You all know that I love hair products (my curly hair blog is here). I also love skincare… but sometimes my skin doesn’t. So, I went on a ‘sensitive skin’ sunscreen search and after many breakouts and rashes, I found THE WINNER. Here’s how it went…
Sensitive Skin is a STRUGGLE 🙅
Everytime I go to the dermatologist, she reminds me of the importance of sunscreen use EVERYDAY. I know, I know—every single day? Is that necessary? Yes, yes it is. Many people get surprised when they burn on an overcast day in the summer, but it’s a testament to why you should wear sunscreen as often as you can. Even in the winter the sun’s rays are extremely strong. Sunscreen is the most important part of your skincare for aging, burns, and protection from skin cancer.
BUT everytime I went to the dermatologist, I had the same problem with sunscreen for my face—I couldn’t find one that didn’t break me out, or cause some kind of reaction or rash. I wanted to find a drugstore sunscreen I could use on my face regularly that fit my criteria, and I know many people struggle with this too, so…cue drumroll…
I TRIED 10 OF THEM! When I eventually counted the number of different products I tried I was a little shocked. I didn’t plan on needing to try so many to find the right one. 9 of them were drugstore options and 1 was a higher end sunscreen, and here’s what I found out.
First of all, here’s some quick facts about sunscreen. There are two different kinds: chemical and physical. You can also buy a combination of the two called ‘combination sunscreens’ (I know, very clever 😄). Chemical sunscreens absorb the sun’s rays, and physical sunscreens deflect them. You want to find one labeled as ‘broad spectrum’ which means it protects against UVA and UVB light.
Chemical sunscreens are shown to be more irritating on sensitive skin, and they also degrade when they come in contact with the sun so you really REALLY need to reapply them. But, they have no visible cast (physical sunscreen tends to leave a white/purplish mask on the skin, which is essentially the barrier it’s creating from the sun). Okay that was a lot of info! If you want to know more about chemical and physical sunscreen click here!
…Back To The Test 📝
So, I quickly found out that my face doesn’t like any kind of chemical sunscreen on it—so this lessened options considerably. Pure chemical sunscreens were out of the picture.
I switched to sensitive options that were combination sunscreens because I really wanted to eliminate dealing with the cast from physical sunscreens. I tried products with half and half chemical to physical ingredients. No good. I eventually started trying combination formulas with only one chemical filter and still my face rebelled.
So I moved on to pure physical sunscreen thinking that it would be much easier to find one that worked (because physical sunscreens are better for sensitive skin). Nope, it wasn’t easy. Most physical formulas are a combination of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide and every single one I tried made my face break out around my mouth and other random parts of my face. I tried gel formulas, I tried moisturizing formulas, cream formulas, you name it I tried it.
The Winner! 🏆
I almost gave up until I went to the store with my mom and she saw one. It was pure zinc oxide protection and it was labeled for the face. I hadn’t tried one with only zinc oxide (which gives both UVA and UVB protection) so I bought it. It was only $4 and there was two ounces in the bottle so, if I did like it, it was very affordable!
Annnnnnnd…I love it!! I finally found the sunscreen that doesn’t have a huge cast (it has a small cast, I don’t mind it, and it works great under makeup!) and that doesn’t break me out! It’s noncomedogenic, fragrance free, paraben free, and water resistant. The winner is Coppertone Pure and Simple SPF 50 for face! It’s very easy to blend onto the face as well, and it doesn’t pill up at all.
Try It Out! 👍
If you’ve been having trouble finding a good sunscreen for your face (they also have a formula for the body!), I highly recommend it! The odds are very low that this sunscreen will be irritating to skin because of the care they put into the formula. Out of all the popular drugstore brands and even the higher end brand that I tried it’s the ONLY ONE that works for me. And at $4 for two ounces I couldn’t be happier with the price!
Stay safe in the sun! 🌞