Free shipping on all domestic orders over $39

Dr. Dennis Gross Dark Spot Sun Defense SPF 50

Dr. Dennis Gross Dark Spot Sun Defense SPF 50

Size: 1.7 oz (50ml)

Dr. Dennis Gross Dark Spot Sun Defense SPF 50 is the ideal solution for fighting off the sun's harmful and aging rays without the harmful effects of chemical filters. This vegan, cruelty-free and paraben-free physical facial sunscreen features the greatest amount of sun protection the FDA permits, so you can enjoy the sunshine without fear that it'll damage your complexion. Our community of unbiased reviewers have already tested and approved this product, so you can try it yourself with confidence that it's effective.

Dark Spot Sun Defense contains a unique blend of melatonin along with three forms of Vitamin C and one form of Vitamin E, which fight free radical damage and protect the skin from oxidative stress. Not only do these potent antioxidants fight signs of aging before they occur, they also help diminish existing sun spots and wrinkles. The ingredients list is rounded off with skin-saving ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and evening primrose oil to hydrate and improve skin's firmness.

Tested for at least 30 days and reviewed by Marta:
To get my attention, a mineral sunscreen has to be cosmetically acceptable and offer more than mere UV defense. And that’s exactly what I got from Dr Dennis Gross Dark Spot Sun Defense SPF 50.

Dr Dennis Gross has created a mineral sunscreen with a serious SPF of 50 without it being liquid chalk. As I understand it, this has been achieved by a special dispersal technology that helps create even and effective protection within a cosmetically acceptable formula. Now it is true, that this sunscreen requires massaging in to the skin before it completely disappears. But disappear it does. And it plays nice with makeup – no pilling.

Dark Spot Sun Defense SPF 50 is also a standout amongst other sunscreens for the ingredients that have been chosen to actually treat and prevent hyperpigmentation. I really like the idea of minimizing existing sun spots while preventing future damage.

A thoughtful inclusion is melatonin. Studies have also shown melatonin’s ability to counteract the harmful effect of UV rays, so I was hoping to see it pop up as an ingredient in a sunscreen – and now my wait is over. Melatonin does this by suppressing oxidative damage. It also protects keratinocytes against cell death, while stimulating the growth of fibroblasts.

With soothing and nourishing oils and skin hydrators such as phospholipids and sodium hyaluronate, the good in Dr Dennis Gross Dark Spot Sun Defense SPF 50 far outweighs the bad. It would be remiss of me, however, to fail to point out that I don’t like the inclusion of BHT, a controversial ingredient that is linked to cancer by some studies. And there are the other usual suspects in the preservative department. Nonetheless, there is nothing to stand in the way of this being my go-to daily sunscreen from now on.

Got Questions? Contact Us
read more
$ 42.00
TRU Rating
Read Review
Community Review
+ Add to Compare + Add to Wishlist

Our Take

I have a love hate relationship with sunscreen. I’m allergic to most chemical sunscreens, aware of the health controversies around them and, while exclusively opting for a mineral sunscreen, dislike having to use makeup to camouflage the inevitable ghostly cast. To get my attention, a mineral sunscreen... read more

Was this review helpful?

Yes / No
0 member(s) found this review helpful


11 Reviews
  • Karen

    (3 out of 5)

    I'm a bit of a purist so wasn't thrilled with the aluminum and a few other ingredients. That's the only reason why the three instead of four stars. What I really appreciate about the product is in application over my serums and even Niod which is an oily gel. After so allow those to absorb I pat off excess with a soft cloth and use enough of this to cover chin cheekbones - places of sunspots and sun aging. It blends in well enough on my light olive skin that I don't feel a need to cover other areas to match -just leave that skin often without makeup. The biggest sigh of relief in this- is that this is the first time EVER that my skin does not get clogged in my deep sun wrinkles by the minerals based sunscreen. It's not heavy duty sunblock....I wear this about toen - Diffinsa - for working hours in front of the computer. No more red irritated skin or melasmic darkening!

