Intro
At a glance

An overview of all the sunscreens I’ve tried lately!

I use sunscreens all year round because I care about my skin a lot (no big surprise so far!). As you can imagine, I tried a lot of different ones and today, I’m finally going to introduce you to most of them!

I’ve already brought this topic up countless times, I’m a fervent believer of daily sun protection and have been for a long time.
   
I plead guilty however, it wasn’t always the case, and even if I never loved to lay down in the sun (I’m not a big fan of excessive heat), I nevertheless committed the unforgivable crime of using tanning beds when I was younger.

As a result, I had pigmentation spots on my face even before I turned 30 and it made me stop immediately. This is certainly a very vain reason to start thinking seriously about the sun damages, but what can I say, at least, I became more careful somehow!

Of course, daily sun protection doesn’t only keep your skin looking younger, it’s also really beneficial for health-related reasons. Living in Dubai where the sunshine is very strong all year round, you can’t just brush it off!

That being said, finding an ‘every day’ sunscreen that is comfortable to wear is, as most of you know, not easy.

A good formula that is effective, nice to wear and that doesn’t mess up the makeup you apply on top, sounds more often than not like the Holy Grail of sunscreens! Rare and hard to find.

I’m not going to lead you on, and will kill the suspense right now, I haven’t found the perfect sunscreen yet, but still, I came across some very nice ones!

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How I use my sunscreen:

Bioderma Hydrabio Eau De Soin SPF30 mist, Gentle Monster sunglassesdummy Skincare SUN PROTECTION: Q&A AND COMMON MYTHS Even if sun protection is relevant all year long, I definitely feel this topic interests more people at the moment, with summer just around the corner... Read more I use a sunscreen every morning, as the last step of my skincare routine.

I usually wait a little bit after applying my regular daily moisturizer. This time allows me to be sure that my sunscreen won’t be “diluted” by the products below. I don’t wait for hours, just a few minutes (the time to apply my body lotion, for example).

And even after I have applied my sunscreen, I wait at least for 10 minutes before I apply my makeup to be sure that the product is completely dry on my skin and won’t move when I apply my foundation. Usually, this waiting time will take place while I’m having my breakfast, for example (yes, it is a whole process, in the morning 😉 ).

How I remove my sunscreen:

Sunscreen products are formulated to be resistant and not easy to rub off, and some filters can be irritating if you leave them on your skin for too long. That’s why it’s better to remove them properly in the evening.

Personally, I’ve been a fan of double-cleansing my skin for years. I use a cleansing oil or balm because the oily textures are perfect to dissolve heavy duty UV filters (and also makeup and fine pollution particles) and I use a gentle face cleanser for my skin afterward. It allows me to be sure that my skin is perfectly clean before going to bed.

How I choose my sunscreens:

I’m very picky about my sunscreen products. I apply sunscreen every day, so I really pay attention to what it contains and how it looks on my skin.

I want a product that protects me from both UVA filters and UVB filters. Ideally, I choose an SPF of minimum 30 and an important PA as well (3 or 4 +).

In general, I prefer mineral filters to chemical filters because I noticed that some chemical filters make me break out after a few days.

Now, when I really need to be super well protected (when I know I’m going to spend time outside or during the summer), I prefer formulas that combine both chemical and mineral filters. These mixed formulas are more stable and usually offer a better sun protection.

Ideally, I prefer non-nano mineral filters because the regular ones are less harmful to the environment. I also avoid if I can the polluting chemical filters: oxybenzone, octinoxate (these two have just been banned in Hawaii), enzacamene (or Parsol 5000) and octocrylene in particular (that being said, these requirements mainly concern my choice of products for the body, because even when I go swimming, I don’t really put my head underwater).

I like when a sunscreen formula contains antioxidant ingredients because they help to provide an good cellular protection (= they’re anti-aging). But it doesn’t matter if some formulas don’t contain any, because I already use a lot of antioxidants in my skincare routine.

