I have to give this sunscreen props for being the only one I've been able to tolerate for years. My skin is hyper/photosensitive and therefore often keeps me trapped under hats, scarves and indoors. This sunscreen is very gentle and I can tolerate most of the summer, but not when I get dry cheek eczema in the dead of winter. Then, I can tolerate nothing but my moisturizer, typically.
Some people are complaining of the brush being scratchy. I don't personally buff it into my skin, I sweep it very gently, and therefore don't find it to be a problem despite having sensitive skin. I like that it's not a thick cream base, so it doesn't trap the heat of my rosacea, and I like being able to reapply quickly throughout the day. I also find that the mineral SPF does work (as opposed to not using it at all.) I do agree that a powder is not the IDEAL delivery system for reliable sunscreen, because it's easy to miss a spot. Since it's so incredibly simple to reapply, I would say that helps to make up for its shortcomings.
It's translucent with a very slight tint to prevent the chalkies. It works nicely to control oil actually, which is another reason it's ideal for summer. Unfortunately on me it sometimes oxidizes by the end of the day in hot climates, giving my face a darker ever so slightly orangey cast if I've piled it on. In actuality I am very very fair, so this tint will work for most average skintones and not appear chalky.
The only downside of course is that if they ever discontinue it I'll be really really really screwed. And also possibly that it contains a titch of vitamin A. The EWG has been fussing about vitamin A in sunscreens possibly accelerating sun damage, though I don't know if this is really true. It may be more ideal not to include vitamin A, but I am sure people use vitamin creams all the time and go in the sun unprotected, which definitely concerns me more.
I would suggest not breathing in the powder when you use it, because it does contain silica. Silica is popular in lots of face powders, but it has been associated with lung disease in occupational settings with larger doses.(Google "silicosis" if you want to know what I am talking about.) I don't see this as a reason not to use silica at all, but I do hold my breath and close my eyes when I apply to be on the safe side. (The eyes are so it doesn't get into my contacts!)
Personally I find that it helps me a great deal, and I've purchased it dozens of times, and will keep repurchasing. I would say this falls into the can't-live-without-it category.
Edit (Jul 2012): Having developed severe sun sensitivity and now discovering / requiring the strongest high PPD protection I can tolerate -- I can no longer in good conscience give any powder sunscreen 5 stars. Powder sunscreens cannot be used in 1/4 tsp quantities and therefore don't function as advertised. Furthermore since this is all-physical it cannot provide good UVA protection, even when used to excess. For this reason I have dropped this product to 4 stars, though it is still a very good powder product.
I have the tinted version of this product and carry it around in my purse for times when I think I should use some extra coverage but have already applied my makeup for the day and don't want to ruin it with liquid sunscreen. I am very pale, but the tint is light enough that it doesn't make me look strange. It's great for the back of the neck, ears, decolletage, etc. My husband will also use it if we are out and about - it's really not noticeable on the skin at all. The packaging is also very unisex. It will take me a long time to use it all up, and I wouldn't depend on it for my every day sun protection, but it's a great supplementary source!
** I have the newer product that is TINTED (in 3 strengths)**
I have sensitive, acne-prone skin and I usually skip powder and SPF (If I can get away with it) b/c that's how bad my skin is. So, I would consider this a "bronzer" for me with ordinarily would be taboo...love it. You click the applicator to turn "off", "light" "medium" or "dark" and I find that it's very difficult to turn "off" so bare that in mind. It gives nice color and good coverage AND SPF. Since I keep my face out of the sun, even when on vacation, this helps me look NORMAL and not a different shade of white. It actually makes me look 'healthy' **gasp**. Winner!
This is one of the coolest beauty products I've ever seen/used. To me the idea of mineral SPF is novel, I have never heard of it before. It feels like nothing on the skin, you dust it on using the brush applicator it comes with (I use it after I've done the rest of my makeup). I then just trust that the SPF is protecting me from the sun, I really have no way of judging that aspect of the product. Anyway, the one downside is that the brush it comes with is kind of scratchy. This product would just feel a lot nicer to put on if the brush was nicer. The way it was designed, you kind of have no choice but to use their brush... also due to the design of the product and that it is invisible on the skin, it's a bit difficult to tell how much you've put on. Otherwise, really cool! One lippie off for scratchy-brush.
I am editing this to say that this powder is far too coarse.
The brush is very harsh too.
I think the whole product design of this should be redesigned for a number of reasons.
1) When I apply this, the harshness of the brush is causing the powder to be uncontrollable and I can feel that I am breathing in the power and I can feel it in the back of my throat about half an hour later.
2) Ironically, whilst I'm applying it because I can't 'see' the powder in a pot, it's not reassuring and there may be a tendency to over apply.
