Face Sunscreen Guide 2020

Face Sunscreen Guide 2020

31 '
Intro
At a glance

A roundup of the face sunscreens I tried in 2020: mineral, chemical, combination formulas... Which ones do I prefer and why?

I know that some of you are just as obsessed with sunscreens as I am, and that you’ve been waiting impatiently for this article! So without further ado, here’s an overview of my face sunscreen trials for this year 2020!

Yes, I know, my article is a little late this year! Covid has slowed things down quite a bit and new sunscreen products were released later than usual.

Add to that, I had trouble with lost packages with products I really wanted to include in this article. It took me a while to let go (after 5624589 unsuccessful email exchanges about misplaced my products with the delivery company 🙄) and they finally arrived when I wasn’t expecting them anymore, a true miracle! I spent some time trying them out before including them in this article 🙂

Anyway… I discovered some gems this year, as you’ re about to see.

Any suspense will be short-lived, my 2020 selection is very Korean. I know that some of you would prefer that I feature products more easily accessible in France or in the United States (where the majority of my readers are) but I’ll be honest with you: I select the products I’m most interested in because I really use them (and I buy them too, brands rarely send them to me).

And sincerely (I swear I looked!), there were few releases of sunscreen products made in France or USA that caught my eye this year.

If you want other sunscreen products that are easier to find near where you live, I featured a few in my previous sunscreen guides. The 2018 sunscreen guide and the 2019 sunscreen guide are both still relevant, I haven’t changed my mind about the products mentioned in these two articles! 🙂

Here is my Face sunscreen 2020 selection!

A tip for the impatient ones: you can jump directly to the product you’re interested in from the “Jump To” menu at the beginning of this article (or in the header on mobile) 😉

Guide: how to choose the best sunscreen? I mentioned it many times, daily sun protection is definitely the most effective anti-ageing prevention step in your skincare routine! But how do you choose the right sunscreen product according to your protection needs? Should you use the same sunscreen all year round, or is it better to have several products that you can alternate according to the situation? I’ll give you answers to these questions in this guide! Read more

How I choose my sunscreens (in 2020):

I won’t go into details about how I use my sunscreens (how much I apply, when I apply them, how I remove them etc) as I have already covered this in detail in many of my previous articles!

If you haven’t seen them already, I would encourage you to read my other articles on the topic, as they are very comprehensive (if I can say so myself 😅) and should help you get a clearer understanding of sun protection:

Sun protection: Q&A and common myths: everything you always wanted to know about sun protection! Really, if you only have to read one, this is the one!

Face sunscreen guide 2018: my 2018 face sunscreen selection.

Buying guide: reef-safe sunscreens: a body sunscreen guide.
My opinion on the issues raised in this article has changed a lot, by the way. I refer you to Dominique’s excellent post because I agree with him completely, especially on the green-washing approach of the brands regarding the pollution of the ocean (it’s in French, but you can use Google Translate to read it, it definitely worth it!).

Face sunscreen guide 2019: my selection of face sunscreen products for 2019.

Guide: how to choose the best sunscreen? How to understand the protection in your sunscreens and how to choose it according to your needs.

For this year’s face sunscreen guide, I have chosen products solely for a daily use. This means that not all of them are suitable to be used on the beach or at the pool (= meaning most of them aren’t waterproof).

If you wish to find products suitable for the beach or for sports, I would refer you to my last article on the matter: Guide: how to choose the best sunscreen? where I give you some suggestions about more “hardcore” sunscreen products for outdoor activities.

So here is the list of important criteria to me when I choose a sunscreen product.

First of all, the UV protection! I prefer a product that filters both UVA and UVB filters. In general, my sunscreen products have a SPF50+ and a PA ++++ (more explanations on these two values in this article about choosing sunscreen).

Chemical or mineral filters? Both! And I also like it when the two are combined. To know the difference between mineral and chemical filters, their pros and cons, I invite you to read my article Sun protection: Q&A and common myths, where I explain the differences in more detail.

I’m a fan of mineral filter products in the summer because they have a mattifying effect that I appreciate when it’s hot and humid, as it is in Dubai right now. They are also known to be less irritating for everyday use. But it’s true that depending on the formula, they can leave a fairly visible white cast that isn’t the most attractive! For me and my fair skin, it looks fine, but if you have darker skin than me (it’s not difficult), it might be more noticeable!

Also, you’ll see it in my selection, the Koreans are on the edge of mineral filter-based products at the moment! And since they’re very good at producing products with insanely great, light, barely there textures, their mineral sunscreens are definitely better than the horrendous thick white mineral formulas that you can still find on shelves in French pharmacies for example…

Finally, on the same mineral sunscreens topic, it’s worth noting that Koreans also appreciate what they call the “tone up” effect. It’s the process of making the skin appear lighter than it is to give a brightening effect (or make you look like a ghost according to other personal beauty criteria). Let’s be clear, the tone up effect only looks good on fair skin. On skin darker than mine, it quickly looks greyish or purplish. You’ll see, in my selection, there are a few “tone up” sunscreens, but their effect is fortunately quite light on me (but again, if your skin is darker than mine, I’m not sure you’ll love it).

I really like chemical filter based sunscreens if I want a more glowy effect and a completely transparent texture. In the past, I found them more irritating than mineral sunscreens. But the formulas I tried this year use newer chemical filters and I didn’t really experience any irritation. Some of them are even very soothing!

In general, I prefer to use them in the winter because they make me look a bit too shiny for me in the summer, but there is one notable exception that I’ll mention below 😉

As for the rest of my ingredients I look for in sunscreen formulas, I appreciate when it contains antioxidant ingredients because they enhance the anti-ageing prevention effect of the product.

Formulas which contain too much fragrance are not my favourites (I don’t mind a bit of fragrance but not when it lingers all day) and if my skin is sensitized, I set aside formulas that contain too much alcohol. Alcohol can be a little irritating in the long run, although it’s true that it can considerably lighten the texture of the sunscreen formulas.

Now concerning the finish of my sunscreen products, I prefer when the product doesn’t leave a white cast. But if it’s just slightly white, and makeup can cover it, it’s fine.

And finally, I prefer when my sunscreen is compatible with makeup. I prefer to avoid those that make my foundation pill and/or make it look super greasy after only a few hours.

You’ll notice there are no tinted sunscreens in my selection. I’m not a fan, to tell you the truth.
In general, the color never looks good on me, because I apply a good amount of product so that it’s really protective and I always end up straight orange! It’s also something I really dislike about them: especially with tinted sunscreens, I feel like you tend to apply less product, as you would do with a foundation. However, with sunscreens, a generous application is crucial if you want to be well protected!

By the way, if you want to see in picture the quantity of sunscreen needed to be well protected, please check my first article about sun protection. You’ll see, the quantity you need to use is definitely not a pea size of product!

So, here is a selection of the different sunscreen products I tried during 2020!
I’ve organized them according to the type of UV filters they contain, and the links to order them online are at the end of each paragraph, underlined in red 😉

100% Mineral Sunscreens:

My favourites at the moment (for summer) because they usually leave a matter finish than chemical filter-based sunscreens, and they’re very comfortable to wear every day!