I avoid formulas with synthetic perfumes (perfumes can be photosensitizing) and if I can, I also put aside formulas that contain too much alcohol that can dry out the skin over time (even if alcohol considerably lightens the texture of the sunscreen formulas).

If it’s possible, I prefer formulas that don’t contain silicones (I generally avoid them in my skincare products, my skin doesn’t like them very much) but for sunscreens, I must admit it’s a bit of a losing battle. Most sunscreen products contain them because they improve the formulas a lot by making them more pleasant to use, and cosmetically elegant. So, it’s not easy to find great silicone-free sunscreen products.

I also appreciate when a formula doesn’t leave me with a white cast, it’s always better!

And finally, I do like when my sunscreen doesn’t mess up my makeup! Some sunscreens have an unpleasant tendency to make my foundation pills a lot and also to make me look shiny like a disco ball only after a few hours.

So here are all the sunscreen products I’ve been trying lately! I have classified them according to the type of UV filters they contain for clarity.

100% mineral sunscreens:

My favorite choice for every day, even if it’s not easy to find a good SPF50 sunscreen with mineral filters which don’t contain nano-particles.

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Derma E Natural Mineral Oil Free Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF30 :

∎ Texture:
a light, non-greasy cream.

∎ UV filters:
– Zinc Oxide(20%): UVA and UVB filters.

∎ Effects on the environment?
None, it’s not a nano mineral filter.

∎ Ingredients list:
Zinc Oxide 20%, Purified Water, Coco-Caprylate (Coconut Derived), Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Lauryl Glucoside (Plant Derived), Polyglyceryl-2 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Glycerin (Vegetable Derived), Microcrystalline Cellulose (Plant Derived), Cellulose Gum (Plant Derived), Organic Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract*, Panthenol (Provitamin B5), Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Phytic Acid, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Benzyl Alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tocopherol.

∎ Silicone-free?
Yes.

∎ Alcohol-free?
Yes.

∎ Fragrance-free?
Yes.

∎ Anti-oxidants?
Yes: vitamin C, vitamin E, green tea.

∎ Other skincare ingredients in the formula:
Provitamin B5: repairing and soothing.

∎ White cast?
Yes, a slight one but it’s not a deal breaker.

∎ Irritant? Comedogenic?
No.

∎ Mattifying?
Yes.

∎ How does it look with makeup:
It’s one of it’s huge negative points, it pills like crazy and my foundation looks horribly patchy when I apply it on top, it looks terrible.

∎ Would I repurchase?
Not for now. I’m very disappointed with this product, it has been my favorite for years because it’s a great value for money but the brand reformulated it last year and since then, it has been pilling so much on me that I don’t feel like I’m well protected and it just looks terrible. It’s really a shame, it used to be a great product (and my favorite sunscreen)!

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Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF30 :

∎ Texture:
A rich and emollient cream right after the application but which absorbs rather well and sets nicely on the skin after a few minutes.

∎ UV filters:
– Zinc Oxide (20%): UVA and UVB filters.

∎ Effects on the environment?
None, it’s not a nano mineral filter.

∎ Ingredients list:
Zinc Oxide 20%, 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).

∎ Silicone-free?
Yes.

∎ Alcohol-free?
Yes.

∎ Fragrance-free?
Yes.

∎ Anti-oxidants?
Yes: sunflower sprouts, seaweed extracts, raspberry seeds, marula oil, grape juice extracts.

∎ Other skincare ingredients in the formula:
Aloe vera: moisturizing.

∎ White cast?
Yes, a slight one.

∎ Irritant? Comedogenic?
No.

∎ Mattifying?
Not really at first, but it doesn’t make me look shinier during the day.

∎ How does it look with makeup:
The foundation is easy to apply on top and it doesn’t disturb my makeup during the day.

∎ Would I repurchase?
Yes, it’s the one I use most of the time, it ticks almost all my boxes/ requirements. Its only negative point: the brand isn’t the easiest to find if you don’t live in North America and it’s a little expensive (but the tube is big, you have a lot of product: 90ml).