    Was this review helpful to you? YES(1) | NO(0)
  • Jenny

    (2 out of 5)

    I wanted to love this, but it made my skin break out. For some reason this has happened with other DDG products as well, so maybe it is something in the formulation. I have fair skin that is oily and fairly sensitive.

    Was this review helpful to you? YES(0) | NO(0)
  • Andrea

    (4 out of 5)

    I like this sunblock it does not irritate my skin. It does give a slight white cast but i can deal with that i am pretty pale and i use it under my makeup.

    Was this review helpful to you? YES(0) | NO(0)
  • Jiuliana

    This product contains aluminum and alcohol which is drying to the skin.

    Was this review helpful to you? YES(1) | NO(0)
  • Maria

    (5 out of 5)

    I have had no reactions, no acne, and I can use it with whatever else I like ( serums, make up, etc) with no strange caking, pilling, stinging near eyes, nor any greasy feel. It stays put, which is great because every time I've burned I have had on sunscreen, it just didn't stay on my oily parts! Long term, I hope that the antioxidants and ingredients help to fade the spots, but at least I believe they'll keep new ones away. I spent over $500 recently on laser treatments to fight sun damage despite using 70+ SPF ( chemical) sunscreens that didn't work. I feel better about this stuff working since it does last and is physical; my derm clinic endorsed this type of protection strongly.

    Was this review helpful to you? YES(1) | NO(0)
  • robin

    (2 out of 5)

    I really wanted to love this product. Vitamin C, sunscreen, hydrating ... and by Dennis Gross, sign me up! Unfortunately this didn't really work for me.

    Late 40's with fair skin, on the drier side, but not at all sensitive ... I can't recall ever having a 'reaction' to any product, even harsh ones.

    This product has a nice smooth texture. As Marta mentioned, it does require a bit more massaging than a regular moisturizer, but I was prepared ... and make up went on smoothly over this lotion.

    My first observation was that this really isn't hydrating enough (for me) to skip a moisturizer and I was really hoping this would help streamline the morning. My next observation was a patch of bumps on my cheek ... not red or inflamed, didn't seem like acne, just bumps. I stopped using this product and they went away.

    A few months later I gave this a second try while on vacation in a sunny location. This time I used it alone, no make up, serums or creams. AND, bumpy patch in the same place. This time the patch was a bit red and itchy. Again, I stopped using it and the bumps went away.

    I am a big fan of Dr. Dennis Gross products and have used many others without issue. It bears repeating that I do not have sensitive skin ... so why the patch of bumps???

    Was this review helpful to you? YES(3) | NO(0)
  • Gab

    (4 out of 5)

    I'm always trying out mineral sunscreens, hoping to find something to replace my typical chemical one that I use daily. So far I'm pretty much batting zero, but I think that this one might just be the one, finally!

    Granted, it's not perfect. I do find it a tad drying, which is too bad because my usual chemical sunscreen is moisturizing enough so that I can skip the face cream in the morning, so I'm a little bummed that I add that step back into my regimen. Like most (well, probably all) mineral sunscreens the finish is a bit sticky but dull. I just want it to feel like a regular cream or moisturizer, but I realize that due to the nature of a mineral sunscreen's ingredients that's asking a lot. The moisturizing ingredients in the sunscreen don't seem to do enough to fix these issues.

    So while those are all nit picks, the main reason why I'll keep using this (apart from the absence of the usual sunscreen chemicals) is that the white cast is almost non-existent, and for me that is a BIG DEAL. My skin is naturally tan (my father is a dark-skinned hispanic, my mom is white), and so far this is the ONLY mineral sunscreen that comes close to working with my skin tone. Yes, I have to massage it in for a couple of minutes, but that does the trick, and I can leave the house without feeling self-conscious about my face! I am so pleased by this that I don't even care if this actually reduces dark spots. I can only hope that mineral sunscreen formulations continue to improve. Until they do, this will be my go-to.

