Saturday, August 1, 2009

Sunscreens with Light SPF Short Reviews

I've been trying out various high end sunscreens on the lower range of SPF lately. All of the following sunscreens were tested alone on bare, clean skin, without any makeup applied over it for honest results. I won't go into too many details and just let you in on my personal thoughts or experiences. I didn't really go into what the product is supposed to accomplish to keep things short--if you like, you can read some of the specs on the product websites below.

If this post was helpful, please let me know what kind of short reviews you'd like to see in the future. I might write one on drugstore sunscreens with high SPF or light SPF, haven't decided yet!

My skin type: normal-dehydrated combination, T-zone prone to comedogenic acne, cheeks prone to hormonal acne and clogged pores, as well as the nose
Current Climate: warm to hot, sunny, little to no humidity

Cosmedicine Medi-Matte Oil Control Lotion SPF 20 - 1.35 oz for $42

Very light and fluid, easy to spread. Texture is very smooth, a little goes a long way on the skin. I'm reminded of Giorgio Armani's Face Fabric Foundation in terms of how light and silky this lotion is. Skin develops a slight shine but not much oiliness. Absorbed completely and quickly into the skin. Scent is light and pleasant.
The product claims to "eliminate excess oil and clogged pores" via yeast extract which helps
with turning over dead skin cells as well as other various antioxidants. I didn't notice any particular improvement in the look of my skin, but I liked how it helped to mattify and smooth the skin a bit, due to the ingredient dimethicone (basically silicon, used in most makeup primers). Might be ideal for those who have normal to combination skin or oily skin and desire the "no sunscreen" feeling. Not sure about the oil controlling properties for people who have oily skin concerns.

Ingredients as taken from Sephora website:
Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Water/Eau, Glycerin, C12-14 Pareth-12, Butylene Glycol, Punica Granatum Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Root Extract, Sorbitol, Squalane, Yeast Extract/Extrait de Levura, Bambusa Vulgaris Extract, Pisum Sativum (Pea) Extract, Glucosamine HCl, Panthenyl Ethyl Ether, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Polysorbate 60, Isopropylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Butylparaben.

Boscia Oil-Free Daily Hydration SPF 15
- 0.5 oz for $12, 1 oz for $27

I thought the consistency of this was thicker than expected for a low SPF moisturizer. When first squeezed out it actually seemed a bit intimidating because it slightly clung to my fingers in strands like mucus, or egg whites. It also feels like a moisturizer mixed with serum in terms of consistency. However, it spreads decently on the skin (not as well as Cosmedicine). It doesn't have much of a scent. Unlike the Cosmedicine, this does not absorb completely--I can clearly feel it sitting on my skin throughout the day, but not in a greasy, sticky, or oily way. It's almost as if it creates a barrier of water and feels very hydrating. I recommend this product to those with dry to normal skin in drier climates, since it did not really prevent oiliness.

Ingredients as taken from Sephora website:
Water, Butylene Glycol, Silica, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Glycerin, Polyglyceryl-10 Stearate, Pentylene Glycol, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Leaf Extract, Epilobium Angustifolium Flower/leaf/stem Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Algae Extract, Hydrolyzed Yeast Extract, Bishydroxyethyl Biscetyl Malonamide, Arctium Lappa Root Extract, Phellodendron Amurense Bark Extract, Hydrogenated Rapeseed Alcohol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sclerotium Gum, Aluminum Hydroxide, Potassium Phosphate, Sambucus Nigra Flower Extract, Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide.

Lancome Primordiale Skin Recharge Visibly Smoothing and Renewing Moisturizer SPF 15 - 1.7 oz for $65

The consistency of this sunscreen seems to be infused with water but doesn't have any stickiness or clinginess on the fingers. Otherwise, it actually reminds me a lot of the previous Boscia sunscreen. It creates a similar hydrating "barrier of water" on the skin that isn't oily or sticky, but you need more product with each application since it is less easy to spread. I don't experience much oiliness on the T-zone with this product, my skin just feels very hydrated. However, the difference between the Boscia sunscreen and this one is that this has a definite plumping, tightening effect on the skin so it is better for mature skin. Also, it has a light fragrance. I would only recommend this product to people with normal to drier skin. This product also claims to supposedly help with cell turnover but I have not noticed it helping with decreasing clogged or large pores.

Sorry, I don't have ingredients for this product but will post them if I find them.

Mario Badescu Aloe Moisturizer SPF 15 - 2 oz for $22

This sunscreen feels very creamy and nourishing on the skin. The color is interesting--it looks like the green in mint chocolate chip ice cream. It has a thick, cream-like consistency but feels more like a night-time moisturizer than a daytime moisturizer. It does not have any scent and blends very easily on the skin with just a little product. However, it never absorbed and my skin felt oily from the time of application to when I washed it off. I would only recommend it to those with dry skin in arid climates.

