20 July 2017

My Top 5 Favorite Sunscreens!

If you've been around me and/or my blog for long, you know that I am a huge sun safety advocate. I have been sunless tanning for 20+ years, and I wear a good, broad-spectrum sunscreen daily. If you're serious about anti-aging, the first thing you should do is find a sunscreen or two that you will use on a daily basis. I've tried a lot of sunscreens, and there are several that I have liked, but there are a few favorites that I have repeatedly purchased.

I'm pretty choosy when it comes to sunscreens. The main things I look for in a sunscreen are:
  • fragrance-free - this is non-negotiable for my face, but I'm a little more lenient with sunscreens for my body
  • doesn't feel greasy - this is a deal-breaker; I won't use a greasy sunscreen.
  • absorbs completely, leaving a matte finish - this is especially important for my face, but I also like my body sunscreen to be matte
  • mineral-based - non-negotiable for my face, but I will use a chemical sunscreen on my body if it meets my other criteria
  • plays well with my skincare products and makeup

I've listed my five favorite sunscreens below. Some I only use on my face, and others I only use on my body. The reason I don't usually use the same product for my face and body is that the sunscreens I choose for my face tend to come in smaller amounts and/or higher prices. Since I'm less choosy about the ones I use on my body, those are usually available in larger sizes and/or lower prices.

Wearing a sunscreen daily is the number one thing you can do to slow down the aging process. I even wear sunscreen on days I stay inside! Paula's Choice RESIST Super-Light Daily Wrinkle Defense is one of my top 5 favorites!
This post contains some affiliate links which were added to make it easier for you to find the items. If you click on the links and make a purchase, it doesn't cost more, but I will receive a small commission. You are free to use the links or not. If you do, I thank you!

1) Paula's Choice RESIST Super-Light Daily Wrinkle Defense SPF 30

Active ingredient: Zinc Oxide 13%
Other ingredients: Water (Aqua), Cyclopentasiloxane, PEG-12 Dimethicone, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Lauroyl Lysine, Sodium Chloride, Trihydroxystearin, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Resveratrol, Quercetin, Epigallocatechin Gallate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Adenosine, Bisabolol, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract, Haematococcus Pluvialis Extract, Hydrolyzed Corn Starch, Polysorbate 80, Hydrated Silica, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Iron Oxide (CI77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Phenoxyethanol.

Wearing a sunscreen daily is the number one thing you can do to slow down the aging process. I even wear sunscreen on days I stay inside! Paula's Choice RESIST Super-Light Daily Wrinkle Defense is one of my top 5 favorites!

Paula's Choice Wrinkle Defense has been my go-to facial sunscreen for several years. It's lightly tinted, fragrance-free, mineral-based, and also contains antioxidants, including resveratrol. I find it to be very light-weight, and it absorbs well. It doesn't completely dry down to matte on my face, but it's pretty close. I just lightly spritz my face with Skindinavia The Makeup Finishing Spray after applying the sunscreen and before applying makeup. It plays well with my makeup whether or not I use the setting spray, but the setting spray helps keep my face matte all day. It is NOT water-resistant, so I usually don't wear it if I'm going to be at the beach or somewhere that I know I will likely be perspiring. The downside? The price. However, a 2 oz. tube will last about a year using it only on my face.
Price: $33 for 2 fl. oz.

Wearing a sunscreen daily is the number one thing you can do to slow down the aging process. I even wear sunscreen on days I stay inside! Australian Gold Botanical Tinted Facial Lotion SPF 50 is one of my top 5 favorites!

2) Australian Gold Botanical SPF 50 Tinted Face Mineral Lotion

Active ingredients: Zinc Oxide 4%, Titanium Dioxide 4%
Other ingredients: Alumina, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Caprylyl Glycol, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Disodium EDTA, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Hexyl Laurate, Iron Oxides, Panthenol, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Porphyra Umbilicalis (Red Algae) Extract, Silica, Squalane, Stearic Acid, Terminalia Ferdinandiana (Kakadu Plum) Fruit Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Water

Wearing a sunscreen daily is the number one thing you can do to slow down the aging process. I even wear sunscreen on days I stay inside! Australian Gold Botanical Tinted Facial Lotion SPF 50 is one of my top 5 favorites!
Wearing a sunscreen daily is the number one thing you can do to slow down the aging process. I even wear sunscreen on days I stay inside! Australian Gold Botanical Tinted Facial Lotion SPF 50 is one of my top 5 favorites!

Australian Gold Tinted Face sunscreen is new for me this year, and there are so many things I like about it. First of all, it's about 1/3 of the price of the Paula's Choice Wrinkle Defense and contains an additional ounce. It also offers SPF 50 and is water-resistant up to 80 minutes, which makes it perfect to use at the beach or anytime I'm outside for extended periods. It's tinted, fragrance-free, mineral-based, and contains some antioxidants - although not resveratrol. It does dry down to matte for me, and plays well with my skincare and makeup. In the photo directly above, I have applied it to my hand on the area below the big glob of sunscreen. You can see that my skin doesn't look shiny or greasy. The more I use this one, the more I like it, and it's quickly becoming my favorite. One thing to note - it can be difficult to find. I looked everywhere over the past couple of months before it was finally back in stock on Amazon. Apparently everyone likes it!
Price: $12-14 for 3 fl. oz.