Klairs Mid Day Blue UV Shield SPF 50+, PA++++:

∎ Price:
$23 for 80ml.

∎ Protection:
SPF 50+, PA++++ (its PPD is 19)

∎ Made in:
South Korea

∎ Texture:
A light, non-greasy cream that leaves a slight sticky effect when it sets

∎ UV filters:
– Zinc Oxide: filters UVA and UVB rays.
– Titanium Dioxide: filters UVA and UVB rays.

∎ Complete list of ingredients:
Water, Cyclohexasiloxane, Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Polyglyceryl-3 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Dibutyl Adipate, Propanediol, Caprylyl Methicone, 1,2-Hexanediol, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Betaine, Magnesium Sulfate, Hydrogen Dimethicone, Inositol, Aluminum Hydroxide, C30-45 Alkyl Cetearyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Polyglyceryl-2 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Stearic Acid, Pentylene Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Octyldodecanol, Guaiazulene, Echium Plantagineum Seed Oil, Cardiospermum Halicacabum Flower/Leaf/Vine Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil Unsaponifiables, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Tocopherol, Fragrance

∎ Alcohol?
No.

∎ Fragrance?
Yes.

∎ Antioxidants?
Yes, vitamin E.

∎ Other skincare ingredients in the formula:
Moisturizing betaine, nourishing sunflower seed oil, soothing guaiazulene.

∎ White cast?
A slight white cast. The cream is blue (because of the guaiazulene) but you won’t look like a smurf with it, I can assure you! 😉

∎ Irritating? Comedogenic?
No.

∎ Mattifying?
Yes.

∎ Drying?
A little bit.

∎ How does it look with makeup?
It’s a pretty good makeup base, foundation is easy to apply over it. In addition, it helps to mattify my combination skin after a few hours, so my makeup lasts even longer.

∎ Would I repurchase?
(Let’s agree from the beginning that I answer this question theoretically and as if I didn’t have a closet full of sunscreen products at my disposal 😅)
Yeah, I guess so. It’s a pleasant product for my combination skin and I live in a country where summer is hot and humid. It even has a nice cooling effect when I apply it. It tends to feel a little sticky, but with a bit of powder, it helps. It leaves a bit of a white cast, but it’s quite minimal (at least on my fair skin). It provides good protection, can be used with makeup without any problem. Its value for money is very good (its size is 80ml, which is a lot). In short, it’s a good sunscreen option!

∎ Shop for this product:
Klairs Mid Day Blue UV Shield SPF 50 PA++++

Laneige Fresh Calming Sun Essence SPF 50+, PA++++:

∎ Price:
Between $25 and $30 for 50ml.

∎ Protection:
SPF 50+, PA++++

∎ Made in:
South Korea

∎ Texture:
A very lightweight fluid lotion.

∎ UV filters:
– Zinc Oxide: filters UVA and UVB.

∎ Complete list of ingredients:
Purified Water, Zinc Oxide, Propanediol, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Methylpropanediol, Caprylyl Methicone, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Pentylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, TriethoxycaprylylSilane, Sodium Stearoxy Sebum-Hydroxyethyl Cellulose Sulfonate, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer,Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Cypress Water, Fragrance, Allantoin, Xanthan Gum, Ethylhexylglycerin, Butylene Glycol, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Virginia Extract, Yellow Iron Oxide, T-Butyl Alcohol, Red Iron Oxide, Caprylyl Glycol, Tocopherol.

∎ Alcohol?
No.

∎ Fragrance?
Yes.

∎ Antioxidants?
Yes, vitamin E.

∎ Other skincare ingredients in the formula:
No. This is more of a primer than a skincare product.

∎ White cast?
Not on me, but it’s slightly tinted, so maybe it’s just because it matches the colour of my skin.

∎ Irritating? Comedogenic?
No.

∎ Mattifying?
Yes.

∎ Drying?
No.

∎ How does it look with makeup?
It’s a good makeup base, foundation is easy to apply over it. It helps to mattify my combination skin after a few hours, so my makeup lasts longer. On the other hand, I noticed that it may have a tendency to pill from time to time, depending on the foundation I use on top.

∎ Would I repurchase?
Why not? It’s not perfect (few skincare ingredients in its formula, it seems to have a tendency to pill sometimes), but it’s very pleasant to wear because you can barely feel it on the skin. I really like to wear it on days when I don’t wear makeup, because it’s slightly tinted, so it has a nice beautifying effect. It doesn’t irritate me at all, it’s very comfortable, it doesn’t dry my skin out… In short, it’s a good option!

∎ Shop for this product:
Laneige Fresh Calming Sun Essence SPF 50+, PA++++

Innisfree Truecare Non-Nano Sunscreen SPF48, PA+++:

∎ Price:
Between $15 and $19 for 50ml.

∎ Protection:
SPF48, PA+++

∎ Made in:
South Korea

∎ Texture:
A rather rich and comfortable cream.

∎ UV filters:
-Titanium Dioxide: filters UVA and UVB.

∎ Complete list of ingredients:
Water, Propanediol, Titanium Dioxide, Butylene Glycol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Caprylyl Methicone, 1,2-Hexanediol, Pentylene Glycol, Caprylic/Capric/Succinic Triglyceride, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Alumina, Stearic Acid, Saccharide Hydrolysate, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Ci 77492, Ethylhexylglycerin, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Centella Asiatica Extract, Salvia Hispanica Seed Extract, Turmeric (Turmeric) Root Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Houttuynia Cordata Extract, Ci 77491, Madecassoside, T-Butyl Alcohol, Ci 77499, Triethoxycaprylylsilane

∎ Alcohol?
No.

∎ Fragrance?
No.

∎ Antioxidants?
Yes, extracts of Centella Asiatica, Madecassoside, Turmeric, Portulaca Oleracea, Houttuynia Cordata.

∎ Other skincare ingredients in the formula:
These same ingredients, which are soothing (Centella Asiatica, madecassoside, Houttuynia Cordata), moisturizing (Portulaca Oleracea) and brightening (turmeric).

∎ White cast?
Yes, it’s from the “tone up” category I was talking about earlier. On my skin tone, it looks fine with makeup on top but it’s still quite visible.

∎ Irritating? Comedogenic?
No, on the contrary, it’s perfect for sensitive skin.

∎ Mattifying?
No, it tends to make me look shiny during the day.

∎ Drying?
No.

∎ How does it look with makeup?
It’s a good base for makeup, my foundation is easy to apply on top of it but I have to use a lot of powder when I use it because it tends to make my skin look shinier than usual.

∎ Would I repurchase?
Probably not. It’s great for sensitive or sensitized skin because it’s super soothing. Its formula is almost like a skincare product with extra sun filters. So it’s the one I’m using if my skin is damaged, for example. It’s comfortable to wear, not drying at all, on the contrary. But apart from that, its white cast is still quite visible and it makes me look very shiny. Also, its protection is not as high as I would like (SPF48, PA +++). So if you have very sensitive and fair skin, why not although you may need more protection? But on me, I’m not convinced.

∎ Shop for this product:
Innisfree Truecare Non-Nano Sunscreen SPF48, PA +++

Wellage Real Hyaluronic Safe Sun Cream SPF 50+, PA+++:

∎ Price:
Between $18 and $21 for 50ml.

