Six Sunscreens That Won’t Eat Your Face

Nothing makes me more irritable than a skincare product that uses the words “nourish” and “protect” when the results seem to be “search and destroy.”
Publish date:
August 5, 2013
shoppables, healthy, beauty products, sunscreen, spf, face, summer style

In the thread for the post I did recently on colored hair powder, a thread started among you that you wanted advice for sunscreens that wouldn’t eat your face. I jumped at the chance to help because, well, that’s what I do for you lovelies here at xoJane, and I also grapple with sunscreens that don’t irritate, blind or otherwise try to consume the flesh off my face while protecting me from the sun’s harmful rays.

Like you, I’m always trying to find a product that can do some good for my skin without taking some skin along with it. Nothing makes me more irritable than a skincare product that uses the words “nourish” and “protect” when the results seem to be “search and destroy.” Rashes, allergic reactions, harsh chemicals and the like? Yeah, not a fan.

What I tried to do with this roundup of my favorite six sunscreens that won’t (literally) burn you is give a wide range of ingredients. All of them contain the safest mineral sunscreens on the market: zinc oxide, titanium dioxide or both. I tried to give you as much information without sounding like Bill Nye the Science Guy, but you have to know the ingredients to know which ones really WON’T hurt you. Here are my suggestions:

Skinceuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen

Skinceuticals products are always easy to recommend: They do exactly what say they’ll do. The benefits of this sunscreen are endless: weightless, 100% physical, water-resistant up to 40 minutes, broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection using transparent titanium dioxide and zinc oxide (Z-Cote®). It even uses a plankton extract to help increase your skin’s resistance to UV and radiation stress (the sun’s heat = radiation). But, the real kicker is that it won’t turn darker skin tones into Casper the Ghost: It has color-infused technology that works with your own skin color for a gorgeous glow, rather than a strange, ghostly cast. It’s also paraben-free and non-comedogenic.

Alba Botanica Hawaiian Green Tea Sunscreen SPF 45

For those looking for a certified natural sunscreen, this product meets that criteria due to its ingredients and minimal processing. It uses green tea to provide your skin with antioxidant protection against sun damage, it feels amazing (there’s aloe vera in there), and your skin feels better after using it (plus it SMELLS good, which is a rare sunscreen treat.) It isn’t greasy, is water resistant, has great UVA/UVB protection, and is paraben free.

Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer SPF 50

Anyone who has had to turn to Cetaphil due to sensitivity to other skin products will love their amazing sunscreen with the same harm-free formula. Dermatologists love the brand for their non-comedogenic, non-greasy, fragrance free products, and this SPF 50 broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen helps protect in the same manner as their other products cleanse and moisturize. It’s lightweight and helps to hydrate your skin while it protects it from the sun’s harmful rays.

Perricone MD Photo Plasma

I’m a firm believer in buying the best formula moisturizer you can afford, and this one meets some high standards. It’s oil-free, offers broad-spectrum SPF 30 protection while it delivers powerful anti-aging benefits. In other words, it helps protect against further lines and damage while it helps smooth and nourish the lines and damage that’s already been done without using parabens, phthalates and/or sulfates. It does contain Zinc Oxide.

Desert Essence Organics Mineral Sunscreen SPF 35

Those who love mineral makeup will love this NSF Certified Organic sunscreen that delivers broad-spectrum UVA/UVB SPF 35 protection using Zinc Oxide. It’s also packed with Vitamin E and organic pomegranate and aloe vera extracts to feed and moisturize your skin while it protects it from the sun’s harmful rays.

Yes to Cucumbers Natural Sunscreen SPF 30

This predominately natural sunscreen offers broad-spectrum SPF 30 protection is also water resistant for up to 40 minutes, and can be used on both your face and your body (consolidation of beach bag space!) It’s hypoallergenic and contains no petroleum, SLS and/or Parabens.

So, let’s get away from all the product specifics and chat below. Did I miss your favorite sunscreen that won’t eat your face? Have you tried one of the sunscreens above and love it or hate it? Let’s throw some light (or shade) on the subject below: