Sunscreens : An Update

This is the second installment to my original overview of (mostly unscented) sunscreens. I have so much to say about Asian sunscreens that I shall keep them for a separate post, but today I will cover a number of selections from American and European brands. Unlike the first selection, this group includes products I disliked or found lacking in one aspect or another. Many of them have received glowing reviews from leading skincare bloggers and dermatologists, but since skincare is never made to suit everyone, I thought that another perspective would help those looking for the best sun protection.

sunscreens

First, I should mention what I look for in a sunscreen. My skin is combination and a sunscreen shouldn’t irritate it. It should also leave a satiny, non-oily finish. It should be lightly moisturizing. It should allow for layering–I reapply sunscreen at least twice a day. I also prefer my sunscreen unscented. Finally, and this is the most important part, it should have full spectrum protection, UVB and UVA. I don’t have preference over the sunscreen being chemical or physical, but a mix tends to have the best results in terms of finish and protection. This is my ideal type, if you will, and yes, such a sunscreen exists (many of them were described in the first article.)

People often comment about sunscreen causing them to break out. Sunscreens are often formulated with ingredients that are non-soluble in water to make them sweat resistant, which can make them hard to remove. I solve this by using an oil based cleanser, followed by a foaming gel.

Clarins La Crème Solaire Anti-Rides Visage Très Haute Protection SPF 50+(Sun Wrinkle Control Cream for Face)

Clarins sunscreens are highly rated for their texture and protection. Like most others in the line, the SPF 50 is a chemical sunscreen based on octocrylene, tinosorb S and M, and avobenzone. On the plus side, it doesn’t leave any white cast. But it gives my skin a perfect mirror finish and peels off in bits throughout the day. Difficult to reapply without sporting a well-greased look. This sunscreen has a strong synthetic fruity-floral scent, another minus. It offers broad spectrum protection and is hydrating, so I use it up as a body sunscreen.  28,80 € for 75ml.

chanel sunscreen

Chanel UV Essentiel Multi Protection Daily UV Care SPF 50

A moisturizing sunscreen with octinoxate and zinc oxide with a milky texture. Nevermind the promises of brightening from the licorice extract because it’s too far down the ingredient list. There is also a hefty dose of alcohol, which may be a concern to those with sensitive skin. For me the main two drawbacks are the price ($55 for 1oz) and the medium level of UVA protection (PA+++ as opposed to my usual favorites that offer PA++++.)  It smells of tiare. On the plus side, the finish is non-shiny and reapplication is very easy.

Ducray Melascreen UV Light Cream Dry Touch SPF 50+

This is a high UVA protection sunscreen, and like most Ducray sunscreens it’s unscented. It contains chemical filters (Tinsorb S, Octocrylen, Ethylhexylmethoxycinnamate, Tinsorb M). Generally, the benefit of chemical sunscreens, especially the new, photo stable formulas, is that they don’t leave a white cast, but somehow this one does. The main reason I disliked it is because I find the cream hard to apply. Sunscreen shouldn’t be rubbed into the skin, but unless I do, the product appears streaky. On the plus side, the protection is broad spectrum, and the piping tube (pictured in the title photo) is brilliant, especially for travel. 12€ for 40ml.

dior sunscreen

Dior Bronze Beautifying Protective Creme Sublime Glow SPF 50

I don’t like the tanned look, which is just as well since my skin doesn’t tan. I also dislike the smell of self-tanners. When I was a teenager I simply decided to embrace the way my skin looks in its natural state and moved on. In other words, a product promising to give me a tan isn’t my first choice, but I received a sample and tried it out of curiosity. Not quite so sublime. First of all, it made me look shiny. Second, it peeled off my face halfway through the day, calling to mind the final scenes from “Death Becomes Her.” It’s impossible to reapply it without enhancing the peeling. I also would prefer higher UVA protection. Around $35 for 50ml.

