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DeVita Solar Body Block- reader reviewed

Is a Solution for:
Sun Protection for Face, Sun Protection for Body
July 15, 2012 Reviewed by TIA Community Member 28 Comments
by Nina

I worry that DeVita Solar Body Block is too good to be true. The light, SPF 30+ cream protects with a generous 19% dose of zinc oxide and yet it’s invisible on the skin and so light I can best describe it as a skinny-dip of a sunblock. Even my Indian dad’s coffee-brown glow was undiminished. See? Too good to be true!

DeVita is a lotion with a consistency that hints at gel. It’s comparatively translucent and virtually invisible upon application, by which I mean not only is there zero white, it absorbs beautifully – no oily gleam, nor does skin look like it carries the weight of a moisturizer. During the first few moments after application, my skin felt slightly sticky (likely due to aloe vera, ingredient number two), but the stickiness quickly vanishes, leaving my skin soft and clean to the touch. And after a day under the sun, I had no tan lines, nor in the past month have my limbs grown any darker (and I tan easy).

DeVita is vegan and uses non-nano, uncoated zinc oxide, meaning the particles are larger than the slip-through-your-skin-100nm-or-less size, and are not encased in laboratory-applied chemicals, such as hydrophobic silicas, aluminum, paraffin and triethoxycaprylylsilane, which some say prevents skin reactions and allows for easy blending between zinc and the other ingredients (I reject those claims because DeVita soothed my reactive skin and there’s no separation or caking).

Aloe Vera, DeVita’s “dynamic delivery system,” is a gift of an ingredient. It contains nearly 200 nutrients, including 27 vital amino acids and powerhouse antioxidant Superoxide Dismutase. Lignin, a constituent of plant cell walls, enhances absorption in aloe vera skin preparations and helps ferry nutrients along. Aloe’s vitamin roster includes A, B, C, E, Choline, B12, and folic acid; and in the mineral lineup there’s calcium, chromium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, sodium and zinc. Aloe vera penetrates all seven layers of dermis and closely matches our skin’s pH balance.  Along with the aloe, DeVita Solar Body Block gives you hyaluronic acid, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (a stable vitamin C derivative) and rosehip oil.

For me, the true test of sunblock is how well it works on my face (I like my camping trips to be one-bottle affairs), so I’ve been applying it to the visage and it’s just as great there as it is on my shoulders and feet. On both body and face, my skin feels conditioned but never heavy or coated, and my face in particular is hydrated yet delightfully bare. I’ve got dry skin and acne, and often choosing a cream means deciding which of the two is the lesser evil.  Again, my skin feels conditioned and balanced, and is lightly dewy, but never slick. Dr. Cherylanne DeVita (formulator of this fine line) credits this to the aloe vera, which she says creates the “soft, dewy finish.”  It’s nice to see my cheeks for their real color, and because it blends with such breathability I don’t feel cake-y or made up. No compensatory cosmetics necessary, but if you do want to doll-up, this cream is a fantastic base for whatever else you’d like to wear. (And this is the body block; I can’t wait to try the facial formulation!)

DeVita is available online and at various stores, including Whole Foods. Again, I worry DeVita is like easy credit. Sans my visible white haze, I feel naked – almost naughty – and yet, if not Santa Claus, I do need something to believe in. I’m actually going to run out and buy this for myself, my friends, and my dad. I highly, highly recommend this very reasonably priced ($27.95 for 7 ounces) sunblock.

