Unless You Live in a Cave or Under a Rock, You need Sun Screens: These are GOOD ONES! By Alison Blackman, Editor in Chief, advicesisters.com
Unless you’ve been living in a cave (in which case you probably don’t need sun protection) you already know that what you can’t see can hurt you. By that I mean that the sun’s damaging rays (UVA/UVB) are unseen but can be deadly. At the very least, the sun’s rays age your skin, and at the worst, skin cancers can disfigure you and one the size of a dime can kill you. If you sit near an open window, or in a car, or even on a cloudy day, those UVA/YVB rays are still out there, penetrating into your skin.
If you object to sun screens, this review hopefully will change your mind. The Advice Sisters gathered some favorite sun screens. Not everyone likes the same kind of sun protection, so you’ll find some that are chemical, some that feature minerals. Some are pricey and luxurious, and some are more basic but budget friends. Some even multi-task. All all effective sun blocks you will actually like to use! There are dozens of suggestions here. Which ones “speak” to you?
Chemical or Mineral? There are currently 17 ingredients approved by the FDA for use as sunscreens. These ingredients are classified as either physical or chemical. Physical sunscreens sit on top of the skin and act like a shield, deflecting or reflecting the sun’s rays. Physical sunscreens start protecting skin immediately, so there is no wait time after application. Plus, theyare not absorbed by the skin, so they are advantageous for those who have sensitive, easily irritated or young skin. There are two types of mineral-based physical sunscreens: Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. Zinc Oxide protects skin against both UVA and UVB rays, offering broad-spectrum protection. Titanium dioxide protects skin against UVB rays and short UVA rays but not against long UVA rays. Chemical sunscreens work by binding to skin and absorbing the UVA and UVB rays. There are 15 FDA-approved chemical sunscreen ingredients. Some of the most populars ones are: Octinoxate, Oxybenzone, Octylcrylene, Avobenzone and Octisalate. Some chemical sunscreens are not photo-stable and do not protect against broad spectrum UV light so you’ll normally find several chemical sunscreen ingredients in one product for full spectrum UVA and UVB protection. Chemical sunscreens should be applied 20 to 30 minutes prior to sun exposure, giving them adequate time to form a protective layer in the skin. Since chemical sunscreens are absorbed, some people with sensitive skin react to them but for most people they are well tolerated.
Eau Thermale Avène.has introduced not one but two sun screen protection formulas offering maximum sun protection –and they’re gentle enough for the most sensitive skin: a range of innovative, non-irritating chemical absorbers, and an advanced mineral range with non-nano mineral filters-all photo-stable (proven to resist breakdown in high UV conditions). They are water resistant, and the signature in ingredient is the Avène Thermal Spring Water, scientifically proven to provide skin-repairing, anti-itching and anti-inflammatory benefits, while soothing and softening skin. Additionally, the products haveVitamin E (Tocopheryl) Acetate to provide antioxidant protection against sun-induced free radicals. All the hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic. Avène Sun Care formulas are also fragrance-, paraben-, oil- and cruelty-free, and tested for photo-toxicity to further ensure the ultimate in sun safety.
The Advice Sisters tested some of the higher SPF Avène Sun Care products. While we found both the chemical and the mineral sun screens to be excellent, in all honesty the chemical sun screen was slightly more protective (volunteers wore the products under the same conditions). That’s not to say the mineral sun screens didn’t protect us — they certainly did, and if you don’t want a chemical-based product, they’re some of the best we’ve found.
Here is the rundown: NEW Ultra-Light Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+ ($24.00, 1.3 fl. oz.)for the face; Ultra-Light Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion Spray SPF 50+ ($12.00, 1 oz.; $20.00, 5 oz.) for the body and Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+($30.00, 5.07 fl. oz.) for face and body provide broad-spectrum protection with a unique UVA/UVB filter system-Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (13% in the two Ultra-Light Hydrating formulas; 15% in Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+ ), Octisalate (5%) and Octocrylene (10%)-and are free of Oxybenzone, Octinoxate and PABA to minimize any risk of irritation. NEW Mineral Ultra-Light Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+ ($28.00, 1.3 fl. oz.) for the face and Mineral Light Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+ ($36.00, 4.2 fl. oz.) for face and body—both sheer, non-whitening formulas-provide broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection with non-nano mineral particles of Titanium dioxide (4%) and Zinc oxide (6%).
