The Sunscreen Edit

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The Sunscreen Edit | The Best Sunscreens for Combination Skin - True Natural SPORT Stick SPF 30, True Natural Ultra Protect Antioxidant Sunscreen SPF 50, Erin's Faces Peptide SPF 30, Innisfree The Minimum Sun Cream SPF25, Jan Marini Marini Physical Protectant SPF 45, Shiseido Sports BB Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ WetForce, Institut Esthederm Into Repair Age Control Sunscreen, Exuviance Sheer Daily Protector SPF 50.

Among my friends I am known as the Sunscreen Queen. I know they say it jokingly, but I am quite proud to wear my crown! I’ve been writing about the importance of wearing SPF daily for as long as this blog has been in existence, and bugged everyone to reapply sunblock at the beach and on sunny days even longer. I have since chilled down with bugging people around me, because frankly, what they do is none of my business and it was wrong of me to give unsolicited advice. This made me want to advocate the benefits of sunscreen even more; at least you guys come here to read my blog posts, so it’s not completely unsolicited.

You probably know this already, but sun damage is the number one cause for premature skin aging. An average woman spends hundreds of dollars every year on products aimed to reverse the signs of aging, but it would cost way less to simply prevent them by wearing SPF30+ every day. However, the aesthetics of a bronze tan are not lost on me. I do think caramel skin is quite beautiful, and it helps hide certain perceived imperfections that a person might be self-conscious of, like visible veins, acne scars, and cellulite.

Fair skin has been historically associated with sickness in the West, although in the Eastern countries it has always been a sign of wealth, and something to be admired. The logic behind it was that if you have fair skin, then you don’t have to work in the fields every day, so you must be of noble blood. In the West, having a tan meant that you can afford to vacation somewhere with lots of sun, which means you must have a pretty good job to be able to do so. Isn’t it funny how these trends all come down to being the signs of wealth?

The Sunscreen Edit | The Best Sunscreens for Combination Skin The Sunscreen Edit | The Best Sunscreens for Combination Skin - Jan Marini Marini Physical Protectant SPF 45, Institut Esthederm Into Repair Age Control Sunscreen, The Sunscreen Edit | The Best Sunscreens for Combination Skin - True Natural SPORT Stick SPF 30, True Natural Ultra Protect Antioxidant Sunscreen SPF 50, Shiseido Sports BB Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ WetForce

The sun isn’t all that bad. It’s necessary for a healthy circadian rhythm, and it was proven to improve our mood. It also provides an easy natural source of Vitamin D, a hormone that controls calcium levels in the blood, and promotes bone and muscle health. However, it doesn’t take much to get your daily recommended dose of Vitamin D: 10-15 minutes of unprotected exposure of any one body part, like your foot or a whole leg, for example, is all it takes to start the production of this vital vitamin within the body. Personally, I take Vitamin D supplements instead, the generic ones cost something like 3 bucks for a 100-count bottle, and that’s way less than the price I would have to pay to reverse the sun damage done to my skin.

With that said, I thought today would be the perfect time to talk about some of the sunscreens I’ve been using lately, since beach weather is right around the corner!

The Sunscreen Edit | The Best Sunscreens for Combination Skin

L to R: True Natural SPORT Stick SPF 30, True Natural Ultra Protect Antioxidant Sunscreen SPF 50, Erin’s Faces Peptide SPF 30, Innisfree The Minimum Sun Cream SPF25.

1 // True Natural SPORT Stick SPF 30 – I haven’t been using stick sunscreens until last year, and now I always carry one on my purse. It’s a very convenient format for quick midday touchups, and I know it won’t leak all over my bag. This particular sunblock is formulated with natural ingredients and provides broad-spectrum physical protection without nano-particles. It’s listed in EWG database with a low score of 1 [EWG has a toxicity scale of 1-10, with 10 being the most toxic]. The formula is a little gritty at first, but it melts on the skin and sets without leaving white cast or streaks.

2 // True Natural Ultra Protect Antioxidant Sunscreen SPF 50 – Another amazing natural physical sunscreen from True Natural! It has thicker consistency, but sinks in well after a few minutes, so I like using it on the exposed body parts when I go outside. The formula does leave a faint white cast when absorbed, but it’s distributed evenly rather than streaky, so I can live with that. Ultra Protect 50 Antioxidant Sunscreen SPF 50 is listed in EWG database with a low score of 1.

3 // Erin’s Faces Peptide SPF 30 – This broad-spectrum, 86% organic, physical sunblock is currently my go-to for casual daily use. It has the most wonderful runny consistency and lightweight aloe-based formula that absorbs like a dream. It goes on white and slightly gritty, but the white cast disappears after several minutes, and the gritty particles melt into the skin. I love that it never feels heavy on my face, no matter how many layers of serums and creams I wear underneath. Erin’s Faces Peptide SPF 30 has a low score of 1 on Think Dirty app, which is an alternative skincare toxicity database.