Active Ingredient: Zinc oxide 19% Inactive Ingredients: Aloe barbadensis (certified organic aloe vera gel), Water (purified), Camellia sinensis (Japanese green tea) leaf extract, Capric/caprylic triglycerides (derived from coconut oil), Glycerin (vegetable), Butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), Olea europaea (olive) oil, Lecithin phospholipid, Hyaluronic acid (vegan source), Simmondsia chinensis* (jojoba) seed oil, Squalane (olive), Panthenol (vitamin B5), Tocopherol (vitamin E), NaPCA, Rosa moschata (rose hips) oil, Centella asiatica (goto kola), Copper gluconate, Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, Fucus vesiculosis (seaweed) extract, Allantoin, Sodium riboflavin phosphate, Chondrus crispus (Irish moss), Lavandula officinalis* (lavender) essential oil, Anthemis nobilis (chamomile) flower essential oil, Vitis vinifera* (grape) seed extract. Ingredient labeling adheres to international INCI standards
  • July 3, 2013

    by Charley

    I've been using Prana Natural Defense SPF25 for a few weeks now. It's everything that people love about Devita -- no ghostly cast, good SPF, good ingredients -- without all the negatives mentioned here. It doesn't sting when it melts into my eyes and hasn't broken out my oily t-zone.

  • April 21, 2013

    by JV

    Just to add to the Devita news, they claimed that their March 2013 was "back and better than ever" but alas it is as bad the batch from summer 2012.

    They apparently continue sending free replacements to disgruntled customers but the fact remains that I don't want a free tube of BAD sunscreen! They don't even acknowledge or address the problem on their website and that is pretty shady of them not do so.

    Furthermore, I've noticed a bunch of 5-star reviews popping up on their site for their sunscreen products. Of course I don't know this for a fact, but I would suspected the rave reviews are fake because any longtime customer would know how bad the sunscreens are now and 5-stars would never be awarded. It's sad that Devita has pretty much ruined the only product they're good for...It really leaves no reason to shop from them again.

  • March 31, 2013

    by Angel

    Beverly, thank you so much for the recommendation. I will definitely check out the Arcona. Glad to hear it sinks in. Thanks again!

  • March 30, 2013

    by Beverly

    I'm the same way when it comes to sunscreens. Most break me out, and I used to loooove Devita. I've been using the Arcona Reozone spf 20. It's wonderful. A bit odd to apply, kinda smears all over, but sinks in. Doesn't break me out, and doesn't feel like I'm wearing anything. Just an idea for you.

  • March 30, 2013

    by Angel

    Oh man, I'm seriously bummed :( I just stumbled upon all this news as I was getting ready to reorder a tube. I've been using this for years, it's the only SPF that doesn't break me out. Thanks for all the info. This seems shady to me, they don't address it on their website which ticks me off. I remember the old verbiage, they went on and on about how great the formula was, perfect for acne prone skin, blah, blah. I feel like they're duping me. This was a huge seller in their line, now they up and change it without addressing the complaints? Sorry, I'm just rambling and venting, but I'm mad. Now on to the never ending search for the new Holy Grail SPF. I'll go check out Snowberry. I'm writing Devita, not sure what good it will do, but I don't like this one bit.

  • March 29, 2013

    by Charley

    Hi Cindy, About Snowberry 15. That's a fair question. I use more than 1/2 teaspoon on my face--I have a big face and I'm seriously concerned about preventing sun damage. It blends really nicely without having to rub it in. (Marta listed it in her "What's working for me now" post. She's much fairer than me. My skin is the shade of milky coffee.) I do have to correct my previous comment: I CAN'T apply it too close to my eyes because it will sting.

  • March 28, 2013

    by Theterribleinfant

    Devita has totally ruined a once perfect product. Where I would once rave about this product, with the new formulation I would not recommend it to anyone. It's an inferior even lo quality product now... They obviously did it to cut corners. Too bad.

  • February 16, 2013

    by Cindy

    Would love to try the Snowberry SPF 15, but wonder if it truely is invisible like the old devita formula? Alot of people don't seem to apply the right amount either, which might make you think it's inivisible, but if the right amount is applied, it might be whitish still...If I remember correctly, the right amount should be about 1/2 teaspoon on face, and 1/2 teaspoon on the neck, so about 1 teaspoon total for the whole face to get the SPF value stated on the bottle. Applying half this amount cuts your SPF (UVB) and any UVA protection as well by HALF.

