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Wearing sunscreen every day is a struggle, I get that! Trust me, I was the first to find excuses to skip the daily application. I spend years trying to find the best sunscreen for my oily, acne prone skin, and when I finally found it and got accustomed to wearing it daily… They changed the formula.
To be honest, it never had the best filters anyway, but I was willing to overlook that as it just felt so good, so lightweight, and I figured a less than stellar sunscreen I wore daily was still better than an amazing one I never reached for.
In case you wondered, my favorite for the last four years was the ISDIN Fotoprotector Fusion Water SPF50+ PA++++. I can´t count through how many bottles I have gone, but now that my stash is nearing its end, news has reached me that the new formula is not as lightweight and has a tendency to pill. Mind you, I am not sure if that is true, I still have one with the old ingredients, but it was the much needed kick up the behind to expand my horizon and finally find one that is both amazing to wear AND has the newest filters.
Here is what I look for in a facial sunscreen
I need it to be lightweight, otherwise I will not reach for it at all or, if I do, apply way too little. So weightless on the skin, although I have moved away from gel textures due to their tendency to pill. Whitecast is not much of an issue for me because I am pale and usually wear some kind of makeup on top anyway, but if it can be avoided, I am of course even happier.
Oh, and please keep in mind that everything I say here is for actual daily use in the city, if I go to the beach or, more likely, spend the day outdoors hiking, I will slather myself in something as water resistant as possible, and none of the three I am going to mention would qualify for that.
The part where last time I made a compromise. As someone living in Europe I am lucky to have the most modern filters at my disposal, and I plan on taking advantage of that. UVA protection is where these make the biggest difference, so I look for Tinosorb M and S or, the newest Uvinul A Plus. All of them are chemical filters, but I am of course not opposed to a well formulated sunscreen with Zinc Oxide.
My skin is oily, so I spent most of my adult life battling the shine, and while I embrace a little more dewiness these days, I still don´t want any extra glow from my products.
But without further ado, here are the three that I am currently loving
La Roche Posay Anthelios Shaka Fluid SPF 50+
This is the most “traditional” one, a classic French pharmacy find and, for me at least, easy to get. In the online community it has earned a cult following among those with oily skin and I can easily see why: The texture is very liquid, so it is easy to spread, there is no whitecast and no added “glow”, but no mattifying effect either.
In terms of filters it offers great UVA and UVB protection:
You will find Octisalate and Uvinul T 150 for UVB protection, Avobenzone for UVA protection and both Mexoryl XL and Tinosorb S for both UVA and UVB ray absorption, as well as Glycerin and Vitamin E for hydration and antioxidant properties. There is Alcohol denat. in the formula, responsible for the weightless feel, but probably a reason for some to avoid it and one of the reasons why I am very careful with bringing it close to my eyes.
From scent and application it comes closest out of the three to a regular sunscreen, but it is also the one that I feel best protected with because it feels like it won’t disappear merely by touching my face.
Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF 50+ PA++++
One of my more adventurous purchases, because I got it merely because I knew many loved it – the ingredient list was completely in Japanese. No surprise as this is a Japanese sunscreen, and it is everything I expected it to be: very hydrating and absolutely weightless. In fact, it feels like a light lotion rather than anything that even remotely resembles sunscreen. I don´t notice a particular scent, but it is worth noting that it is fragranced and again contains alcohol.
In terms of filters you will find Octinoxate and Uvinul T 150 for UVB protection, Uvinul A plus for UVA protection (the best for that purpose that is on the market right now) and Tinosorb S for both UVA and UVB protection. There is Glycerin and Hyaluronic Acid for hydration and Arginine, an amino acid, to improve healing.
My favorite for the office and for reapplication, as it is a treat to get on your skin, even though it gives a slightly “dewy” finish.
klairs Soft Airy UV Essence SPF 50 PA++++
This is a repurchase – I already reviewed it in depth here, when I first got it. Back then I decided to stick to the ISDIN one, as the klairs version felt a little richer. Now, almost two years later, I am glad I have it back in my life. It is the richest out of the three, probably because it contains no alcohol, and works great if I want to skip the moisturizer underneath. Mind you, it is still warm, but not hot as I write this, so I might retire it again when I start sweating my face off, but for now it is a great two in one.
The filters it relies on are Uvinul A plus for UVA protection and Uvinul T 150 to protect from UVB rays, and there is Glycerin, Hyaluronic Acid and Beta-Glucane for hydration, Vitamin E as antioxidant as well as Niacinamide, one of my favorite skincare ingredients (read here why) and the amino acids Allantoin and Arginine, which are anti inflammatory and help the skins barrier function. A potential red flag for some might be the added Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, as citrus essential oils can be irritating.
It has the least dewy finish though and I love how it sits under makeup.
And now hand on heart: Do you use your sunscreen every day?
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