For some reason, I am only just figuring out how important sunscreen is for my skin. Yes – of course I know all about the dangers of skin cancer and the premature aging the sun can cause. But, I’m part vampire, part golem and I just don’t go outside that much. My job keeps me inside all day and I’m one of those people who thinks anything over 70 degrees is hot.
So, whereas most people need to limit their sun intake, I have to take Vitamin D supplements because I never go outside! I have pale skin, but I don’t burn that easily.
So, now I am starting to realize that acne scars and cat scratches (I have a lovable, but easily scared cat) turn brown and become more visible (and perhaps permanent) in the sun – the occasional outdoor lunch or even a car ride can cause a lot of damage – especially since I’m so pale to begin with.
If you look at celebs who have had tons of plastic surgery, fillers, etc., you can still tell their age by looking at their hands! So now I put sunscreen on my hands every time I go outside – even if just for a short time. I keep it in my purse to reapply after washing my hands.
Sunscreen for my hands is pretty easy. But, sunscreens on my face always seem to make me break out or worse – cause my lips to swell up or other weirdness. So, I always nixed the facial sunscreen unless I was going to the beach or going to be outside all day (pretty rare occasions!). I just had a VI Peel (review to come) and that made me realize how important sunscreen is for my face. Anytime you are using retinols, AHAs, glycolic acid, or other exfoliants, you need to use sunscreen or you can actually get MORE brown spots and sun damage! Also – if you’re taking the birth control pill, the hormones will cause you to be extra sun sensitive and you’ll notice a lot more brown spots appearing on your face and arms (or any area exposed to the sun regularly).
So, have a found the holy grail of facial sunscreens? Not really. But, here are some cruelty free sunscreens I’ve been using lately and the pros and cons of each.
- SPF 30 – protects against UVA and UVB rays (they also have an Oil Free Moisture SPF 15 that I haven’t tried yet)
- Absorbs quickly – low grease factor, but still leaves skin looking a bit shiny
- Non comedogenic and oil free
- Chemical sunscreen ingredients: avobenzone, homosalate, octinoxate, octisalate, oxybenzone
- Fragrance free (smell reminds me of plastic floats you use in the pool!)
- SPF 30 – protects against UVAs and UVBs
- Low grease factor – not quite a matte finish but pretty close
- Natural, light scent (no artificial fragrances)
- Mineral/physical sunscreen ingredients: titanium oxide 7.5%, zinc oxide 5%
- Contains certified organic shea butter, green tea and jojoba and calendula to moisturize, heal and protect skin
- Contains sodium PCA, hyaluronic acid and allantoin to moisturize and protect skin
- I believe it is vegan, but I am not 100% certain. John Masters says they only use honey and beeswax and this product contains neither. John Masters products are PETA certified cruelty free.
- SPF 30 – powder protects against UVAs and UVBs
- Mineral/physical sunscreen ingredients: titanium dioxide 12%
- Portable, POWDER format – I love this because you can use it as a finishing powder with no grease! The brush applicator is embedded so it’s super easy to pack in your bag and reapply.
- The only problem is that it’s hard to tell where you’ve applied it and the powder tends to fly around a bit during application.
- Comes in 3 shades – light, medium and tan
- Doesn’t clog pores
- Contains aloe vera and Vitamins A, C and E
What are your favorite sunscreens for daily use? Found any good ones for combination/oily facial skin? Let me know!
Press samples have been provided for review. Opinions are the author’s own. Article may contain affiliate links.