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Wearing sunscreen daily is the #1 best thing you can do to prevent wrinkles, so naturally I slather my face in sunscreen every morning (it helps prevent cancer too of course, but I’m vainer than I’d like to admit), under my make-up. I haven’t reviewed sunscreens in a while – here’s what I’ve been trying lately and what I thought.
Cetaphil Suntivity Liposomal Lotion SPF 50+
This sunscreen from dermatologist-faves Cetaphil has a surprisingly light texture, at a middling price of $20.99 for 100 mL. “Cosmetically elegant” sunscreens (i.e. formulations that don’t feel like you’ve slathered your face in greasepaint) are more common now, though they’re still not as easy to find as I’d like! Interestingly, this isn’t actually Cetaphil’s lightest sunscreen – they also have an Ultra-Light Lotion that’s also SPF 50+, and a Hydrating Lotion and Liposomal Spray that’s SPF 30+.
After much searching I found the following inactive ingredient list for the liposomal lotion here, provided after a redditor asked customer service:
Active Ingredients: Octyl Methoxycinnamate 75 mg/g, Isoamyl Methoxycinnamate 75 mg/g, Bemotrizinol 50 mg/g, Octyltriazone 50 mg/g, Methylene Bisbenzotriazoyl Tetramethylbutylphenol 30 mg/g, Butylmethoxydibenzoylmethane 25mg/g
Inactive Ingredients (?): Dicaprylyl Maleate, Ethanol, Cetyl Phosphate, Triethanolamine, All-Rac-Alpha-Tocopherol, Sorbitol, Lecithin, Aloe Barabdensis Gel 4), Carbomer 980, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone 350, Methyl Parahydroxybenzoate, Propyl Parahydroxybenzoate, Water Purified Ad
It doesn’t look complete though, and has a few typos, so I’m not sure how accurate it is. It really annoys me that full ingredients list aren’t required for sunscreens in Australia. I understand that it’s good for them to be able to protect their trade secrets so they can invest more into sunscreen research without jacking up sunscreen price, but it’s so much easier to guess if a sunscreen is likely to break you out or suit your skin type if you have an ingredients list to work off.
The texture of this sunscreen is a little sticky, but it sinks in pretty quickly and the stickiness can be easily fixed by setting it with some translucent powder. It’s broad spectrum (which means UVA protection is 1/3 of the SPF, no other UVA protection indications), 4 hours water resistant and fragrance-free. The only real issue I have with this sunscreen is the packaging – the container is quite rigid and the sunscreen comes out of a little hole at the top. I can see myself having to take a saw to this when I run low!
- Pros: broad spectrum, 4 hours water resistant, pleasant texture, fragrance-free (if you’re sensitive)
- Cons: incomplete ingredients listing, no exact UVA protection rating, difficult to get the last of the sunscreen out of the packaging, a bit sticky
Elucent Anti-Ageing Day Moisturiser SPF 50+
Like with Cetaphil, there’s no official inactive ingredients listing available for this moisturiser, and it’s only available in Australia so there aren’t any sneaky overseas listing we can refer to. Like the rest of Elucent’s anti-ageing line (such as Elucent Anti-Ageing Serum that I reviewed earlier) it contains AHAs, at 4%. Additionally, there’s niacinamide and vitamin E, though the actual amounts are unknown. The texture is quite sticky but sinks in with some rubbing. I really like the hygienic and convenient pump packaging, and in terms of protection it’s broad spectrum and SPF 50+. Unfortunately, it’s moderately pricey at $42.39 for 95 mL, so I wouldn’t recommend this if you’re looking for a straightforward sunscreen, though if you’re after a multitasker this is a good option.
Active Ingredients (% w/w): Bemotrizinol 2.15, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane 2.9, Methylene Bis-Benzotriazolyl Tetramethylbutylphenol 1.5, Octyl Methoxycinnamate 8.0.
- Pros: broad spectrum, contains AHAs, niacinamide and vitamin E, handy pump packaging, workable texture
- Cons: incomplete ingredients listing, no exact UVA protection rating, a bit sticky, on the pricey end
Alpha-H Protection Plus Daily SPF 50+
Alpha-H Protection Plus Daily’s formula has a pleasantly non-sticky texture that’s a bit of a relief after all the sticky sunscreens I’ve been trying. It dries matte and feels like a light moisturiser. The colour is lightly tinted but not very noticeably, so there’s minimal white cast (this might be different if you have dark skin, but it shouldn’t be too big a problem since there’s no titanium dioxide which is the main offender). It contains a few antioxidant ingredients like pomegranate and mango seed oils and pinus pinaster bark extract (enzogenol) on top of the sunscreening ingredients.
It comes with a full ingredients list (yay!), but it’s the priciest sunscreen in this batch, coming in at $62 for 50 mL in Australia (45€ in Europe), which is too much for me to use every day at the right amount, and sunscreen isn’t a product I want to be stingy with. (For some reason, the only version on Amazon is at an insane price. You’ll want to take a deep breath before clicking this link.)
Ingredients: Aqua, Octocrylene, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Benzophenone-3, Glyceryl Stearate, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Punica Granatum Seed Oil, Phenylbenzimidazole Sulphonic Acid, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hydroxide, Carbomer, Sorbitan Stearate, Pinus Pinaster Bark Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Disodium EDTA, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Methylisothiazolinone
- Pros: broad spectrum, contains antioxidants, awesome texture, full ingredients listing available
- Cons: no exact UVA protection rating, expensive
Sunsense Anti-Ageing Face Invisible Tint Matte SPF 50+
This Sunsense sunscreen is matte and tinted, and feels like a lightweight moisturiser. Much like the Elucent sunscreen, it contains 4% AHAs, niacinamide and vitamin E, which isn’t too surprising since they’re both made by Ego Pharmaceuticals, an Australian company based in Melbourne (they also make QV and Azclear and a few other brands too). The price is a middling $21.49 for 100 mL.
While this does go on quite matte, unfortunately it balls up a little on my bare skin, and when tinted sunscreens ball up it tends to concentrate the pigments, so I can’t really use it. I think it’ll work a lot better on less oily skin. I’ve tried the non-tinted version before and it works a lot better – even though it balls up a bit, it’s not very noticeable.
Active Ingredients: Bemotrizinol 2.5%, Octyl Methoxycinnamate 7.0%, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate 3.0%, Diazolidinylurea
- Pros: broad spectrum, contains AHAs, matte finish
- Cons: no exact UVA protection rating, incomplete ingredients listing, can ball up on oily skin into brown fibres
What’s your favourite facial sunscreen for everyday use?
These products were provided for review, which did not affect my opinion. This post also contains affiliate links – if you decide to click through and support Lab Muffin financially (at no extra cost to you), thank you! For more information, see Disclosure Policy.
Last updated: December 29, 2017 at 18:24 pm