This is a very thick sunscreen. I have dry skin but find this too greasy in summer. It might be ok in winter while skiing. Also, this contains nano zinc, I believe. I like though that it is so natural otherwise; it contains no silicones etc.
ACTIVE INGREDIENTS titanium dioxide (8.5%), zinc oxide (3.5%)
INGREDIENTS soybean oil, safflower oil, beeswax, olive oil, avocado oil, jojoba oil, alumina, stearic acid, apricot kernel oil, glycerin, vitamin E, sunflower oil, gingko biloba extract, oat kernel extract, green tea leaf extract, chamomile extract, raspberry seed oil, natural green tea fragrance
Solar to Polar Ultra is a very thick, unctuous paste; difficult to squeeze out of the locally manufactured, recyclable aluminum tube (for convenience, Vive Sana offers an alternative plastic tube). It is obviously as the ingredients lists suggests: powdered titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, micronised but coated, mixed into vegetable oils—no water, no fillers. The scent is very minimal. It liquefies as you rub it in, akin to the queer moist-matte texture of antiperspirant, and the white cast disappears. At this point, it feels like a barrier cream; for that reason, I would hesitate to recommend this for oilier skin, but my dry skin appreciates its moisturizing properties (I am not a candidate for a matte sunblock). If you're not dry, it's going to feel like grease on top of grease, but I feel these are the drawbacks of all physical sunblocks. In the summer, it imparts a dewy sheen that requires a dusting of powder, but in cooler weather, the finish is much more matte. These oils are rich in vitamin E, boosted by green tea, oat, gingko, and raspberry; a good sunscreen should integrate antioxidants with its filters. Because of its high percentage of zinc oxide, the same active ingredient in diaper cream, an unexpected bonus is that Vive Sana does a neat job calming irritated, inflamed, sensitive skin. You can even use it around your eyes and onto your lips without fear.
There's a trick to the application. Don't slap it on willy nilly; it's a concentrated formula. Squeeze out a little at a time; I find it useful to decant into a smaller pot. I go with tiny dabs. Then rub. Layer more as needed. It seems laborious, but truth be told, Anthélios requires just as much rubbing into the skin. It helps to apply on clean skin, since it's already emollient. Finally, since this product is designed to repel water (beeswax), to stand up to swimming and sport, so you may wish to remove thoroughly with a muslin cloth or cleansing oil. A regular cleanser has worked fine for me. One tube lasts a long time, so it's more economical than it seems at first, going further than a similarly priced sunscreen from Shiseido.
The Baby version, with SPF 42, is very similar in formulation. But it's subtly creamier, easier to spread onto the skin, with better absorption. So while I like the Ultra, I prefer Solar to Polar Baby. It's more comfortable in texture. continued >>