Ingredients as taken from the Mario Badescu website:
Deionized Water, Parsol MCX, Octyl Methoxycinnamate, Polyglycerylmethacrylate, Aloe Vera Gel, Glyceryl Stearate, Isopropyl Myristate, Squalane, Myristyl Lactate, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Ceteareth-20, Propylene Glycol, Methylparaben, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, Propylparaben, Imidazolidinyl Urea

Estee Lauder Resilience Lift Extreme Ultra Firming Creme SPF 15 - 1 oz for $70

This cream is formulated especially for mid-life skin and helps to make it tighter and less dull. The texture and consistency of this sunscreen is very smooth and it feels exactly like a night cream--in fact, I even got confused and thought it was my night cream for a couple days. It has a warm beige color but has a pretty heavy perfumey fragrance that I actually don't really like. It looks and feels heavy in the jar, but isn't gloppy or overly thick if you just glide your fingers over it to apply rather than scooping it out, kind of like a cream eye shadow. I love how buttery smooth and soothing it feels going onto the skin, but unfortunately it doesn't absorb completely on my combination skin. The Estee Lauder site specifies this sunscreen is only for dry skins and they also have a very dry skin formulation. I definitely recommend this for dry skin, but even so it's probably not the best thing to use in the summer because it doesn't have any oil controlling properties--save it for winter instead.

Estee Lauder DayWear Plus Multi Protection Anti-Oxidant Creme SPF 15 - 1.7 oz for $38.50

This sunscreen feels sort of like a gel creme--in the jar, the consistency seems more watery and jelly-like compared to the other sunscreens, but it smoothes over the skin with the texture of a cream. You only need to use a little bit with each application, so be careful not to over-apply lest you experience the oilies. I didn't get too oily with this sunscreen, but I don't think it has any oil controlling properties. It also provides a hydrating barrier effect on the skin but less so than the Boscia and Lancome Primordiale since this sunscreen is creamier and the other two feel more like a serum. I recommend this to people with normal to combination skin. It has a fresh scent that reminds me of cucumbers. Contains anti-oxidant ingredients like white tea, South African Red Tea, grape seed extract, and Vitamins C and E.

Active Ingredients:
Octinoxate 7.50%, Octisalate 5.00%, Avobenzone 2.00%.

Korres Wild Rose 24 Hour Moisturizing and Brightening Cream SPF 6 - 1.4 oz for $32.50
(also available at

This moisturizer doesn't have enough SPF for me to even recommend using it as your only sun protection from the sun, but I would definitely recommend using it in place of a daytime moisturizer under your sunscreen. It has a light feel but is very creamy at the same time. You only need to use a little bit for it to go a long way on the skin. Dry skinned girls can apply it with a heavier hand, but if you have oily or combination skin, I would be very careful not to over apply. It dries to a matte finish but still feels very hydrating. I can see this product being very effective if mixed with foundation, but I do not see any special brightening or healing properties. I also do not like the scent of this cream. Rather than smelling like fresh roses it smells like potpourri, which kind of reminds me of old grannies--not something a 20-something year old wants to smell like, haha.

Aqua (water), C12-20 Acid PEG-8 Ester, Glycerin, Hexyldecanol, Hexyldecyl Laurate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Pentylene Glycol, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Titanium Dioxide, Cetyl Alcohol, Hydrogenated Olive Oil Myristyl Esters, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, PEG-20 Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate, Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate, Imperata Cylindrica Root Extract, Olea Europea (Olive) Oil Unsaponifiables, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Alcohol, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Alumina, Aluminum Stearate, Arginine, Ascorbic Acid, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Benzoic Acid, Benzyl Benzoate, Benzyl Salicylate, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Caprylyl Glycol, Carbomer, Citric Acid, Citronellol, Dehydroacetic Acid, Ethylhezylglycerin, Hexyl Cinnamal, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Isodecyl Salicylate, Parfum (Fragrance), PEG-8, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil Phenoxyethanol, Polyaminopropyl Biguanide, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Sodium Phytate, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Xanthan Gum


fuzkittie said...

Wow you have tried a lot of them!! xD Great reviews~ You're always helpful.

Squalane said...

Squalane is present in human bodies that aids in guarding the skin. It has many health benefits like, it rejuvenate, nurture, moisturise and increase oxygen supply to the skin. It is non-greasy version of moisturisers, repairs cracks. It relieves skin eruptions, pigmentation, dryness, eczema etc.

heartofpearl ♡ said...

wow very thorough reviews, lv it. i want to try the estee lauder one cos ive got a sample in one of those gifts! eehe.
p.s i will try and do more makeup posts and also my closet and my favs when i clear out my room! or when it looks nice enough for presenting to the netizens hehehe its abit... messy atm hehe!! x

MiuMiu said...

sad to hear the boscia doesn't absorb completely. i was thinking of trying it but ended up getting something else.