  • February 11, 2013

    by Charley

    Snowberry's SPF 15 is a dream--not chalky and I can apply very close to my eyes where the sun damage seems to congregate without irritation. Alas, it's only SPF 15. They have an SPF 30 but with totally different formula. This is like the holy grail...

  • February 11, 2013

    by Alberto

    Sadly, I too have bought the newly formulated Devita, and not only does it flake off and leave your skin looking pastey white, but they even offered to give me a new batch for free, saying that the first batches were not made that well, but that the newer ones were better, and it turned out it was exactly the same!! I suspect either one of two things: they claim that they no longer can get the zinc oxide from their same supplier, but I suspect that maybe their zinc oxide was dangerous, and it was not protecting us properly from uv, or that it was contaminated with something. A new email from them told me that they were working on a new active ingredient this year to put into the formula. I really hope it is not a chemical one, becaues that would really ruin it in terms of safety. What a sad tale...does anybody know any other natural sunscreen product with such a high zinc oxide content that is does not use nano (microznied is fine, just no nano please), which gives similar cosmetic results like the old devita spf 30 formula??

  • January 9, 2013

    by Sheena

    So they changed their sunblock from uncoated to micronized? Did you know that micronized Sunscreen causes photoaging s When iv rats hit the skin, your DNA is damage, and Théodore the Sunscreen is useless, also the same happened with fruit oils, and titanium dioxide. These all cause photoaging and render your product useless!!! I am having such à hard time finding à totally organic sunblock without all these ingredients as well as also leaving out like sou, honeysuckle, mica, acetates, and also does't give your skin àn oily sheen. ugh!! Frustrating!

  • November 27, 2012

    by Dennis

    Alas! it's true! it has been reformulated. I purchased a new one yesterday, but made sure to try out the tester first. The tester is clearly the old formula, because what I brought home is like elmers glue! it hangs out on my face with a white cast and it's even worse with my facial hair. I let it sit for a minute and tried to rub it in further and it rolled off! I am seriously devastated, This was my favorite sunscreen. I know it's melodramatic, but I feel so betrayed! We rely on these products a lot, and when companies mess with a a good thing, it's not fair to the loyal customers. I wouldn't recommend this at all anymore, sadly.

  • October 19, 2012

    by carla

    Thanks for letting me know abou thtne new formulation. I almost bought a ton of this on sale. I think I'll pass for now until the newerf ormulation of zinc is improved.

  • October 13, 2012

    by Nina

    Hello Everyone!

    So, DeVita very generously offered to send me their latest attempt with the new zinc, and alas, it still flakes like bits of eraser rubber. That said, I've found that blending it with a bit of oil, coconut or Vitamin E, solves the problem. And if you want to use it on your face, blending it with another lotion (I use Olay's classic SPF 15) also enables full absorption. I'm going to write DeVita and let them know - the old product was so wonderful, it would be a shame to loose it to an incompatible zinc blend!

  • September 21, 2012

    by Nina

    Hi Charley,

    I'm currently using Aubrey Organics Natural Sun SPF 15 Saving Face. A 2.3 oz tube sells on their website for around 9 dollars.

    I've also used Shiseido Sun Protection Eye Cream, it's a bit more expensive, $32 for 0.6 ounces.

    Neither one stings, though the Shiseido is a bit stickier. But I think both are great options.

    Hope that helps!


  • September 20, 2012

    by Charley

    Thanks for the update, Nina! I'm curious -- what sun protection do you use for your eyes? I'm afraid I've resorted to baseball caps or using my hands to shade my eyes because I can't wear sunglasses.

  • September 20, 2012

    by Nina

    Hi Everyone,

    A quick DeVita update: I just I bought another tube and it sucks - pasty clown make-up that flakes like dandruff! I wrote DeVita to find out what happened and a customer service rep replied with this:

    “DeVita has not changed the formula for either the Solar Body Block or the Solar Protective Moisturizer 30 . . . Our supplier has changed their micronized zinc oxide, which is the active ingredient in these products. This has slightly altered the consistency and the feel of the products, no oils or other ingredients have been added, therefore it should not cause your skin to break out.”

