Most of my readers and viewers are aware that I am wholly dedicated to sunscreen. I have been fairly diligent about wearing it daily since my university days, but now I will wear sunscreen even when I do not plan on leaving the house at all! A good broad-spectrum sunscreen is the best step toward the anti-aging campaign since it will protect you from wrinkles and sun spots as well as prevent any acne scars from darkening. I have tested so many sunscreens in the past year that I have lost count, but I am finally ready to share my top 5 picks!
Just to clear up any confusion, UVA rays may cause skin aging (like wrinkles) and UVB rays may cause sunburn (like a farmer's tan). Using a broad spectrum sunscreen with protect your skin from both kinds of sun damage! All the sunscreens featured here in this post will provide superior protection, but do try to reapply a powder with sunscreen every two hours if and when possible.
Now, let's begin with the first sunscreen! My favorite for low-maintenance or no makeup days is the Natura Bisse Diamond White Matte Finish Sun Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 50 PA+++ ($105 USD for 1.7 fl. oz.). This is the best daily-use matte sunscreen I have found that is permanently available in the US. I discussed the tinted DW Oil-Free CC version recently (here), but I prefer translucent, color-free sunscreen for more versatility. This Diamond White Matte sunscreen makes my skin feel so comfortable all day without looking oily or greasy. I also love the pump dispenser, so this has replaced my formerly beloved Dior DiorSnow UV sunscreen, which is now only offers UVB protection. Even though this sunscreen is pricey, I highly recommend giving it a try!
Sisley's Sunleÿa Sunscreen Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ is, by far, one of the most luxurious sunscreens on the market. According to Sisley, it employs a specific UVA/UVB filtering complex to offers very high protection as well as reinforce the skin's antioxidant defense system with a combination of plants, minerals, and vitamins to fight free radicals. Despite the sticker shock that may come with the price tag ($295 USD for 1.8 oz.), it is a truly lovely product. The delicate citrus fragrance and buttery smooth texture make the Sunleÿa sunscreen a pleasureful experience to apply. I save this one for days when I want to treat myself and feel my best! It is just as matte as Natura Bisse's and absorbs completely into the skin once dry.
The Clé de Peau UV Protection Cream SPF 50+ ($120 USD for 2.0 oz.) is a lovely sunscreen that is a lighter version of Sisley's Sunleÿa. The cream has a whipped feel that blends into the skin beautifully. I like to use this as my moisturizer + sunscreen in one, which is convenient on days when I'm short on time! The clean linen scent is refreshing, and the creamy yet lightweight formula balances my skin. It does not claim to control oil, but I never look greasy when I use this sunscreen. Cle de Peau is one of my favorite brands, and I find that their products suit sensitive skin well.
The latest addition to my arsenal is the EVE LOM Daily Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen PA++++ ($90 USD for 1.6 fl. oz.). This is best on days when my skin is feeling more dry or dehydrated, since the moisturizing formula evens out and plumps up my skin. This sunscreen imparts a glowing effect that I know many will enjoy, but do powder the T-zone if you have combination skin. This one feels more like a lotion than a sunscreen, so if you are looking for a moisturizer that can double up as a sunscreen, try this one!
When I wear a complete makeup look, I reach for the Equitance Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 36 ($30 for 0.98 fl. oz.). It works well as a foundation primer, so I can skip that extra step with this sunscreen. This sunscreen comes in a travel-friendly plastic bottle that fits into any purse or pocket, so I tote this one around as much as possible for reapplication (on bare-faced days). This sunscreen is enhanced with brightening and moisturizing ingredients, but I love most that it hydrates yet dries down quickly without resulting in dehydrated patches of skin around my nose or chin.
TEXTURE: The Equitance is the lightest of the five, with a slightly runny and watery formula that is easy to apply, while the creamiest of the five is Sisley.
FINISH: The most matte are the Natura Bisse and Sisley (pick whichever best suits your budget). Then Cle de Peau and Equitance. Eve Lom's is dewy.
BONUS: Here are my three favorite Asia-exclusive sunscreens. If you are traveling through Asia any time soon, grab these amazing products! My favorite is the Lancôme UV Expert XL-Shield SPF 50 PA+++ because it manages to keep my skin comfortable yet completely matte! On days I layer my SK-II toners and essences, I will skip moisturizer and use this one alone on hot days. If you have oily skin, live in a humid climate or if you simply prefer matte sunscreen, then try this. Note: Lancome's is more matte than NB's.
If you have dry skin, try the Biotherm UV Supra D-Tox SPF 50 PA+++ or the SK-II WS Dermdefinition UV Lotion SPF 50 PA+++. The Biotherm is more affordable and the packaging seems to vary by country, but I love the way it soothes my skin and leaves a naturally luminous yet non-greasy finish. It claims to detoxify the skin and protect against pollution. The SK-II is ideal if you suffer from dark spots since this formula is enriched with whitening agents. I adore that it moisturizes but leaves a silky smooth, semi-matte finish.
MY HG SUNSCREENS
BOTTOM LINE: You can find quality sunscreens at any budget, but I love the sunscreens featured here most because they feel wonderful on the skin and do not cause acne or excess blockage of pores!