BROWN GIRL FRIENDLY SPFS
Living in South Florida, the sun is an unavoidable entity. It constantly mocks our knowledge of what the "seasons" are, and beams with its summer-like rays year-round. Wearing SPF is becoming increasingly important to me, as I'm 25, and mother nature will begin being cruel towards me in the coming years.
Do I like wearing SPF? Honestly, no. Do I use it every day? No, but I know I should.
I'm a huge fan of Renèe from Gothamista, and while watching one of her videos on SPF, there is something she said that truly resonated with me- and I'm paraphrasing here: "the best SPF is the one you will actually wear".
With this in mind, and the lack variety of SPFs in the American market, I've gravitated towards the Asian market for answers, where I've found some of my favorite SPFs.
I am not an expert on the subject, but here are some favorites that have worked for me.
Things to note:
-In the US, sunscreens can be described as "broad spectrum", while in Asia, they will be labeled as PA+ (the strength of protection can be reflected in up to 4 pluses)
-SPF: Protects against UVB rays, ie: Sunburns - surface damage.
-PA+ : Protects against UVA rays, ie: photo-aging, hyper-pigmentation and collagen loss. UVA rays penetrate deeper into the skin, making their effects more long lasting.
1. Missha All Around Safe Block Essence Sun Milk SPF50+/PA+++ : $18 for 40ml
Incredibly hydrating, making it perfect for those with dry skin like me, yet light weight enough for those with oily skin. Its milky essence-like gel texture leaves NO white cast and it's a breeze to apply. It also contains plant extracts such as Golden Root, Guava Leaf, Chinchona, Verbena and Aloe Vera, which is a complex meant to strengthen skin's barrier against UV rays and pollution - all while keeping the skin smooth, soothed and hydrated.
This has to be my favorite SPF ever, as it is the one I ACTUALLY want to use.
Pros: High amount protection of PA+++, no white cast & hydrating.
Cons: Contains alcohol (many Asian SPFs contain alcohol, which gives them their fantastic "grease free" texture and finish. Although I have sensitive skin, I have never been irritated by the use of any Asian SPF). Chemical SPF only.
2. Dr. Jart+ Every Sun Day UV Sun Fluid Broad Spectrum SPF 30 : $34 for 100ml
Only slightly heavier than the Missha Sun Milk, while still being incredibly light weight and perfect for all skin types. It protects against UV rays and pollutants.
Pros: NO white cast, hydrating, easily available in the US, & relatively inexpensive.
Cons: Alcohol (in much lower percentages than the Missha Sun Milk)
3. Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion WetForce SPF 50+ : $40 for 100ml *
Shares many of the benefits of the previously mentioned SPFs, however, its Wet Force Technology makes it perfect for those hot and steamy summer days. Upon producing sweat or when in contact with water, the Wet Force formula activates, boosting the UV protection. It's also a fantastic primer for makeup, as it leaves the skin feeling smooth and its almost pore-filling.
Active Ingredients: VOBENZONE 2.5%, OCTINOXATE 4.9%, OCTOCRYLENE 5.0%, OXYBENZONE 3.0%
Pros: With the new formula- NO white cast, lightweight, hydrating, Wet Force technology.
4. Glossier Invisible Shield Daily Sunscreen SPF 35 : $25 for 30ml
A clear and gel-like formula that leaves NO white cast. It also protects against pollutants with its fermented yeast and vegetable extract, while its antioxidant complex of Vitamin E, P, Broccoli and Aloe Leaf help neutralize free-radicals.
Active ingredients: Avobenzone 3%, Homosalate 6%, and Octisalate 5%
Pros: NO white cast, light weight.
Cons: Added fragrance of sweet orange peel oil.
*To get 20% off your 1st Glossier purchase, you can use my affiliate link below*
5. Sonne Morning Natural Daily Defense Moisturizer - Broad Spectrum SPF 30 + Antioxidants : $45 for 30ml duo of Morning & Evening Treatments (2 products) *
The first and only physical / mineral sunscreen I have tried that does not leave a white cast on my tan skin.
Unlike the previously mentioned SPFs, this sunscreen provides physical protection rather than chemical, which means it creates a barrier that prevents UV rays from ever penetrating the skin through the use of minerals such as zinc and titanium oxide. Due to the zinc, it is not as transparent and lightweight as the others, however, it is the lightest physical sunscreen I have ever tried.
Active Ingredients: Zinc Oxide 13.5%
Pros: Relatively lightweight, physical protection from UV rays
Cons: A subscription is needed to purchase, and its required to be purchased along with another product. Hopefully Sonne makes this item available for purchase individually, as it is fantastic! Find more about the brand / purchasing options here.
So there it is! After much trial and error, these are the SPFs friendly enough for my tan/brown skin tone - leaving no white cast, and easy enough for daily use.
I'd love to hear your favorite picks and recommendations!
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*Disclaimer: The items marked with an " * " are PR gifted.