Saturday, 8 August 2015

SPF - FACE - CITY - Goldfaden MD Sun Visor SPF30 Mist


Broad Spectrum? UVA symbol (in EU)?
Not clear. It says UVA/UVB protection but does not state 'Broad Spectrum' anywhere - see the additional info column at the bottom, because there is a lot of it!

Physical or chemical?

SPF active ingredients (in order of %)?

Titanium Dioxide - nano
Benzophenone-3 - Oxybenzone


White/ash residue on darker skins?

Absorbs well even at high SPF?

Potential to block pores based on the above?
No, it's light and shouldn't cause huge issues for people with acnaic issues.

Works under makeup?
Yes, but this is usually mentioned when discussing things to spray over makeup - see additional info box below.

Does it leave you shiny?
Not personally, but as in previous posts do let me know if you've used it and experienced the opposite.

Is it sticky?

Contains fragrance?

Suitable for all skin types?

Water resistant/waterproof/sweat resistant?
'Reapply after sweating or swimming.'

Antioxidants/any skin benefits?
'Organic red tea to rejuvenate and provide antioxidant benefits'

Additional info? - Yes. LOTS.
OK. I almost don't know where to begin with this one. I 100% went into this review expecting to be able to say to all of you that want something to spray over makeup that this was for you. I am asked about this product almost daily - mainly by women who want to spray something on top of their makeup so that they don't have to reapply 'traditional' SPF by removing their makeup mid-afternoon. I've met the team behind Goldfaden, they're lovely people.
So I'm taking emotion out of it and presenting you with the facts, so you can make your own mind up.

I have numerous concerns, namely:
  • this product contains oxybenzone at 1%, but is not labelled with a warning as required by EU law in products containing oxybenzone at a percentage higher than 0.5: 
  • The packaging description says it contains zinc oxide, but zinc oxide is not listed in the ingredients list. So if it does contain zinc oxide, the ingredients list is misleading, aka unlawful, and if it doesn't contain zinc oxide, then they are at best, misleading their customer.
  • the box clearly states 'silicone-free' like a badge of honour - below:

but it contains two silicones - polydimethylsiloxane and dimethylsiloxane. These ingredients are chemical silicones, any which way you dress them up.
Even the Net-A-Porter website repeats the non-silicone claim. N.B. - Net-A-Porter updated their website as of 10.08.15 to remove the 'silicone-free' claim.
  • And then this one:

Make absolutely no mistake, the only 'natural' ingredient in this product is water. End of.
  • Not only that, the titanium dioxide is nano-encapsulated, something which the California senate is so concerned about that Goldfaden MD have to have the proposition 65 warning on their website. The list includes 'airborne titanium dioxide' in 'a list of chemicals known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity'.
    Nano-encapsulated titanium dioxide is a topic of much discussion in the SPF world, but what everyone pretty much agrees on is that inhaling it is probably not the best idea. And this is a spray. 
  • 'Do not use on or near the eyes.' It's a spray. Recommended for the face. 
Make of all of that what you will, but I have never reviewed a product with so many contradictory claims and bad labeling. On the plus side, it's making me nervous and I'm going back over previous reviews and checking all upcoming ones with a fine-tooth comb to make sure I'm being fair across the board. 
I'm so shocked by the outcome of this review that I even traipsed through as many UK vs US retail sites and reviews that list ingredients to give Goldfaden the benefit of the doubt - I thought perhaps they could have made a UK version of the product and maybe there had been a mix-up between US and UK boxes, but then realised if they had made an EU version, it would, you would hope, be EU compliant. But all to no avail. All the labelling/packaging/ingredients appear to be the same box available on both sides of the Atlantic.

If Goldfaden MD can counteract any of this with facts/proof/reassurance I will happily publish. I know a lot of you have bought and used this product, and my hope is obviously, that you enjoyed it, it did its job and you suffered no adverse reactions. But if you did, maybe email the brand for clarification? 
Something or someone, somewhere, has gone wrong.

15.08.15 - Update - Goldfaden MD response is here:

£40.00 for 80ml available from and -(where, incidentally they also mention the zinc oxide with no sign of it on the inci)


  1. I value that you're so honest, unbiased and clear in your reviews. I love every product I've bought from your recommendations and how to take care of skin. I've recommended you to friends and colleagues too.
    I don't read any reviews from other websites that only say it feels nice and works, because now I want to know about ingredients and what you think :) Thanks for putting so much effort into providing us with information!