Note: the brand recently reformulated this formula and they reduced the amount of glitter compared to the older formula (the one I use is practically “glitter-free”, which I much prefer).

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Drunk Elephant Umbra Tinte Physical Daily Defense SPF30 :

∎ Texture:
A rich and emollient cream right after the application but which absorbs rather well and sets on the skin after a few minutes.

∎ UV filters:
– Zinc Oxide (20%): UVA and UVB filters.

∎ Effects on the environment?
None, it’s not a nano mineral filter.

∎ Ingredients list:
Zinc Oxide 20%, 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, Sodium C14·16 Olefin Sulfonate, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499)

∎ Silicone-free?
Yes.

∎ Alcohol-free?
Yes.

∎ Fragrance-free?
Yes.

∎ Anti-oxidants?
Yes: sunflower sprouts, seaweed extracts, raspberry seeds, marula oil, grape juice extracts.

∎ Other skincare ingredients in the formula:
Aloe vera: moisturizing.

∎ White cast?
No, it’s tinted.

∎ Irritant? Comedogenic?
No.

∎ Mattifying?
Not really after the application and not during the day either because it contains glitter, so I look like a disco ball with this product, unfortunately, a little bit less with the new formula…

∎ How does it look with makeup:
The idea is to use it instead of my foundation because it’s tinted but since it makes me look quite shiny, I have to use a lot of powder on top.

∎ Would I repurchase?
No, probably not. The shade doesn’t suit me very well, it’s too dark and too “pink” for me and I’m not a fan of the glittery effect!

Note: the brand recently reformulated this formula and reduced the presence of glitter (good idea!). That being said, I didn’t try this latest version because the shade of the older one doesn’t really suit me.

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MaxClinic Catrin NaturalUV natural 100 mineral Sunkill RX powder :

∎ Texture:
A sheer and fine powder, slightly tinted (the color is light and slightly peach). You can use the puff inside the pot to apply it.

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

∎ Effects on the environment?
I don’t know if the mineral filters are nanos or not, I couldn’t find the info (let me know if you find a reliable source).

∎ Ingredients list:
Mica , Bismuth Oxychloride, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide , Silica, CI 77491, CI 77499, Quartz, Sapphire Powder.

∎ Silicone-free?
Yes.

∎Alcohol-free?
Yes.

∎ Fragrance-free?
Yes.

∎ Anti-oxidants?
No.

∎ Other ingredients in the formula:
Luminous pigments and powders for a satin effect.

∎ White cast?
It’s quite pale but the peach undertone is pretty on my skin color.

∎ Irritant? Comedogenic?
No.

∎ Mattifying?
Not really, the finish after the application is rather natural, semi-matte. And this powder isn’t really mattifying over time.

∎ How does it look with makeup?
I apply it over makeup or directly on another sunscreen and it’s quite easy to apply. It doesn’t look patchy on bare skin, but I find it quite visible over makeup.

∎ Would I repurchase??
Probably not. I bought this product for touch-ups during the day but the SPF protective effect is very limited because of the quantity you can apply and I find that it still leaves a visible layer on the skin, especially if you already wear makeup. I think I’ll use it for the days when I don’t want to wear makeup, to add on top of my sunscreen in the morning, for a “no-makeup makeup” effect.

100% chemical sunscreens:

They’re not my favorites. In general, my skin doesn’t love them and they tend to make me break out if I use them several days in a row. However, their textures are often pleasant to use, they are quite invisible and feel very lightweight on the skin. They also look great under makeup.

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Bioderma Photoderm Max SPF50 Aquafluid *:

*gifted by the brand for review purposes.

∎ Texture:
A very fluid cream that is absorbed very easily and dries in a few minutes for a “dry touch” effect.

