Hi beautiful friends!
I absolutely love talking about skincare! It has always been a passion of mine, and I get so incredibly excited about it that it’s actually terrifying. So many friends always ask me for my opinion on products: Do they do what they are supposed to do? Do they have good ingredients? Are they right for my specific skin type?
So, for YOU, I wanted to make sure that the top 5 favs I picked out have it all – state of the art ingredients, texture, no white cast, and are suitable for pretty much any skin type/skin tone. I’ve tried out every single one of these sunscreens and have used them well enough to write a mini review on each one.
♥ Do I have to wear SPF?
Before we jump into the SPF’s I picked out, I want to iterate how extremely important it is to wear sunscreen ALL YEAR LONG. Many people whip out their SPF during the summer months only, which is great, but you have to remember that UVA/UVB rays are out to get us every. single. day. Even when it is cloudy, or pouring out, you still have to protect your skin. I’m aware that body SPF everyday is a bit too much, but make sure you wear a very good facial SPF and cover your neck area as well because that area shows aging very quick as the skin there is much more thin and delicate.
♥ How much SPF do I need to put on?
Here is the tricky part. You don’t want to apply sunscreen sparingly. You should be applying about a quarter size amount to cover the entire face and neck area. If you want to cheat (which I don’t recommend!), use a nickel size amount for the face only. Pretty much, you should be having to blend it in more/longer than a normal moisturizer(i.e. no SPF). If you are, then you are doing it right- you have the perfect amount! Another important note I should touch on is the SPF # you should be using for optimal protection; The lucky number is 30 (or higher)!
♥ Physical Vs. Chemical Sunscreens
There are 2 types of sunscreens that you can purchase – physical (titanium dioxide, zinc oxide) & chemical – organic carbon-based compounds (i.e. oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate, avobenzone, etc.). The difference? Chemical sunscreens absorb UV rays (i.e. they enter the skin, are absorbed & come out typically as infrared rays). Physical sunscreens are reflectors (i.e. they form a protective layer on the skin and reflect UV rays).
*I prefer physical over chemical because they are safer to use on sensitive skin and do not irritate the skin like some chemical sunscreens can. I also like the fact that they are reflectors rather than absorbers.
♥ Here are my top 5 favs (in no particular order) –
Price: USD $29.99 ∞ Size: 60 mL.
My experience: Paulas’ choice has always been a favourite of mine, and they have my full trust in all of their products, but their sunscreens are a bit of a hit or miss for me. This particular one is a hit! It is loaded with soothing plant extracts, antioxidants, and peptides. It is composed of both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. This facial sunscreen does leave a bit of white cast, so you do have to blend it in a bit to ensure it all gets absorbed into the skin. Honestly though, it is nowhere near as bad as some of the others I have tried that pilled on my skin and took forever to rub in. All in all, this is a great everyday moisturizer that is hydrating and perfect for sensitive skin.
Price: CAD $45.00 ∞ Size: 120 mL.
My experience: First off, the amount in this bottle is AMAZING and rare to find in an SPF moisturizer. This sunscreen has both mineral (Zinc -10%) and chemical sunscreens built into it, which I was a bit hesitant about, but I had absolutely no irritation or negative reaction to this whatsoever. It also contains a nice blend of ingredients like Vitamin E and B5 which have both antioxidant & hydrating properties. Upon application, this blended in beautifully and honestly felt like a moisturizer without SPF which is so nice because aint nobody got time for sticky, thick SPF moisturizers! All in all, this massive sized SPF moisturizer is a great year-round holy grail.
Price: CAD $50.00 ∞ Size: 30 mL.
My experience: This physical based sunscreen has an SPF of 50 which is phenomenal! It also has sheer, nude-toned pigments to eliminate the white cast that the zinc oxide tends to leave behind, which blends in perfectly into the skin and disappears quickly. This beauty is super lightweight and does not leave the skin feeling sticky or greasy. It leaves a beautiful, luminous and smooth complexion so it is perfect to even wear on its own if you are going for a minimal to no makeup look for the day. All in all, this Paris based brand has got a checkmark in my books and I will without a doubt be recommending it to anyone & everyone!
Price: CAD $78.00 ∞ Size: 50 mL.
My experience: This Murad beauty is another winner with SPF 50 and packed with anti-aging ingredients like vitamin C and xx This one also has a peach color correcting tint that evens the tone of the skin for a visible (non-sparkling) glow. It spreads very easily and feels incredibly silky & smooth, almost like butter. After about 10 minutes of applying, it sets perfectly, drying down to a powder-like finish. As we can see, this one is the most expensive one out the ones I have picked out, however, since SPF is in my opinion the MOST IMPORTANT part of a morning skincare regime, I think it’s worth it if you want to spend a bit more for one. All in all, I think it’s definitely worth trying this one out and seeing if it is the perfect SPF for you!
Price: USD $34.00 ∞ Size: 90 mL.
My experience: I have been a fan of Drunk Elephant skincare since I first saw them on Dermstore (before they hit the big jackpot with Sephora). This skincare brand is just incredible. I emailed back and forth with Tiffany Masterson (CEO) about 3 years ago when I discovered them and we chatted about her products, ingredients, the Company’s direction, etc. and it was just such an amazing opportunity to learn about skincare. Tiffany is a very humble & honest person, which is hard to find these days with so many skincare companies out there, not to mention, CEO engagement?! Anyway, THIS physical SPF has recently been reformulated for improved texture (bonus points for being on top of it and listening to customers’ reviews) as it used to pill on skin and was rather hard to blend in. Let me tell you, the reformulation is sooo much better; it honestly feels like you’re applying moisturizer – no more pilling/rubbing into the skin, yay! I should also mention that this SPF comes in a tinted version as well, however it was a tad too dark for my fair skin. However, you could blend both the non-tinted and tinted together for the perfect shade! All in all, this nicely sized SPF is a great one & has a superb blend of ingredients like virgin macula oil, raspberry seed oil, and aloe very leaf extract, all awesome anti-aging benefits!
Alright, beauties! So these are the amazing (fragrance free, YAY!) SPF’s that made my top 5 facial sunscreens list. I really hope this post was helpful in getting some clarification on sunscreen and which one may be the perfect one for you.
Feel free to pop by these stores for samples of the sunscreens I mentioned:
∇ Sephora (Canada) – sunscreen 3 & 4
∇ Sephora (US) – sunscreen 5
∇ Nordstrom (Canada & US) – sunscreen 2
∇ Paula’s Choice (US Website) – sunscreen 1