    She went onto say that they have received reports that the very first products following the new zinc were “little thicker than we would like to have seen,” and I hopefully assume this means later batches will be back to the sheer, easy-absorbing and lightweight consistency.

    I’ll report back after my next purchase!

    And, @Charley, I’ve also noticed a sting in my eyes, so I use an SPF formulated for eyes, and then the DeVita everywhere else. I’m always up for trying something new, so I’ll give the Nutra Lift a try!

  • August 15, 2012

    by tim

    i think outside the box. i use a product that if packaged differently and given another name would be one of the best multi use skin care product on the market. I use heel-tastic on my face, it is phenominal.

  • August 15, 2012

    by Naheed

    I love Devita Solar face moisturizer. It absorbs quickly with no oil or whitish film.

  • August 4, 2012

    by Charley

    It's been a few weeks since I started using DeVita body Block on my face, neck and arms. While it seems to do its job of protecting my skin from the sun while walking the blistering streets of NY on my lunch breaks, I did find it irritates my eyes. At first, I thought it was just the usual reaction from sweat and moisturizer sliding off my forehead, but even as I apply it just on my cheeks and chin, my eyes and sinuses begin smarting from, for lack of a better word, fumes that waft upwards.
    I might try DeVita's facial sunscreen later, but for now I'm sticking to Nutra Lift's Maximum Sun Protection.

  • July 18, 2012

    by Charley

    DeVita does feel amazing on the skin! Thanks for the info, Okasana and Candace. I read up on sun-sensitive paper a bit more and now I feel silly. EWG gave Body Block a "good" UVB rating and "excellent" UVA rating. (sunscreen stability: Excellent; health concern: low). I think I'm in love!

  • July 18, 2012

    by Candace


    Unfortunately there's no way of knowing, short of Devita making their lab data publicly available.

    But to put your mind at ease, any sunscreen is going to "fail" a test on sun sensitive paper. Humanity has yet to invent a sunscreen that blocks 100% of the sun's rays through 100% of the sun's UV spectrum.

    Until that happens, I will continue using (and loving!) Devita Solar Block.

  • July 17, 2012

    by Kim

    I love this sunscreen as well. You can use it on your face and it's definitely a better buy than the face-specific one.

  • July 17, 2012

    by Oksana

    I love DeVita sunblocks, however last summer they failed me under the Roman sun ;) I DO NOT tan easily - Fitzpatrick 2. So, from then on I use them only if I do not anticipate direct sun exposure for over 15 min. otherwise, I use Mineral Sunblock SPF 40 first, then follow with DeVita - love its moisturizing, non-greasy feel!

  • July 17, 2012

    by Charley

    I just got this and plan to test it on my face and neck.

    ABOUT THE EXPIRATION DATE: I went on [unfortunately, I can't access it at the moment so I can't insert the complete link to the FAQ] to get the scoop on the expiration date. On the box near the UPC is a logo that looks like a can with an open lid. Mine says 24M on it, which means it's good for 24 months--i.e., 2 years-- after opening.

    I read user reviews on Amazon that DeVita failed tests on sun-sensitive paper. Can anyone shed more light--and non-visible UVA, UVB--on this? How do we know how effective a sunblock is without subjecting ourselves to sun damage?

  • July 17, 2012

    by Agelessjen

    So far, DeVita has remained my favorite as well! The lightness of the lotion is incredible, with no separation of sunscreen from the oils, as I've experienced with other products.

  • July 16, 2012

    by Dennis

    This is what use, Nina and I love it! I used to use DeVita's solar face protective moisturizer until I discovered the body block is three times the size, and has more anti-aging ingredients for nearly the same price.

  • July 15, 2012

    by Chris

    Is there an expiration date? There is none on their facial sunscreen which seems weird to me.

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