∎ UV filters:
– Tinosorb S: UVA and UVB filter.
– Tinosorb M: UVA and UVB filter.
– Avobenzone: UVA filter.
– Octocrylene: UVA and UVB filter.

∎ Effects on the environment?
Octocrylene is suspected to have a potentially harmful effect on the environment (feel free to do your own research if this topic is important for you).

∎ Ingredients list:
Aqua/water/eau, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Octocrylene, Methylene Bis-benzotriazolyl Tetramethylbutylphenol , Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Glycerin, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Cyclohexasiloxane, Cyclopentasiloxane, Bis-ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Methylpropanediol, Hdi/trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, C20-22 Alkyl Phosphate, C20-22 Alcohols, Decyl Glucoside, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Pentylene Glycol, Microcrystalline Cellulose, C30-45 Alkyl Cetearyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, 1,2-hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Disodium Edta, Xanthan Gum, Complexe Breveté D.a.f, Sodium Hydroxide, Cellulose Gum, Propylene Glycol, Citric Acid, Ectoin, Tocopherol.

∎ Silicone-free?
No.

∎ Alcohol-free?
Yes.

∎ Fragrance-free?
Yes.

∎ Anti-oxidants?
Yes, some vitamin E.

∎ Other skincare ingredients:
No.

∎ White cast?
No.

∎ Irritant? Comedogenic?
No, this product doesn’t make me break out.

∎ Mattifying?
No. Despite the “dry touch” effect right after the application, I look quite after a few hours.

∎ How does it look with makeup?
It acts a bit like a makeup primer that smoothes the skin so it’s perfect to apply makeup on top of it, but it does make me look shiny after a few hours. It may be more suitable for drier skins than mine.

∎ Would I repurchase?
(Or in this case purchase as I was gifted this one) Why not? Knowing that I’m not a big fan of 100% chemical sunscreen products, I find that this one is not bad. The filters used are among the least irritating, and it doesn’t make me break out, which is worth noting for a chemical filters based sunscreen! The price is also very affordable (even if the tube is a little small, 40ml).

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Bioderma Hydrabio Eau De Soin SPF30 mist :

∎ Texture:
A water in a mist format.

∎ UV filters:
– Disodium Phenyl Dibenzimidazole Tetrasulfonate: UVA filter.
– Homosalate: UVB filter.
– Octocrylene: UVA and UVB filter.
– Octisalate: UVB filter.
– Ensulizole: UVA and UVB filter.

∎ Effects on the environment?
Octocrylene is suspected to have a potentially harmful effect on the environment (feel free to do your own research if this topic is important for you).

∎ Ingredients list:
Aqua (Eau), Cyclopentasiloxane, Disodium Phenyl Dibenzimidazole Tetrasulfonate, Glycerin, Homosalate, Octocrylene, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Cyclohexasiloxane, Butylene Glycol, Phenylbenzimidazole Sulfonic Acid, Arginine, Sodium Hydroxide, Pentylene Glycol, 1-2 Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Disodium Edta, Mannitol, Xylitol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Rhamnose, Sodium Metabisulfite Hectoin, Niacinamide, Hexyl Decanol, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Seed Extract, Brassica Campestris (Rapeseed) Sterols, Tocopherol.

∎ Silicone-free?
No.

∎ Alcohol-free?
Yes.

∎ Fragrance-free?
Yes.

∎ Anti-oxidants?
Yes, some vitamin E.

∎ Other skincare ingredients in the formula:
– apple extract, vitamin PP: moisturizers.
– niacinamide: lightening, balancing, repairing…

∎ White cast?
No, it looks invisible.

∎ Irritant? Comedogenic?
I don’t feel any irritation with this product but I use it more as a touch-up during the day, not necessarily every day.

∎ Mattifying?
No, not really.

∎ How does it look with makeup?
I use it over makeup and it doesn’t disturb it (especially if I don’t mist it too close from my skin).