Hydration is one of the true benefits of of all Avène Sun Care formulas—all enriched with Plant-based Glycerin, a highly effective humectant- impressive. Ultra-Light Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+ is clinically proven to provide 60% more hydration for 8 hours after use. Ultra-Light Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion Spray SPF 50+ is clinically proven to leave skin twice as hydrated for 8 hours after use. The Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+ is clinically proven to provide 80% more hydration for 8 hours after use. Avene claims that your skin will remain hydrated for even 24 hours following application of all three formulas (we can’t claim this but our skin didn’t feel dry). The Mineral Ultra-Light Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+ is clinically proven to provide 8 hours of continuous hydration, while Mineral Light Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+leaves skin 50% more hydrated for 8 hours after use, with hydration benefits lasting for 24 hours.
I always associate Palmers with affordable and effective products for hair and skin. So it’s no wonder that I loved Palmer’s new Eventone Suncare with Cocoa Butter to moisturize as well as offer a wide range of good SPF protection.
The range includes face and body formulas featuring broad spectrum UVA/UVB broad spectrum from SPF 15 to 50. Some willing friends and I tried a bunch of these products. and I’ve picked three of my favorites to review (but you can see the entire collection in the photo). The one I most love is the Eventone SPF 50 Sunscreen Stick– This smooth-application sunscreen stick can go anywhere with you for a quick SPF boost on face, lips, and ears (they get sun exposure too!). Its size makes it perfect for handbags or carry-ons, seamlessly blending into both skin and active lifestyles.
Eventone SPF 30 Moisturizing Sunscreen Spray– Whenever a lotion I love is available in a spray bottle, I’m sold. All of the natural moisturizing properties of cocoa butter, shea, and coconut oil combined with UVA/UVB broad spectrum protection in a lightweight, fast-absorbing formula that is waterproof for 80 minutes.
Eventone SPF 45 Moisturizing Sunscreen for Face– Use this as a daily moisturizer that fights coloration in the form of dark spots, age spots, and uneven skin tone (all huge signs of aging). Formulated especially for the face, it is noncomodogenic and non-greasy!
Each product in the Palmers Eventone line retails for under $10 so whether you’re in the desert, at the beach, or facing everyday sun exposure, you can stock up on a bunch and not go broke. Learn more about the benefits of all the CBF Eventone Suncare products on the Palmer’s website and shop the line at Walmart.
Darphin’s CC cream with SPF 35 ($45.00 1 fl. oz) is an elegant alternative to sun protection for daily use (I like Darphin’s products accross the board)! This multi-tasking CC Cream offers more than just broad spectrum sunscreen, it also provides good coverage with skin-perfecting pigments that have light reflective pearl in it. The finish is moistly matte, and the SPF 35 is thanks to actives of 7.5% Octinoxate.; 4% Octisalate; 2.4% Oxybenzone and 1.1 & Titanium Dioxide. There are two tints: Light and Medium. The formula is “forgiving” so the light works for most skin tones light to light/medium, and the Medium will work on skin tones that are darker, but not exceptionally dark (those with very deep skin tones might consider using this as a treatment base and put a foundation on top). This Darphin CC Cream really straddles the fence between a sheer foundation and a CC cream with enough coverage to get through a casual day (I dusted some bronzer on top of mine). Considering the slim, travel friendly tube and the SPF 35 which is enough for short periods of time in the sun, it’s a good travel choice for those days when you’re not really dressing up and sunbathing, and a great choice for everyday when you don’t want to deal with a heavier foundation on your face. I personally love this one!
FYI: Know the Difference between a BB Cream with SPF and a CC Cream with SPF:
CC Cream: means “Color correcting.” These are more lightweight and absorb more quickly than BB Creams. They are meant to provide sheer to sheer/medium coverage and sun protection. Usually there are some kind of light-diffusing ingredients to add radiance and even out skin tone, and CC creams usually have antioxidants as well. BB Cream means “Beauty Balm.” It moisturizers and offers some sun protection, and perhaps a bit more coverage than a tinted moisturizer. They are not used in place of anti-aging serums or creams, but add more “oomph!”