  2. I was put off this brand after I saw reviews for a scrub containing ruby crystals (or something similar). Does Dr Goldfaden despise barrier function that much he wants everyone using industrial strengh exfoliator? Great for sanding the floor I'm sure but might be a tad excessive for the face.
    CosMedix also do a spray SPF, for face and body, it's Titanium Dioxide but it clearly states on instructions when applying to face to spray into the hands and then apply to the face. That can be used under or over makeup.

    1. *hides away my Goldfaden advanced doctor's scrub*

    2. I received that Goldfaden scrub in a gwp and used it on my feet. Also thought it would be good for the butt cheeks maybe. Reminds me of the Lancer Polish which was also in a gwp that I used the same way. When I watched your "in the bathroom" video and you held up the Lancer Polish and said "not a fan", I laughed so hard then I rewound and laughed again. It was so funny to me. Have fun in Rome!

  3. And where is the red tea on INCI?

    1. LOL I can't believe I actually missed that, being so engrossed as I was in the SPF side. There MUST be a separate ingredients list that has the tea/zinc oxide somewhere? SURELY?? *BAFFLED*

  4. You are a devil as in 'Devil is in the details'. :)


  5. Such an interesting post. The contradictions make me nervous too. It also makes me wonder about the ingredients in their other products as well now.

  6. Hi Caroline. If you go on Goldfaden's youtube page, there is a video of a woman sitting on the beach spraying the sun visor on her face. However, it was a windy day and you can see most of it being swept away by the wind. Not good for the environment and not providing much protection if very little is actually making it to your face.

    1. Thank you for the heads up. It does seem a little artistic license was used. Two pumps into the wind does not a protected face give IMHO.

  7. Thank you Caroline for this post!!! I always look forward to reading what you have to say as I know how much you research them!!! It is very scary to think what people may be using on their skin and don't even realize it!!! Just proves the point of that age old saying...don't belive everything you read!!! Or in this case what is put on tbe box!!!

  8. Love your posts!!! Thank you for all the research you do!!!

  9. Any other mid-day, post-makeup SPF suggestions?

  10. oh wow, that spray sure set up a bit of a mystery. for all wanting a spray i can recommend the coola suncare setting spray. it's a bit of a shocker when you spray it on so only open your eyes once the alcohol's wafted off but after that it "feels" really nice. as to wether it actually "is" really nice ingredient wise, i'll let caroline decide. ;).

  11. Hi Caroline. I'm LOVING this series of SPF reviews. As a mild rosacea sufferer, sunscreen is an important part of my skincare routine, especially in the Great (*coughs*) British Summer. I think this particular is excellent writing on your part to express a multitude of concerns about a product without being sensationalist or nasty. You're so knowledgeable and and I am so thankful you share this knowledge so freely with the rest of us :-)

  12. Got this one a couple of weeks ago. As a combination skin with incredibly oily areas on my face, I thought it was great. No shine, no white residue and "natural" (not a fundamentalist of natural brands, but is nice add on). After a day with a couple of hours in the sun mostly wearing a hat, I my hyper pigmentation (I do think is melasma but not sure) has worsened tremendously. And I would never ever put it on top of the make up! its not fine mist but a white liquid that comes out that for sure would ruin make up!
    There needs to be a product such as the Make Up forever Mist and Fix with high SPF !

  13. Caroline, is the La Roche-Posay Anthelios 40 a good choice of sunscreen, ingredient-wise?
    And also, thank you so much for all the research you do to keep us all informed!

  14. Caroline, is the La Roche-Posay Anthelios 40 a good choice of sunscreen, ingredient-wise?
    And also, thank you so much for all the research you do to keep us all informed!

  15. Thank you SO much for this! This is scary to me!!! I was really tempted to get this sunscreen and I've been wanting to try this brand for ages but now I don't think I can. I find it hard to believe that this amount of false information is a mistake. It seems intentional and sneaky to me!

  16. I bought this last year on good faith, having fallen in love with the scrub, and ready for a summer city break (I'm very very fair and sensitive skinned and need a product I can use repeatedly throughout the day). I can't recommend it because, no matter how careful you are, your hair ends up just-out-of-the-sea-greasy, and I want to use this around and about every day. I'm now using Cane and Austin lotion which is superb.