    Was this review helpful to you? YES(1) | NO(0)
  • Marta

    I am now wondering whether the serum or moisturizer we layer a sunscreen over makes a difference to whether the cast will be tolerable and/or fade. I am testing a new sunscreen by a different brand and when I tried it on Saturday (over the DDG Medi-Spa serum) it was vividly white and unwearable. I almost abandoned my test altogether, but then this morning tried it again on top of MitoQ and it was totally fine: a teensy bit lighter than m y normal skin tone and invisible under makeup.

    Was this review helpful to you? YES(1) | NO(0)
  • Marta

    I don't have a porcelain complexion by any stretch of the imagination. Ruddy would be an accurate description. I find this sunscreen very wearable, the cast goes away with gentle rubbing in and a five minute wait. Works well with all moisturizers, including the reformulated I Pekar that I am wearing today. FYI, the Dr Dennis Gross Sun Spray is completely sheer.

    Was this review helpful to you? YES(0) | NO(0)
  • Sheena

    (2 out of 5)

    I was really excited to try this sunscreen but it was obvious I was wearing sunscreen even with the smallest amount - the telltale white sheen was pretty obvious and it pilled with both my moisturisers even in far too small quantities for it to effectively screen the sun. I'm not keen on how it sits on top of my skin either so it's an all round no-go for me. Maybe people with dry porcelain-toned skin might do okay with it, but it's sadly not for me. Not really sure what to do with the bottle - I may use it on my fairer skinned little one when we're away but I can't use it.

    Was this review helpful to you? YES(0) | NO(0)
  • tracy

    (3 out of 5)

    This is a nice sunscreen product, that I think is better on drier skin types than my oily/normal. Initially it left a white cast, like most physical sunscreens, but seemed to go away after a while. It played well with my foundation and concealer, but it left a tacky feeling on my face that I didn't like.

    Was this review helpful to you? YES(0) | NO(0)

Write Your Own Review

You're reviewing: Dr. Dennis Gross Dark Spot Sun Defense SPF 50

Perfect Good OK Didn't like it Hated it Rate Me
2 + 1 =

* Required Fields

  • Michele Watson

    September 3, 2017

    Michele Watson

    This is ok. I have very reactive skin (allergic eg to Le Mer) However I am blown away by Hydropeptide Sun Defence its really excellent under make up and smells beautiful and gentle on skin- mine is now finished and I believe a new tinted one is out in the US. I am also interested in the new Medik 8 one and wondered if you could stock both of these as hard to get in Australia. Thank you also for educating us as readers!

  • Michele Watson

    October 8, 2015

    Michele Watson

    Hi Marta given that you know Dr Gross could you ask him to take the BHT out perhaps? This really does look good - I have spent an hour comparing it to other formulations but you rightly flagged BHT. Why do they need this ingredient (I read your other article on this - very informative btw.) Thanks to you I am more dilligent in educating myself on ingredrients than before. I had no idea BHT was so controversial! Are you still using this? Also how is it under a primer (or could one put maybe over a primer tio prevent the BHT from being an issue?)

  • Marta

    September 30, 2015


    Melatonin is a hormone that regulates our circadian rhythms. The article above has a link to more details. Perhaps you are thinking of melanin.

  • Michele Watson

    September 30, 2015

    Michele Watson

    Hi Marta I am also confused by melatonin. I have read it drives pigmentation (and I certainly had this experience taking it as a supplement) but I have also read it's a UV protectant. I guess the good doc would have done all his homework though so I am willing to try it. Its taken me 6 months to see progress on the sun spots on my legs which suddenly appeared out the blue so here's hoping this sunscreen will fade not promote pigmentation!

  • Marta

    July 24, 2015


    I am happy to report that this sunscreen is now available in the Truth In Aging store:

  • Marta

    July 23, 2015


    Just got back from a peel with 6 AHA/BHAs at Dr Gross' office. Amazing experience - fast, tingly but not overly so and no downtime. I also got to spend time chatting with Dr Gross (along with TIA community member, Kim, who we invited along. He is utterly charming and we had a fascinating conversation about water, heavy metal toxins and why he is formulating with chelating ingredients. I'll be sharing that with you all in an article to come.