∎ Protection:
SPF 50+, PA++++

∎ Made in:
South Korea

∎ Texture:
A liquid cream that absorbs quite easily.

∎ UV filters:
– Titanium Dioxide: filters UVA and UVB rays.

∎ Complete ingredient list:
Purified Water, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Titanium Dioxide, Propanediol, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Butyloctyl Salicylate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Aluminum Stearate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Isohexadecane, Pentylene Glycol, Silica, Lavender Oil, Corchorus Olitorius Leaf Extract, Barley Extract, Calla Lily, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Isodododecane,Alumina, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, C13-15 Alkane, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6,Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose Stearoxy Ether, Stearic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, T-Butyl Alcohol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Panthenol, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Hyaluronate, Dipropylene Glycol, Madecassic Acid, Asiaticoside, Sodium Palmitoyl Proline, Asiatic Acid, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate, Hyaluronic Acid.

∎ Alcohol?
No.

∎ Fragrance?
Yes (lavender essential oil).

∎ Antioxidants?
Yes, some Centella Asiatica.

∎ Other skincare ingredients in the formula:
Soothing panthenol and 8 different moisturizing hyaluronic acids (Wellage is one of the hyaluronic acid specialists in Korea).

∎ White cast?
Yes, there is. On my fair skin, it’s fine, but it’s still visible.

∎ Irritating? Comedogenic?
No, on the contrary, it’s quite soothing.

∎ Mattifying?
No, it tends to make my skin look more shiny during the day.

∎ Drying?
No.

∎ How does it look with makeup?
It’s a good makeup base, my foundation works well over it but I have to plan to powder a lot when I use it because it tends to make my skin look shinier than usual.

∎ Would I repurchase?
Probably not. Its formula is pretty cool, with some interesting skincare ingredients. It’s quite comfortable to wear, not drying at all (on the contrary, it’s rather moisturizing), not irritating either. But its white cast is still quite visible and it makes me look very shiny. I’m thinking of using it again this winter to finish it off!

∎ Shop for this product:
Wellage Real Hyaluronic Safe Sun Cream Sun SPF50+, PA ++++

Dewytree Urban Shade Anti-Pollution Sun SPF 50+, PA++++:

∎ Price:
Between 27 and 30 euros for 50ml.

∎ Protection:
SPF 50+, PA++++

∎ Made in:
South Korea

∎ Texture:
A light cream, which melts on the skin when you apply it and sets to a semi-matte finish in a few minutes.

∎ UV filters:
– Zinc Oxide: filters UVA and UVB rays.
– Titanium Dioxide: filters UVA and UVB rays.

∎ Complete list of ingredients:
Purified Water, Cyclomethicone, Zinc Oxide, Polyglyceryl-3 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Titanium Dioxide, Propanediol, Calamine, Dibutyl Adipate, Caprylyl Methicone, 1,2-Hexanediol, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Magnesium Sulfate, Hydrogen Dimethicone, Aluminum Hydroxide, C30-45 Alkyl Cetearyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Stearic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Almond Oil, Octyldodecanol, Green Tea Extract, Apple Tree Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Echium Plantagineum Seed Oil, Vanilla Fruit Extract, Common Jasmine Flower Extract, Chia Seed Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Wheat Extract, Peppermint Extract, Fructooligosaccharides, Saccharide Hydrolysate, Pullulan, Wine Leaf Extract, Sunflower Seed Oil Fluoride, Biosaccharide Gum-4, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Polyglyceryl- 2 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Citric Acid, Tocopherol.

∎ Alcohol?
No.

∎ Fragrance?
No.

∎ Antioxidants?
Yes, vitamin E, green tea and Centella Asiatica.

∎ Other skincare ingredients in the formula:
Yes, moisturizing glycerin, nourishing and antioxidant chia seed oil, nourishing almond oil, soothing Centella Asiatica and Calamine to control oiliness.

∎ White cast?
No, not on my skin. However, it has a slight pink tint, so I was expecting a “tone-up” effect, but not at all. When you massage it, it almost completely disappears. On me, it gives a very nice porcelain/ brightening effect!

∎ Irritating? Comedogenic?
No, I find it rather soothing.

∎ Mattifying?
Yes, but it’s a natural matte effect, rather semi-matte (I like it very much!).

∎ Drying?
No.

∎ How does it look with makeup?
It’s a good makeup base, foundation is easy to apply over it. In addition, it helps to mattify my combination skin after a few hours, so my makeup lasts even longer.

∎ Would I repurchase?
You bet! I found out about it thanks to Director Pi’s epic sunscreen video (she’s a former beauty journalist who is very popular in Korea) and the one from my friend Subin who is probably my favorite inspiration for Korean beauty products. And really, I’m not disappointed! It’s very comfortable to wear, you can barely feel it on the skin. Its slightly pinkish tint gives a nice glow to my fair complexion without making me look like a ghost. It leaves a natural matte finish that is perfect for the warm season. It combines very well with make-up. And it doesn’t dry out my skin, I find it comfortable. It’s definitely a great discovery!

∎ Shop for this product:
Dewytree Urban Shade Anti-Pollution Sun SPF50+, PA ++++

Round A’Round Green Tea Cica Sun Lotion SPF 50+, PA++++:

∎ Price:
Between 15 and 20 euros for 100ml.

∎ Protection:
SPF 50+, PA++++

∎ Made in:
South Korea

∎ Texture:
A fluid cream that absorbs quite easily.

∎ UV filters:
– Titanium Dioxide: filters UVA and UVB rays.

∎ Complete list of ingredients:
Water, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Titanium Dioxide, Propanediol, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Caprylyl Methicone, 1,2-Hexanediol, Aluminum Stearate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract(1,000 Ppm), Centella Asiatica Leaf Extract, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil, Litsea Cubeba Fruit Oil, Crithmum Maritimum Extract, Mentha Aquatica Extract, Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil, Moringa Oleifera Seed Extract, Echium Plantagineum Seed Oil, Cardiospermum Halicacabum Flower/Leaf/Vine Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil Unsaponifiables, Veronica Officinalis Extract, Poterium Officinale Root Extract, Madecassoside, Silica, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Alumina, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Dimethiconol,Trisiloxane, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate,Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose Stearoxy Ether, Ethylhexylglycerin, Stearic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Ectoin, Octyldodecanol, Maltodextrin, Butylene Glycol, Tocopherol, Limonene, Linalool, Citral

∎ Alcohol?
No.

∎ Fragrance?
Yes.

∎ Antioxidants?
Yes, green tea, vitamin E and Madecassoside.

∎ Other skincare ingredients in the formula:
Yes, moisturizing glycerin, nourishing sunflower oil.

∎ White effect?
Quite minimal. On me, it’s fine.

∎ Irritating? Comedogenic?
No, I find it quite soothing.

∎ Mattifying?
No, it tends to make me look shiny during the day.

∎ Drying?
No, it’s comfortable.

∎ How does it look with makeup?
It’s a good base for makeup, my foundation works well over it but I have to powder it quite a lot when I use it because it makes me look more shiny than I usually do.