Tatcha Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 35

Tatcha is a good sunscreen to consider if you’re looking for a primer to use under foundation. It definitely makes skin appear smoother, and unlike with some sunscreens, the finish is satiny. The formula is based on zinc oxide 15% and octisalate 5%. The addition of glycerin makes it gently hydrating. There are also nice additives like green tea (antioxidant) and licorice (brightening) extracts. On the other hand, at $68 for 2 oz, it’s much too expensive. The UVA protection factor is not high enough. Also, this sunscreen won’t reduce your pores, apart from giving a temporary illusion.

emma

Emma Hardy Amazing Face Protect & Prime SPF 30

The herbal, lavender-like smell of this sunscreen is quite strong, and it lingers. It also made my skin tingle. (For the purposes of this review, I continued testing my sample on my arm.) It works well under makeup (although in principle, sunscreen should be applied last to guarantee protection). The formula with shea butter is moisturizing. The finish, on the other hand, is smooth and satiny. This is a chemical sunscreen with octocrylene and octinoxate. I can’t find much information on its level of UVA protection, but I can’t imagine it’s very high. £45.00 for 50ml.

Title image, photography by Bois de Jasmin

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77 Comments

  • Caroline: Glad you tried these out and reported your findings. Most of these wouldn’t work for me, due to avebenzone, scent, shine factor and cost.
    I apply sunscreen generously every morning, and it’s thanks to this blog that I discovered Biore UV Aqua rich watery essence. Yes, the packaging is small, but it’s inexpensive, scentless, non-irritating, doesn’t pill or give a white cast. And it’s a high SPF 50–my holy grail facial sun product.
    Looking forward to your next post on this topic. August 31, 2016 at 8:25am Reply

    • Victoria: Some of the best Asian sunscreens are a fraction of what the ones above cost, so whenever I’m being ask to pay $55 (or even $30) for 1oz, I bulk. Sunscreen is not a luxury, it’s the main skincare product for me, so I couldn’t justify such prices.

      Biore’s sunscreens are fantastic. I used this one all summer long, and in heat and humidity, it’s one of the best. August 31, 2016 at 9:06am Reply

    • kpaint: The small packaging is a major selling point for me. They’re lightweight, easy to travel with, and can be stashed everywhere – purse, car, gym bag, beach bag, overnight bag, etc. And because you go through them more quickly, there’s less concern about having a big, expensive bottle that you didn’t get through in time and has expired. August 31, 2016 at 2:09pm Reply

  • Sandra: Thanks for this post..
    I have sensitive skin that is combination, but mostly dry and I haven’t found anything that works for my skin just yet. Do you have anything in mind?
    Right now I am using La Roche Posay Anthelios 60 Clear Skin Dry Touch Sunscreen face sunscreen, its no irritating but very drying!!

    On another note I received my Kate liquid eyeliners..now I have to learn how to use them properly, but using them not a the right way is yielding some nice results too 🙂 August 31, 2016 at 9:01am Reply

    • Victoria: What do you use under your sunscreen? What kind of skincare products? August 31, 2016 at 9:06am Reply

      • Sandra: For the summer I use a serum and oil under my sunscreen, I skip the cream because its too much in the summer and then in the winter when its really dry, I use serum, oil and cream. I have some congestion in my chin if the sunscreen is too irritating August 31, 2016 at 9:13am Reply

        • Victoria: Try sunscreen like Sunplay (from the first post). It’s alcohol free.
          You might also consider adding a light lotion moisturizer instead of oil after serum, if you don’t want something heavy. An extra hydrating, but oil free formula, would be a good idea. That’s what I use. I skip oils and save them for the evening. August 31, 2016 at 9:24am Reply

          • Sandra: Ok..I will give that one a try.
            you are correct, oils are much better for night time.
            I have also tried the ocacite pomegranate and rose serum that you recommended

            Thanks for sharing your sunscreen wisdom August 31, 2016 at 9:48am Reply

            • Victoria: More like obsession. 🙂 But I really see that using sunscreen diligently has had a good effect on my skin.

              I use Rose Geranium and Pomegranate serum in the evening, although these days I’m on Wild Carrot, also from Odacite. At any rate, with combination skin, one can’t rely on oils alone for hydration, so I layer. August 31, 2016 at 11:42am Reply

    • kpaint: You might be happier with Anthelios Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid, which is non-drying, if not somewhat moisturizing, but still lightweight, very fluid and comfortable to wear. Works well under makeup as well. August 31, 2016 at 12:45pm Reply

    • kpaint: Mostly dry combination skin sounds like a good candidate for layering lots of lightweight products. I’ve been using Asian skincare for so long (layering is the key) that I can’t remember what they’re called in Western beauty anymore, but you might want to add a moisturizing toner and more than one type of serum to get sufficient hydration. And, as Victoria has suggested, a lightweight moisturizer. August 31, 2016 at 2:23pm Reply

  • Tess: Brilliant post – I too am a bit of a sunscreen obsessive and so am always on the look out for new ones. The Clarins one made my eyes sting and water horribly, but I do have quite sensitive eyes.

