Sunscreen Hoopla! | Reviewing a Bagillion Sunscreens for Dehydrated/ Dry Skin

Summer has come and gone...ish, and my sunscreen post has yet to be seen. All that changes today.

Initially, I had planned on making this a two-part post. The first one a "WTF" style post where I talk about sunscreen ingredients and general sciencey stuff, but as I started writing it I realized I don't have enough knowledge to confidently share such a post. And it's going to take me more time than I have to properly research the post and publish it.

Instead, I decided I would focus on post number 2 which is reviewing all the sunscreens I have in my stash at the moment, and there are a lot. If you are interested in learning more about the sciencey aspects sunscreens, I would recommend reading Jenny's sunscreen guide or watching Gothamista's videos on sunscreens.

Hopefully next summer I'll have picked up the info to share a proper WTF sunscreen post 😎

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In an ideal world, everyone would be wearing sunscreen every day. But we don't live in that world; we live in the real world where people have their own opinions and budgets and desire to not wear sunscreen. In my opinion, if you care to spend any money and time on your skincare routine, make sure you use sunscreen otherwise it is literally like throwing money down the drain. And since I love throwing money at skincare, I gotta lot of sunscreens, to protect my investment of other skincare products.

Even though I said I wasn't going to be making this a sciencey post, there is a small issue I need to address. Chemical vs physical/ mineral sunscreens.

Ever since reading Kind of Stephen's "“Physical” vs. “chemical” sunscreens and other sunscreen myths" post I kinda want to cringe every time I call a sunscreen chemical and physical when I should really be calling them organic vs inorganic sunscreens. Tl;dr is that physical vs chemical doesn't really mean anything cause chemical sunscreens are literally physical since they have mass and take up space and physical sunscreens are literally chemicals because they're composed of chemicals found on the periodic table. The labels organic vs inorganic are much more accurate as you may remember from your high school chemistry class, organic molecules are ones with carbon and inorganic molecules are ones without carbon.

On the other hand, I'm not a believer of linguistic prescriptivism and believe at its core language is for communicating. And if I say chemical sunscreen and physical sunscreen people will know exactly what I'm talking about. To reconcile both sides, I'll be using the terms interchangeably in the post.

Another topic I want to briefly address is the term "broad spectrum" sunscreens aka sunscreens that provide protection against a wide variety of UV rays. Depending on how familiar you are with sunscreens and sun damage, you may have heard of UVA and UVB rays. (There's also UVC rays but they don't reach the surface of the earth so they're not relevant to this convo.)

Getting into the nitty-gritty differences between UVA & UVB and their effective blockers at the moment is pointless (if you want the basics, here's an easy to read piece by WHO and another by the Skin Cancer Foundation). Both are damaging to our skin and we should be protecting ourselves against them both. I'm bringing them up because certain ingredients protect against UVB rays and other ingredients protect against UVA rays (which are further split into UVA1 & UVA2 rays.)

While falling down the black hole of sunscreen research, I decided I wasn't going to state if each sunscreen provided "full/ broad spectrum" coverage because there were too many aspects I didn't fully understand. Instead of potentially spreading misinformation, I've listed the active ingredients under each sunscreen so you can research on your own to see if you believe it to be an effective blocker or not. Here's a handy chart that can introduce you to the various active ingredients.

I will note 3 ingredients that seem to be trusted for providing broad spectrum coverage are Zinc Oxide, Tinosorb S, & Tinosorb M-- but percentages matter and I couldn't find a consensus on what percentage was needed for each to be 100% effective.

At the end of the day, I've decided to put my trust in these skincare companies to protect my skin against all wavelengths of UV rays. All the sunscreens reviewed in this post met my personal expectations for both UVA & UVB protection.

Lastly, I figured I should mention my skin type and preferences. As the title might have given away, I have dehydrated skin. I'm also acne prone because I'm so #blessed πŸ˜’ I personally prefer to stay away from products with any mineral oil or high levels of dimethicone/ silicone since they tend to break me out. High levels of denatured alcohol also don't jive well with my skin since it usually leads to dry patches.