Wearing a sunscreen daily is the number one thing you can do to slow down the aging process. I even wear sunscreen on days I stay inside! Neutrogena Ultra Sheer® Dry-Touch is one of my top 5 favorites!

4) Neutrogena Ultra Sheer® Dry-Touch

Active ingredients (for the SPF 70): Avobenzone 3%, Homosalate 15%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 2.8%, Oxybenzone 6%
Other ingredients: Water, Styrene/acrylates Copolymer, Silica, Beeswax, Cyclopentasiloxane, Ethylhexylglycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Acrylates/dimethicone Copolymer, Acrylates/c10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Fragrance, Chlorphenesin, Triethanolamine, Diethylhexyl 2,6-naphthalate, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Disodium EDTA, BHT, Methylisothiazolinone.

Wearing a sunscreen daily is the number one thing you can do to slow down the aging process. I even wear sunscreen on days I stay inside! Neutrogena Ultra Sheer® Dry-Touch is one of my top 5 favorites!

For as long as I can remember, Neutrogena Dry Touch has been my go-to sunscreen for my body when I'm at the beach or spending more time outside. There are several versions: SPF 100+, SPF 85, SPF 70, SPF 50, SPF 45 and SPF 30. I usually grab the SPF 50 or SPF 70. I like this one because it's fragrance-free, absorbs well, and is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes. It's a lightweight white lotion that is non-greasy, and it's inexpensive. It's not completely matte when I first put it on, but after a few minutes I can't tell it's there. My only complaint with it is that there is a slight "sunscreen" scent to it. I have a sensitive nose, so it may not be noticeable to most people, but I get whiffs of it all day long. I still like this one a lot, and I just repurchased to have on hand for the summer. It is a chemical sunscreen, which is why I only use it on my body. Chemical sunscreens make my eyes water and burn, so I won't use them on my face. Neutrogena is now offering a SheerZinc™ Face Dry-Touch SPF 50 that is mineral-based with 21.6% zinc oxide as the active ingredient. I haven't tried it yet, but it's on my list!
Price: $7-10 for 3 oz.


Wearing a sunscreen daily is the number one thing you can do to slow down the aging process. I even wear sunscreen on days I stay inside! Paula's Choice Hydralight Shine-Free Daily Mineral Complex is one of my top 5 favorites!

3) Paula's Choice Hydralight Shine-Free Daily Mineral Complex SPF 30 or CALM Redness Relief SPF 30 for Normal to Oily Skin

Active ingredients: Zinc Oxide 6%, Titanium Dioxide 2.32%
Other ingredients: Water, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Cyclomethicone, Dimethicone, Polysorbate 80, Caprylyl Methicone, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Isohexadecane, Cetyl Alcohol, Propylene Glycol, Polyglyceryl-6 Isostearate, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Algae Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Allantoin, Glycerin, Panthenol, Butylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, Alumina, Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Triethoxysilylethyl Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Hexyl Dimethicone, Diethylhexyl Carbonate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Disodium EDTA, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol.

Wearing a sunscreen daily is the number one thing you can do to slow down the aging process. I even wear sunscreen on days I stay inside! Paula's Choice Hydralight Shine-Free Daily Mineral Complex is one of my top 5 favorites!
Wearing a sunscreen daily is the number one thing you can do to slow down the aging process. I even wear sunscreen on days I stay inside! Paula's Choice Hydralight Shine-Free Daily Mineral Complex is one of my top 5 favorites!
 
This is another winner from Paula's Choice. It was originally called Hydralight, but the new version is CALM Redness Relief (a few differences in the ingredient list). I believe both are still available at this time. These are considered moisturizers with SPF. I have the Hydralight, and while I don't like this one quite as well as the Wrinkle Defense for my face, I do use this one daily on my neck and décolleté. Again, this one doesn't quite go matte on my face, but I don't seem to notice it anywhere else. It's fragrance-free, mineral-based, and has several skin-soothing ingredients. It's a slightly runny white lotion, so you have to be careful with the tube or it will gush out. Maybe the newer version doesn't have that issue? It is NOT water-resistant.
Price: $29 for 2 fl. oz.


Wearing a sunscreen daily is the number one thing you can do to slow down the aging process. I even wear sunscreen on days I stay inside! Australian Gold Botanical Mineral Lotion SPF 30 is one of my top 5 favorites!

