My Search for the Perfect Sunscreen: Part 1

Finding an undetectable match for my oily skin is a tough challenge.
Publish date:
October 6, 2015
clinique, oily skin, olay, sunscreens, aveeno, vichy, chanel, Shiseido, paula's choice, L'oreal, Is Clinical

It wasn’t until the last year or two that I started to get serious about wearing sunscreen. (Shame on me—I know.) Initially, I was using the Neutrogena Dry Touch Sunscreen for the face, but I found that it caused an uncomfortable burning sensation after a time so I had to stop using it. This led to me trying a string of different sunscreens to find a formula that would suit my skin.

Besides the obvious sun-protection factor, I can’t do sunscreens that feel heavy or greasy on the face; I need something that isn’t going to cause breakouts; and I need something that does not have a really intense white cast to it.

Here's how my search is panning out so far.

The Hard Passes

Olay Complete All Day Moisturizer with Sunscreen SPF 15

This particular moisturizer felt too heavy on me and made me break out like crazy. I felt like the consistency was a bit thick, pretty greasy, and left my skin looking ashy.

Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer with SPF 30

My initial reaction was positive: not too thick, it absorbed well into the skin, and it didn’t leave a white cast. Unfortunately, my skin was not having it and I sprouted a few (very painful) zits on my cheek. It was a bummer because I did like it otherwise.

L’Oreal Silky Sheer Face Lotion SPF 50+

This was another one that my face just didn’t like. It didn’t sink in as well as the Aveeno but it didn’t feel uncomfortable or greasy, and it was very liquidy (which I actually like because it feels lighter). Unfortunately, it, too, was rejected by my skin and I got another couple of zits, this time on my forehead. Womp womp.

Clinique Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Face Cream

This sunscreen didn’t cause any breakouts, but it definitely left a white cast and was too heavy for my skin. It felt a little more like sunscreen for the body, and I just couldn’t stand that feeling on my face.

iS Clinical Extreme Protect SPF 30

This was another one that was way too thick for me. It is, however, fragrance-free and very mild, so I think it would be a great option for dry skin or for someone who likes a little added moisture in the winter.

The Mehs

Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Ultra-Sheer Daily Defense SPF30

I liked this sunscreen well enough, but I felt like it didn’t play well under makeup. By the end of the day, my skin felt oilier than usual and my makeup broke up in a couple of places it usually doesn’t. Although I liked that this didn’t leave a white cast, didn’t feel heavy, and didn’t break me out, I don’t think it will work for my everyday needs.

Vichy Ideal Soleil SPF 50

This is a pretty lightweight liquid, and it seemed to sink in fairly well. No breakout problems which is a plus, but it did leave a bit of a white cast. Not a total deal-breaker, but it wasn’t my favorite.

Chanel UV Essentiel SPF 20

This was very lightweight, did not leave a white cast, and sunk into my skin fairly quickly. The two things that keep this off of my love list, though, is that it has a pretty strong fragrance that lingers even after applying makeup and that it is so expensive for so little product.

Shiseido Urban Environment Oil-Free UV SPF 42

Similar to the Chanel, this wore very well on all counts; I just wasn’t a fan of the cost versus how much product you get.

Cane + Austin Protect SPF 50+

This one left a white cast on my face and took a little longer to sink into the skin than some of the other brands. Otherwise, it didn’t feel too heavy or break me out.

Clinique Super City Block SPF 40

I didn’t feel like this one was too heavy, it didn’t leave an obvious white cast, and it didn’t break me out. However, it did seem to make my skin feel greasier as the day wore on, and I found this to be true every time I wore it.

Tomorrow, I'll tell you all about the speciality sunscreens I tried, as well as the ones that got the honor of being my new favorites!

  • What sunscreens has your skin just not gotten along with?
  • Do you think higher-end sunscreen is worth it?