∎ Would I repurchase?
Why not? Its formula is rather nice (there are quite a lot of skincare ingredients), I find it comfortable and soothing. It’s nice for everyday use! On the other hand, on me, it will be more for this winter, because at the moment, it makes me look a bit too shiny for my taste (if you have a drier skin type than mine, you might be interested in it!). Its value for money is really interesting! It’s a 100ml bottle, you can use it on the body too 😉

∎ Shop for this product:
Round A’Round Green Tea Cica Sun Lotion SPF 50+, PA++++

Dr.G Green Mild Up Sun Lotion SPF 50+, PA++++:

∎ Price:
Between $32 and $35 for 90ml.

∎ Protection:
SPF 50+, PA++++

∎ Made in:
South Korea

∎ Texture:
A super light and fluid emulsion that is easily absorbed. I can’t believe I’m dealing with a mineral sunscreen!

∎ UV filters:
– Zinc Oxide: filters UVA and UVB rays.

∎ Complete list of ingredients:
Purified Water, Zinc Oxide, Methylpropanediol, Propanediol, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Caprylyl Methicone, Butyloctyl Salicylate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Sodium Stearoxy PG-Hydroxyethylcellulose Sulfonate, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Xanthan Gum, Ethylhexylglycerin, t-Butyl Alcohol, Caesalpinia Spinosa Fruit Extract, Kappaphycus Alvarezii Extract, Ectoin, Buddleja Officinalis Flower Extract, Pinus Pinaster Bark Extract, Macadamia Oil, Ceramide NP, Phytosphingosine, Hippophae Rhamnoides Oil, Hydrogenated Lecithin

∎ Alcohol?
No.

∎ Fragrance?
No.

∎ Antioxidants?
Yes, and plenty of them! First some Pycnogenol, a powerful antioxidant which is the star ingredient of the brand Dr.G. It’s a natural plant extract from the bark of the maritime pine. There are also Sea Buckthorn berries, naturally rich in vitamin E, and an extract of Buddleja Officinalis flower.

∎ Other skincare ingredients in the formula:
Moisturizing glycerin, repairing red algae extract, and nourishing and replenishing ceramides.

∎ White cast?
Minimal, on my skin, it’s barely noticeable.

∎ Irritating? Comedogenic?
No.

∎ Mattifying?
Yes.

∎ Drying?
No.

∎ How does it look with makeup?
It’s a good makeup base, foundation is easy to apply over it. In addition, it helps to mattify my combination skin after a few hours, so my makeup lasts even longer.

∎ Would I repurchase?
Yes, probably! The formula is quite impressive, it’s a proper skincare product with a mineral filter. And above all, this texture is insane! It’s a super lightweight lotion that literally melts into the skin and absorbs super easily. On my skin, it almost completely disappears. The white cast is minimal!
It’s hardly noticeable when I wear it and leaves my skin matte but not dry. It looks great with makeup, which is definitely a plus! Finally, it has a generous size (90ml), which is always a plus because you have to apply a suitable amount for it to be really protective, as I like to remind everyone! 😉

∎ Shop for this product:
Dr.G Green Mild Up Sun Lotion SPF 50+, PA++++

Dr.G Green Mild Up Sun+ SPF 50+, PA++++:

∎ Price:
Between $23 and $31 for 50ml.

∎ Protection:
SPF 50+, PA++++

∎ Made in:
South Korea

∎ Texture:
A super smooth cream that absorbs very well into the skin.

∎ UV filters:
– Zinc Oxide: filters UVA and UVB rays.

∎ Complete list of ingredients:
Purified Water, Cyclomethicone, Zinc Oxide, Caprylyl Methicone, Polyglyceryl-3 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Propanediol, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Pentylene Glycol, Caprylic/Capric/Succinic Triglyceride, Magnesium Sulphate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Sorbitan Caprylate, Polyglyceryl-2 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Lauryl Polyglyceryl-3 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, C30-45 Alkyl Cetearyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Glyceryl Caprylate, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Caesalpinia Spinosa Fruit Extract, Houttuynia Cordata Extract, Butylene Glycol, Kappaphycus Alvarezii Extract, Tocopherol, Buddleja Officinalis Flower Extract, Pinus Pinaster Bark Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract

∎ Alcohol?
No.

∎ Fragrance?
No.

∎ Antioxidants?
Yes, plenty! There is Pycnogenol, a powerful antioxidant that is the star ingredient of the brand Dr.G. It’s a natural plant extract from the bark of the maritime pine. There is also Vitamin E, an extract of Houttuynia Cordata, as well as an extract of Buddleja Officinalis flower and Centella Asiatica.

∎ Other skincare ingredients in the formula:
A repairing red algae extract, and Centella Asiatica and Houttuynia Cordata extracts, that are very soothing.

∎ White cast?
A little at first, but then this effect fades away when you massage the product and it’s almost invisible (at least on my fair skin).

∎ Irritating? Comedogenic?
No.

∎ Mattifying?
Yes, but it’s a natural matte effect, rather semi-matte (I love it!).

∎ Drying?
No.

∎ How does it look with makeup?
It’s an excellent makeup base, foundation is easy to apply over it. In addition, it helps to mattify my combination skin after a few hours, so my makeup lasts even longer.

∎ Would I repurchase?
This is a repurchase! I loved its 2019 version, purchased in Korea last year (I emptied out two tubes). This year, it has been completely reformulated. The 2020 version is called Sun + (or Sun Plus) if you have any doubt. I know that you can still find the 2019 version (Dr.G Green Mild Up Sun) everywhere but just know that the new Sun + version will soon replace it, and that it’s not the same formula anymore. The 2019 version contained fragrance (essential oils) and two mineral filters while the 2020 version is fragrance-free and contains only Zinc Oxide.
Luckily, I’m not disappointed in this 2020 reformulation! It leaves a slightly whiter cast than the old formula, but it’s still very minimal (on my skin anyway). As for the rest, it has the same benefits as the old version: it’s comfortable to wear, very light, it leaves a very natural semi-matte finish and it’s ideal for the season. It’s not irritating or drying, on the contrary. And it works very well with make-up. In short, for me, it’s an excellent sunscreen product!

∎ Shop for this product:
Dr.G Green Mild Up Sun + SPF 50+, PA+++++

100% Chemical Sunscreens:

The textures of chemical sunscreens are generally very pleasant, lightweight, and imperceptible on the skin. Most of them are completely transparent, which is very nice! Some of them have a glowy finish, so be careful if your skin tends to look shiny during the day. If you have a dry skin though, you’ll probably really love them! 🙂

Missha All Around Safe Block Aqua Sun Gel SPF 50+, PA++++:

∎ Price:
Between $13 and $15 for 50ml.

∎ Protection:
SPF 50+, PA++++

∎ Made in:
South Korea

∎ Texture:
A smooth gel that absorbs super quickly into the skin.

∎ UV filters:
– Octocrylene: filters UVA and UVB.
– Avobenzone: filters UVA.
– Tinosorb S: filters UVA and UVB.
– Amiloxate: filters UVA and UVB.
– Octisalate: filters UVB.- Homosalate: filters UVB.
– Homosalate: filters UVB.

