I've tried Asian sunscreens like Biore Milk that were matte and thin- but broke me out because of the alcohols.
I've tried physical sunscreens like Elta MD and Cetaphil that didn't break me out- but were greasy, left a white cast, and balled up under makeup on my NW40 skin.
Kiss My Face SPF 50 is the only sunscreen I've tried that performs in both categories. It's not quite as thin as the milk sunscreens, but it's pretty viscous and it doesn't leave a bad white cast.
It can be a little oily but it sets easily with powder- no balling up under makeup for me (I wear liquid foundation, idk if that makes a difference).
This sunscreen isn't HG because it can still be a little oily but I'll take it because it's inexpensive and it doesn't break me out. It also does its job, because I'm noticing some of my dark marks fading now that I've been consistently using this.
Overall, I don't know if I'll ever find a perfect sunscreen but this is as close it gets for me. It doesn't break me out and it does what it's supposed to do, so I like it and I'd rebuy it unless I found something even more matte.
HG! *happy dance*
I have been searching for a relatively inexpensive non-tinted daily sunscreen/moisturiser for a few years and tried the basics from Neutrogena to Olay to Yes to Carrots. The chemical components in all of those burned my eyes, especially when sweating during workouts. Tried this based on Paula's recommendation and voila!
* reasonable price
* handy tube packaging
* no fragrance or heavy sunscreen odor
* sinks in well
* plays well with other serums, creams, and makeup - no pilling or rolling off!
* no burning eyes
* 30 spf + antioxidants
Will always pick up a few tubes of this whenever I hit the states. Please never discontinue this!
Finally, I've found my HG facial sunscreen. I am a very fair person and it was really important to me to find a good sunscreen for my face. I had tried ThinkSport, Neutrogena, and countless others. They either irritated my skin or were way too greasy for everyday use.
This one is perfect. It rubs in very easily and doesn't leave a whitecast (although I'm so pale that it really wouldn't be a problem, lol). There's a slight typical sunscreen-y smell but it quickly fades away. My face is a little shiny after I put this on but it's nowhere near as bad as other sunscreens, and I find that the shininess eventually fades away. It also makes my face feel so nice and smooth which I love. I haven't experienced any breakouts from this product.
It's a little pricey for how much you're getting. The tube isn't that big, but I bought it for around $9 on Amazon so it's definitely affordable at least.
Anyways, this is definitely my HG. I will definitely keep on repurchasing.
UPDATE 1-11-15: Still my HG face sunscreen. :) I really do feel like it helps to protect my skin and I love how moisturizing it is. It's very easy to rub in and spreads really well. Sometimes in the morning I just skip my usual facial moisturizer and put this on instead.
This is for the product in the updated packaging, an orange tube. I bought this at Whole Foods. First of all, I really like the ingredients of this: a good amount of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, along with Vitamin C + E, Green Tea extract, Aloe Vera, Cucumber, Hyaluronic Acid, which are top quality ingredients and at a fair price. This SS doesn't irritate my sensitive skin, which is a huge plus for me, since I've noticed if my skin doesn't like something it will get red, blotchy, pores will get bigger, etc. This leaves it looking good.
The main con with this is that, like many physical SS that are actually doing anything at all, it is whitening. I find that I have to use less in order to make my face less white because I can't be going around with a geisha face. On the other hand, I do feel protected because it is so white; I've tried SS with ZincClear and I got more pigmentation so I don't feel those work as well.
I have to make sure to blend it well but it dries down quickly and isn't greasy or sticky. It actually has a good amount of slip and is easy to apply. I find it more usable than most other physical SS I've tried, Neutrogena Sensitive/Pure & Free SPF 60, Burnout (too drying), Coppertone Waterbabies, many others. I'm still figuring out what MU to wear over this, so far a slightly darker foundation has worked well. If you're expecting something completely cosmetically elegant you might be disappointed, however I like this for the quality ingredients, protection, and ease of application. Price -pretty good value, $17 for 3 oz. If it were any higher I wouldn't be as inclined to repurchase.