  17. Wow, this is absolutely scary. Shows how careful one has to be reading labels etc.... Or rather that one cannot be careful enough...?
    Thank you for such a thorough and honest review (and for this great series in general).

  18. Thank you for this! I was actually considering another product from the brand but now I'm backing the hell off!
    Bioderma has just created a spray SPF 30 adding to the Hydrabio line... Have you tried it? I'm super curious about that one (since it's Bioderma, which I usually trust, and also cheaper :p).

  19. I'm sort of concerned when a product costs 40 pounds and has so much incongruousness... I was about to buy this - glad I didn't! Main concern is that they cite zinc oxide when there is none of it. I'm a fan of zinc oxide in my suncare: not having it in it is bad, but not having it and saying you do is worse in my head...

  20. BIODERMA do an SPF spray (or, as the packaging says, a "moisturizing anti-UV mist, SPF 30, PA++). It's the Hydrabio Eau de Soin SPF30. I had heard of it and wanted to get one but it was sold out in several pharmacies here in Paris. I finally got my hands on one and I have to say, it's really good. And cheap (9.90€ for 50ml!!). It's safer to first use a regular sunscreen in the morning and only use the Bioderma as top-up through the day (it's how the brand advises you use it). I guess because it's a fine mist and you don't actually get the recommended quantity with just a few spritzes. But it's indeed a very nice way to top up without worrying about your make up. It makes it so easy to reapply that I do it way more often than I used to, so that's great. Some more info: it's paraben-free and hypoallergenic. It's patent pending for Aquagenium, some kind of cellular bioprotection ingredient. You need to shake it well before use. I keep mine in the fridge so it's even more pleasant to apply. Anyways, props to Bioderma, that's a really great product, I strongly recommend!

  21. I bought this for the summer - from Space NK. I did think that one of the things you are paying for at Space NK is that they at least check the ingredients and that the product is compliant with the right regulations. I might email them and see if I can take it back. It's not really what I wanted anyway as although it is a fine ish mist, it is white so you need to smudge it in and in so doing disturb make up.

  22. Just like Julie, I recommend the Bioderma spray. I tried it while on holiday these past weeks and have nothing wrong to report except that it felt a bit tacky but I might have sprayed it too close from my face...

  23. Hi Caroline or should I say the Hirons,
    Very impressed. Seriously, I have been obsessed with your opinion and views and then thought you were just sugar coating for certain brands but this review was astoundingly impressive to say the least. I applaud you for your knowledge, clarity, humour in syntax and wording. I have become a massive admirer of you, your mind and obviously your opinion. Thank you for being so honest, so in your face and so you - authenticity is exactly what we need in this overcrowded blog/youtube sphere. Love your videos btw (especially the ones "in the bathroom" and with the gorgeous and brainy "Dr". You are brilliant Hirons; if you did facials I d love to come round, chat baby, skin, are very interesting. Btw as a side note, get your thyroid checked out. Claudia

  24. I seriously do wonder how many companies play games like this. It's widespread in America in another industry-

    So I try to only buy from companies I trust, such as Tata Harper, Sunday Riley, Tatcha and some others. Also, when I see brand founders on video, I try to figure out if they seem sincere and trustworthy or otherwise. I know that it's just a guessing game, but it helps.

  25. If you forgo face makeup in the day and only do your lips and eyes, you could just reapply regular creamy sunscreen and not worry about questionable spf sprays. You can use Clarins liquid bronze on the face, neck and chest once or twice a week to achieve some color, and whilst following Caroline's skincare advice, look spectacular bare-faced.

  26. Hi Caroline - I wrote to Goldfaden y'day (I use this spray and was terrified after reading your review) and here is the reply whic I thought we could all digest and comment on?