∎ Complete list of ingredients:
Water, Octocrylene, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Limonia Acidissima Extract, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Methoxy PEG/PPG-25/4 Dimethicone, Morus Alba Fruit Extract, Caprylyl Glycol, Silica, Isoamyl P-Methoxycinnamate, Chrysanthemum Indicum Flower Extract, BHT, Diospyros Kaki Leaf Extract, Helichrysum Italicum Flower Water, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Leaf Water, Acrylates/Dimethicone Copolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract,Cyclopentasiloxane, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Fragrance, Dimethicone, Centaurea Cyanus Flower Water, Ethanol, Pueraria Lobata Root Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Vp/Hexadecene Copolymer, Cinnamomum Cassia Bark Extract, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Homosalate, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Butylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Artemisia Princeps Leaf Extract, Bis-PEG/PPG-20/5 PEG/PPG-20/5 Dimethicone, Disodium EDTA, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sodium Hydroxide, Glacier Water, Dipropylene Glycol.

∎ Alcohol?
Yes.

∎ Fragrance?
Yes.

∎ Antioxidants?
Yes, green tea.

∎ Other skincare ingredients in the formula:
Soothing cornflower.

∎ White cast?
Not at all, it’s completely transparent.

∎ Irritating? Comedogenic?
It can be a little irritating on me if I use it too often (I don’t think it’s ideal for sensitive skin).

∎ Mattifying?
Yes, definitely!

∎ Drying?
A little. I think it’s more suited for combination to oily skin.

∎ How does it look with makeup?
You can wear makeup on top of it, it’s perfect as a base and it will even help make your makeup last longer.

∎ Would I repurchase?
Probably! I think it’s great for summer in Dubai when it’s hot and humid. It really helps my skin stay matte all day. Clearly, if you have sensitive and/or dry skin, it won’t be for you. Personally, I alternate it with other sunscreens because if I use it too often, it tends to irritate my skin a bit. The formula is not the “prettiest”, but it does the job, and really for me, it’s a great sunscreen for the summer! It’s completely transparent, which is a big plus. And it’s also very affordable!

∎ Shop for this product:
Missha All Around Safe Block Aqua Sun Gel SPF 50+, PA++++

Shingmulnara Oxygen Water Light Sun Gel SPF 50+, PA++++:

∎ Price:
$23 for 100ml.

∎ Protection:
SPF 50+, PA++++

∎ Made in:
South Korea

∎ Texture:
A pleasantly fresh gel-cream that absorbs very well and leaves the skin comfortable and moisturized.

∎ UV filters:
– Octisalate: filters UVB.
– Homosalate: filters UVB.
– Tinosorb S: filters UVA and UVB.
– Tinosorb M: filters UVA and UVB.
– Parsol SLX: filters UVB.
– Uvinul A Plus: filters UVA.

∎ Complete list of ingredients:
Purified Water, Ethanol, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Homosalate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dibutyl Adipate, Dipropylene Glycol, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Methylene Bis-Benzotriazolyl Tetramethylbutylphenol, Polysilicone-15, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Butylene Glycol, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Viscum Album (Mistletoe) Leaf Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Opuntia Ficus-Indica Stem Extract, Aloe Vera Leaf Extract, Selaginella Lepidophylla Extract, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Ceteth-10, Tromethamine, Decyl Glucoside, Acrylate/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Carbomer, Propanediol, Pentylene Glycol, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, 1,2-Hexanediol, Propylene Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Ethylhexylglycerin, Caprylyl Glycol, Oxygen, Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol, Linalool, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene.

∎ Alcohol?
Yes.

∎ Fragrance?
Yes.

∎ Antioxidants?
Yes, purslane extract and Centella Asiatica.

∎ Other skincare ingredients in the formula:
Lots of soothing ingredients, such as Purslane extract and Centella Asiatica, but also extracts of mistletoe, Prickly Pear and Aloe Vera.

∎ White cast?
Not at all, it’s completely transparent.

∎ Irritating? Comedogenic?
Not on me.

∎ Mattifying?
No, quite the opposite, it tends to make my skin look a little shiny.

∎ Drying?
No, on the contrary, I find it moisturizing.

∎ How does it look with makeup?
It’s a good base for makeup, my foundation applies well over it but I have to powder quite a bit when I use it because it tends to make my skin look more shiny than usual.

∎ Would I repurchase?
Why not? I liked using it when the weather was cooler than it’s now. It’s moisturizing and pleasant to wear, it’s quite lightweight, you don’t really feel it on your skin. Despite the presence of alcohol and perfume, I didn’t find it irritating on my skin. And above all, it’s really not expensive at all! I have the impression that the brand has discontinued the 50ml version, which I purchased for around $12. It’s now only available in 100ml, for around $23; it’s still a good value for money IMO!

∎ Shop for this product:
Shingmulnara Oxygen Water Light Sun Gel SPF 50+, PA++++

Dr. Ceuracle Cica Regen Anti Dust Sun Gel SPF 50+, PA++++ (gifted):

∎ Price:
Between $15 and $30 for 50ml.

∎ Protection:
SPF 50+, PA++++

∎ Made in:
South Korea

∎ Texture:
A pleasantly fresh gel-cream, which absorbs very well and leaves the skin comfortable and soothed.

∎ UV filters:
– Uvinul A Plus: filters UVA.
– Uvinul T 150: filters UVB.

∎ Complete list of ingredients:
Water, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Butylene Glycol, Dibutyl Adipate, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, 1,2-Hexanediol, Glycerin, Niacinamide, Ethylhexyl Triazone,Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate, Silica, Cetearyl Olivate,Polyquaternium-51, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sorbitan Olivate, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate, Sorbitan Stearate, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Peel Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Centella Asiatica Extract, Disodium EDTA, Actinidia Arguta Fruit Extract, Adenosine, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil, Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Extract, Tocopherol, Caprylyl Glycol, Hibiscus Sabdariffa Flower Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin.

∎ Alcohol?
No.

∎ Fragrance?
Yes.

∎ Antioxidants?
Yes, vitamin E and niacinamide (which is also a great multi-tasking skincare ingredient), Centella Asiatica.

∎ Other skincare ingredients in the formula:
Plenty! Centella Asiatica (soothing, restorative, healing, anti-aging), adenosine (repairing and anti-aging), soothing kiwi and hibiscus extract, and moisturizing glycerin.

∎ White cast?
No, it’s completely transparent.

∎ Irritating? Comedogenic?
No, on the contrary, I prefer to use it when I feel that my skin needs soothing.

∎ Mattifying?
Not especially.

∎ Drying?
No, on the contrary, I find it moisturizing.

∎ How does it look with makeup?
It’s a good base for makeup, my foundation applies well over it, but in summer, I have to use some powder when I use it because it’s not especially mattifying.

∎ Would I repurchase?
Yes, probably! It reminds me a lot of the Purito Centella Green Level Sun that I love. The formula is really close to it (I think they were made by the same lab; it’s quite common in Korea). The only difference is the anti-pollution plant extracts (that are interesting if you live in the city), but otherwise, it’s almost the same product! In short, I find it super pleasant to use, it’s soothing. For my skin, sensitized by the use of tretinoin right now, it’s just perfect! I also appreciate the fact that it is completely transparent, and last but not least, it’s a good value for money.

