So, here’s the thing: for the most part I actually loathe wearing sunscreen. I know, I know…it’s complete and total skincare blasphemy, against every single principle of beauty for which I stand and only compounded by the fact that the hue of my natural complexion mirrors that of a marshmallow. So pale, in fact, that with not one but *two* layers of self-tan the shade of my foundation moves up the scale from a shade aptly named “Snow” to one called “Ivory”, but I digress.`Finding sun protection that feels luxurious and comfortable on the skin, that plays nice with whatever product you choose to apply over top and provides proper UV protection has proven to be one of my greatest challenges in my daily skincare regimen. After trying just about everything under the sun (pun totally intended) I’ve come across a handful that ticked off all my boxes, ranging from modest drugstore favourites to the newest generation of ultra-luxury supercreams, and now I can share them with each of you.
Anthelios 60 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid | La Roche Posay | $30/50ML
I was in high school when I first caught wind of La Roche Posay while leafing through an issue of what I imagine was French Vogue. Immediately I was drawn to the packaging. Something about the unassuming white bottles so common with products in the French pharmacy, their clinical aesthetic and chic French labels obviously indicating that they worked much better than all the others *wink*. The first product of the line I ever got my hands on happened to be this, the Anthelios sunscreen fluid, and it’s been a staple in my skincare wardrobe ever since. The texture of this mega-SPF is surprisingly light and at a whopping factor of 60 that’s not something you really expect. The base, aside from the protective compounds (in this case avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene and oxybenzone), is mostly silicone and denatured alcohol making it feel much like a more fluid variation of a typical makeup primer. If you have particularly dry skin it’s perhaps best to avoid this one since the alcohol in the formula can prove to be quite drying for some. Personally, I can only use this during the summer months when my skin tiptoes on over to the oilier end of the spectrum, otherwise I find myself more inclined to use one of the others on the list.
Oclipse Smart Tone SPF 50 | ZO Skin Health | $70/45ML
When you’re in the market for product that specializes in kicking ass and taking names you’d be hard pressed to find a line more comprehensive or result oriented than ZO Skin Health. Dr. Zein Obagi does not play. I’ve used a number of his products in the past and each one has been loaded with efficacious amounts of powerful actives that actually have peer-reviewed research to back up their claimed benefits. I happened upon this gem when re-ordering one of his Vitamin C serums (also brilliant when used in conjunction with SPF) and decided to give it a go. First, being a bit of a skincare nerd I was wildly impressed with just how comprehensive the formula of this sunscreen was, containing everything from a powerful selection of UV protective actives (similar to those in the Anthelios above), beta glucan as well as the anti-inflammatory extract of the Petasites japonicus root to soothe redness and irritation to an impressive antioxidant complex that will help protect the skin from some free radical damage. The texture is quite silky in spite of all of the actives and makes a lovely base for makeup as well. There is a slight tint that appears once you begin applying it to the skin, it’s rather transparent but could potentially be an issue for those with very fair or very deep skintones. I’ve personally found it perfectly fine for my own personal use, but do keep in mind that it’s there. It’s probably the most technologically advanced formula I’ve used to date and I imagine it will remain in my routine for quite some time.
Soleil Supérieur SPF 50 | RéVive | $115/50ML
OK, so please try not to slap me. $115 dollars for a sunscreen is ridiculous and I’m fully aware of just how ridiculous it is. There is not one reason on Earth why one would have to spend this much on a sunscreen, but holy smokes, is this ever beautiful. I’ve been using this on and off now for about a month and I really, really like it. I hate that I really, really like it because I know I am going to end up buying another. The texture feels luxurious on the skin, velvety and so delightfully smooth. It’s a lot of cash to flash but truly does feel like a luxury to add into your routine. It does its job and does it well, using a similar combination of chemical actives as the aforementioned products as well as providing a lightweight texture and quite a generous helping of some truly beneficial ingredients including some awesome amino acids and one really cool peptide. In conclusion, I find this formula pleasure to use and if you’re looking to treat yourself to a bit of luxury I’d highly recommend getting your hands on a tube.
Products mentioned in article
La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid
Fragrantica contributor from Canada. Trésor is a fashion and beauty model and writer, the owner of visual diary of a non-binary 90's kid who...(more)
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