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Chemical aka Organic Sunscreens

Mommy UV Mild Gel SPF 33 PA+++

Price & Size: $3.86/ oz | 100 g (3.5 oz) for about $13.50 available via Amazon

Ingredients: Water, Propylene Glycol, ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, macadamia nut oil, diethylamino hydroxybenzoyl benzoic acid Hexyl, Aloe barbadensis leaf extract, Apple extract, raspberry extract, crosspolymer (acrylates / acrylic acid alkyl (C10-30)), potassium hydroxide, EDTA-2Na, BHT, Butylene Glycol

Active Ingredients: Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate (aka Octinoxate) & diethylamino hydroxybenzoyl benzoic acid Hexyl (aka Uvinal A Plus)

Review: Naturally I had to review this sunscreen first since it's been my favorite over the past few months. Cute and practical packaging? Check. Free of silicone and denatured alcohol? Check. No fragrance? Check.

The sunscreen pumps out as lightweight liquidy (but not runny) lotion that disappears as soon as you start rubbing it in. It easily spreads out on my skin and I've never had any issues with it pilling over my other sunscreen or underneath my makeup. It doesn't dry down to a matte finish but it also doesn't make my face sticky or tacky. Honestly, it feels like a lightweight, hydrating lotion moreso than a sunscreen.

It also doesn't have any discernable scent.

Missha All Around Safe Block Essence Sun SPF 45 PA+++

Price & Size: $8.24/ oz | 50 mL (1.7 oz) for $10- $14 (depending on where you purchase it) available via Amazon, Missha US, Jolse, & Yesstyle 

Ingredients (note: they recently changed the packaging of this sunscreen; I'm not 100% sure if the ingredients are the same or not. The ingredients I'm listing are the ones found on the new product page on the Missha US site): Water, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Butylene Glycol, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Phenylbenzimidazole Sulfonic Acid, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Polysorbate 60, Dimethicone, Polyacrylate-13, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Hydroxide, PEG-100 Stearate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Fragrance, Polyisobutene, Propylene Glycol, Disodium EDTA, Sorbitan Stearate, Limonia Acidissima Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, 1,2-Hexanediol, Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Extract, BHT, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Polysorbate 20, Sorbitan Isostearate, Morus Alba Root Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Chrysanthemum Indicum flower Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Rosa Davurica Bud Extract, Panthenol, Diospyros Kaki Leaf Extract, Artemisia princeps Leaf Extract, Morus Alba Fruit Extract, Pueraria Lobata Root Extract, Cinnamomum Cassia Bark Extract, Alcohol, Potassium sorbate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Phenoxyethanol, Acrylates/Dimethicone Copolymer, Sodium Benzoate, VP/Hexadecene Copolymer

Active Ingredients: Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate (aka Octinoxate), Phenylbenzimidazole Sulfonic Acid (aka Ensulizole), Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate (aka Uvinul A Plus), & Bis-ethylhexyloxyphenol methoxyphenyl triazine (aka Tinosorb S)

Review: This was my gateway drug to Asian sunscreens. After buying it for the first time last summer, I think I've repurchased it at least 3 times already. The biggest difference I noticed when I started using this sunscreen is that the texture of this sunscreen was much lighter in comparison to the American sunscreens I had been using.

I definitely didn't impulse buy this the first time because it's packaged in a pretty pink tube (read: I did.) The tube is easy to squeeze and the product itself has a creamy texture. It's easy to spread/ pat out and doesn't leave a white cast on my skintone. It is a little bit hydrating but not so much to the point that I would skip using a moisturizer. It doesn't feel heavy or tacky on my skin. If you have oily skin, this miiiight be too much for you.

This does contain fragrance and it does have a noticeable scent and I love it so much. There's something so soothing about the smell.

Tatcha Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 35 PA+++

Price & Size: $32.50/ oz | $65.00 for 2 oz available via Sephora, Barneys, & Tatcha

Ingredients: Water, Isododecane, Cyclopentasiloxane, Propanediol, Hdi/trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Behenyl Alcohol, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Rosa Multiflora Fruit Extract, Eriobotrya Japonica Leaf Extract, Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate (Licorice Extract), Glycyrrhiza Inflata (Licorice) Root Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Pistacia Lentiscus (Mastic) Gum, Sericin (Silk Extract), Algae Extract, Lecithin, Inositol (Rice Extract), Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Sorbitan Tristearate, Sodium Dilauramidoglutamide Lysine, Silica, Potassium Sorbate, Beheneth-20, Sodium Acrylate/Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Dimethylacrylamide Crosspolymer, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Titanium Dioxide, Methicone, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Dimethiconol, Disodium Edta, Iron Oxides (Ci77491), Tin Oxide, Mica, Fragrance (Natural), Ethylhexylglycerin, Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol

Active Ingredients: Zinc Oxide 15%, Octisalate 5%

Review: I really didn't want to like this sunscreen. It's stupidly expensive and it irritates me to no end that Sephora is constantly marketing Tatcha products under their "K-beauty" section SINCE IT IS AN AMERICAN BRAND.