It’s the Kosame Beauty online shop that made me discover it (and gifted it to me). They offer a great selection of Korean brands and they’re based in the UK, so their delivery times are much shorter than YesStyle if you’re in Europe (just saying 😜).

∎ Shop for this product:
Dr. Ceuracle Cica Regen Anti Dust Sun Gel SPF 50+, PA++++

Purito Centella Green Level Unscented Sun SPF 50+, PA++++:

∎ Price:
Between $15 and $30 for 50ml.

∎ Protection:
SPF 50+, PA++++ (its PPD is 19)

∎ Made in:
South Korea

∎ Texture:
A very pleasant fresh gel-cream, which is very well absorbed and leaves the skin comfortable and soothed.

∎ UV filters:
– Uvinal A Plus: filters UVA.
– Uvinul T 150: filters UVB.

∎ Complete list of ingredients:
Water, Butylene Glycol, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Glycerin, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate 3.0%, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Copolymer Acrylates, Silica, 1,2-Hexanediol, Niacinamide, Dibutyl Adipate, Ethylhexyl Triazone 2. 0%, Polyglyceryl-3 Methyl Glucose Distearate, Cetearyl Olivate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Sorbitan Olivate, Glyceryl Stearate, Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate, Sorbitan Stearate, Centella Asiatica Extract(4315Ppm), Madecassoside, Asiaticoside, Madecassic Acid, Asiatic Acid, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Disodium EDTA, Adenosine, Hyaluronic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tocopherol.

∎ Alcohol?
No.

∎ Fragrance?
No.

∎ Antioxidants?
Yes, vitamin E and niacinamide (which is also a great multi-tasking skincare ingredient), Centella Asiatica.

∎ Other skincare ingredients in the formula:
Yes, plenty! Centella Asiatica (soothing, healing, anti-aging), adenosine ( repairing and anti-aging), and moisturizing hyaluronic acid and glycerin.

∎ White cast?
No, it’s completely transparent.

∎ Irritating? Comedogenic?
No, quite the opposite, I prefer to use this product when I feel my skin needs to be soothed.

∎ Mattifying?
No, on the contrary, it tends to make my skin look a little shiny.

∎ Drying?
No, I find it very moisturizing.

∎ How does it look with makeup?
It’s a good base for makeup, my foundation applies well over it but I have to use powder when I use it because it tends to make my skin look more shiny than usual.

∎ Would I repurchase?
Probably! The scented version was already one of my favourite sunscreens, this fragrance-free version will probably replace it! I find it great to use, it’s soothing, and for my sensitized skin because of tretinoin, it’s just perfect! I appreciate the fact that it’s completely transparent, and it’s also a good value for money.

∎ Shop for this product:
Purito Centella Green Level Unscented Sun SPF 50+, PA++++

Wellage Hyper Toning Sun Ampoule SPF 50+, PA++++:

∎ Price:
Between $20 and $30 for 50ml.

∎ Protection:
SPF 50+, PA++++

∎ Made in:
South Korea

∎ Texture:
A very fluid texture, similar to a serum, and very easily absorbed.

∎ UV filters:
– Uvinul T 150: filters UVB.
– Amiloxate: filters UVB.
– Uvinul A Plus: filters UVA.
– Parsol SLX: filters UVB.
– Tinosorb S: filters UVA and UVB.

∎ Complete list of ingredients:
Water, 1,2-Hexanediol, Glycine, Glutathione, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Glyceryl Caprylate, Niacinamide, Dextrin, Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil, Disodium EDTA, Dipropylene Glycol, Lysolecithin, Panthenol, Methyl Diisopropyl Propionamide, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Menthyl Lactate, Serine, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Sucrose Laurate, Adenosine, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Arginine, Ethyl Menthane Carboxamide, Ethylhexylglycerin, Ethylhexyl Triazone, Isoamyl p-Methoxycinnamate, Isopropyl Myristate, Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract, Theobroma Cocoa Extract, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Polyglyceryl-3 Distearate, Propanediol, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Hydroxypropyl Cellulose, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Glycosaminoglycans,Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Hyaluronic Acid, Histidine, Dibutyl Adipate, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Acrylates Copolymer, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Tromethamine, Polysilicone-15, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Menthol, Linalool, Limonene, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Tranexamic Acid, Phenethyl Benzoate, Benzyl Glycol, Alpha-Bisabolol.

∎ Alcohol?
No.

∎ Fragrance?
Yes, including a lot of menthol (I’m not a fan!).

∎ Antioxidants?
Yes, niacinamide and vitamin E.

∎ Other skincare ingredients in the formula:
Yes, it’s basically like a skincare product with UV filters! There are brightening ingredients such as niacinamide, glutathione, soothing panthenol and alpha-bisabolol, repairing amino acids, anti-aging adenosine, moisturizing glycerin, and 8 different moisturizing hyaluronic acids (Wellage is one of the hyaluronic acid specialists in Korea).

∎ White cast?
No, it’s completely transparent.

∎ Irritating? Comedogenic?
Not really, but the menthol it contains is quite strong and it tends to sting a bit the first few minutes (really, I don’t understand why they added the menthol!).

∎ Mattifying?
No, quite the opposite, it tends to make me look a bit shiny throughout the day.

∎ Drying?
No, on the contrary, I find it moisturizing.

∎ How does it look with makeup?
It’s a good base for makeup, my foundation applies well over it but I have to use some powder on top because it tends to make my skin look more shiny than usual.

∎ Would I repurchase?
I’m torn… I love the formula, it’s a great anti-aging product, also perfect if you have hyper-pigmentation with all the brightening ingredients, and it’s moisturizing and very hydrating. It’s comfortable to wear, you barely can feel it, it’s transparent, it works well with makeup and it’s not overpriced. But the menthol: why, Wellage, why?
Sure, it gives a fresh feeling on application, but there is so much of it in the formula that it stings my skin until the effect wears off (for a good 20 minutes). And I think that at this concentration, it must be irritating to the skin. If they re-formulate it and loose the menthol, it will definitely become a sunscreen favourite!

∎ Shop for this product:
Wellage Hyper Toning Sun Ampoule SPF 50+, PA++++

Combo Sunscreens (with Mineral & Chemical filters):

The “heavy-duty” formulas. I use them when I want to be sure I’m very well protected, and if I know I’m going to be out in the sun for a bit.

Dr. Jart+ Solarbiome Ampoule SPF 50+, PA++++:

∎ Price:
Between $33 and $39 for 50ml.

∎ Protection:
SPF 50+, PA++++

∎ Made in:
South Korea

∎ Texture:
A fairly liquid serum texture, which is quickly absorbed without leaving an oily film but leaving the skin comfortable. The bottle looks like a serum with a pipette.

∎ UV filters:
– Zinc Oxide: a mineral filter that filters UVA and UVB rays.
– Titanium Dioxide: a mineral filter that filters UVA and UVB rays.
– Tinosorb S: a chemical filter that filters UVA and UVB.
– Uvinul A Plus: a chemical filter that filters UVA rays.
– Uvinul T 150: a chemical filter that filters UVA and UVB rays.
– Amiloxate: a chemical filter that filters UVB rays.
– Parsol SLX: a chemical filter that filters UVB rays.

