Anti-Pigmentation: La Roche-Posay Uvidea XL


This is a guest post from Pei Fang who also goes by the nick pf1123 in the comments section. She is in her late 20s with combination skin type and suffers from occasional bouts of hormonal acne. Here Pei Fang reviews the La Roche-Posay Uvidea XL Daily UV Protection SPF 50.

First Encounter with Sun Spots
About 2 or 3 years ago, I suddenly realized that there were some black dots on my nose. They were very tiny and my friend thought that they were blackheads. However, I never had a single blackhead in my life (well, up to that point in time anyway). To my horror, I discovered that that was the result of not applying sunscreen on my face for 20 odd years of my life.

First Sunscreen Product for Face – Vichy UVActive SPF 50
I rushed to Guardian to find something that can help me with my sun spots. An SA introduced me to Vichy UVActive. It is a sunscreen which helps to prevent pigmentation. At a whooping SPF 50 (at that time was not too common to my knowledge), I thought it would give me maximum protection. The texture was not too heavy so I was rather ok with it. I used 2 or 3 tubes of this and I was disappointed that it didn’t help me get rid of my pigmentation. The spots were still there! So, I didn’t continue with this. I tried another Vichy’s anti-pigmentation product but I was too lazy to do anything beyond cleansing, toning and moisturizing. Instead, my interest in makeup grew. So, I was using foundation, powder pact or BB creams with various amounts of SPF. My face became fairer from these SPF products though the pigmentations were still there.

Product Test
Then the real test came. My skin went haywire from my hormones. I visited a dermatologist and was prescribed Nimegen – a generic brand of accutane. For those loyal readers of Viva Woman, you should have read that accutane would cause increase in sun sensitivity. Although my face was covered with products with SPF all the time, my pigmentation increased! There were more spots and the older spots grew bigger.

I did some research and realized that there is an alternative to Vichy UVActive. On Makeupalley, there is a member who did a wonderful comparison between Vichy UVActive and La Roche Posay Uvidea in her review. She said that both have the same ingredients and serves the same function. Its just that UVActive is oilier compared to Uvidea.

La Roche Posay Uvidea XL Daily UV Protection SPF 50 PA+++
Currently, I have used LRP Uvidea for more than 2 months. I love it a lot! It is only available in Asia and targeted for Asian women as we’re prone to pigmentation issue. It is a chemical sunscreen. The texture is non greasy, light weight, thicker than lotion-like but not too creamy texture. It spreads very well on my face and does not leave a white cast. It is somewhat less oily than UVActive although both products claimed to be oil free.

I use it after my moisturizer as the instructions says to use after skincare regime*. I think it can be used without a moisturizer. But as my day moisturizer is very light as well and has oil control function, so I layered them. It serves as a wonderful makeup base and can be cleansed with a normal facial cleanser. There is no significant increase in pigmentation. If I wear this alone, there is a glow on my skin. There are no adverse reactions such as clogged pores, breakouts or rashes. However, I believe I need to give it a bit more time to assess the effectiveness to be fair as I have used Vichy’s UVActive for much longer.

I think this should be suitable for all skin types even sensitive skin as it is formulated with LRP thermal spring water.

*This is different from Vichy UVActive which claimed to be able to substitute a moisturizer.

Ingredients List
La Roche-Posay Uvidea XL Daily UV Protection SPF 50 contains the following ingredients:

Aqua/Water, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate (also known as Octyl Methoxycinnamate), Glycerin, Cyclopentasiloxane, Propylene Glycol, Terephthalylidene Dicamphor Sulfonic Acid (also called Ecamsule), Titanium Dioxide, Dromethrizole Trisiloxane, Triethanolamine, Benzophenone-3, Stearic Acid, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, PEG-100 Stearate, Carbomer, Glyceryl Stearate, Dimethicone, Sodium Cocoyl Sarcosinate, Tromethanmine, Aluminium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Xanthum Gum, Cetyl Alcohol, Myristic Acid, Palmitic Acid, BHT, Tocopherol, Phenoxyethanol, Methyl Paraben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, Isobutylparaben.


Above monograph is obtained from Environment Protection Agency with the exception of Dromethrizole Trisiloxane which is obtained from Cosmetic Database.

Octyl Methoxycinnamate = Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate
Ecamsule = Terephthalylidene Dicamphor Sulfonic Acid
Oxybenzone = Benzophenone-3

Non-tinted vs. Tinted version of Uvidea
26-02-09_2234The LRP Uvidea comes in 2 versions. One is a normal white colour cream and the other is a tinted version. Both works equally well and only difference is the colour.

The tinted version offers no coverage at all. It isn’t meant to do so. It serves to even out complexion. The tint is very light and to some girls, there might not be any difference between the 2 versions.

It can be used as a makeup base as well. I use this on weekends with some concealer and loose powder when I want a more casual look and also to give my skin a rest…but I can’t go completely without makeup because I still have some acne hyper-pigmentation and uneven skin tone which I want to hide. Hopefully when my skin gets better, I can just use the tinted Uvidea everyday with no makeup. Ahh…how I wish…

Costs and Availability
This is available in Guardian Pharmacy. It retails for S$49.90 per 30ml tube for both tinted and non-tinted. However, this product is often on 20% discount during sale time.

So, the moral of the story is:

  • Do not just use products with SPF, use a sunscreen.
  • Do not just use a sunscreen; use a broad spectrum anti-pigmentation sunscreen.

The LRP Uvidea works for me. I hope it works for you too should you decide to try it.


