Here’s the FINALE of our sunscreen battle. Enjoy and share your thoughts in the comments section!
Hi John, I have finally got through all the sunscreen posts great read! I went home immediately and starting looking through the ingredients of all my sunscreens and realised they were all organic. As far as inorganic sunscreens I have one question, is there an ideal minimum % of zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide that needs to be present in the sunscreen? is it the higher the % the better or not necessarily? Thanks
Thanks for reading through all that!
Unfortunately, there is no minimum % because both ZnO and TiO2 are influenced by many factors, as I documented in part III of the series. And because I don’t trust SPF ratings (though they are regulated by the FDA), even if they were completely accurate, SPF ratings don’t tell me how much UVA protection is provided. Therefore, it really is just smarter and more prudent to go with formulations that have high SPF ratings AND high %s of inorganic UV filters. Does that make sense?
thanks John, i’ll just have a look at some of your recommendations on the blog.
Sounds good. Let me know if you have additional questions.
And Hurray for multiple comments in a row. It isn’t even that I have a tan (ergh…tanning…yet another stupid thing people do…) that I don’t want to ruin…I’m pretty pale anyway. I don’t mind being pale, I just mind looking like a ghost (or like I’ve seen a ghost)…and I think it makes me look like I’m nervous and/or sick.
Yes I understand this as well. I’m fairly pale too (about NC20), but with my Shiseido sunscreen I’m like lighter than NC15, and there’s a strange pink-grey whitecast. It looks a bit like geisha makeup and I’m not a huge fan of that. Haha. But I’m really loving the EltaMD SPF 47, that I mentioned in the post. It has less of a white cast, and is not quite as transfer-resistant. And the price is right!
Have you any recommendations for normal to oily skin for SPF 15-30, WITHOUT a white cast? I’ve tried these from Paula’s Choice:
The Essential Non-Greasy Sunscreen SPF 15 feels greasy to me…once it soaks in it feels sticky, and the sunscreen SMELL is too strong.
The Pure Mineral Sunscreen SPF 15 leaves a white cast that is too strong.
The RESIST Cellular Defense Daily Moisturizer with SPF 25 & Antioxidants felt too thick and was still leaving a whitish cast, just not as strong as the other one.
Do you mean just inorganic sunscreens? Or organic ones as well? Because the Essential Non-Greasy SPF 15 is of the latter group. Let me know.
Well my inorganic sunscreen recommendations would be anything on the list in the FutureDerm article. Mind you, the Shiseido sunscreen is quite “white” so that’s out of the question. But the others aren’t so bad. But if you’re looking for an organic sunscreen, though I clearly think iOSs are better than OSs, Olay makes a few that are relatively cheap (about the same price as PC products), while providing excellent photoprotection via both sunscreen and non-sunscreen ingredients. Here are two that look quite promising:
They both provide good UVA protection with the inclusion of 3% avobenzone, which is stabilized by octocrylene (and oxybenzone, in the case of the latter). And Olay is smart enough to not include oxtinoxate, so the avobenzone isn’t meaningfully compromised in terms of photostability. I believe both of them also contain beneficial ingredients such as peptides, carnosine, green tea, and niacinamide!
However, please note that I have never tried these myself, as I prefer iOSs (clearly), so I can’t comment on the sunscreen smell or the presence or lack of a white cast.
Also, if you’re still interested in trying something from Paula’s Choice, I’ve heard good report of using the RESIST SPF 30 Hand Cream as a facial sunscreen. It’s a decent inorganic sunscreen, though I wish the UV filter contents were a little higher. But it’ll do.
Let us know how those work for you if you decide to try them!
Thanks! From your articles, I have to agree that iOSs are probably better…I just wish I could get over the white cast in so many of them. I may just go for something tinted but I also don’t really like wearing foundation. Picky, picky…
Yes I completely understand. Try the ones I suggested. Perhaps they’ll work better!
Yargh, I keep changing the name I’m using…I’m “ladyisla” also; the autofill changes it back and forth…
Fortunately, your email is always the same so I know it’s you!
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