    May I ask – do you only reapply on days you’re not wearing makeup, or do you put it over your base? August 31, 2016 at 9:16am Reply

    • Victoria: I don’t really wear foundation or base. Maybe only concealer if I need it. So reapplying is easy enough. I blot my face and then apply a fresh layer of sunscreen. Maybe, some powder on top. Some sunscreens actually make my skin look better, so foundation becomes unnecessary. August 31, 2016 at 9:22am Reply

      • Tess: That explains it then! I’ve tried power SPFs over base products which is a good compromise, but they’re few and far between. August 31, 2016 at 9:32am Reply

        • Victoria: But generally, I’d put on sunscreen before foundation and if I have to really, I also blot and apply a layer on top. Not ideal, but better than not reapplying.

          Sunscreen powders also work in a pinch, although I worry that they don’t offer good enough protection. Hard to apply them in sufficient quantity and remain looking presentable. 🙂 August 31, 2016 at 10:33am Reply

          • kpaint: Sprays made specifically for the face are the easiest to use over makeup (for reapplying during the day.) Supergoop makes one and there are quite a few in the Asian beauty market. I have found, however, that they tend to be drying. August 31, 2016 at 12:49pm Reply

            • Victoria: Yes, for me they’re too drying, and I prefer to use the same sunscreen throughout the day. But it’s an alternative. August 31, 2016 at 1:43pm Reply

    • Sandra: I put sunscreen on before I put on foundation or any make up..What do you do? August 31, 2016 at 10:09am Reply

  • Surbhi: Chantecaille has a sunscreen. Definitely ridiculously priced. But works so well. It is like a serum consistency. Good for sensitive skin. Claims to be 99% natural but I don’t know what this 99% natural mean. It has a very subtle rose scent. (Clarins and this sunscreen are the only two which I could use without break outs). August 31, 2016 at 10:01am Reply

    • Victoria: No, doesn’t make sense to me either. August 31, 2016 at 11:43am Reply

  • Jillie: This is a very timely post, Victoria, as I have had an alarming experience with a sunscreen recently and wondered if anybody else has found similar results.

    My husband’s clothes started to turn yellow after washing and then the bath was stained bright yellow too! Luckily after three intensive cleanings the bath was OK, sadly the clothes not.

    On surfing the net I discovered that the cause was most likely avobenzone, which has some strange chemical reaction with detergents and soaps.

    I couldn’t help feeling that something that behaves like that can’t be good for one’s skin, so am now trying an “organic” formula. Hope it will do the trick! August 31, 2016 at 10:15am Reply

    • Victoria: Avobenzone + hard water might cause that.
      I don’t know which “organic” sunscreen you’re using, but it’s worth checking the ingredients list. You want to make sure you have good enough UVA protection (pretty much any sunscreen on the market offers decent UVB, but the UVA radiation is the most dangerous.) Titanium Dioxide won’t be sufficient on their own, and Zinc Oxide offers better UVA protection than Titanium Dioxide, although still not as good as some chemical blockers (there is much besides avobenzone). Another trouble with physical blockers is that they leave a white cast, and so people don’t apply enough of the product, thus rendering the effectiveness of sunscreen even lower. August 31, 2016 at 11:54am Reply

      • kpaint: Physical blockers can cause staining/discoloration/bleaching of clothing as well. I’ve tried many of the so-called “natural” and “organic” brands and found them to be both ineffective and unpleasant-feeling on skin.

        There are myriad products that are safe for skin but can cause stains on fabrics and other surfaces (makeup, and even perfume for that matter.)

        Jillie may want to just try some different sunscreen brands and see if they react differently. No need to be alarmed, from my point of view. August 31, 2016 at 1:10pm Reply

        • Victoria: Yes. Stains from jasmine absolute are almost impossible to remove, and of course, it doesn’t harm skin in any way.