∎ Complete list of ingredients:
Purified Water, Butylene Glycol, Dibutyl Adipate, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Bisethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Glycerin, Ethylhexyl Triazone, Niacinamide, Phenethyl Benzoate, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Titanium Dioxide, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Micrococcus Lysate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Isoamyl p-Methoxycinnamate, Isopropyl Myristate, Silica, Caprylyl Glycol,Glyceryl Caprylate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Tromethamine, Aluminum Hydroxide, Ethylhexyl Oleate, Adenosine, Sodium Acrylates Copolymer, Sodium Phytate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Polyglyceryl-4 Oleate, Dna, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Polyisobutene, Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside, Glycine, Proline, Glyceryl Glucoside, Zinc Oxide, Yeast Fermentation, Streptococcus Thermophilus Fermentation, Bacillus Fermentation, Chinese Herbal Extract, Indian Bead Tree Leaf Extract, Moringa Seed Oil, Polysilicone-15, Dipotassium Glyceride, Isostearic Acid.

∎ Alcohol?
No.

∎ Fragrance?
No.

∎ Antioxidants?
Yes, niacinamide.

∎ Other skincare ingredients in the formula:
Moisturizing ingredients such as glycerin, and repairing adenosine.
But clearly the stars of this product are the two probiotics patented by the brand, which give their name to the product (SolarBiome).
In 2000, NASA published a study about these ingredients, proving that they had successfully survived extreme conditions in the International Space Station (exposure to extreme UV filters and resistance to temperatures of over 100 degrees Celsius). On the skin, they would be able to boost the protection of UV filters and also repair damage caused by the sun. I don’t know what to think about it personally, but it does sound promising. And I have to admit that the NASA logo on my product looks so cool 😅

∎ White cast?
Minimal.

∎ Irritating? Comedogenic?
No.

∎ Mattifying?
Not especially.

∎ Drying?
No, I find it quite moisturizing.

∎ How does it look with makeup?
It’s a bit weird. Either my foundation applies well over it or sometimes, it tends to feel “grippy” and emphasizes my pores depending on the foundation I use. It’s not obvious, nothing horrible, but I have to blend it out quite well with a sponge to make it work.

∎ Would I repurchase?
Why not? Its serum texture is quite unique, it’s a nice experience to apply. The brand insists on the fact that you can use it in the morning instead of your other skincare products because it’s enough (according to Dr. Jart, it moisturizes and protects the skin properly). Well, you know me, minimalism isn’t my thing, so I use it like a classic sunscreen (I use 3 whole pipettes for my face and neck, in case you were wondering #moreismore).
At first, the texture is almost oily but in a few seconds, it “merges” with the skin and is absorbed without any trace. The skin is comfortable and glowy. The white cast is quite minimal (at least on my fair skin). It’s a comfortable product that you can barely feel during the day. It’s also waterproof, so theoretically, you can use it for swimming. The slightly annoying thing is that it has a tendency to make my foundation cling when I apply it over it, but it’s minimal. Anyway, it’s a pretty innovative and interesting product in my opinion!

∎ Shop for this product:
Dr. Jart+ Solarbiome SPF 50+ Light Bulb, PA++++

Fotoprotector ISDIN Fusion Water SPF 50+:

∎ Price:
Between $16 and $20 for 50ml.

∎ Protection:
SPF50+

∎ Made in:
Spain.

∎ Texture:
A fluid cream that absorbs quite easily.

∎ UV filters:
– Titanium Dioxide: a mineral filter that filters UVA and UVB rays.
– Avobenzone: a chemical filter that filters UVA rays.
– Octinoxate: a chemical filter that filters UVB rays.
– Uvinul T 150: a chemical filter that filters UVB rays.

∎ Complete list of ingredients:
Aqua (Water), Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Butylene Glycol,Propylene Glycol, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Dimethicone, Peg-8,Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Ethylhexyl Triazone, Silica, Phenoxyethanol, Titanium Dioxide, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Tocopheryl Acetate, Allantoin, Ethylhexylglycerin,Fragrance, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Hydroxide, Carbomer, Disodium Edta, Tocopherol, BHT, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Ascorbic Acid, Citric Acid.

∎ Alcohol?
No.

∎ Fragrance?
Yes, and it’s quite strong.

∎ Antioxidants?
Yes, vitamin C and vitamin E.

∎ Other skincare ingredients in the formula:
Moisturizing hyaluronic acid and soothing allantoin.

∎ White cast?
Minimal.

∎ Irritating? Comedogenic?
On me, yes. Unfortunately, there is something my skin doesn’t like about this formula.

∎ Matifying?
Yes.

∎ Drying?
Yes, for me, very much so.

∎ How does it look with makeup?
It’s a pretty good makeup base, foundation is easy to apply over it. But on me, it’s quite drying and tends to emphasize the dry areas on my face after a few hours.

∎ Would I repurchase?
I don’t think so and it’s a shame because I would love to love it, as it’s super easy to find here in Dubai. It is available in most pharmacies here! But apparently there is something in the formula that my skin doesn’t like and it’s very uncomfortable on me after a few hours. In addition, I find the perfume quite overpowering and it also irritates my eyes. Such a bummer!

∎ Shop for this product:
Fotoprotector ISDIN Fusion Water SPF 50+

Ultrasun Face Fluid Brightening & Anti-Pollution SPF 50+, PA++++:

∎ Price:
Between $27 and $35 for 40ml.

∎ Protection:
SPF 50+, PA++++

∎ Made in:
Switzerland.

∎ Texture:
A fluid cream that “clings” to the skin quite a bit when you apply it. It’s definitely difficult to massage it! You can feel that the product is not going anywhere during the day!

∎ UV filters:
– Titanium Dioxide (nano): a mineral filter that filters UVA and UVB rays.
– Tinosorb M (nano): a chemical filter that filters UVA and UVB rays.
– Tinosorb S: a chemical filter that filters UVA and UVB rays.
– Uvinul A Plus: a chemical filter that filters UVA rays.
– Uvinul T 150: a chemical filter that filters UVB rays.
– Octisalate: a chemical filter that filters UVB rays.

∎ Complete list of ingredients:
Aqua, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Pentylene Glycol, Glycerin, Methylene Bis-Benzotriazolyl Tetramethylbutylphenol (Nano), Titanium Dioxide (Nano), Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Silica, Ethylhexyl Triazone, Acrylates Copolymer, Squalane, Cocoglycerides, Hydrogenated Phosphatidylcholine, C8-22 Alkyl Acrylates/Methacrylic Acid Crosspolymer, Ectoin, Decyl Glucoside, Vitis Vinifera Seed Extract, Cetyl Alcohol, Propyl Alcohol, Cetyl Phosphate, Xanthan Gum, Alcohol, Lecithin, Sodium Hydroxide, Propylene Glycol, Lepidium Sativum Sprout Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate, Tocopherol, Diisopropyl Adipate, Ubiquinone.

∎ Alcohol?
Yes.

∎ Fragrance?
No.

∎ Antioxidants?
Yes, lots of them! Grape seed extract, vitamin E, vitamin C derivatives and Coenzyme Q10.

∎ Other skincare ingredients in the formula:
Moisturizing glycerin and nourishing squalane.