3) After a couple of hours, the coarseness of the powder shows up on the face by making the area around the eyes look dry.
4) The feel of it on the face when touching my face is of a rough texture.
The shade however is fine and not at all orange, just a light beige.
I would prefer for them to try not to be too clever with the design.
A powder pot would be sufficient rather than this pen formula. A largish, shallow pot with a grinder to control the amount of powder that emerges would be great - like the YSL powder but longer and less deep so it can fit in any clutch bag. I like the action of opening a pot, seeing the powder there and then on the filaments of my own brush before applying it to my face. Everyone has their favourite brush for applying minerals so I think it would be better to give consumers more powder, better research and leave out the brush.
I would also really like to see more information about the level of protection, for example what PPD is it? Without knowing this, I can't really know how well it is protecting my skin and for how many hours. I would like to see some more research stats from Peter Thomas Roth showing what experiments were performed and on how many people to warrant SPF30 and whether or not it is broad spectrum UVA/UVB and photostable.
Until I have enough evidence, this is a complement rather than a substitute for my current sunscreen routine. Shame as I would love to just apply this and go!
Any PPD information on this product would be very gratefully received!
I'm pretty OCD about suncare & always cover from the sun during lunchtimes knowing the sunscreen I've applied before my makeup this morning had worn off. I am too lazy to take all my makeup off then re-apply just for the sake for sun protection so I was always covering with a book or walking under the shade.
I was really excited hearing about a product that you can apply on top of your makeup during the day. Granted, it will not absorb into the skin & provide maximum protection but it's good enough being a physical bloker which grabs onto your natural/makeup oils when applied. It matten your skin & provide a protective layer to the sun yet still allow your makeup to show through nicely (not clumpy dry looking).
The brush is fine to sweep across your face during the day - not too soft to not allow buff enough coverage onto your skin, but not too hard to irritate the skin & disturb the makeup. The lid protects the brush from getting dirty. The pull down mechanism is genius. And the shape is so compact & versitile to throw into your bag. My only gripe about the packaging the white & yellow colour - kind of cheap looking. .
Great product idea. Will purchase again.
This is my very first review here at MUA! I just bought this today at Sephora and the only beneficial thing about it, in my opinion, is how well it absorbs oil and keeps my nose from looking all shiny. The matte finish it gives me face makes it worth the price, but other than that I think it's a little high priced for how cheap of quality everything else on the product is. The brush is awful. It's prickly feeling on the face. Also, don't twist the bottom of it or you'll have the powder all over the place. It is designed to self-dispense, there is no need to mess with trying to get the powder to dispense onto the brush when you go to use it. The very first time you use it is the only time you need to dispense it yourself. After you use it for the first time, pull down on the bottom and the brush retracts back and into the tube...now put the lid back on and then push the bottom back up. When you push the bottom back up, it dispenses powder onto brush (which kinda puffs out like a cloud up into the cap) so there is no need to re-dispense when you go to use it again, it's already on the tip of the brush for your next use. This eliminates getting the powder all over the place by trying to dispense it again, so that is the proper way to dispense it without wasting any. The packaging makes the product look more like a pharmaceutical product than a health and beauty one, IMO. The only reason I will by this again is for it's superb mattifying properties and it's ability to keep my nose oil and shine free. I have yet to find a product that can do that and this one does... hence, my reason for giving it 4 lippies.
I love this stuff!! Since I commute about an hour daily I brush it on my arms, neck and chest as I am driving. I keep it in my center console so it is available whenever I need it. I've now bought it 3 times. Haven't had any problems with the brush or packaging. Just remember to pull straight down to withdraw the brush - works perfectly no spills!
I have oily skin which gets oilier and breaks out at the hint of chemical or liquid sunscreen. That is why I opted for a physical powder sunscreen. Love that it's tinted, that way I don't get the ghastly white cast from the titanium oxide. The combo of zinc oxide and titanium oxide gives me UVA and UVB protection. The EWG site says that titanium dioxide could be dangerous if inhaled, so I unscrew the bottom cap, shake out a liberal amount in a jar cap and swish my lightly water-misted kabuki brush to apply. That way the water prevents a plume of powder from going up my nose. I find that this application gives me a nice even coverage and I can be positive that I'm putting on enough.
So THIS is what has been clogging my pores?! Who knew? I wish I had read reviews before I started using this stuff again. I've been desperately trying to figure out what has been breaking me out on my cheeks, because I NEVER break out on my cheeks. Sad because if you can get past the retractable brush cloud of powder that comes out when you open and close this product, the idea of a powder sunscreen is very convenient. Now to look for a traditional sunscreen!