          I use Anthelios from La Roche Posay and Avene on my body, and neither stains, and those are very good, broad spectrum sunscreens. August 31, 2016 at 1:42pm Reply

      • Jillie: Thanks, Victoria. Yes, some of them make my husband look like he’s auditioning for a zombie movie! I think it will be trial and error to find the one that suits us best. I wish I could remember what we used to have as that didn’t cause these problems, and it wasn’t an organic type. September 1, 2016 at 1:29am Reply

        • Victoria: Avene doesn’t give a white cast, and that’s what my husband is using right now. His skin is darker than mine, so anything that gives a white cast looks really noticeable. September 1, 2016 at 3:44am Reply

          • Jillie: That’s a very good recommendation, thank you Victoria. I am a fan of Avene products generally, so it should be a nice one, I hope. September 1, 2016 at 4:53am Reply

            • Victoria: They have many different sunscreens, in different formulations and bottles, but all we have tried worked well as body sunscreens. I’d love for their spray sunscreen to come in a small bottles. Their current jug doesn’t fit into my purse. 🙂 September 1, 2016 at 5:19am Reply

    • MJ: Jillie,

      I have experienced the same!!! I have a nice white cotton embroidered tunic that I like to use to go to the beach. I have noticed, that after a few hours with it on, it gets yellow (bright yellow marker, in fact) in some parts of the tunic like the shoulders, sleeves and front. Now I can figure it out why. The sunscreen I put myself on!!! August 31, 2016 at 1:19pm Reply

      • Jillie: Yes, the yellow is practically fluorescent, isn’t it! September 1, 2016 at 1:30am Reply

      • maja: Now I know too. I have a wonderful cotton tunic and it was stained after a while. I believe it was Nivea Sunscreen for Children I used this summer. 🙁 September 3, 2016 at 5:16am Reply

    • Karen A: Chiming in as I’ve had the same experience! Gave up and just use the stained tops for beach wear. August 31, 2016 at 3:52pm Reply

      • Jillie: Sadly our stained clothes are now used for doing housework. September 1, 2016 at 1:31am Reply

    • Surbhi: i was using kiehl’s sunscreen spray in water park recently. I noticed yellow (ugly yellow) marks on clothes and they won’t go away. 3 washes later i just tossed it. 🙁 Now I know sunscreen was the culprit. August 31, 2016 at 7:05pm Reply

      • Jillie: Yep, no way those stains will come out, no matter what you treat them with ….. September 1, 2016 at 1:32am Reply

  • jane: I am also fair and usually do not tan unless I’m near salt water. I do not like greasy products and wish to feel clean. My hair is very thin and I need sunscreen which will also protect my scalp. Therefore I prefer a spray. Years ago Clinique had a spray that protected my scalp without making my hair greasy or heavy or ruining my hairstyle. Unfortunately they stopped making it. I recently tried Neutrogenia which was terrible at protecting my skin. Afterwards I read a review about it saying that it was substandard. My tried and true is She Uemara which fits all my requirements. It is a 50 or 60 protection, comes in a spray, prevents burning, and can be worn under or over makeup. It’s a little bit costly, but not to bad. August 31, 2016 at 10:32am Reply

    • Victoria: Shiseido does have good sunscreens, although yes, the ones sold in the US are expensive and aren’t as good as what they sell in Asia or Europe. August 31, 2016 at 11:56am Reply

  • jane: Big oops folks….I was not talking about She Uemura, although I have read good reviews. What I was referring to was Shiesado. I suppose that is classified as Asian, but is available many places in the USA. August 31, 2016 at 10:47am Reply

    • Victoria: It’s a Japanese brand, but for the US market they have different formulations, because the US regulations limit what sunscreen ingredients can be used. August 31, 2016 at 11:57am Reply

  • Jane: Honestly, once I started using inexpensive Japanese sunscreens, I can’t ever go back! The range of finshes (matte or satin) and the ultra high UVA protection truly makes them the best for me.