It’s not a secret that I have a “thing” for Kaplan MD Lip 20 Moisture Therapy + SPF Therapy Lipstick, and Lip 20 Gloss Moisture Therapy + SPF Lip Gloss. But when it comes to skincare, celebrities flock to the office of Dr. Kaplan in Beverly Hills. The skincare line is pricey, but also very high tech and high performance. I’ve picked one star product that I think is exceptional — if you have the budget: Kaplan MD Daily Moisure SPF 30 Concentrate$100 1.7 fl. oz.
This anti-aging product looks impressive in a slim column of blue-tinted glass with shiny silver accents and a big shiny silver pump top, but it isn’t a sun screen per-se. It is a lightweight moisturizer but it provides broad spectrum sun protection (with SPF 30 thanks to 7% Titanium Dioxide) that contains what is touted as “Nobel Prize winning DNA technology” along with a whopping 22 USDA Certified Organic Extracts to hydrate and firm the skin while minimizing fine lines and wrinkles. My only complaint is a minor one, but on my provided sample the cover didn’t fit tightly and continued to fall off.
For $100 you expect something amazing, and you get it. The lotion is so lightweight it’s almost liquid and it absorbs so quickly you’ll wonder if you actually applied it. There’s no smell, no stickness, nothing…but what is in the product is a powerhouse of protection, nourishment and treatment for your skin. I’m including the key ingredients exactly as described online: BIOFUSION-3S – A revolutionary complex of 3 plant stem cells that increases the skin’s own stem cell vitality and capacity to regenerate new collagen and protect against sun damage; JUVINITY – Nobel Prize winning DNA technology that actually slows down the cellular aging process; MATRIXYL SYNTH’6 – A new FDA-approved peptide that stimulates all 6 levels of collagen synthesis to increase skin firmness and elasticity for a youthful appearance; 7% MICRONIZED TITANIUM DIOXIDE – A physical sunscreen to provide Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB sun protection. Finely micronized to leave no messy white residue on the skin; SMARTVECTOR UV – Protects the integrity of the sunscreen until you are exposed to actual sunlight, providing longer lasting sun protection
I personally think it is exceptional, but as with all skincare, everyone’s skin is different. My personal experience with virtually every Kaplan MD product I have tried has been extremely positive, and this one knocked my socks off. It might just do the same for you. You can find Kaplan MD products at upscale department stores and for for more information visit http://www.kaplanmd.com/
Zinc Oxide is a fabulous sun screen, but it can leave a white film that really shows up on medium to deeper toned skin. Fortunately, derma e Body SPF 30 offers broad spectrum UVA/YVB protection with a Clear Zinc Oxide version. The antioxidant natural sun screen not only neutralizes free radicals but also is hypoallergenic. There is an Oil Free BODY SPF 30 $19.75 5 oz. (shown in the photo) and also an SPF 30 FACE version $19.75 2 fl. oz.
The clear, nanoparticle-free Zinc Oxide offers a safe, chemical-free broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection without irritating skin or clogging pores. It’s also fortified with antioxidants Vitamin C and Green Tea — nutrients that have been shown to offer an additional layer of UV protection, help skin recover after sun exposure and fight and reduce the signs of aging for vibrant, younger-looking skin. I liked the formula that absorb quickly and left just a lightweight but sheer finish. The best part for those who find sun screens difficult to tolerate is that Derma e is hypoallergenic, non-irritating, sensitivity tested, fragrance-free, paraben-free, gluten-free, GMO-free and 100% vegan.
Another thing I like about derma e is that there is a lot of information about the products, the formulas, and even the clinical studies (you have to dig a bit as the site is rather large) but it’s all there. This family-owned and operated company has been around for decades and features a ton of really good, natural products. For more information on these products and more from derma e., visit the derma e web site
Not long ago I visited my local Kiehls boutique to have my free healthy skin check right in the store and have an experienced Kiehl’s Customer Representative craft a skincare program just for me, after using their high tech Dehydration Analyzer Tool (DAT). This is a service offered to everyone because Kiehls cares about your skin. *read my report on the Kiehls healthy skin service.