∎ Would I repurchase?
It’s a repurchase but I must admit that I prefer the La Roche Posay‘s version, which I find better. Unfortunately, I have trouble finding this La Roche Poisay product in Dubai, where I live, and Bioderma is more easily accessible. As I said earlier, I find it practical to have it in your bag in case of an impromptu sun exposure during the day. But I don’t count on it to protect me on its own; I always apply it on top of another sunscreen.

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I Bioderma Hydrabio Perfecteur SPF30 Soin Hydratant Lissant Booster d'éclat *:

*gifted by the brand for review purposes.

∎ Texture: 
a fairly lightweight, non-greasy cream.

∎ UV filter:
– Octocrylene: UVA and UVB filter.
– Octisalate: UVB filter.
– Avobenzone: UVA and UVB filter.
– Ensulizole: UVA and UVB filter.

∎ Effects on the environment?
Octocrylene is suspected to have a potentially harmful effect on the environment (feel free to do your own research if this topic is important for you).

∎ Ingredients list:
Aqua, glycerin, octocrylene, ethylhexyl salicylate, cyclopentasiloxane, dimethicone, dipropylene glycol, butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane, cetyl alcohol, polymethylsilsesquioxane, niacinamide, phenylbenzimidazole sulfonic acid, styrene/acrylates copolymer, arachidyl alcohol, hdi/trimethylol hexyllactone crosspolymer, arginine, cyclohexasiloxane, behenyl alcohol, c30-45 alkyl cetearyl dimethicone crosspolymer, mica (ci 77019), hydroxyethyl acrylate/sodium acryloyldimethyl taurate copolymer, pentylene glycol, tocopheryl acetate, arachidyl glucoside, titanium dioxide (ci 77891), disodium edta, peg-8 laurate, salicylic acid, mannitol, xylitol, hexyldecanol, sodium hydroxide, rhamnose, polysorbate 60, sorbitan isostearate, pyrus malus (apple) seed extract, brassica campestris (rapeseed) sterols, red 33 (ci 17200), tocopherol, fragrance (parfum).

∎ Silicone-free?
No.

∎ Alcohol-free?
Yes.

∎Fragrance-free?
No.

∎ Anti-oxidants?
Yes, some vitamin E.

∎Other skincare ingredients in the formula:
– moisturizing ingredients: apple extracts, vitamin PP.
– niacinamide: brightening, balancing, repairing…
– salicylic acid for a smoothing effect.
– powders and pigments for a soft-focus blur effect.

∎ White cast?
No.

∎ Irritant? Comedogenic?
Yes, if I apply it several days in a row, I break out.

∎ Mattifying?
After I just applied it, yes but it makes me look shiny later in the day.

∎ How does it look with makeup?
Terrible! I tried to apply foundation on top and it looked super patchy and dry. Not a good look!

∎ Would I repurchase?
No, probably not. My skin doesn’t love it and I thought it would make a good makeup prime and unfortunately, it was not the case. I imagine that on someone who doesn’t wear makeup, the blurring effect can be nicer. But for me, not really…

Mixed formulas (mineral + chemical filters):

The “heavy-duty” formulas. These are the ones I use when I want to be sure I’m very well protected, if I know I’m going to be out in the sun. These are also the ones I apply also during the summer in Dubai, because sunshine is really strong, and UV rays are everywhere.

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Cosrx Aloe Sun Cream SPF50 :

∎ Texture:
A creamy texture that is quite moisturizing, leaving the skin very comfortable.

∎ UV filters:
– Octinoxate: chemical filter for the UVA and the UVB.
– Tinosorb S: chemical filter for the UVA and the UVB.
– Ensulizole: chemical filter for the UVB.
– Titanium Dioxide: mineral filter for the UVA and the UVB..

∎ Effects on the environment?
The octinoxate is suspected to have a potentially harmful effect on the environment (feel free to do your own research if this topic is important for you).

∎ Ingredients list:
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

∎ Silicone-free?
No.

∎ Alcohol-free?
No.