When I went on vacation last week, I accidentally forgot to pack multiple sunscreen options so I was forced to use this sunscreen all week long. And I fell in love with it.

Even though it has that whipped, smooth texture like many silicone heavy products, it isn't drying or overly mattifying. It wears so nicely under makeup, probably because of all those -cones. And even though it is loaded with -cones, I didn't have any issues with it pilling with my water based foundations or squalane oils!

It has a really lovely, light rosy floral scent to it that dissipates after you apply it.

It's packaged in a simple, blue tube that's easy to squeeze. I do kinda wish the packaging was more lux somehow. The box it comes in is very extra with excess layers and fancy papers, but the tube itself is kinda blah for a product you're paying almost $70 for.

My one issue is I'm not sure if it irritates my skin or not. I did get a few pimples on my cheeks while using this consistently but I'm not sure if it was because of this sunscreen or if it's because my aunt Flo was about to visit.

Because there are other cheaper sunscreens out there that I also love, I don't see myself purchasing the full size unless I figure out it isn't breaking me out for sure aaaaand they happen to be offering a sale aaand I happen to be in need of some splurgy retail therapy.

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Lancome Bienfait UV SP 50+ Super Fluid Facial Sunscreen (PR gift)

Price & Size: $22.94/ oz | $39.00 for 1.7 oz available via Sephora, Nordstrom, Ulta, & Macy's

Ingredients: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Alcohol Denat., Silica, Dicaprylyl Ether, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Diethylhexyl Syringylidenemalonate, Peg-30 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Dimethicone, Cyclohexasiloxane, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Nylon-12, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Phenoxyethanol, Lauryl Peg/Ppg-18/18 Methicone, Sodium Chloride, Caprylyl Glycol, Methylparaben, Poly C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Disodium EDTA, Dodecene, Poloxamer 407

Active Ingredients: Homosalate 15%, Oxybenzone 6%, Octocrylene 5%, Octisalate 5%

Review: Despite all the rave reviews on alcohol based sunscreens, I've always veered away from them because my skin tends to turn flakey with lightweight, alcohol moisturizers. This sunscreen confirmed all my fears.

The sunscreen has a very liquidy consistency and is easy to spread out. It dries down very quickly to a matte, almost powdery finish and I basically forget that I even applied it! It doesn't leave a white cast.

The cost of that all is that it dries me the fuck out. Within an hour of using this sunscreen I get dry patches on my cheeks and forehead.

It doesn't really smell like much (if I sniff reaaaal hard, it has a light powdery scent but only if I'm looking for it.) and doesn't contain any synthetic fragrances. Packaging wise it's in one of those shakey bottles with a spout. The biggest downside of this type of packaging is that you can't screw off the top to get the last few drops of the product nor can you easily cut off the top to scoop out those last few drops either.

Cosrx Aloe Soothing Sun Cream SPF 50 PA+++

Price & Size: $8.82/ oz | $15 for 50 mL (1.7 oz) available via Amazon, Yesstyle, Ohlolly, Wishtrend, & Jolse

Ingredients: Water, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Phenylbenzimidazole Sulfonic Acid, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Isoamyl P-Methoxycinnamate, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Alcohol,Dimethicone, Glyceryl Stearate, Butylene Glycol, Titanium Dioxide, C14-22 Alcohols, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Aloe Arborescens Leaf Extract, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Peg-100 Stearate, Silica, C12-20 Alkyl Glucoside, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Aluminum Hydroxide, Stearic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum, Triethanolamine Sodium Hydroxide, Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium Edta

Active Ingredients: Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate (aka Octinoxate), Bis-ethylhexyloxyphenol methoxyphenyl triazine (aka Tinosorb S), & Titanium Dioxide

Review: There aren't many products that I find to be too moisturizing for my skin. There also aren't many Cosrx products that my skin doesn't get along with. Unfortunately, this sunscreen fits into both of those categories.

