This post is a bit late as I wanted to make it in the beginning of summer, not the end. These are my favorite sunscreens and a few samples I’ve tested this year. I originally talked about sunscreen and the differences here. The Omorovicza Mineral UV Shield SPF30 is new this year and has become my favorite physical sunscreen. I reviewed it here.
I touched on the two La Roche-Posay in last years post. I’ll get more into them now. We have La Roche-Posay in the US, and even have Anthelios. Only two versions of the ones sold in the US have the chemical filter Mexoryl. One is a really thick cream, the other a SPF 15 daily moisturizer. If you’re a fan of Anthelios Fluid but don’t want Oxybenzone you have to get the version with Mexoryl from overseas. Mexoryl is only approved by the FDA in the US for those two products for whatever reason, and only sold by L’Oreal which is La Roche-Posay. Mexoryl is considered very photostable and is a popular chemical filter overseas, plus it has less effects on the body than Oxybenzone which is why I refuse to use Oxybenzone anymore. It’s a better chemical filter than some we have here, the EWG gives it a hazard rating of 2. I bought the Anthelios XL Fluid SPF 50+ and Anthelios XL Smooth Lotion SPF 50+ last year from Escentual.com who shipped it to me here. However, I visited their website today and it says they no longer ship this item here. If you’ve tried the US Oxybenzone Anthelios Fluid version, this is much the same formula, thin, lightweight, not greasy and no white cast. It’s a great sunscreen for the face. I bought the Smooth Lotion for my neck and body as it was cheaper and easier to apply than using the Fluid all over. It’s is a touch thicker, but not greasy and no white cast. The Fluid does contain alcohol, but it doesn’t seem to bother me. These two and the Zelens Daily Defense are my favorite chemical sunscreens, when I run out I’ll have to see if I can get it somewhere else.
Zelens Daily Defense I touched on last year as well, but I’ve been wanting to make it’s own review as I’ve finished a full tube now and have moved onto a second. This is a chemical sunscreen, but it’s one that has this new unique micro encapsulation around the chemical filters making them sit on top of your skin, and not get absorbed into the skin like other chemical sunscreens. Zelens says this encapsulation reduces dermal upload of the filters, so I assume a bit gets absorbed but not as much as a normal chemical block. It functions more like a physical block, without any white cast. It’s not a thin texture like a fluid, it’s more like a face cream that absorbs after 10 minutes. So it will feel greasy for about 10 minutes, then it absorbs. It’s also got antioxidants, and you can check out Zelens description here. It’s pricey for sure, but it did take me almost 6 months of daily use to use a tube, so it wasn’t really bad. I was only using it on my face and neck, not my body.
These are a few samples I’ve tried this year. I’ll get into them a little to compare them to my favorite 4 above. Korres Yoghurt Nourishing Fluid Veil is a chemical sunscreen so no white cast, it is thin, slightly greasy but not really greasy. It has almost a vanilla or something sweet smell to it and it has a lotion texture. I prefer the La Roche-Posay to this, but it’s not a bad sunscreen.
Radical Skin Perfecting Screen was my favorite of the samples. It’s really lightweight for a physical block, it feels like a chemical fluid sunscreen does, has almost no white cast and isn’t greasy, it absorbs fast and has a thin fluid texture. It has almost a pink tint to it which might be the light-reflecting pigments they mention. If I was in the market to buy another full tube of physical sunscreen this would be it.
Tarte Tarteguard sunscreen isn’t a bad physical sunscreen either. Minimal white cast and greasy feel, but it’s more so than the Radical. I prefer the Radical of the two. This is a touch thicker than the Korres or Radical, like a lotion.
Drunk Elephant Umbra has been on my list forever to try. I really wanted to love it as I love all their other products I’ve tried. This was the biggest disappointment. It’s heavy and greasy. It’s got a white cast, not like some really bad cheap or old school physical sunscreens, but it’s the heavy feel and greasiness that makes this too much for me and I would pass on it.