The Sunscreen Finals
The words “I love you” and “broad spectrum” may be some of the most overused phrases. Both are often used, even when they don’t apply to the situation. So, sunscreen shopping begs the question, do we need truth in marketing, not just truth in advertising? The lack of regulation in the cosmetics industry has hurt consumers, by confusing them with assuring copy, but often empty contents. Here, we offer our sunscreen picks and shopping tips.
There are two kinds of sunscreens: physical and chemical. The chemical kinds are most popular, with the many words often beginning with “Oct” or “Oxy.” Most of these only offer complete protection against UVB rays. While the chemical UVA blocker, Avobenzone, is effective, it does not shield 100% of UVA rays. Hence the hefty prices on drugstore offerings from L’oreal and its brands Garnier and La Roche Posay. Why? L’oreal developed Mexoryl, the only complete chemical UVA blocker. That means if you don’t want to deal with physical protectors, Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide, you might have to pay a bit more. Still, micronized versions of the two physical blockers offer a middle ground, since they spread easily and are not opaque (translation: no more clown faces).
We often lube up all parts of the body, but forget the most important—the face. Even if you can’t see the sun, the rays are there. We recommend using a moisturizer with sunscreen 365 days a year. Those with sensitive skin and a tight budget might give Purpose a chance. Long a dermatologist-recommended product, this oil-free face lotion has chemical blockers and 1.5% titanium dioxide. The light consistency makes it a great option for daily use. If you have very fair skin, you might opt for Cetaphil’s spring launch, Cetaphil UVA/UVB Defence SPF50, with 7% titanium dioxide. The fragrance-free cream comes from a brand known for its cleanser, a trusted creamy face wash suitable for all skin types. Finally, if you are willing to spend a bit more and want quality, without the shady chemicals, we recommend Renee Rouleau Daily Protection SPF30. This cream uses 7% micronized zinc oxide to ensure broad-spectrum protection. Combine that with green tea and licorice to fight inflammation and you have protection and calming in one product. Plus, Rouleau’s products are free of mineral oil, sulfates, synthetic fragrances and dyes, and SD alcohol 40. This makes for a safe, quality lotion and sunscreen, which leaves a matte finish that’s well suited under makeup.
There are many options for beach protection. While we love the spray varieties for their ease of use and Blue Lizard for its strong protection, we think the focus should be on finding products that people will use year-round, especially for those in warm climates. We fell in love with the body lotion from the Aussie women-owned company HissyFit. The brainchild of an editor and an athlete, HissyFit has research to back up its claims. Joining the ranks of the many respected Australian beauty lines, HissyFit offers everything from foundations with sunscreen to Body Double, a scented body lotion with sunscreen. We love multi-tasking products and this is a great one. The lotion contains Australian daisy (cehami), known for its healing properties, as well as aloe and vitamin e. Primarily packed with chemical blockers, there’s a touch of titanium dioxide, and the scent is amazing. Not too sweet or too strong, this vanilla-almond-citrus blend makes for the perfect moisturizer-cum-eau de toilette.
L’Oreal EverPure UV Protect is our new budget go-to haircare protection spray. Sunscreen sprays for hair are especially important for those with blond hair and sensitive scalps, as well as those with costly color jobs. EverPure is part of L’Oreal’s line of products made without sulfates, proof the bix box brands are paying attention to consumer demands for safer products. The spray is light and smells great, thanks to the rosemary-mint combo. For all those reasons, with think it’ a winner.
Do any of us ladies need another lip gloss or balm? Probably not, but who can resist the adorable Lip Service products from HissyFit? The tiny tubes come in five varieties: clear and four tinted options. SPF50 protection is coupled with jojoba oil and shea butter to moisturize and sooth while shielding from rays. We love the Guava color because it is that coveted raisin hue that works on all skin tones.
To learn more about HissyFit products or to buy items, visit the HissyFit website. Visit drugstores nationwide to purchase Purpose Cetaphil and L’Oreal EverPure, or to buy online, visit the Drugstore.com website.
To learn more about Renee Rouleau products or buy items, visit the Renee Rouleau website. If you are prone to allergies, check out the Environmental Working Group’s list of the top-rated sunscreens.