  1. pf1123 says:

    Thanks Sesame for allowing me to do this guest post!

    pf1123: Hey, you’re most welcome! I have to thank you for sharing this review. If not for the fact that I prefer mineral sunscreens, I would definitely get this. At Taka Watsons, it’s offered free with a purchase of their serum and moisturizer. In addition, I saw 20% promo at some Guardian (not sure if it’s for all.) I used LRP Anthelios XL and like the texture! But this one is awesome in terms of the sun protection!

  2. Wai Yen says:

    Thanks for sharing this great product as I am having dark spots on my nose too! Looking around for a good sunscreen not just SPF. Now I know that, good pointer to note. Will be trying out this product.

    Wai Yen: As I mentioned to PF, there are current promos on this product now. I’m not sure if the 20% applies to all Guardian stores though…cos I saw it at a roadshow in Hougang Mall.

  3. pf1123 says:

    Hi Wai Yen, there are testers at the LRP & Vichy shelves at Guardian outlets for these products. You can try it side by with the Vichy UVActive to see which one you like better.

    To my knowledge, Vichy does not offer a tinted version of UVActive.

  4. Wai Yen says:

    Oh, I am going for the La Roche Posay product. Vichy product does not have the sunscreen function, I think… besides, my gal friends tried this product range before and do not really work on them either. The crucial point I realise in your post is the difference between suncreen, SPF as well as managing pigmentation (which is what I need now).

  5. pf1123 says:

    Wai Yen, Vichy’s UVActive is also SPF50 PA+++ (not sure how many +).

    Yeah, products that has SPF in it may not help to prevent pigmentation. So, I’m glad you want to try LRP Uvidea. I hope it works for you!

    Btw, this product will not erase pigmentation. So, don’t think its not working if you find the old spots still there. It helps to prevent new spots!

  6. Domestic Goddess says:

    Thanks Pei Fang for the review. I generally also like products from La Roche-Posay. I am currently using their moisturiser Toleriane Fluide . It is extremely light and perfect for oily skin.

    Also, I did not know there is difference between sunscreen and SPF. What is so different? How do I look out for it on products?

  7. Den says:

    hey Pei Fang, thanks for the wonderful review.

    I was also using this sunblock and love it to bits, my only comment was the low PPD, and thus the lower protection. However, I am trying out other sunblock cos I find it a tad too greasy after a while even though this is the least greasy sublock among the La-Roche Posay range.

    Nonetheless this is one of the better sunblock around!

  8. pf1123 says:

    Hi Domestic Goddess,

    basically SPF is a factor that measures how long you can be in the sun before you start to get sun burn.

    And sunscreen is just a generic term for this product.

    There are sunscreen which has high SPF that keeps you protected from being burnt or turn dark. However, they might not be able to keep you from pigmentation. When we need to look at the factor that measures protection against pigmentation, we should look out for PPD.

    Just do a search on Viva Woman to find out more about these terminology. Sesame has done extensive research in this area.

    I’m glad that this review is helpful!!

    Hi Den, the PPD of 18 is not exactly low. But of course, now there is the Anthelios range which has got PPD as high as 28. But I prefer this Uvidea because it is an excellent makeup base.

  9. Isabelle says:

    Hey Sesame/PF,
    I think this collaboration is a really great one. Although I don’t use this product and have no pigmentation to begin with, this is one very helpful and detailed review for my reference in the future.

    Isabelle: Yes, I’m so happy with Pei Fang’s review because it covers something I don’t use but it’s beneficial for other readers who are interested.

  10. Synaesthesia says:

    I’ll go n c whether I can find it in Guardian Malaysia…

  11. raelynn says:

    i’m a little confused.. it’s actually the first time i’ve seen the term PPD! how is it different from the pluses (+) that we see on sunblocks? or are they the same thing?

    Raelynn: PPD stands for Persistent Pigment Darkening and is a method of measuring UVA protection used in Japan and Europe. Quite similar to the SPF which measures UVB light protection. The Japanese PA sunscreen rating system is based on this PPD factor. The more +++, the higher the PPD, and therefore better for protection. You can read my post here for an explanation. So you can say they’re the same…

  12. Z Noirlette says:


  13. Jenny says:

    I’ve been looking for this product but it does not seems to be sold in USA. Please let me know if there is a way to buy it and have it shipped to USA.


    JC: Have you tried Ebay?

  14. pf1123 says:

    JC, this product is for Asia only.

    I don’t see it in ebay. So, your best bet would be for somebody in Asia to cp for you. ?

  15. Bryna says:

    Hello! I am looking for La Roche-Rosay Toleriane soothing protective skin care products. Could you let me know where can I buy these products in Malaysia especially in Sabah, Malaysia.

    Thank you very much!


    Bryna: I’m not based in Malaysia so I’m not sure. If you don’t have La Roche Posay counters, then I guess they’re not there and you may need to get the products online.

  16. pf1123 says:

    A note for this product. It acts as a makeup base. My face gets shiny if I wear this alone. So, I often put loose powder over it if I don’t have my regular bb cream.

    pf: I find this the case for most sunscreens.

  17. Casey says:

    Hi, I just bought the tinted version of this sunblock. However, I find the ingredient list quite different. There’s no oxybenzone (benzophenone-3) which is why i bought it. Maybe it has been reformulated?

  18. sesame says:

    The ingredients are probably different for tinted and non-tinted versions but shouldn’t be too far off. But I’m not sure if there is a reformulation as the review done by my guest reviewer, Pei Fang, was one year ago.

  19. silver says:

    This sunblock contains Oxybenzone though, is it safe?

  20. sesame says:

    Well, all chemical sunscreens come with some level of risk when you use it so it’s a personal choice.

  21. Jinn says:

    hi may i know if you have continued to use this product and find it effective in preventing hyperpigmentation from the sun? thank you

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