The Dupe Scoop

The Dupe Scoop: Clinique’s Pep-Start Daily UV SPF 50 Vs. Darphin’s Intral Environmental Lightweight SPF 50

Hello! So the worlds laziest blogger has returned with a series I thought of a long time ago and finally have gotten around to bringing my first entry. I’m not claiming this to be anything earth shattering as I know this has been done before ( See The Beauty Brains). Yet, since I analyze and try products so often, I have come across literal duplicates in ingredient lists and textures. Perhaps if you are beauty crazed like I am you will find it interesting to discover products with similar formulations but only different aesthetics, scent, and mostly price haha.

The goal of this series is to highlight products with nearly identical formulations, not to necessarily find products that function similarly at a lower price. As someone who is constantly interested in learning about new releases and how more and more brands are being acquired by big beauty houses (Loreal, Amorepacific, and Estee Lauder Etc) it becomes common for brands to just tweak formulations and resell them under multiple different brands with different price points. This isn’t an attack on this retailing scheme as sometimes formulations are successful enough to be reused. However, I find it rather lazy/deceitful for brands to promote certain releases as revolutionary when in fact the same thing was released a few months under a different brand. Anyway, this is just met to be lighthearted and really just my way of sharing my love for products and what products I’ve found to be the same.

Clinique’s Pep-Start Daily UV Protector Broad Spectrum SPF 50 (C$25 and US19.50) Vs. Darphin’s Intral Environmental Lightweight Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 50 (C$50 and US$45)

Wow, these names are long! But I think the most striking thing is that the Clinique SPF is half the price of Darphin one! Usually, such a difference can warrant a difference in plant extracts conventions but you’ll see this is not the case. If you have trouble reading the ingredients below and want a more thorough analysis see Cosdna. Please remember not to take Cosdna’s safety rating and comedogenicity as a hard fast truth but focus mostly use this site as a resource for reading ingredient lists.


Clinique Ingredients

Darphin ingredients

Basically, the ingredients are the same until ¾ through where surprisingly the Hydrolyzed wheat proteins come higher in the Clinique than in the Darphin. I have extensively used both sunscreens (the Darphin one is now empty at the time of posting) and can guarantee that they wear identically.

Ingredient wise both are alcohol, chemical filter and fragrance free. Silicones make the bulk of the formula making this sunscreen easy to spread. In general, the formulas are made to function as sunscreens and there is no particularity stand out secondary benefits aside sun protection.

Regarding the sun protection both contain 6.3% titanium dioxide and 4% Zinc oxide. There are no claims of these sunscreens being broad spectrum, unfortunately. To further the murkiness of what level of protection your getting there are no Pa ratings because North America hates sunscreens. If I were to guess I’d say they’re around a Pa++ rating. This is just a crude estimate based off comparisons to Asian sunscreens. As someone whose skin is sensitive to certain chemical filters having access to cosmetically elegant mineral sunscreens has been very important to me and I will continue to try new ones! While they do no state broad spectrum since they contain Zinc Oxide and not just Titanium dioxide leads me to believe they offer enough protection for needs of a commuter(someone who spends max 20 mins outside) and block out UVB and most UVA.

Be sure to wear something underneath these sunscreens If you have dry skin or want more skincare benefits.

If you like blurry images I have a side by side incl comparison I screenshot from cosdna here.



Same squeeze tube. Be sure to shake before each use as there is ball inside each one of these. I suppose the Darphin one is a tad fancier with the metal cap but I hate how it has a sticker placed on the bottle while the Clinique one has the writing on the bottle. IMO Clinique wins.


From the above Image, you can see that they both have the same tint which I’m unsure if it is universal or not. On me, it blends away but I think it is common knowledge that finding mineral sunscreens is difficult for dark skins. I do think fair skins will appreciate how the tint does not leave any noticeable tan or orange hue like some tinted mineral sunscreens due. Naturally, there is  flashback.

Claims on packaging


Skin type: Dry skin, Oily nose, redness.

As stated above I have found both sunscreens to wear identically. They both leave an initially dewy finish and definitely require a dry down time. Due to their zinc oxide content throughout the day, they can be a tad astringent on dry patches (hello Canadian winters) however I feel like most people in normal climates will avoid this issue as the bulk of silicones glide over the skin and create an easy application.

Overall, I can understand why Estee Lauder (owner of Clinique and Darphin) has reused this formulation and may continue to do so because personally, it is the best mineral sunscreen I have used thus far. I have tried Loreal’s version of tinted mineral sunscreens (Kiehl’s and Ombrelle’s mineral SPF’s among others) and found them to be greasier and silicone-y despite their mattifying claims. The universal tint was also a tad darker warming up the complexion rather than seamlessly disappearing on my skin tone.

I Prefer the Clinique/Darphin ones due to them leaving no white cast, having no alcohol and overall wearing well on face and not pilling with other skincare or base applied on top of the sunscreen. Sunscreen is one area that I can dismiss when it comes to questioning why a company would re-release it as they are hard to get right and when you do it’s worth sharing the spreading the technology but I’m curious as to where the extra C$25 came in for the Darphin one!

Price? And which one is superior?

Winner = Clinique for sure

With the Clinique one being C$25 (US$19.50) at half the price of the Darphin (C$50 US$45) it becomes clear which one is the winner!

It is worth mentioning that the Clinique one is only available at Sephora to my knowledge. As a final word of caution, DO NOT buy the Clinique mineral sunscreen in the white packaging -> this one leaves a white cast ☹! I made this mistake and it turns on this version is un-tinted and is the one you find in department stores, I wish the packaging would make a clearer distinction between the two.

Hope you enjoyed this post! Let me know if you found this interesting or if I just bored you to tears! Till next time!




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