Sorry - I know it's Winter and it might seem strange to be on the topic of sunscreen, but as the (ahem) 'experts' say you should wear it rain or shine! I'm on the hunt for a physical only sunscreen, since I'm a little leery of what chemical sunscreens will do to my skin in the long run. Here are 2 that I tested out last Summer and Fall...
Replenix Sheer Physical Sunscreen SPF50+, $38/4oz. I bought mine from dermstore.com, but it's available from many online retailers.
From dermstore.com, described as:
An oil-free spray sunscreen with a clear finish to protect sensitive and acne-prone skin...hydrates and shields the skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Green tea polyphenols, vitamin C and Co-Q10 prevent free radicals from causing damage. Features a 360-degree bottle to turn and spray at any angle.
Rather than spraying directly on my face, I'd spray into my hand and then apply with my fingers. For my skintone, this did leave a clear finish, with no discernible white cast as some other physical sunscreens can leave. It comes out of the bottle with a slight creamy color. And be sure to shake it up before application (you'll be able to hear it being mixed up).
It spreads easily over the face and does not feel heavy, but it does take a good 10-15 minutes or so to finally dry down. Even then I still needed powder to keep from looking shiny. Eh, okay it's not so much shiny...just very, very satiny...too satiny to look normal. If you are normal leaning toward the dry side you will probably need an additional moisturizer underneath. It made my oilier areas neither more or less oily.
Replenix Sheer Physical Sunscreen SPF50+, taken in bright indoor light. Right side is sheered out.
I love that this sunscreen has other ingredients to help prevent damage. I didn't get any color while using this and my hypopigmentation spots didn't get any worse - both very good things!! Also, while $38 might seem a bit pricey at first please keep in mind that is for a whopping 4oz of product.
After several months of use, I learned one of the ingredients - cyclopentasiloxane - clogs me, so I no longer use this on my face. I'll finish the bottle up on my body over this year, and plan on repurchasing for future body sunscreen.
Replenix Sheer Physical Sunscreen SPF50+ ingredients:
Zinc Oxide 12%, Ascorbic Acid, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Biotin, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Polyphenols, Cetyl PEG/PPG 10/1 Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Emblica Officinalis Fruit Extract, Glyceryl Isostearate, Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate, Phenoxyethanol, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Purified Water, Resveratrol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ubiquinone (Coenzyme Q-10)
SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense Sunscreen SPF50, $32/1.7oz. I bought mine from dermstore.com, but it is available from many other retailers (both online and brick and mortar). Please note the size of this container. Though I knew I was only buying 1.7oz, it didn't really hit me until I saw the size of the bottle!! It seems so small - maybe it's the design of the bottle??
From dermstore.com, this sunscreen:
...combats photo-damage as it provides protection from broad-spectrum UVA/UVB rays in a weightless formula. The silky fluid texture immediately absorbs into the skin, instantly building resistance to heat and the sun. Color-infused technology enhances all skin tones, producing a healthier and more radiant appearance.
I read many reviews that said this slightly stung upon application. I wouldn't say it stung, but it does barely tingle for a few moments - doesn't hurt...I just notice it's different. Like the Replenix it applies easily and does not feel heavy. At first glance this does appear to have a tint, but for my skintone it doesn't provide any coverage and instead ensures there is not even a hint of white cast.
This takes slightly less time then the Replenix to dry down (approximately 10-15 min), and I do need a bit of powder afterward...though the finish is slightly less satiny than the Replenix. Be sure to shake well before application.
SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense Sunscreen SPF50, indoor bright light. Right side is blended out.
SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense Sunscreen SPF50, outdoor light. Right side is blended out.
Normal skins should be fine with this alone, but drier types will probably need an additional moisturizer underneath. I find this makes my oilier areas a bit more oily and I need to blot more often. On the plus side this did not break me out!! Yay!! And same as the Replenix...I did not get any color while using this and my hypopigmentation spots did not get any worse. Another yay!!
Compared to the Replenix Sheer Physical, I wish this one had more antioxidants and other protection. I also like the simpler ingredient list of the Replenix so if it didn't irritate my skin I think I'd prefer it over SkinCeuticals? I don't know...it's almost a toss up considering I get no color or pigmentation with either of them!! Overall, I think these are 2 really fantastic physical sunscreen choices if you haven't found one yet or are looking to test some out.
SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense Sunscreen SPF50 ingredients:
5% Zinc Oxide, 6% Titanium Dioxide. Water, Dimethicone, Isododecane, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Undecane, Triethylhexanoin, Isohexadecane, Nylon-12, Capylyl Methicone, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Phencythl Benzoate, Styrene/acrylates Copolymer, Silica, Tridecane, Dicapylyl, Carbonate, Dicapylyl Ether, Talc, Dimethicone/PEG-10-15 Crosspolymer, Aluminum Stearate, Pentylene Glycol, Peg-9 Polydeimthcylsiloxyethnyld Iethicone, Alumina, Polyhyroxystearaic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Magnesium Sulfate, Capylyl Glycol, Iron Oxides, PEG-8 Laurate, Disteradimonium Hectorite, Triethoxycapylylsilane, Tocopherol, Propylenen Carbonate, Artemia Extract, Benzoic Acid, C9-15 Flouroalcohol Phosphate, Peg-9, D46941/2