This sunscreen has a very heavy feel and my skin feels very greasy. I'm constantly reminded that I've got a layer of slick shit on my face. Surprisingly, it's easy to layer makeup on top of it without it pilling off. Unfortunately, it can cause my makeup to go all cakey.

I do really enjoy how it smells-- it has a strong aloe scent 😍

Dr. Jart+ Every Sun Day UV Sun Fluid Broad Spectrum SPF 30

Price & Size: $10.00/ oz | $34.00 for 3.4 oz available via Sephora, Birchbox, & cheaper on Amazon

Ingredients: Water, Chamaecyparis Obtusa Water, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Dipropylene Glycol, Octocrylene, Butylene Glycol, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Caprylyl Glycol, Dimethicone, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Tocopheryl Acetate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Isohexadecane, Polysorbate 80, Potassium Hydroxide, 1,2-Hexanediol, Phenoxyethanol, Polyquaternium-7, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Disodium EDTA, Gelidium Cartilagineum Extract, Ecklonia Cava Extract, Codium Tomentosum Extract, Hizikia Fusiforme Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Xylitol, Acrylamidopropyltrimonium Chloride/Acrylamide Copolymer, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Geranium Maculatum Oil, Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Oil, Rose Flower Oil, Alcohol, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Oil, Styrax Benzoin Gum, Commiphora Myrrha Oil

Active Ingredients: Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate (aka Octinoxate), Octocrylene, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane (aka Avobenzone), BisEthylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine (aka Tinosorb S)

Review: Even though I enjoy collecting mini and travel sized samples, I don't really like having duplicates. But I enjoy this sunscreen so much that I'm hoarding three minis that I received as free gift with purchases from Sephora.

It holds a lot of similarities to the Lancome sunscreen I reviewed up above. They both have those squeezy plastic bottle packaging with a nozzle that you can't unscrew off. They also both have a runny, liquidy texture. But unlike the Lancome one, the Dr. Jart doesn't instantly disappear and dry down. You do have to rub this sunscreen in a bit, but not more than most of the other sunscreens in this post. Because it's an alcohol-free formula, it doesn't dry down matte but instead leaves my skin with a little bit of moisture. It isn't particularly glowy, it just... is.

Heimish Artless Glow Base SPF 50+ PA+++

Price & Size: $16.30/ oz | 40 ml (1.35 oz) for $22.00 available via Ohlolly, Amazon, Yesstyle, & Jolse

Ingredients: Water, Butylene Glycol, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Phenylbenzimidazole Sulfonic Acid, Stearyl Alcohol, Triethanolamine, Octocrylene, Niacinamide, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, CI 77891(titanium dioxide), CI 77019 (mica), PEG-100 Stearate , Hydrogenated Lecithin, Glyceryl Stearate, Beeswax, Caprylyl Glycol, Carbomer, Adenosine, Disodium Edta, Tin Oxide, Carmine, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Flower/Leaf Extract, Origanum Majorana Leaf Extract, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract, Rosa Canina Fruit Extract, Fragrance

Active Ingredients: Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate (aka Octinoxate), Phenylbenzimidazole Sulfonic Acid (aka Ensulizole), Octocrylene, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate (aka Uvinul A Plus), Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane (aka Avobenzone)

Review: I actually reviewed this sunscreen in a post earlier this year and my thoughts haven't changed since then. You can read the review in my first Dresser Diaries post πŸ˜‰

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Physical aka Inorganic Sunscreens

Missha All Around Safe Block Mild Sun SPF 30 PA++

Price & Size: $8.24/ oz | 50 ml (1.7 oz) for $14 available via Yesstyle & Amazon

Ingredients: (note: they recently changed the packaging of this sunscreen; I'm not 100% sure if the ingredients are the same or not. The ingredients I'm listing are the ones found on Cosdna): Water, caprylic/capric triglyceride, zinc oxide, titanium dioxide (CI 77891), butylene glycol, cetearyl alcohol, 1,2-hexanediol, coco-glucoside, hydroxyethyl acrylate/sodium acryloyldimethyl taurate copolymer, squalane, C20-22 alkyl phosphate, C20-22 alcohols, aluminum hydroxide, stearic acid, polysorbate 60, hydrogen dimethicone, xanthan gum

Active Ingredients: Zinc oxide

Review: The first thing that attracted me to this sunscreen is the fact that they advertised it as a sunscreen that could be washed away with a single cleanser, no oil cleansers needed. Personally, I didn't really find that to be true. I still had to double cleanse to really remove it.

