beauty, product roundup

best suncare for 20-something skin

hi, friends!

i’m back with a product roundup and mini-review, this time talking all about my favorite sunscreens.  spring is here and summer is quickly approaching, and though we should all be using spf daily, i know that more people are cognizant of their skin and sun protection this time of year.

my skin type

just a reminder, i have dry, sensitive skin.  my biggest sensitivity trigger seems to be added fragrances, but all the products reviewed here i have used extensively with minimal to no sensitivity. some things i look for in skincare is lack of animal testing, lack of fragrance, suitability for sensitive skin, and minimal use of parabens/silicones/sulfates. not all the products here check all the boxes, but i’ll do my best to address this in each mini-review.

my favorite sunscreens for body

y’all, sunbum is the only sunscreen i use. i first heard of it when nordstrom was carrying it and i was working there, and it is a wonderful product. it’s a company in florida and all products are made in the states.  nowadays you can get it in a lot of big box retailers, including target, so it’s extremely accessible. i only use the spray-on versions after i’ve at least started the day off with a lotion — this is because in true old lady fashion, i don’t trust it — but i have used both at varying spf levels (usually spf 15 or 30, but will likely add 50 to the mix this summer) to great success. it’s easy to apply, smells amazing, and checks some major boxes: cruelty-free and vegan, paraben-free.  it does have fragrance, which is why i don’t use the regular formula on my face.  i’ve not yet tried their face stick, but have it on my list.  they also offer a cool down lotion that i like using after i’ve spent time in the sun that smells like summer and is very soothing.
cost per ounce: $2
total price: $15.99 for 8 oz

my favorite sunscreens for face

la prairie anti-aging day cream with spf 30
i have to say, this is among the most high-end skincare products i’ve ever used; i bought it as a set during the anniversary sale at nordstrom, so i got a great deal on it, but i ended up really liking it. i’ve since used it all and haven’t re-purchased, namely due to cost. however, i really believe in the two-in-one moisturizer/sunscreen product as a way to simplify the routine and make it easier to actually use spf. one day i will re-purchase this. it went on easily, was great under makeup, and was an overall solid product for me.
cost per ounce: $141
total price: $240 for 1.7 fl oz.

shiseido extra smooth sun protection lotion spf 38
i love the texture of this sunscreen; it’s got a low viscosity and therefore easy to apply, and it goes great under makeup or alone.  it doesn’t irritate my skin; i tend to use this when i’m not going to be wearing makeup – i wear it a lot when riding or other active, outdoor activities.
cost per ounce: $10
total price: $34 for 3.38 fl oz.

kiehl’s ultra facial moisturizer with sunscreen
this is a great moisturizer plus it has sun protection.  it goes great under makeup, and i find that it gives my skin a little extra glow that i really like.  non-irritating, but i will say that it’s not moisturizing enough for me to use alone, so i have to wear moisturizer underneath.  i’m going to try the kiehl’s ultra facial cream with spf 30 and am waiting for that to come in as my two-in-one moisturizer with spf product.  i think this would be a suitable two-in-one for someone with normal or oily skin.
cost per ounce: $8
total price: $21 for 2.5 fl oz.

shiseido sun protection eye cream
eye creams that contain spf can be hard to find, but having one that is formulated for the area around your eyes – which can be sensitive and is very delicate – is, in my opinion, important.  the eyes are the first to show signs of aging (and sun damage is the main cause of these signs), so protecting that skin from sun damage is important.  for me, this actually does quite well under makeup but leaves a faint white cast, so i tend to skip it and just my regular sunscreen if i’ve got to layer makeup over it.
cost per ounce: $65
total price: $32.50 for .5 fl oz.

laura mercier tinted moisturizer
one way to make sure you always have sunscreen on is to use makeup that contains it.  i have been using the laura mercier tinted moisturizer for years now, and love it.  it’s a great, lightweight foundation with a sheer coverage.  i love using it with laura mercier’s foundation primer in radiance, which always gets me compliments due to the subtle glow it gives my skin.  obviously this won’t cut it for an extended period of time, but i’ve always felt that at the bare minimum, my makeup can contain spf and i’m at least doing something to prevent sun damage.
cost per ounce: $26
total price: $44 for .5 fl oz.

products i’m looking to try

mineral sunscreens
if y’all aren’t familiar, mineral sunscreens are basically a physical sunblock versus a chemical one.  they are good for more sensitive skin, and are generally considered better for your health as they have fewer harsh chemicals.  i purchased one from juice beauty to use on days when i’m going to spend a lot of time in the sun and won’t need makeup, although i’m definitely going to test drive it under makeup to see how it does.  i also plan to purchase the supergoop mineral sunscreen powder as a way to reapply sunscreen over makeup (it’s currently backordered so i’m waiting for it to arrive).

paula’s choice
if you haven’t heard of paula’s choice, let me fill you in.  paula’s choice is an affordable skincare line dedicated to offering cruelty-free, fragrance-free, and effective products.  they’ve got a huge assortment of products suitable for all skin-types.  they’re also the geniuses behind the site beautypedia, which is a very helpful resource if you’re looking to research specific products or to find in-depth reviews from experts on some of the most popular skincare brands.  i recently ordered this product to use as a daytime moisturizer to make sure i’ve got my sunscreen in case i want to go without makeup or with a makeup that lacks sun protection.


y’all don’t forget that hats make a great extra layer of protection for your face!  and they’re cute, so it’s win-win!

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