Aug 20, 2015

Collective Sunscreen Reviews

Sunscreen would be the one thing I use up fairly quickly. I feel proud that I can finish a 1 oz bottle or tube in about a month, because it means at least I follow the cardinal rule - apply the recommended amount a lot
I have gone through more than a few sunscreens since March and meant to do individual reviews on them. Well, that's not exactly happening, but here you will have four mini reviews. While not feeling so dutiful, this does good for my soul.

1. Sofina Perfect UV White Protect SPF50+ PA+++

This has been my holy grail sunscreen for many years. It provides a high protection with a pretty decent PPD, and most importantly it is cosmetically elegant. It sets to a velvety silicon-y touch which makes an excellent makeup base and controls oil quite well. This particular version, "White Protect" contains a brightening agent, and the effect is actually visible over time. I used to have no problem wearing this all year round, but this year suddenly I noticed it felt drying and my foundation wasn't sitting right on this. I managed to finish a small size bottle (25ml) back in April, but it was almost painful. I'm pretty sure I won't have any problem with this now since it is still humid and hot where I live. From now on, I will reserve this for summer time. It is still best of its kind in my book.

I love CeraVĂ© moisturizing lotion and cream and use them all year long and their AM facial lotion has been a nice emollient sunscreen choice for my neck for a while, so I had a high expectation for this. I liked the sound of "invisible zinc" although I am not that naive to believe it would be actually invisible. Everything is subjective, you know. I don't really care if my face flashes white and looks different from my neck except for when I have to take selfies (and I do it anyway). On top of containing additional good ingredients like niacinamide and ceramides, it is water-resistant and doesn't feel oily. But alas, the texture is too gummy and sets too quickly that it could look patchy sometimes, meaning it is not cosmetically elegant at all. It was delegated to the neck area because the neck is very important, but the neck couldn't handle it, either.

I am usually skeptical about sunscreens with all chemical blockers, but this one is probably the best choice for my current skin condition. It is everything what its name suggests - light, hydrating and comfortable. I like that it is avobenzone free and requires no effort to apply the recommended amount. The UVA protection is supposedly great (PA++++). It does not particularly control oil well and does contain alcohol. Most foundations apply very well over this.

This one is a great domestic option if you're looking for an affordable sunscreen with all physical blockers. It feels light and stays on very well. I am glad I can find something like this easily from a local drugstore. Unfortunately though, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide in this are not finely milled enough that it feels gritty nearly like rubbing some mild exfoliant on the face. It isn't a bad product at all and I will keep using this, but I won't repurchase unless I am in a pinch. Many Japanese baby sunscreens in liquid form are similar to the Neutrogena but have much more refined textures. I will have to plan ahead when I need all physical sunscreens.

In my view, the U.S. sunscreen offerings fall short being neither here nor there. It is still not easy to find an affordable photostable sunscreen that looks good on as well. 
My skin has been feeling much drier which would be another sign of aging, but I might as well take advantage of it and go for some European sunscreens with higher PPD (Ducray Melascreen, on top of my head) or keep exploring more hydrating options from Asian sunscreens.

Thanks for reading!
Which sunscreen are you currently using and how do you like it?

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