We all scream for sunscreen!
Many things contribute to my hate of summer. Profuse sweat, random eczema patches, insects, heat, pressure to engage with chlorine, sandals, outdoor dining -- I could go on. One thing really near the top of the list, however, is sunscreen. Boy do I hate it. Luckily the past couple of years have led to improvements in sunscreen formulas and my discovery of r/SkincareAddiction has introduced me to the magical world of Japanese and Korean brands.
I am still on the fence between physical and chemical sunscreens (for a nice discussion on the difference see this article) -- I like that physical sunscreens start working immediately and are often visible on the skin (i.e. easy to see any missed spots and really feel protected) but they are also SO DIFFICULT to get off and get white smudges everywhere. There are apparently some issues with the efficacy of chemical sunscreen but it has worked ok for me so far -- though I'm such a sucker for the scientific register of Deciem (particularly re. their NIOD line) that I'm totally going to buy the Survival 30 when it comes out. Sigh.
My all-time-favorite daily face SPF for the moment, however, is the Shiseido Senka Aging Care UV Sunscreen SPF50+ PA++++ (top right yellow bottles). It has a smooth texture, is not drying (for me) at all, has a nice mellow scent, plays well with my other face products (including those with silicones like Glossier's face tint or Hylamide's HA Blur) and is relatively cheap ($16.40 for two bottles). It isn't mattifying, but isn't too greasy either and one wee bottle will last me about a month of substantial daily face, neck and ear coverage.
I really like the Biore Aqua Rich too, but the alcohol that makes it so pleasant and refreshing to apply makes it irritating and drying for my skin. Aqua Rich has a really nice mellow citrusy scent and dries super fast. I keep one in my bag to use on my forearms, feet and legs on the go because it's really quick to apply and especially nice when it's hot out due to the cooling effect from the alcohol evaporating.
For heavy duty outside days I give in to the goopy efficacy that is mineral sunscreen. Since I hate the outside, this isn't very often, so the mess isn't a deal breaker. The most long-lasting, no-nonsense, water, salt and sweat proof shellac I've bought is Avene's classic mineral sunscreen (which is not even available in the U.S. online store!) which goes on and stays on. It also goes on clothes, car doors, towels and beach chairs so use with caution! I tried using the Biore for the beach, but you quickly realize how much skin you have and how small that bottle is. Supergoop has been good to me (the spray is especially good for feet and toes covered in sand) but I've been burned (literary) with chemical sunscreen a couple of times because I think it's on and sunk in but actually needed to be reapplied or had been worn off, etc. With the Avene, if I see the white sheen, I know I'm ok. It's either that or my rash guard, and I think I prefer an aerated vampire look over a insulated goofball one.
I always try to have SPF protected lips, but the ones with Avobenzone (like this one and this one) leave a weird taste in my mouth and make me feel kind of sick. The Jack Black one doesn't give me this, but it's also low in protection (only 25). I really want to try this mineral one but $18? Guhhh. More like 'Moola', am I right? Ha ha.
I've also tried the whole Neutrogena line but despite the "Dry-Touch" moniker nothing has ever stood out for me. I think La Roche-Posay smells better and has a nicer texture. I had a long love affair with Murad's Invisiblur, but the silicones react with other products I'm using on my face now (such as Hylamide HA Blur or Glossier Tint) and plus it's pretty expensive and I HATE THE PACKAGING. It's impossible to travel with and is so flimsy it makes me just so angry. I've written a letter to complain about this, but I think I am right in not expecting my missive to have stirred the hearts of Murad R&D:
I wanted to write to say how much I love your 'Invisiblur' sunscreen primer it's amazing but the packaging is HORRIBLE!!! I just wanted to give feedback that as a frequent buyer of the product I would love to see new packaging. The main issue is that the bottle is IMPOSSIBLE to travel with because the pump inevitably gets pressed, spewing valuable Invisiblur everywhere in my cosmetics bag. Yes I know that you can screw the top to 'close' the valve but this is obviously not meant for frequent use because after about 5 times of doing this the pump became shaky and wouldn't hold and felt like it was going to break or fall off. Eventually I Mc-Gyvered a solution where I would wad up toilet paper with tape underneath the top part of the pump so it wouldn't press down but this is an awful solution. Please re-design the packaging! Just a simple tube would be amazing! Maybe that could reduce the pricing even! Or reduce your margins! I don't care just please change the packaging!!
Thank you for your consideration, I hope it is heard. I really love the product and just find the packaging to be so unfortunate.
Thank you for your email.
I have passed on your email to our product development team in regards to the packaging issue. Also, watch for special offers on Murad.com as sometimes those contain deluxe sample sizes and those are great for travel.
Please let us know if we can assist you further.
We hope that this information has been helpful to you.
In the meantime, be sure to catch us THIS month in magazines like Allure and O, the Oprah Magazine!
Oh well, Shiseido is cheaper, has a higher SPF and PA+ rating and plays well with my other face products. So... THERE!