    Thank you for doing this post! The only European one I use are the La Roche Posay body milks which are wonderfully light on the skin. August 31, 2016 at 11:05am Reply

    • Sandra: Where do you purchase your Japanese sunscreens? August 31, 2016 at 11:58am Reply

    • Victoria: Same here. Most of mine cost around $10-15 for 1oz, and the formula and texture is beyond anything I couldn’t have imagined in a sunscreen if I used only the European or American products. They’re also easily available on Ebay and via Japanese sellers on Amazon, so it’s not like in the past when I had to ask friends in Japan to buy sunscreen for me.

      For body sunscreen, I also love Avene’s spray. Very easy to use and the texture is light, but it’s scented. August 31, 2016 at 12:01pm Reply

      • Sandra: I love how amazon and eBay sell just about anything..
        I want to look around the city though, I would think somewhere NYC should have a Japanese store that sells beauty products… August 31, 2016 at 12:12pm Reply

        • Victoria: The US rules prohibit any US based retailer to offer products with ingredients not approved by the FDA, so I’d try Ebay and Amazon. August 31, 2016 at 1:47pm Reply

          • Austenfan: Would eBay and Amazon be the best places to hunt from Europe as well? And what would your recommendations be for dry and very sensitive skin?
            I’ve been more careful with sunscreen this year as my skin is changing and if unprotected does develop interesting patches of brown. And while I truly adore cows, it’s never been my life’s ambition to actually resemble one. August 31, 2016 at 3:45pm Reply

            • Victoria: Sunkiller mentioned here would be a good one. I saw it on EBay for $6-7 (and $4 shipping). It doesn’t contain alcohol, and it’s quite hydrating. Probably even too much for my combination skin, but very good in the winter.

              Sunplay (from the first post) is also very good. Also no alcohol in the formula. No scent. August 31, 2016 at 4:03pm Reply

              • Austenfan: Thanks, I’m currently rotating between Louis Widmer, LRP and Bioderma. But it will be nice to try something else as well. August 31, 2016 at 4:59pm Reply

                • Victoria: All very good sunscreens, but I think you will find the finish of the Asian formulas superior. Of course, there is such a huge offer, and it can be just as difficult to find just the right product. September 1, 2016 at 3:41am Reply

                  • Austenfan: Thank you so much for all this info. I’m just going to order several different kinds. The tubes are small and cheap so if one of them doesn’t agree with me, I can give it to someone else. September 1, 2016 at 1:06pm Reply

                    • Victoria: That’s just it. You can use them on your body or hands, if you don’t like the formulas for the face. September 1, 2016 at 3:54pm

          • Surbhi: They also required testing sunscreen on animal. Lush can’t sell any sunscreen based products in US because of that. I Read recently that animal testing no longer mandatory or won’t be mandatory 2017 onwards. I get their moisturizer with spf when I get a chance. August 31, 2016 at 9:27pm Reply

            • Victoria: Nearly all ingredients used in perfumery are/have been tested on animals at one point or another. Any company that sells to China must test on animals. September 1, 2016 at 3:42am Reply

        • Jane: exactly as Victoria! On Amazon & eBay. Sometimes it takes awhile to deliver but I usually buy a few bottles at a time (since I figured out which one I like the most).
          I am also in NY, but you can’t find non-FDA approved ingredients here in the US. August 31, 2016 at 2:30pm Reply

  • Steve L.: The Biore reference above piqued my curiosity. A quick search turns up a product that’s described as having “a fresh fruit aroma.” Are you referring to an unscented version? I hate using sunscreen — have been defaulting to Anthelios — and if there’s something less objectionable I’d be interested. I didn’t even know there was Japanese sunscreen. August 31, 2016 at 11:18am Reply

  • Triciajo: I love Revisions Intellishade tinted sunscreen in SPF 45. I don’t need foundation when I wear it. Otherwise, I layer, Algenist SPF 50 (which smells horrible for a minute or 2) under foundation. It works and does not irritate or cause shine. August 31, 2016 at 11:53am Reply

    • Victoria: Good tips for those who layer! Thank you very much.

