Wednesday, April 30, 2014

My current Favorite Sunscreens

I had to round up my sunscreen tubes from several rooms in the house, as well as from various handbags, because all of them are in regular use. I've been extremely diligent about sun protection long before my skincare routine became all about acids and retinoids (they make you very vulnerable to sun damage), but even more so in the last three years. For a while my favorite sunscreen was the now discontinued Kanebo Sensai SPF30 that sat beautifully under makeup. It's light texture made the husband steal my last tube and I moved on. These are the ones in my current rotation:

1. La Roche-Posay Anthelios Primer SPF50. This is the thickest substance in this group and actually the one that takes the longest to meld with the skin and be ready for makeup, yet once it does it really is a good primer that keeps everything cemented into place. My first tube was a press sample, repurchased since. $39.99 at Ulta.

2. Chantecaille Protection Naturelle SPF 46 Loose Powder. My constant companion for touchups throughout the day. The one drawback is that you cannot be sure how much products is dispensed and gets on your skin, which is why it's a touchup product and not the main form of protection. $72 for the tube+brush. Each refill is $33. At select department stores and SpaceNK.

3. Paula's Choice RESIST Super-Light Daily Defense SPF 30 & 4. Paula's Choice Extra Care Non-Greasy SPF 50. These are my favorite sunscreens for humid weather, as both are incredibly light. The RESIST one is full of antioxidants, while the one in the orange tube is water resistant and has the higher protection level. Both require ample of moisturizer underneath. $27 and $16 respectively on

5. Kate Somerville Daily Deflector™ Waterlight Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ PA+++ Anti-Aging Sunscreen. An incredibly silky cosmetically elegant sunscreen that feels like skincare. I can sometimes skip extra moisturizers when using it (depending on products used the previous night). $48 at Sephora and select department stores. Press Sample.

 6. Laura Mercier Foundation Primer Protect Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen PA+++. Laura Mercier produces excellent primers and this is no different. I'm on my third tube since last year and can tell you that as long as I use enough product and let it fully set on skin, this really works to protect from the sun.

7. Bioderma Photoderm SPF50+ Laser Cream. This one is not sold officially in the US, which is a shame. I started using it after introducing chemical peels to my routine and it's never let me down, as it's geared towards skin that has undergone far more serious treatments than mine. $29.95 from frenchcosmeticsforless.

8. Rodan & Fields REVERSE Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ Sunscreen. The tube in the photo is actually empty because I've been using it almost daily for weeks. The texture is wonderful and I've found that it acts as a decent primer, thanks to the Caprylyl Methicone (a silicone). Some of the ingredients will not be to everyone's liking (there's also alcohol somewhere in the mix), but the result pretty impressive and I used up the entire tube without triggering any skin issues. $41 from Press sample.


  1. Gaia, do you mind sharing which of the above sunscreens have chemical and/or physical block? Also which one may be suitable for dry/oily skin? Thanks for the reviews.

  2. Never mind the sunscreens.. those red ombre Prada sunglasses! I think I need them <3

  3. I cannot tolerate any chemical block on my face which narrows the field considerably. This year I've been wearing a pure transparent zinc oxide and titanium dioxide SPF 40 sunscreen by Tizo. It glides on smooth as silk, blends out to invisiabilty, and does double duty as a primer. It is suitable for all skin types and leaves the skin with a flawless looking satin-matte finish. Tizo2 (the one I use) is for light skin tones; Tizo3 has a tint and is for medium to dark skin tones. I purchased mine from my dermatologists office and went back to stock up when the office had a summer skin care promotion. In the world of pure micronized physical sunscreens, I think Tizo easily beats SkinCeuticles, Clarins, Dermaquest, etc.


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