Kiehls has many different products to protect your skin from the sun’s damaging rays. I’ve just shown three of them in my photo, above, although my personal favorite is the Kiehl’s Skin Tone Correcting & Beautifying BB Cream with Broad Spectrum SPF 50 ($37.00) which I also take when I travel in it’s slim, flip-top tube. I also love the Super Fluid Sunscreen SPF 50+ ($38.00 1.7 fl. oz) which is also pack-able while it packs a punch against the sun’s damaging rays with Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ which leaves nothing but an ultra-light, matte finish. What really appeals to me about this almost liquid and anti-aging formula that applies so easily is that it is also Oil, fragrance, paraben and color Free and also water resistant up to 80 minutes.
For those with sensitive skin, the Kiehls also offers a good face and body products — Activated Sun Protector™ Water-Light Lotion For Face & Body SPF 30 ($29.00 5 fl. oz.) . It features UVA/UVB Protection with patented Sun-Filter Technology that transforms to a water-like texture on skin with a bonus of antioxidant Vitamin E to protect skin. Actives are: avobenzone 2.24%, homosolate 8%, octisalate 2.4%, octocrylene 4.48% and oxybenzone 2.88%. It’s also fragrance-free, paraben-free and mon-Comedogenic
AVON is known for sun screens (among all their other amazing skincare products). If you don’t like sticky, smelly products, you will adore the lightweight feel of AVON Avon Sun+ Sunscreen Spray SPF 25 ($12.00) in an 4.8 fl. oz. spray can (*there is an 8 fl. oz. SPF 25 lotion with the same benefits as well if you prefer, in a flip top tube *actives in the lotion are different” Homosalate 8%, oxybenzone 4.75%, Octisalate 4.75%, avobenzone 2.80%, Octocryelene 2.50%) ). You get broad-spectrum protection against the sun’s rays. in this oil-free product that honestly feels like you’re not wearing anything and it also moisturizes your skin and has a very light, pleasant, fresh/floral scent. This is water resistant up to 80 minutes as well. It’s formulated with Avon’s “Derma Plus” technology which I can’t find much about, other than the formulas helps protect against the sun’s damaging rays with broad spectrum protection, but that’ all good. These products are pleasant to use and you will find yourself reaching for them even though they’re kind to your wallet. They’re also dermatologist tested. Avon’s skincare is second to none….you can trust their products and know you’ll be protected and it will be a good experience! The actives are: HOMOSALATE 8.00%; OCTINOXATE 7.5%; OCTISALATE 4.75% and OXYBENZONE 4.75%.
Sometimes, sunburn happens. If you need relief, Avon has two formulas of Aloe Gel to help soothe the pain. The Avon Aloe Ice Gel ($8.00 8.4 fl. oz.) is my personal favorite. It comes in a large flip top and offers immediate, cooling, oil-free relief with a proven sunburn-soothing: aloe Vera. Your skin will be moisturized and feel better. more quickly. There’s a blue “ice” version (seen the photo) and a Green Ale gel version, and both will help, but please do yourself a favor and do get to the point where you need sunburn relief! Use this nice gel to soothe skin just because *tip these products might stain clothing or other fabrics so make sure they are absorbed and your skin is dry before you put on those tennis whites!
For all of the excellent and budget-minded products, visit AVON.com to locate an Avon Representative or to shop online
Obagi makes excellent skincare products, but one that packs a sun-safe punch with SPF 50 is their Sun Shield Matte Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sun Lotion PA+++ ($51.50 3 oz.) . The non-greasy, PABA-free, and fragrance-free formula is good for all skin types and applies completely sheer in an elegant matte finish that feels great on your skin.The actives are 7.5% Octinoxate and a whopping 10.4% Zinc Oxide. It’s not chalky, it won’t leave your face shiny. Worth the money, especially if you’re the type that really dislikes the look and feel of sun protection products. For more information visit the Obagi Medical Consumer Products Web Site