      I’ve tried BB creams at one point, but I found the coverage of almost of them too heavy. August 31, 2016 at 12:04pm Reply

  • irem: Thank you for your input on these sunscreens, Victoria. I cannot wait for your post on Asian sunscreens. I live in the US, and I am disappointed that we do not have Tinosorb S or M approved by the FDA. UVA protection stateside only comes from avobenzone, TiO2 or ZnO. I use sunscreen daily as well, and it is quite an ordeal to find the right one. Even when you get lucky and find a sunscreen that you love, the company decides to reformulate. I wonder why (almost) all reformulation has to be for worse?
    Anyway, after reading your first sunscreen post I have tried the Paula’s Choice sunscreen you had written about. I liked it quite a lot and it has been our go-to sunscreen for the whole family this Summer. However, I am not very keen of it for facial use.
    I use EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46 on not so sunny days and Shiseido WetForce SPF50 For Face and Body when the sun is blazing. I’ve been using the incarnations of the latter one for over 10 years now. When I first started using it, it was the perfect sunscreen. Then Shiseido decided to add some alcohol – fortunately not too much, but still. In the last two years or so, Shiseido added TiO2 as well, and now it leaves a pronounced white cast. I still haven’t given up on it completely (I apply a bit foundation on top), but I am afraid with the next change it will become unusable.
    As I said, I cannot wait for your take on Asian sunscreens, I need a replacement for my beloved Shiseido. August 31, 2016 at 12:28pm Reply

    • Sandra: That is sad to here about Shiseido..do they make one for sensitive skin that doesn’t contain those ingredients? Or maybe one for babies.. August 31, 2016 at 1:27pm Reply

      • irem: Hi Sandra, Shiseido has indeed released a new version for sensitive skin and babies this year and it does not contain any alcohol. However, it has even more TiO2 to boost SPF, and left me with a ghostlike face. I have returned it back to Sephora after two uses. August 31, 2016 at 2:11pm Reply

    • Victoria: There is nothing more frustrating than when one’s favorite product is reformulated.

      The US is in the dark age when it comes to sunscreens, alas. Not to say that you can’t find good sunscreens from the US brands, but they don’t compare to the European brands in terms of protection and the Asian brands in the terms of the finish. Until the FDA decides to unclassify sunscreens as drugs, this situation won’t change.

      Have you tried Sunplay by Mentholatum? I absolutely love this sunscreen. The only downside is that if your skin is olive or darker, it will leave a slight white cast. August 31, 2016 at 1:46pm Reply

      • irem: I remember reading about Sunplay in your previous post on sunscreens, but I haven’t tried it yet. My skin is quite pale – with some brands even the lightest foundations are too dark for my skin – so I should be fine if the white cast is not too pronounced. I will definitely give it a try. Thanks for your recommendation, Victoria. August 31, 2016 at 2:15pm Reply

  • kpaint: It took me years to figure out that the typical array of sunscreens found on the shelves in US drugstores are largely ineffective because of the limitations imposed on ingredients manufacturers can use.

    I started using European brands about 5 years ago (La Roche-Posay, Vichy, Avene) and that was a big step up not only in terms of effectiveness, but also in skin-feel. I also achieved success in getting my husband (who works outdoors much of the time) to finally wear sunscreen once I switched to French lines because he liked the way they felt on his skin.

    Then I came across the US brand Supergoop! (yes, it’s actually spelled with an exclamation mark, and yes, I find the name ridiculous.) I’ve used most of their products and found them to be both highly effective (broad spectrum) and cosmetically elegant so they’re a pleasure to use. They also make kits with travel-sized products that I carry in my purse in the summer.

    Their body products are particularly nice. The Everyday Sunscreen goes on like an expensive lotion (my H can use this on his face, but I cannot – it seeps into my eyes and as a contacts-wearer, that’s a problem.)
    I’m totally in love with their body mist, and the spray oil and facial mist are nice as well. I really like their City Serum for face, but it doesn’t always play well with my makeup (all my foundations and primers are water-based fwiw.)

    I found a Japanese facial sunscreen that my husband LOVES and that works better under makeup, so I’ll be stocking up on that next summer. It’s Sunkiller Perfect Strong Moisture SPF 50+ PA++++, but the only reliable stockist I’ve found is beautius.com (which is a great site for sheet masks, btw.) They ship from HK and it takes about 3 weeks to deliver to the US. August 31, 2016 at 1:44pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much for your recommendations and tips.