4 // Innisfree The Minimum Sun Cream SPF25 – Of course, I had to include a Korean sunscreen in the mix, since I use them quite often. Right now I am trying to finish this broad spectrum physical sunblock that I got in a beauty box a while back. It’s a nice basic unscented formula without any bells and whistles, with medium consistency and very faint white cast. I usually wear it when I’m working from home and don’t have any plans to go outside on that day.

The Sunscreen Edit | The Best Sunscreens for Combination Skin

L to R: Jan Marini Marini Physical Protectant SPF 45, Shiseido Sports BB Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ WetForce, Institut Esthederm Into Repair Age Control Sunscreen, Exuviance Sheer Daily Protector SPF 50.

5 // Jan Marini Marini Physical Protectant SPF 45 – This tinted physical broad spectrum sunscreen is quite a treat! The formula contains Green tea extract and alpha bisabolol that soothe the skin and provide antioxidant benefits, while microscopic oil absorbing particles keep the oil production in check. As you can see from the swatch above , it has a peachy tint to offset the white cast, which works pretty well. Marini Physical Protectant SPF 45 might be my go-to sunblock this summer, because it keeps my combination skin looking matte for a long time after the initial application. It’s listed in EWG database with a low score of 2.

6 // Shiseido Sports BB Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ WetForce – This is more of a tinted BB cream than a sunscreen, but boy is it a fabulous one. It has a runny formula, which makes it easy to spread on the skin, and the medium to full coverage is just perfect. I wore it several times on my bike rides, and it stays put through it all. In the photo below, this BB cream has been on my skin for most of the day, including an hour-long ride, and as you can see, it didn’t budge at all. These results are all thanks to new WetForce Technology, that makes UV protection more effective when the applied area is exposed to water or perspiration for 30 minutes. Shiseido Sports BB Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ WetForce currently comes in three shades, and the lightest one is the perfect match for my skin tone. I read some not-so-glowing reviews about it on other blogs, so I want to stress that it is meant for active use, and the formula is only fully activated with prolonged perspiration or water exposure, like swimming or sweating.

7 // Institut Esthederm Into Repair Age Control Sunscreen Face Cream for Highly Sensitive Skin SPF 20 – While it doesn’t provide adequate protection for outside wear, this luxurious French sunblock is my go-to for indoor use when my face feels irritated and ultra sensitive after a strong peel. Ultra-sophisticated formula relies on state of the art technology that gradually boosts your skin’s natural defenses against the sunlight and free radicals. Since I got this tube, this sunscreen has been reformulated and repackaged.

8 // Exuviance Sheer Daily Protector SPF 50 PA++++ – Last but not least, here is one more broad spectrum physical sunscreen that comes with a tint to offset the white cast. This sunblock is adored by the skincare experts at Beautypedia, and I can see why. It has a runny, non-greasy consistency, smooth texture, fragrance-free formula, and several antioxidants for free radical protection. I am on my third bottle already! This is easily one of the best sunblocks for my combination skin in hot weather. It doesn’t turn into greasy, streaky mess, and actually helps my face to look matte longer before I need to blot.

The Sunscreen Edit | The Best Sunscreens for Combination Skin

Shiseido Sports BB Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ WetForce: 6+ hours of wear, including an hour of biking, and it didn’t melt off or settle into the lines! The photo is not edited (not even for contrast, sharpness, or brightness).

We are often told that we look healthier with a tan, but really, there is nothing healthy about it. Tan is our body’s natural defense mechanism. By releasing melanin it’s trying to protect itself from harmful radiation, but it is not an impenetrable shield, it’s a scar. Tanning is like an unhealthy habit that some people choose to do because they want to. It’s like biting nails; but if nails can grow back once a person quits, the skin will never go back to its real age. That’s why people who spend a lot of time in the sun always seem to look older than those who don’t. Obviously, it’s just a personal choice, and everyone has the right to do what they want with their bodies, as long as they are okay with the consequences.

I will repeat my own quote from 3 years ago – “Tanning today is like borrowing your beauty from tomorrow.” If you are not okay with that, start using sunscreen every day and your future self will thank you!

Do you use sunscreen daily? What is your favorite sunscreen product? Let me know in the comments below!

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  • Kristi Vasquez

    I’m a sunscreen addict as well. I apply hourly when outside or on vacations. I also try to wear a hat when outside for long periods of time too. 🙂

    • High five! I am pretty bad about wearing hats, unless I’m biking or at the beach, so I end up liberally spraying my hair with special hair SPF products. That doesn’t protect from heat, but at least it keeps my scalp from getting a sunburn 🙂

  • marciaf

    As always an incredibly informative post. I think I’d get on very well with the Exuviance one so when I’m ready for a new one that’s what I’d like to try.