But even if it could easily be washed away, I still would not like this sunscreen because it leaves me with a white cast. It never seems to be absorbed by my skin and leaves me with a weird tacky, powdery finish.

Honestly, the finish is the most common problem I have with physical sunscreens. They don't necessarily feel tacky, but if I accidentally touch my face (which happens pretty often since I adjust my glasses, apply lip balm, lean on my hands, etc.) the sunscreens seem to transfer onto my fingers and leave an unpleasant tacky, powdery residue that I need to go and wash off with soap and water.

It has a light sunscreen-y scent but it really isn't noticeable 90% of the time.

Kypris Pot of Shade: Heliotropic SPF 30 (PR gift)

Price & Size: $75.55/ oz | $68 for 0.9 oz/ 27 ml available via Kypris, Nordstrom, Anthropologie, & Cult Beauty

Ingredients: Zinc Oxide 20% Sunscreen; Inactive Ingredients: Water/Aqua, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Isoamyl Laurate, Coconut Alkanes, Glycerin, Polyglyceryl-3 Polyricinoleate, Silica, Glyceryl Caprylate, Lecithin, Rose (Rosa Damascena) Flower Extract, Algae, Aloe (Aloe Barbadensis) Leaf Juice, Isostearic Acid, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Sunflower (Helianthus Annuus) Seed Oil, Sweet Iris (Iris Pallida) Leaf Cell Extract, Polyglyceryl-6 Polyricinoleate, Sodium Chloride, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Kukui (Aleurites Moluccanus) Seed Oil, Pumpkin (Cucurbita Pepo) Seed Oil, Squalane, Xanthan Gum, Tamanu (Calophyllum inophylum) Seed Oil, Pomegranate (Punica Granatum) Extract, Chaparral (Larrea Tridentata) Extract, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Bisabolol, Tocopherol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Citric Acid

Active Ingredients: Zinc Oxide 20%

Review: Out of all the mineral/ physical sunscreens I'm reviewing today, I think this is the one that performs most similar to its chemical counterparts. Of course, it's also the priciest in the entire post πŸ™ˆ

Like all Kypris products, it's beautiful to obsessively stare look at. It's packaged in a hefty glass pot. Perhaps not the most practical packaging, especially for traveling, but I seldom travel with my pricey af skincare anyways so that's not an issue for me.

The first time I saw a tester in Anthropologie I was afraid that the texture was going to be gritty but it's actually the opposite! It's very smooth and easy to spread. And remember how I complained about the tacky, powdery finish I get from most physical sunscreens? I don't get that with this sunscreen! After applying this sunscreen my skin is smooth and when I accidentally touch my face throughout the day, I don't get any residue transfer onto my skin.

I will say that it leaves quite a dewy finish. I like it because I have dehydrated skin and any addition hydration is a blessing but if your skin is on the oilier side, this may be too dewy for you.

The one thing I don't like about this is the scent. It sorta smells like glue. Thankfully the scent isn't very noticable and doesn't linger at all.

If you've been wanting to give Kypris products a try, they have a few sample kits available on their site. Their newest set has 5 samples and rings in at less than $50 πŸ˜‰ If you want a sample of this sunscreen, it's available in a pricier set that has 8 samples including all 3 of their beauty elixirs.

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Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30

Price & Size: $11.33/ oz | $34.00 for 3 oz. available via Sephora, Dermstore, & Drunk Elephant

Ingredients: Water, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Steareth-2, Propanediol, Steareth-21, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Cetearyl Alcohol, Silica, Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Chondrus Crispus Extract, Haematococcus Pluvialis Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Sprout Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Juice Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Raspberry Seed Oil/Tocopheryl Succinate Aminopropanediol Esters, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Sea Water, Acetyl Glucosamine, Cetearyl Glucoside, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Glycine, Sucrose, Lecithin, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Xanthan Gum, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Mica, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491)

Active Ingredients: Zinc Oxide 20%

Review: I wanted to love this sunscreen so much... but I don't. I've tried both the old version and the 2017 reformulated version and I'm not a fan of either.

It comes out as a thick white cream that thankfully rubs in without too much hassle. But that's where the good news stops for me. It feels quite heavy and tacky on my skin. I don't mind sunscreen that doesn't dry down, but I don't like a sticky finish, especially because it makes it a hassle to layer makeup over.

