it. As a matter of fact, I've lately had some seborrheic breakouts (red, scaling, itchy rashes) on my neck, around my eyes and ears, and it definitely helped in calming things down. Besides the main nonirritating ingredients, I guess the additional anti-inflammatory ingredients like Allantoin and Licorice Root Extract also help. The product does help diminish redness, but I believe this is true of all purely mineral-based sunscreens because of the white cast they leave on the skin. As far as the helping-the-skin-look-younger-longer claim, well, that's a no-brainer. The moment you apply any kind of sunscreen, you're helping your skin look younger, longer because it will protect the skin from sun damage which causes premature skin aging. Nevertheless, the product also contains antioxidants such as Chamomile Flower Extract and Green Tea Leaf Extract, but not in such quantities that should cause skin irritation.   


The product is hydrating enough for my oily skin, so I have no need for an additional moisturizer which is a huge plus since I like to have as little layers of anything on my skin as possible. I'm not sure whether the product can provide enough hydration for people who don't have oily skin, but you can always layer it on top of serum and/or regular moisturizer. Plus, there's also a version for dry skin which contains emollient oils and fatty acids suited for drier skin types.

Sun protection

The product has broad-spectrum mineral-based SPF 30 which is the level of sun protection I wear throughout the entire year. SPF 30 provides protection from 97% of UV rays, broad-spectrum means it protects the skin from both UVA and UVB rays, and mineral-based means that the active ingredients used to protect the skin from the sun are Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. Unlike chemical-based SPF which can cause all sorts of reactions on sensitive skin, mineral-based SPF is much safer to use if you have sensitive or reactive skin. How can I tell the sun protection is working? Easily. My face and neck are noticeably lighter than the rest of my body. I am naturally pale, but I still get some tan in the summer. Right now, my body is around NC15-20 whereas my face and neck are still NC10.

White cast

Since this is a mineral-based sunscreen, yes, there is a white cast, but nearly not as badly as with some other mineral sunscreens I've tried. For example, I've recently tried out Innisfree Mineral Make Up Base SPF30/PA++ based on Sharon's Farrell recommendation (who is one of my all-time favourite YouTubers). It contains green pigments to help cancel out redness, but the greenish white cast is so strong there's no way I could pull it off unless I wear a thick layer of full coverage foundation on top which simply isn't my cup of tea. I easily combat the white cast from Paula's Choice Calm Redness Relief SPF 30 Mineral Moisturizer with a thin layer of medium coverage liquid foundation, e.g. L'Oreal Paris True Match Foundation. During the hot summer months I like to top off the sunscreen solely with Laura Geller Baked Balance-n-Brighten Colour Correcting Foundation because there's no need for additional layers of setting powder nor setting spray. (BTW, I'm so impressed with that Laura Geller foundation that I'll definitely do a separate review, and I will forever be grateful to Thataylaa (another dear YouTuber) for sharing her discovery.)

Volume, price, availability

The volume of this product is 60 ml which is double the amount you usually get with face creams, moisturizers or serums. Huge yay! As far as price and availability goes, that's a whole nother story, at least for people living in Croatia, Europe. On Paula's Choice official website the product costs €24.78, but they only ship to U.S. and Canada. In Europe, this product is available on Lookfantastic for €33.95, but, for reasons unknown to me, they don't ship it to Croatia, so I got it from Superskin Hrvatska. The price is even higher there (€36.56) plus you have to pay €4.74 for shipping unless your order is worth over €53. Huge bummer!

If I could change anything about the product, what would it be? 

If I could change anything about the actual formula, I would try to make it a bit less silicone heavy. I would also work harder on the price and worldwide availability issues because I don't think it's fair that I have to pay half the price more just because I live in Croatia, though I am grateful that I can get it at all.

Will I repurchase the product as is? 


Final Remarks

Although it's not entirely flawless, Paula's Choice Calm Redness Relief SPF 30 Mineral Moisturizer for Normal to Oily Skin has quickly become a staple in my skincare routine and rightfully earned its Holy Grail status in my book. I can't even begin to explain what a relief it is to have a sunscreen that works well without causing any skin irritations, and which can be worn nicely under daily makeup.

Have you ever tried Paula's Choice Calm Redness Relief SPF 30 Mineral Moisturizer for Normal to Oily Skin? How do you feel about it? Do you maybe have some other broad-spectrum mineral-based sunscreen recommendations? What's your favourite? Let me know your thoughts down below as well as if you have some questions about the product which I haven't addressed in the review.

Yours lovingly,

Image credit: Paula's Choice. 
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