∎ Fragrance-free?
No.

∎ Anti-oxidants?
Yes, some vitamin E.

∎ Other skincare ingredients in the formula:
– Aloe Vera: moisturizing.

∎ White cast?
No, it’s transparent despite the presence of titanium dioxide (which makes me suspect that it’s perhaps a nano version but I couldn’t find anything online to confirm).

∎ Irritant? Comedogenic?
Despite the presence of alcohol and octinoxate (which can be irritating), my skin doesn’t react to this product, and it didn’t make me break out either.

∎ Mattifying?
No, quite the contrary. I think it would be an ideal product for drier skin types. It could also replace a daily moisturizer, in my opinion.

∎ How does it look with makeup?
It’s a good makeup base, the foundation is easy to apply on top. But I look quite shiny after a few hours.

∎ Would I repurchase?
I’m not really convinced by the ingredients list. There are quite a few red flags such as octinoxate, alcohol, etc. That being said, my skin doesn’t really react badly with it.

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Elta MD skincare UV Clear Broad Spectrum SPF46 facial sunscreen :

∎ Texture:
A very pleasant moisturizing cream that absorbs very well into the skin and leaves it comfortable and moisturized.

∎ UV filters:
– Zinc Oxide (9%): mineral filter for the UVA and the UVB.
– Octinoxate (7.5%): chemical filter for the UVA and the UVB.

∎ Effects on the environment?
The octinoxate is suspected to have a potentially harmful effect on the environment (feel free to do your own research if this topic is important for you).

∎ Ingredients list:
9.0% Zinc oxide, 7.5% Octinoxate, Purified Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Niacinamide, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/SodiumAcryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Polyisobutene, PEG-7 Trimethylolpropane Coconut Ether, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Lactic Acid, Oleth-3 Phosphate, Phenoxyethanol, Butylene Glycol, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane

∎ Silicone-free?
No.

∎ Alcohol-free?
Yes.

∎ Fragrance-free?
Yes.

∎ Anti-oxidants?
Yes, some vitamin E.

∎ Other ingredients in the formula:
– niacinamide: lightening, balancing, repairing…
– hyaluronic acid: moisturizing.
– lactic acid: moisturizing and smoothing.

∎ White cast?
No, it’s completely transparent (so I wonder if the zinc oxide is nano, but I couldn’t find the info).

∎ Irritant? Comedogenic?
Yes, my skin doesn’t like this product at all, unfortunately. It makes me break out every time I use it (I had to recycle it on my arms and hands because even on my chest, I ended up with zits all over). I don’t know if it’s because of the octinoxate but this UV filter doesn’t make me react with the Cosrx Sun cream, so I have no idea.

∎ Mattifying?
Yes.

∎ How does it look with makeup?
It’s a good makeup base, the foundation is easy to apply on top and I don’t look more shiny than usual with it.

∎ Would I repurchase?
No, because apparently, my skin hates it! It’s quite odd because, in the United States, this product is recommended by dermatologists for people who have acne-prone skins. And I must admit that the formula enriched with ingredients like niacinamide and hyaluronic acid really sounds really nice. Such a shame!

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Shiseido Anessa essence UV sunscreen mild milk SPF50 :

∎ Texture:
Very liquid and a little weird. At first, it looks almost like a dry oil (it almost feels greasy to the touch) and after a few minutes, it dries and sets completely and becomes completely imperceptible on the skin. I guess it’s because of its high volatile silicone content.

∎ UV filters:
– zinc oxide: mineral filter for the UVA and the UVB.
– titanium dioxide: mineral filter for the UVA and the UVB.
– Uvinul T 150: chemical filter for the UVB.
– Uvinul A Plus: chemical filter for the UVA.
– Tinosorb S: chemical filter for the UVA and the UVB.

∎ Effects on the environment?
I can’t find the information online but I feel like the two mineral filters are nanos (better to avoid them if you’re mindful about the environment protection).

