My Search for the Perfect Sunscreen: Part 2

The EPIC CONCLUSION! (OK, not really, lol.)
Publish date:
October 7, 2015
oily skin, Rodial, burt's bees, sunscreen, discoloration, Kiehl's, Josie Maran, DERMAdoctor

Part 1 of this little skincare adventure featured facial sunscreens that either didn't work for me at all or were good but not great. The concluding chapter will focus on specialty sunscreens that required longer testing and, finally, my favorites of the bunch.

Specialty Sunscreens

All three of these sunscreens tout added benefits, so I lumped them in a separate category and gave each of them a two-to-three-week trial.

DERMAdoctor Ain’t Misbehavin’ Skin Clarifying & Mattifying Sunscreen SPF 30

This sunscreen is specifically formulated to work well with oily and acne-prone skin as it contains ingredients not only geared towards sun protection but witch hazel to control acne. I ended up trying this after another sunscreen had broken me out and I did feel like my zits seemed to calm down more quickly (aside from one or two tenacious ones).

I found this a bit drying in areas, so while I liked the overall consistency (not watery but not too thick) and wear (didn’t feel heavy or leave a white cast) it didn’t make my “love list” because I didn’t feel like I could wear it every day without my skin getting irritated. I will definitely keep it on stand-by, though, for when my skin is being problematic.

Rodial X-treme Dark Spot Sun Filter SPF 30 and Dr Dennis Gross Dark Spot Sun Defense SPF 50

Since both of these claim to have sun protection and dark spot correcting properties, I gave them a three-week trial. In the interest of saving time, I applied one on one side of my face and one on the other side of my face for the duration of the trial since I have slight acne scaring on both sides of my face.

I had intended to do before and after photos, but there was no difference from start to finish in terms of the appearance of dark spots, so I didn’t think it would be useful. As far as general wear, I found both to be lightweight and comfortable on the skin. Both absorbed well and didn’t leave a white cast, but I found that my skin felt less greasy by the end of the day with the Dr. Dennis Gross formula.

The Winners!

Burt’s Bees Renewal Firming Day Lotion SPF 30

Initially, I thought this was going to be too heavy because it’s a pretty thick lotion. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it absorbed into the skin quickly, was non-greasy, and didn’t leave a white cast. It does have a fragrance to it, but it faded once I applied makeup. I didn’t feel like it made me any more oily than I usually am, which is a huge plus.

Kiehl’s Super Fluid UV Defense Sunscreen SPF 50+

I love how lightweight this sunscreen is! It absorbs quickly and doesn’t feel like I’m wearing anything. No white-cast or breakouts here either.

Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47

I find the SPF level on this to be oddly specific, but at any rate, this is my favorite of the bunch.

I already know that my skin and argan oil get along well, so I was excited to try this. It feels thick at first, but for some reason, once I get my makeup on, my skin actually doesn’t feel as oily as it usually does throughout the day. It definitely doesn't leave a white cast, and my skin just feels good when it’s on.

  • What is your favorite facial sunscreen? Any of the ones I tried?
  • Do you prefer to layer sunscreen over/under moisturizer or to use a moisturizer/sunscreen combo?
  • Has a sunscreen you doubted ever pleasantly surprised you?