Why does my sunscreen turn into white clumps?

I bought Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Neutrogena sunscreen spf 45 and when I rub it in it clumps into white balls and I find it very irritating. I had this problem before with another sunscreen and was told by customer service not to put lotion on under it. I don't anymore but it still happens. What is going on?


  • Are you putting anything on your skin under the sunscreen? And is your skin dry when you are applying sunscreen? If there is a product underneath the sunscreen it will roll up like that sometimes. Sunscreens should also be applied to dry skin, unless otherwise noted on the label. 

    Other than that I have no idea what could be going on. Brains? Any ideas?
  • 1. Are the white balls in the product already or do they only show up after you rub it on skin? 
    2. Do the balls show up if you rub the product on something else besides your skin, like a piece of paper?
    3. Does this happen ALL the time or only under certain conditions (like right after you shower or after you apply lotion, etc)?
    4. What's the expiration date of the product? 
    5. What's the name of the other product that you had this problem with? 
  • edited February 2014
    Yes my skin is dry when I apply. There is absolutely nothing on my skin. It happens all the time whether I showered recently or not. The product is new not expired. I don't know if they ball up on something else I will have to try. The name is Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunscreen SPF 45.
  • edited February 2014
    I have had this problem with other sunscreens too that were not expired. ALL sunscreens that I use. Maybe I am just rubbing too much? 
  • Well I find this really annoying so I contacted the company.
  • edited February 2014
    Well they said they will send me a replacement so that was really nice. That is why I don't buy eco friendly or expensive brands anymore, many "eco" brands don't even have a number you can call if something is wrong with the product which is probably will be because its not preserved properly and when my Desert Essence lip gloss had black mold in it they wouldn't do anything about it bc I am outside of the US, yet they decide to sell their product in other countries with no warning?! Assholes.
  • edited February 2014
    Update! I think the problem was that I put the products on after having a shower. I was dried off but not totally because my hair was still wet. The problem is you are supposed to put on lotion after you shower to trap the water in your skin but if I do that it will mess up my sunscreen. It has worked fine now that I don't put sunscreen on after right after a shower.
  • Rozy I encountered this problem frequently in the past too, although always with layering products.
    I looked into it and what happens is that sometimes the various emollient ingredients in the products almost remove each other, similar to how a makeup remover starts to make makeup come off. I found that waiting for my skin to dry and waiting for full absorption of previous product was the key. But I also take care to use products with very thin textures now, which is helpful. I did find thicker textured products such as primers and sunscreens more frequently caused this problem.
  • Maybe what I will have to shower at night and put on a moisturizer after and then have a quick shower in the morning with body wash to get the lotion off so I can put sunscreen off or would that be pointless?
  • That might work Rozy, try it and see.
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