∎ Ingredients list:
Cyclopentasiloxane, zinc oxide, diisopropyl sebacate, methyl methacrylate crosspolymer, water, cetyl ethylhexanoate, pentaerythrityl tetraethylhexanoate, triethylhexanoin, butylene glycol, diethylhexyl succinate, titanium dioxide, dimethicone, glycerin, polymethylsilsesquioxane, dextrin palmitate, PEG-9 polydimethylsiloxyethyl dimethicone, ethylhexyl triazone, diethylamino hydroxybenzoyl hexyl benzoate, disteardimonium hectorite, trimethylsiloxysilicate, bis-ethylhexyloxyphenol methoxyphenyl triazine, PEG/PPG-14/7 dimethyl ether, sodium chloride, dipotassium glycyrrhizate, angelica acutiloba root extract, thymus serpyllum extract, rosa roxburghii fruit extract, sodium hyaluronate, PEG-10 dimethicone, aluminum hydroxide, stearic acid, silica, sodium citrate, sodium metabisulfite, tocopherol.

∎ Silicone-free?
No.

∎ Alcohol-free?
Yes.

∎ Fragrance-free?
Yes.

∎ Anti-oxidants?
Yes, some vitamin E and rosa roxburghii extract.

∎ Other skincare ingredients in the formula:
– liquorice root extract: repairing, anti-inflammatory and soothing.
– Japanese angelica flower extract: soothing and softening.
– hyaluronic acid: moisturizing.

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

∎ Irritant? Comedogenic?
No.

∎ Mattifying?
Yes, I don’t look shinier than usual during the day.

∎ How does it look with makeup?
It’s a good makeup base, the foundation is easy to apply on top and I don’t look shinier than usual with it.

∎ Would I repurchase?
I love this product. It’s super pleasant to use, my skin likes it (no reaction whatsoever). Its texture is brilliant, it’s perfect under makeup. It protects very well against UVA and UVB filters. The filters it contains are effective and non-irritating. It’s alcohol-free and yet its texture is still super fine. It’s waterproof and super innovative because it contains the Shiseido Wet Force technology, which enhances the effectiveness of the product when it comes across water, humidity or sweat and delivers an even more intense protection. It contains antioxidants and moisturizing ingredients. I just have a doubt about the mineral filters which are perhaps of the nano type and it’s not a cheap product, nor easily accessible (you have to order it from Japan). It’s my perfect “sports” and beach sunscreen for the face.

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Shiseido Anessa essence UV sunscreen mild milk SPF35 :

∎ Texture:
(same texture as for the SPF50)
Very liquid and a little weird. At first, it looks almost like a dry oil (it almost feels greasy to the touch) and after a few minutes, it dries and sets completely and becomes completely imperceptible on the skin. I guess it’s because of its high volatile silicone content.

∎ UV filters:
– zinc oxide: mineral filter for the UVA and the UVB.
– Uvinul T 150: chemical filter for the UVB.
– Uvinul A Plus: chemical filter for the UVA.
– Tinosorb S: chemical filter for the UVA and the UVB.

∎ Effects on the environment?
I can’t find the information online but I feel like the two mineral filters are nanos (better to avoid them if you’re mindful about the environment protection).

∎ Ingredients list:
Methyl methacrylate crosspolymer, cyclopentasiloxane, water, diethylhexyl succinate, butylene glycol, cetyl ethylhexanoate, pentaerythrityl tetraethylhexanoate, triethylhexanoin, zinc oxide, diethylhexyl succinate, dimethicone, glycerin, dextrin palmitate, polymethylsilsesquioxane, PEG-9 polydimethylsiloxyethyl dimethicone, ethylhexyl triazone, disteardimonium hectorite, trimethylsiloxysilicate, diethylamino hydroxybenzoyl hexyl benzoate, bis-ethylhexyloxyphenol methoxyphenyl triazine, PEG/PPG-14/7 dimethyl ether, sodium chloride, dipotassium glycyrrhizate, angelica acutiloba root extract, thymus serpyllum extract, rosa roxburghii fruit extract, sodium hyaluronate, silica, PEG-10 dimethicone, sodium citrate, stearic acid, sodium metabisulfite, tocopherol.