This is another sunscreen that doesn't really smell good. I can't name what it smells like but I don't like it. Thankfully the scent is not strong.

Since I tend to be quite heavy-handed with sunscreen, this can leave a white cast on my face depending on how much I happen to use. And because I don't like layering makeup over this (since it can pill) I end up struggling with ghost face on half the days I decide to use this sunscreen πŸ˜“ On the plus side I'm almost done with the sample!

Drunk Elephant Umbra Tinte Physical Daily Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30

Price & Size: $18/ oz | $36.00 for 2 oz available via Sephora, Dermstore, & Drunk Elephant

Ingredients: Water, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Steareth-2, Propanediol, Steareth-21, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Cetearyl Alcohol, Silica, Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Chondrus Crispus Extract, Haematococcus Pluvialis Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Sprout Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Juice Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Raspberry Seed Oil/Tocopheryl Succinate Aminopropanediol Esters, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Sea Water, Acetyl Glucosamine, Cetearyl Glucoside, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Glycine, Sucrose, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Lecithin, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Xanthan Gum, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Mica, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499)

Active Ingredients: Zinc Oxide 20%

Review: This sunscreen causes what I call spontaneous pilling. On some days it will start spontaneously pilling around my jawline and hairline. It's happened on days when I skipped oils and products with silicones. It's happened on days when I didn't wear makeup. There's no rhyme or reason I've found to cause this pilling. It's simply spontaneous.

Like the Missha physical sunscreen, it also gives me that tacky, powdery finish and transfers its residue onto my fingers.

I do think that the formula is more lightweight than the untinted version. Also thanks to the tint, it doesn't leave me with a white cast. While I don't think the tint provided any coverage (which the brand is totally upfront about, it's not advertised as a tinted moisturizer or anything), I think it sort of helped even out my skintone a little bit.

Like the original, I don't like the smell. I find this a bit stronger, but it's still not a scent that lingers. If I had to describe it, I would say it's a vaguely fruity trying to mask the scent of sunscreen.

Luzern Laboratories LA Defense Urban Protect Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 (PR gift)

Price & Size: $31.76/ oz | $54.00 for 1.7 oz available via Dermstore, Luzern Laboratories, & Alaya Beauty

Ingredients: Active: Zinc Oxide (CI 77947) 15.0%. Inactive: Algae Extract, Buddleja Davidii Extract, C12-20 Alkyl Glucoside, C14-22 Alcohols, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Carbomer, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Cetyl Alcohol, Citric Acid, Cyclopentasiloxane, Ethylhexyl Isononanoate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Fragrance (Parfum), Glycerin, Glyceryl Caprylate, Glyceryl Undecylenate, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Hexyldecanol, Isostearyl Palmitate, L-Arginine, Leontopdoium Alpinum (Edelweiss) Extract, Methylcellulose, Methylpropanediol, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Panthenol, Propanediol, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Pca, Steareth-2, Steareth-21, Tagetes Erecta (Marigold) Flower Extract, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Extract, Tocophersolan, Tocopheryl Acetate, Water (Aqua), Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract

Active Ingredients: 15% Zinc Oxide

Review: My feelings towards this sunscreen are split. On one hand, I like how it isn't drying but also doesn't make me greasy. Even though it's completely mineral based, it doesn't give me a white cast. It wears nicely over skincreen and under makeup buuuut for some reason it pills on my chest area. I don't layer it over moisturizer or oil or anything, just my bare skin and through the day it starts pilling if I run my hands or fingers over the area.

Like some of the other mineral sunscreens mentioned up above, I do have the issue of the tacky, powderiness but it isn't as severe as the other sunscreens. And unlike the other sunscreens, I can easily wear foundation/ tinted moisturizer over this without fear of it balling up.

I also like the scent of this! It reminds me of cantaloupes. Random but yummy!

Out of all the sunscreens in the post, this has my favorite packaging. It's a pump but also comes with a cap so you can travel with it. I've thrown it in my beach bag multiple times this summer and had a grand total of 0 accidents. Since it's in a soft tube, you can cut it open to get the last few drops of product that usualyl hides in the corners.


I'm so glad to finnnnally finish reviewing all these sunscreens that I've been using over the past year. It feels like a burden has been lifted off my shoulders. That said after I finish up a few of these tubes I have a few more sunscreens in the sidelines waiting to be tested 😎

What's your favorite sunscreen of the moment?

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