  • gr8skin

    July 23, 2015


    I love this sunscreen! Lightweight, no scent, perfect under makeup! My new favorite!

  • Marta

    July 12, 2015


    Hi Dennis, it can increase sun sensitivity but only if the oil (on its own) is applied directly to skin that is then directly exposed to sunlight. I have read a reference to it being an irritant, but could not find the original research to verify. Mostly, the references I found were positive - antioxidant compounds, vitamin C, skin soothing.... I'm going to research an article on essential oils as there seems to be a lot of confusing information and opinion.

  • Dennis

    July 12, 2015


    Marta, are orange oils bad in a skin care product? I always thought they were?

  • Marta

    July 8, 2015


    Hi Candace

    Yes, we've been talking to the nice people at Dr Dennis Gross and we should have it available next week. We'll update you with more news in the coming days.

  • Candace

    July 8, 2015


    I received this in the annual Sephora sunscreen sampler-of all the products-and there were several-this is the ONLY one I liked and would repurchase-I agree with Marta`s review-will you be selling this in your shop?

  • monica

    July 7, 2015


    Thanks for doing all the hard work by weeding out the junk and presenting the good stuff. I WILL look to purchase this product. Thanks.

  • Barb

    July 7, 2015


    i like IT Cosmetics the sunscreen is in the makeup' great, right!

  • Active ingredients: Titanium Dioxide (4.9%) and Zinc Oxide (4.42%) Acrylates/Carbamate Copolymer
  • Aluminum Hydroxide
  • Ascorbyl Glucoside
  • Benzyl Alcohol
  • BHT
  • Bis-ethylhexyl Hydroxydimethoxy Benzylmalonate
  • Boerhavia Diffusa Root Extract
  • Butylene Glycol
  • C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate
  • Caprylyl Glycol
  • Carbomer
  • Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil
  • Citric Acid
  • Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil
  • Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Extract
  • Coco-Caprylate/Caprate
  • Coconut Alkanes
  • Disodium EDTA
  • Echium Plantagineum Seed Oil
  • Glycerin
  • Glycolic Acid
  • Hydrogenated Lecithin
  • Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer
  • Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin
  • Isohexadecane
  • Isononyl Isononanoate
  • Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate
  • Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate
  • Melatonin
  • Nordihydroguaiaretic Acid
  • Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil
  • Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil
  • Oleanolic Acid
  • Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract
  • Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38
  • PEG-60 Almond Glycerides
  • Pentylene Glycol
  • Phenoxyethanol
  • Phospholipids
  • Polyhydroxystearic Acid
  • Polysorbate 60
  • Potassium Sorbate
  • Propanediol
  • Saccharide Isomerate
  • Sodium Benzoate
  • Sodium Citrate
  • Sodium Hyaluronate
  • Sodium PCA
  • Sphingolipids
  • Stearic Acid
  • Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate
  • Tocopherol
  • Water/Aqua/Eau
  • Xanthan Gum
  • Zinc PCA

Applying Dr. Dennis Gross' Mineral Sunscreen (VIDEO)

Nobody likes the white cast that often comes with the application of mineral sunscreens. In this video I demonstrate how Dr. Dennis Gross' Dark Spot Sun Defense SPF50 goes on without a trace.

Duration: 1:33

Use daily in the AM as the final step in your skincare routine. Start with clean, dry skin. Apply liberally over face, neck, and décolleté 15 minutes before sun exposure. Massage until visible formula melts into skin and completely disappears. Reapply every two hours. For children under 6 months of age, consult a doctor.

Have You Tried Dr. Dennis Gross Dark Spot Sun Defense SPF 50?

Write your own review today
truth in aging's five best

Truth In Aging's Five Best

The very best to choose from for your skin concerns.

Read More

truth in aging videos

Truth In Aging Videos

Helpful how-tos and reviews from Marta and friends.

Watch Now

meet our contributors

Meet Our Contributors

The TIA community consists of our trusted reviewers.

Meet Them

be inspired

Be Inspired

Inspiring thoughts and women who are aging gracefully.

Read More