∎ Silicone-free?
No.

∎ Alcohol-free?
Yes.

∎ Fragrance-free?
Yes.

∎ Anti-oxidants?
Yes, some vitamin E and rosa roxburghii extract.

∎ Other skincare ingredients in the formula:
– licorice root extract: repairing, anti-inflammatory and soothing.
– Japanese angelica flower extract: soothing and softening.
– hyaluronic acid: moisturizing.

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

∎ Irritant? Comedogenic?
No.

∎ Mattifying?
Yes, I don’t look shinier than usual during the day.

∎ How does it look with makeup?
It’s a good makeup base, the foundation is easy to apply on top and I don’t look shinier than usual with it.

∎ Would I repurchase?
Like the SPF50 version, I love this product. It’s super pleasant to use, my skin likes it (no reaction whatsoever). Its texture is brilliant, it’s perfect under makeup. It provides a very good protection against UVA and UVB filters. The filters it contains are effective and non-irritating. It’s alcohol-free and yet its texture is super fine. It’s waterproof and super innovative because it contains the Shiseido Wet Force technology, which enhances the effectiveness of the product when it comes across water, humidity or sweat and delivers an even more intense protection. It contains moisturizing and antioxidant ingredients. I just have a doubt about the mineral filter which is perhaps a nano type and it’s not a cheap product, nor easily accessible (you have to order it from Japan). It’s not my “sports” sunscreen product like the SPF50 but it’s the one I use in winter in Dubai or in summer if I go to Europe and I know I’m going to be outside a lot, for example. It still always offers a great protection which is more than enough in this case.

In conclusion:

So, my top 3 picks:

– coming in first, the one I use the most because its formula meets all my requirements is the  Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF30 .

– as equal second, the Shiseido Anessa essence UV sunscreen mild milk SPF50 and the Shiseido Anessa essence UV sunscreen mild milk SPF35 because they’re super pleasant to use and very protective.

– in the third position, the Bioderma Photoderm Max SPF50 Aquafluid because it’s easy to find here and quite cheap.

That’s all for now for my sunscreens’ testing. I think I will update this article according to my future tests because if there is indeed a product that I consume in large quantities, it’s definitely sunscreen!

Edit 01/10/18:
I’ve written 2 other posts with more sunscreen reviews:

Reef-safe sunscreens: Derma E Natural Mineral Sunscreen SPF30 Body, Coola Baby Mineral Sunscreen SPF50, Bioderma Photoderm Mineral SPF50+ Spray, Aderma Protect Spray SPF50+, Avène Spray SPF50+dummy Skincare BUYING GUIDE: REEF-SAFE SUNSCREENS As you probably know, I take sun protection very seriously. And when I go on vacation, I'm particularly careful when I choose my body sunscreens... Read more

make p:rem UV defense me Blue ray sun gel, Labno Cicaloe Relif Sun Milk, Etude House Sunprise Mild Airy Finishdummy Skincare AN OVERVIEW OF 3 KOREAN SUNSCREENS (FEAT. MAKE P:REM, LABNO AND ETUDE HOUSE) Today, I tell you more about 3 Korean sunscreens I recently tried... Read more

2 Comments

  1. Erica says:

    A few years ago I took your recommendation on Derma E, I loved it so much. I stockpiled it for extended traveling and just used up the last tube and started my new tube. It’s so upsetting that they reformulated! So, now I’m back to find something better, I just wish the Drunk Elephant was the same price as the Derma E 🙁

    • I know!!! The DermaE reformulation is so frustrating 😕 The Drunk Elephant is a great formula though and it’s almost twice the size as the DermaE one so… At least, there’s that! 😅

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