I love this stuff. I have combination skin that is VERY acne prone so there is a fine line between clear skin and zits galore. This moisturizer does leave my face dewy but it is very moisturizing and I love the way it makes my skin look and feel. I call this my liquid gold. Paula's choice put this as 'best of the best' for 2014; it is loaded with antioxidants (think wrinkle prevention) and provides plenty of SPF protection for my fair skin. There is NO scent and NO white cast like usual sunscreens cause. This would probably be too much for people with oily skin, but combination skin would benefit from this. I definitely recommend this to those that are struggling with finding a good moisturizer with SPF protection.
Edit: this stuff was way too oily for me and left my skin sticky. Never again. Not good for oily skin!
A wonderful face sunscreen. I alternate between this and Paula's Choice RESIST Super Light Wrinkle Defense SPF 30. The Kiss My Face sunscreen is about half the price of Paula's, but they definitely both have their merits. The KMF sunscreen is unscented, non-irritating, smooth, creamy, and does not leave a white cast or greasy finish. It isn't as matte or as drying as the PC one, nor does it have the tint so this is good for days when I want a more dewy look. I wish this came in a tinted version, but it's still awesome!
I have very sensitive dry skin and this is just perfect. It has quite a thick texture which is moisturising without looking greasy, and instead of irritating my skin (as almost all sunscreens do), this one seems to calm it. I have read online that it has a lot of natural skin caring ingredients and it is also free of all nasties, colour and fragrance. Just a shame this isn't available in store in the UK and I can only purchase it online, but it is well worth this small inconvenience.
This is hands down the best sunscreen! I've tried the Shiseido ones and others but I keep on coming back to this one.
Watch my review on this!
edit 9/14: I had switched from this to Cerave AM lotion, which I loved until I discovered that Cerave AM does not provide broad spectrum protection. So I am using this again, despite the fact that it breaks me out in tiny pimples. It's the only broad spectrum sunscreen I've tried that 1) doesn't leave a noticeable white cast 2) doesn't irritate my eyes (I can use it on my eyelids, even, without issue) and 3) has an inoffensive smell that doesn't linger. To mitigate the breakouts a little, I try to wash my face as soon as I can (IOW, when the sun goes down). So yeah, it's a pain to use but i'll continue to do so until I find a better alternative.
Note: The first time I used this was in the wintertime, so I did not notice any greasiness. Now with the summer heat and humidity I noticed it can get greasy but not as bad as most other sunscreens I've tried. It's just too emollient for me, and rubs off too easily due to that.
previous review 1/14:
This stuff almost hit the mark. It claims to offer broad spectrum coverage. It has a nice texture. It does not feel too greasy or leave a too noticeable white cast on my pale-ish skin (it's very slight). It doesn't irritate my eyes, despite containing chemical sunscreen ingredients. The scent is mild and inoffensive (no "artificial fragrance" is added, though it does contain several plant oils and extracts).
The problem I have with this is that breaks me out-- not horribly, but enough to stop using it on my face. Though I have combo/oily skin, I don't normally get acne. I started noticing tiny hard red pimples on my face after use.
I might try again, but in the meantime am searching for a replacement.
note: this stuff is pretty pricey if you factor in the small amount you get ($14 for 2 oz)
Zinc Oxide 3%
I tried this under the scorching sun in Greece during summer. As far as sun protection goes, it does a great job. I did wear a hat most of the time but I stayed a couple of hours at a time under strong sunlight. I didn't tan or burn so in terms of protection it did work.
A huge plus also is that the texture is great and does not look oily on the skin. Skin as a matter of fact felt smooth and moisturized.
However - and this is why I took off 2 stars - I did break out only after 4 days and I rarely break out unless something is either irritating my skin or blocking my pores. I do have exceptionally sensitive skin though, so in might not affect other people.
Edit - the breakout was worse than I thought and in places I never thought I could break out but in the places I did apply the sunscreen :neck, on earlobe and of course cheeks and forehead.