∎ White cast?
Minimal.

∎ Irritating? Comedogenic?
Not on me.

∎ Mattifying?
No, quite the opposite, it makes my skin look quite shiny.

∎ Drying?
No, on the contrary, it’s quite emollient.

∎ How does it look with makeup?
It’s a good base for makeup, my foundation applies well over it but I have to use quite a bit of powder when I use it because it tends to make my skin look shinier than usual.

∎ Would I repurchase?
Why not, but it will only be a winter sunscreen for me! I think it’s very protective, and if I lived in a country with a colder climate, it would probably be my choice for those days when I want heavy-duty protection, but for Dubai, and for my combination skin, it’s honestly too emollient (despite its fluid texture, who knew?). The formula is very nice, there are a lot of interesting skincare ingredients, and it’s a good base for makeup. It contains a bit of alcohol, but it’s not obvious, you can barely feel it. Anyway, it might interest you if you have drier skin than me (and you don’t live in a kind of furnace like I do lol) and if you want a super strong protection 😉

∎ Shop for this product:
Ultrasun Face Fluid Brightening & Anti-Pollution SPF 50+, PA++++

In conclusion:

If I had to make a top of my favourite lightweight, barely noticeable mineral sunscreen products that are perfect for summer (and for my combination skin in general), and that I can wear every day without worrying about my skin being irritated, these would probably be the ones I would choose:

Dewytree Urban Shade Anti-Pollution Sun SPF50+, PA ++++ : I love it, it’s super lightweight and slightly brightening (without leaving a white cast on my skin) and it mattifies gently without drying out my skin. It’s probably my favourite of the bunch.

Klairs Mid Day Blue UV Shield SPF 50 PA++++ : a bit drying with a slight white cast, but I like it very much for the hot summer in Dubai!

Dr.G Green Mild Up Sun Lotion SPF 50+, PA++++ : it’s super fluid and lightweight, very comfortable to wear. You can hardly see it on me. I actually can’t believe it’s a mineral sunscreen!

Dr.G Green Mild Up Sun+ SPF 50+, PA++++ : pleasant, soothing, comfortable, and without a noticeable white cast. I loved its 2019 version, I’m not disappointed by the 2020 reformulation.

For chemical sunscreens, my favourites are those that are super pleasant to use, transparent and have nice formulas with good skincare ingredients:

Dr. Ceuracle Cica Regen Anti Dust Sun Gel SPF 50+, PA++++ : it’s almost like a moisturizing and soothing moisturizer, but with great UV filters.

Purito Centella Green Level Unscented Sun SPF 50+, PA++++ : same thing for this one 🥰

Special mention for the Missha All Around Safe Block Aqua Sun Gel SPF 50+, PA++++ which is perfect for me in Dubai in the summer because it’s the only one that manages to keep my skin matte in this humid furnace!

And finally, since I’m a sunscreen freak, I can’t help but mention the Dr. Jart+ Solarbiome Ampoule SPF 50+, PA++++ because a super-protective and waterproof sunscreen in a serum texture is quite unique! And it contains some space ingredients (lol!), which makes it quite irresistible for the skincare nerd that I am 😉

Edit 09/08/2020:
After publishing this article, I tried a great sunscreen which is perfect for the summer and looks great on all skin tones!

My dedicated review is available here:
Review: Keep Cool Soothe Bamboo Sun Essence SPF50+ PA++++ face sunscreen

12 Comments

  1. Elena says:

    Such a great selection of products! I am a sunscreen fanatic too and I share many of your favorites however I wanted to point out that sunscreens with only titanium dioxide as a filter do not offer a full coverage for UVA I, UVA II and UVB.

    • Thank you very much! 😀
      I asked some of the brands featured in this selection about using just one mineral filter, and they assured me that their products passed the test and were able to offer a broad spectrum protection.
      Now, like I explained at the beginning of my article, I wouldn’t use some of these products if I know I’m going to be out and about outside in the sun for a long time. I also have other “heavy-duty” sunscreens that are more protective and if I know I’m going to need more protection , I’ll use these ones instead 🙂

      • Elena says:

        I totally agree about tailoring your sunscreen depending on the sun exposure, however I use sunscreen daily to prevent photo aging which is mainly driven by UVA and therefore a full protection in that range is mandatory for me when choosing a sunscreen (same issue actually applies to sunscreen using only Uvinul A as a UVA filter).

        • I totally understand you approach!
          Now, I’m not a cosmetic chemist and I can only trust the label on my sunscreen and if there’s a PA++++, I usually consider it’s a good enough UVA protection for my usage 🙂

  2. Tess says:

    It’s not true that sunscreens with just Titanium Dioxide cannot achieve very good broad spectrum protection.

    In Europe, Skinceuticals sells 100% mineral sunscreens that contain only titanium dioxide, they’re SPF 50 & feature the UVA seal which means the UVA protection is at least 1/3 of the SPF, meaning a minimum of UVAPF 16, which means it is probably at least PA++++ and that is enough to block about 94% of UVA rays. It is a myth that Titanium Dioxide is a UVB only filter! At low concentrations it doesn’t protect from UVA very well and is mainly used as a UVB filter but in high concentrations like the Skinceuticals one, it can provide reliable UVA protection and there’s way more to sunscreens than just the UV filter active ingredients and their percentages, the base formula really matters and it can substantially boost the UV protection.

    If they have the UVA seal or PA rating, don’t worry they were tested to make sure they provide reliable UVA protection

    • Thank you very much Tess for these infos!
      I also tend to trust the UVA seal and PA rating and the example of Skinceuticals is spot on! 👍
      You’re totally right, as often, formula is queen and it’s important to consider the other ingredients in the product, not only the filters! 🙂

  3. Sara says:

    Hi Bonnie! Thank you for your great article – i’m always looking forward to read new ones from BTY ALY! Blessed with a super sensitive skin and a few allergies i’m always looking out for new sunscreens. The Dewytree Urban Shade sounds interesting – and also wearable for dry skin. But when i check the INCI’s on different sites they always contain essential oils. Did you get a different one maybe from a newer charge? I also checked Olive Young from your link. Would be thankful for your answer! Sara

    • Thank you very much Sara!
      I know, on Olive Young, they have the old version’s ingredients list of the Dewytree sunscreen! They reformulated this year, and they removed the essential oils (that’s what Director Pie said in her video, that’s how I knew the list on Olive Young wasn’t accurate). I went on Dewytree’s website to check the new ingredients list and used Google Translate.
      I can definitely assure you that the new 2020 version is fragrance-free; it really doesn’t smell like essential oils 😉

  4. Dianna says:

    I love that you test and love a lot of matte sunscreens since I live in an area that is summer about 300 days a year, lol. I come back to your guides to check out new sunscreens so the time.

    • I’m glad you find my article useful!
      Ah ah yeah , I see exactly what you mean! I live in Dubai myself so if a sunscreen is too emollient, it can look greasy pretty quickly! 😉

  5. Lynda says:

    thanks for this roundup!!! i found some new-to-me sunscreens to try when mine runs out. i can tell you put a lot of work and thought into this and i sooooo appreciate it. i’ve definitely bookmarked this page for future reference! (-lyndagp on IG)

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