    Hi Jaquie,

    Thank you so much for writing in and I apologize any confusion that Caroline Hirons’ post may have caused as she wrongfully published this post without knowledge of the finite legalities and knowledge of the below. I want to clarify the following points as outlined in not only the blog post, but also the below.
    Zinc: This is a typo in the copy. We have addressed this in reprint packaging.
    Oxybenzone: According to the EU, safety data allows up to 10% usage in topical agents. Warning discloser just states the use if above .5% and/or used as product protection purposes. Benzophenone-3 is the same as oxybenzone and is used as protection purposes.
    This adheres to the EU requirements as the “warning” label is simply stating that the product contains the ingredient and at what percentage, which LISTED IN THE ACTIVE INGREDIENTS LISTING and ADHERES TO THE EU regulations,

    “When a product met this requirement, the warning: Contains oxybenzone was required to appear on the label. While oxybenzone is the drug name for the INCI designation benzophenone-3, a consumer in the EU might look at a product label, see this warning and scan through the ingredient listing only to find no oxybenzone listed there. Regulation No. 1223/2009 changes the phrasing of this warning to now read: Contains benzophenone-3, to match the way it appears in the ingredient disclosure and outlined in the active ingredient listing.”

    3. NO USE OF NANO: This is to clarify that the product has NOTHING TO DO WITH NANO PARTICLES (NANO). Micronized is NOT the same as Nano. This is an entirely false accusation and wrongful claim. The Titanium Dioxide that we use is broken up in smaller particles (i.e. Micronized), which are much larger by definition than Nano particles. Nano is an entirely different process defined by size and production procedure, etc. The micronized Titanium Dioxide used in this product is bound to the formula’s ingredients, including water, and therefore is not harmful for its intended use. To summarize: THERE IS NO NANO ENCAPSULATION IN THIS PRODUCT WHICH IS WHAT CALIFORNIA STATE PROP 65 IS REFERRING TO AND ALL CLAIMS ELUDING TO “CANCER-CAUSING” PARTICLES. Out of respect to California state residents and to avoid any customer confusion, the link to the background and explanation of the proposition appears across the entire website.

    I hope that this helps to clarify your concerns and please know that we would never put out a product that was harmful to any individual as we take great pride in creating products that are not only effective but safe to use.

    Please let me know if I can answer any additional questions that you may have.

    Thank you,


    1. Hi Jaquie!

      How utterly bizarre. I said I was more than happy to adjust/fix the article if they wanted to comment - moreover, no mention of he silicones and a blatant admission that the packaging is wrong in saying it contains Zinc Oxide. It's not a 'typo' when it's been on shelves for years.
      Thank you for this though. X

  27. I had something similar from Space NK but with a little extra...

    • 'Do not use on or near the eyes.' It's a spray. Recommended for the face. *eyebrow*

    The blog writer’s configuration is looking at this in a very different direction than what’s intended to be conveyed on the packaging. This is a simplistic warning label under the guidance of the FDA and safety control about keeping any consumer products away from getting directly in the eye (other than what is intended to go directly into the eye, i.e. drops). It’s not “harmful” to the skin around the eyes, but this is to encourage users to be cautious. Customers are encouraged to use common sense when applying any topical agent on the face.

    * polydimethylsiloxane and dimethylsiloxane:

    These ingredients are sourced from natural sources (ie. apples, raw cabbage and pumpkins) and are used in the development and refining of the final product formulation. These are used in trace amounts and are inactive, however these are disclosed on the label by inci name

  28. It's so refreshing to read the facts presented in a matter of fact, yet open way to allow the company to also respond in kind. I feel strongly the response and how a company accepts responsibility (or not) for getting caught with their pants down speaks VOLUMES. I have been following your advice for about a month now, but your credibility and professionalism has truly blown me away this time. Thank you for educating me on ingredients!

  29. For those of you who want to find a product to spray on top of your makeup, Bioderma just came out with a new one, the Hydrabio Moisturising Anti-UV Mist. It's SPF 30, UVB/UVA, it's only 9€ (in France), and it's amazing ! You can reapply every three hours as recommended, on top of your makeup and powder if needed ! :D

  30. I live in California, grew up here, and that prop 65 stuff is meaningless. Often, based on one study decades ago that found that one substance in massive doses caused cancer in mice. For example, this sign is hanging in most businesses in the state--including every. single. Starbucks. Please don't take that particular warning too seriously :)

  31. Do you have a review for a similar product, Coola's spf 30 makeup setting spray (, or would you consider reviewing it? Your reviews on the ingredients are great and so thorough. I'm struggling to find a similar product like Goldfaden's Sun Visor but I want to find a product I actually feel safe about using everyday.