      Isehan’s Sunkiller is a great brand overall, and Perfect Strong Moisture SPF 50+ PA++++ is one of its best. No alcohol either. And a hyaluronic acid based formula. So pleasant to use. August 31, 2016 at 1:53pm Reply

    • Sandra: Thanks for that website! September 1, 2016 at 8:41am Reply

  • Deborah Galuk: I’ve been using the Neutragena anti-aging face shield of 110+ face block – broad spectrum coverage. I can buy it readily and its ok on my face. However, to counteract the whitish-pinkish effect I use a bronzing cream over it, no other make up. I do know that photography and cameras don’t play well with sunscreen, so I go without on those days. What is your experience with Neutragena? (yes I’m US based) thank you August 31, 2016 at 2:26pm Reply

    • Victoria: I hope someone else can chime in, because I haven’t tried Neutrogena sunscreens since I left the US several years ago. I remember their Dry Touch as very pleasant on skin, but I hear that it might be reformulated. August 31, 2016 at 4:05pm Reply

      • Dominique: The neutrogena oil -free SPF50 is excellent for blemish -prone skin. It disappears on the skin and also works well as a primer. I stopped using it because I realised that chemical sunscreens make my melasma worse. September 1, 2016 at 4:41am Reply

        • Victoria: And it’s not offering enough UVA protection. Based on what I read, it’s only PA+++ (I don’t go for anything lower than PA++++). September 1, 2016 at 5:16am Reply

    • Sandra: I use the Neutragena Baby Pure & Free and on my babies and on myself and it works well..has no fragrance. September 1, 2016 at 8:41am Reply

  • Iuliana: Apologies for the semi-random question, but is it normal that the texture of Sunplay is very liquid (it almost slips through my fingers if I do not pay attention)? I purchased it some time ago on Amazon and used it a few times with n problems, but had doubts on whether that is how it is supposed to be. Many thanks! August 31, 2016 at 4:56pm Reply

    • Victoria: Try shaking the bottle before you use it. Since it’s a physical sunscreen, it separates. Which is why the bottle has a small ball inside to help the product mix as you shake it. September 1, 2016 at 3:37am Reply

  • Dominique: I prefer physical sunscreens because unless I sweat or swim, I do not need to reapply. Also I found that chemical sunscreens make my melasma worse. I have been trying sever mineral sunscreens lately. My favourite one is by Uriage SPF50, bariesun. The whitish tint disappears if you wait for 5 mind before applying foundation, it is non comedogenic and also mattifies the skin (I have combination skin prone to blemishes). Has anyone found another mineral sunscreen suitable for combination skin? September 1, 2016 at 2:20am Reply

    • Victoria: I mentioned Sunplay already a few times, but it’s really very good. I’d recommend it.

      Technically, sunscreen, even physical, should still be reapplied. The layer degrades over time. But of course, sometimes it’s not practical or if you wear makeup, straightforward. So, I hear you. September 1, 2016 at 3:49am Reply

      • Victoria: Dominique, also, I forgot to add–here are the active ingredients for Sunplay. It’s mostly a physical sunscreen, but besides zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, it also contains octinoxate and Uvinul A Plus. September 1, 2016 at 6:40am Reply

  • Aurora: That’s a very useful topic, thank you, Victoria.
    In the past I’ve used Avene and was pretty happy with it, this summer I experimented with Piz Buin Allergy SFP50 UVA**** UVB with Calmanelle, water resistant. Further to your post maybe I’m going to try to apply sunscreen all year round (until now I was relying on SFP 15 in my moisturizer). I look forward to the post on japanese sunscreens too. September 1, 2016 at 2:28pm Reply

    • Victoria: I don’t find a moisturizer with sunscreen to be enough, but then again, my skin doesn’t need as much moisturizer as would be necessary to get the protection from the sunscreen part.

      My mom’s dermatologist in Kyiv used to be a lady in her late 60s-70s, with the most beautiful skin. When I asked her about her secret, she said it was 1) staying out of the sun, 2) getting enough sleep, and 3) just doing a little bit for your skin every day, rather than to have an extravagant treatment every now and then. I’ve been trying to follow this, although being a workaholic and a night owl, I struggle with the number 2. 🙂 September 1, 2016 at 3:54pm Reply

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