    • It is one of the best high end sunblocks I’ve tried so far, but it’s a tiny bottle that comes at a steep price, so I don’t know that I would necessarily recommend it for everyone, considering you need to use a teaspoon for adequate sun protection. But the formula is fabulous! I only buy it when it’s on sale, because I just can’t justify paying the full price.

  • Allison @neversaydiebeauty

    You are so right to avoid the sun. I need to invest in a better personal size beach umbrella this summer since I spend a lot of time socializing with my family on the beach. I have the Exuviance and love it. But from your review, I must buy the Shiseido Sports BB. I jog and garden outdoors and as I said, I go to the beach and swim, so I need a high SPF that stays on plus I like that it has some color. Very informative post!

    • I wish my family went out to the beach to socialize more often, I think we only had one outing last summer, but it was a great one. You should definitely try Shiseido if you plan on wearing it during exercise, their formula really works to prevent the color from melting off.

  • There are some great choices here! I love Shiseido sunscreen

    • I totally agree, that Shiseido BB sunscreen is magical! Isn’t it amazing how well the color stays on throughout the exercise?

  • The Exuviance and Jan Marini are some of my favorites. I’m definitely loving your round up of products – awesome.

    • Those are seriously some of the best sunscreens I’ve come around!

  • Ehmkay Nails

    I don’t use it daily. But I do use it a lot in the summer. Sunscreen in a stick?! I’ve never heard of that but I need!

    • Stick sunscreens are so convenient! Toss one in your purse and you will always have it on hand when the sun is out and you feel like you need some extra protection on your arms, neck, or wherever 🙂

  • I need to try out that Shiseido or Exuviance one. I have really sensitive skin and some sunblocks burn, especially if I get too close to my eyes. I really need to be better about using it though!

    • If I had to guess, I’d say that you are reacting either to the fragrance in the formula or to chemical sunblocks. Exuviance would be a good one to try – check it out at your local Ulta and see if you react. Shiseido is fragranced and also contains a chemical sunblock, so I would avoid it in your case.

  • I am going to look into the True Natural SPORT Stick SPF 30. I definitely try to be smart about my sun exposure, but I am a NUT about having my tattoos covered ALL THE TIME, so I carry a sunscreen stick with me everywhere! 🙂

    • I don’t have any experience with tattoos, but I assume that having them covered protects the ink from fading, right? That stick from True Natural is great – the cream stays on through sweat and some light rubbing, like from wearing a tshirt over it.

  • Shiseido makes some of my favorite sunscreens. I just wish they weren’t so perfumed.

    • I know how you feel, I wish they would ditch the perfume, too, but that’s Shiseido for you, haha! 🙂

  • I REALLY want to try some of those tinted options!!!

    • The only tinted one that actually provides coverage is Shiseido, the other two are merely tinted to offset the white cast and completely blend with the skin, so you would want to wear your usual foundation over them anyway 🙂 Hope it helps!

  • I need to get on the stick train for summer use! I hate applying sunscreen on my face and being left with oily hands. This is a great fix!

    • Haha, yess that’s the worst! Or when your hands are white because you just applied sunscreen everywhere, and then that white cast doesn’t want to come off even with soap and water 🙂 Sticks are perfect for that.

  • LeX HeeR

    A little late to this article and I almost never comment but being a sunscreen obsessive as well, I have to agree that the Shiseido Wetforce BB is amazing. It lasted through a 2 hour Muay Thai session in sweltering hot Singapore weather!

    I’ve always been in love with Japanese and Korean sunscreens. Bioré is my jam!

    If anyone is interested in stick sunblocks, La Roche-Posay does a great one. I suffer from post-acne pigmentation and I dab it on whenever I feel the need for extra protection when I’m out and about.

    Nothing beats powder sunblocks for touching up over make-up, though. I can just dab the stuff on as often as I need to and go about my day without having to check if my face is still intact.

    Great post! I’ve never heard of a lot of the brands you mentioned but I shall try to do some internet sussing and see if I can get my paws on some of them. International delivery can be a pain sometimes. Urgh.

    • You’re not late at all! 🙂

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment and for the recommendations!

      I also couldn’t believe how effective the Shiseido Wetforce BB cream turned out to be, since I am not a diehard fan of the brand. Frankly, they had more misses than hits on my recent memory, so this was a mindblowing standout.

      I love La Roche-Posay and have been using their Anthelios range before I even knew what sun damage was. I didn’t know they had a stick sunscreen, though, I’ll have to look into it.

      I agree, Korean sunscreens are amazing, they really feel like regular skincare don’t they? In that regard, Erin’s Faces Peptide SPF30 I mentioned above is the most Korean-like of the bunch. You should try it if they deliver internationally. It’s pricey, but it really feels like a high end formula, rather than an overpriced bottle of “nothing”.