5) Australian Gold Botanical Mineral Lotion SPF 30 and SPF 50

Active ingredient for SPF 30: Zinc Oxide 3%, Titanium Dioxide 3%
Active ingredient for SPF 50: Zinc Oxide 4%, Titanium Dioxide 4%
Other ingredients: Alumina, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Caprylyl Glycol, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Disodium EDTA, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Extract, Fragrance, Glycerin, Hexyl Laurate, Panthenol, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Porphyra Umbilicalis (Red Algae) Extract, Silica, Squalane, Stearic Acid, Terminalia Ferdinandiana (Kakadu Plum) Fruit Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Water

Wearing a sunscreen daily is the number one thing you can do to slow down the aging process. I even wear sunscreen on days I stay inside! Australian Gold Botanical Mineral Lotion SPF 30 is one of my top 5 favorites!

Australian Gold Botanical Mineral Lotion is another sunscreen that is new to me this year, and I have the SPF 30 version. It's a white, lightweight lotion that absorbs almost instantly and is perfectly matte. It contains antioxidants and is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes. I've worn it in Florida (on the beach while under an umbrella), and it works well. I usually wear 50 SPF at the beach, but I wanted to give this a test run - and it passed. There are two things that make this sunscreen slightly less than perfect for me. One - it's not fragrance-free. It's lightly scented, and they call the scent "Citrus Oasis". While I prefer fragrance-free, at least this scent is light and fresh. Two - it leaves a slight white cast on my skin. For the most part, this "seems" to dissipate after a bit, but keep in mind that I never have more than a light-medium sunless tan, so my skin is pretty light most of the time. I don't notice it on most of my skin, but the tattoos on my left forearm are black, and they look like they have a whitish film over them until I shower. So I feel like the white cast will be more noticeable on darker skin. If this sunscreen was fragrance-free and left less of a whitish cast on the skin, it would be perfect!
Price: $13-15 for 5 fl. oz.

BONUS SUNSCREEN!

I had this post all ready to go, and then I tried the sunscreen that came in one of my Target Beauty boxes - I liked it so much, I decided I had to include it!

Wearing a sunscreen daily is the number one thing you can do to slow down the aging process. I even wear sunscreen on days I stay inside! Hawaiian Tropic Island Sport Ultra-Light Sunscreen SPF 30 is one of my favorites!

6) Hawaiian Tropic Island Sport Ultra-Light Sunscreen SPF 30 (also SPF 15 & SPF 50)

Active ingredients (for SPF 30): Avobenzone 2.0%, Octocrylene 5.0%, Oxybenzone 3.0%
Other ingredients: Water, Ethylhexyl Benzoate, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate, Phenethyl Benzoate, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Caprylyl Glycol, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Triethanolamine, Coco-Glucoside, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Ceteth-10 Phosphate, Dicetyl Phosphate, Disodium EDTA, Paraffin, Xanthan Gum, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Panthenol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Colocasia Antiquorum Root Extract, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Fruit Extract, Passiflora Incarnata Fruit Extract, Plumeria Acutifolia Flower Extract, Psidium Guajava Fruit Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Fragrance.

Wearing a sunscreen daily is the number one thing you can do to slow down the aging process. I even wear sunscreen on days I stay inside! Hawaiian Tropic Island Sport Ultra-Light Sunscreen SPF 30 is one of my favorites!
Wearing a sunscreen daily is the number one thing you can do to slow down the aging process. I even wear sunscreen on days I stay inside! Hawaiian Tropic Island Sport Ultra-Light Sunscreen SPF 30 is one of my favorites!

I've never really been a fan of Hawaiian Tropic because they have heavily-fragranced chemical sunscreens. When I opened the Hawaiian Tropic Island Sport Ultra-Light Sunscreen, I was pleasantly surprised. The scent is very light! Even with my sensitive nose, I couldn't smell it once it was absorbed. Apparently Gus could, because he kept following me around and sniffing my shoulders, saying "You smell good - like coconut". I think it's more of a tropical fruit scent, but he says coconut.

The lotion is very lightweight and applies easily. It's almost watery once you start rubbing it in, and it feels sort of "wet". You can see that in the photo above where I've rubbed some on my hand, it looks a little shiny. But then in a couple of minutes, it absorbs completely and leaves your skin matte, without any traces of white. It's not greasy at all, and is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes. I have the SPF 30, but it's also available in SPF 15 and SPF 50. Please note that I haven't tested it by spending a lot of time in the sun, but for just daily use, popping outside here and there, it's been great. Since Gus likes it so much, I will probably buy some to test in Florida later this summer.
Price: $8-11 for 8 fl. oz.

With all sunscreens, it's important to remember to use the proper amount, and reapply, reapply, reapply! If you're sweating or in the water, it's especially important to reapply every 1-2 hours, depending upon the water-resistance of the sunscreen and the time of day. Practice sun safety - it's your best anti-aging tool and doesn't cost nearly as much as all of the lotions, potions, injectables/fillers, and surgery options. Your skin will thank you!

Do you have a favorite sunscreen? I want to hear about it! Leave a comment here or sent me a snap (I'm enjoythevue on Snapchat)!


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