by Nina

I worry that DeVita Solar Body Block is too good to be true. The light, SPF 30+ cream protects with a generous 19% dose of zinc oxide and yet it’s invisible on the skin and so light I can best describe it as a skinny-dip of a sunblock. Even my Indian dad’s coffee-brown glow was undiminished. See? Too good to be true!

DeVita is a lotion with a consistency that hints at gel. It’s comparatively translucent and virtually invisible upon application, by which I mean not only is there zero white, it absorbs beautifully – no oily gleam, nor does skin look like it carries the weight of a moisturizer. During the first few moments after application, my skin felt slightly sticky (likely due to aloe vera, ingredient number two), but the stickiness quickly vanishes, leaving my skin soft and clean to the touch. And after a day under the sun, I had no tan lines, nor in the past month have my limbs grown any darker (and I tan easy).

DeVita is vegan and uses non-nano, uncoated zinc oxide, meaning the particles are larger than the slip-through-your-skin-100nm-or-less size, and are not encased in laboratory-applied chemicals, such as hydrophobic silicas, aluminum, paraffin and triethoxycaprylylsilane, which some say prevents skin reactions and allows for easy blending between zinc and the other ingredients (I reject those claims because DeVita soothed my reactive skin and there’s no separation or caking).

Aloe Vera, DeVita’s “dynamic delivery system,” is a gift of an ingredient. It contains nearly 200 nutrients, including 27 vital amino acids and powerhouse antioxidant Superoxide Dismutase. Lignin, a constituent of plant cell walls, enhances absorption in aloe vera skin preparations and helps ferry nutrients along. Aloe’s vitamin roster includes A, B, C, E, Choline, B12, and folic acid; and in the mineral lineup there’s calcium, chromium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, sodium and zinc. Aloe vera penetrates all seven layers of dermis and closely matches our skin’s pH balance.  Along with the aloe, DeVita Solar Body Block gives you hyaluronic acid, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (a stable vitamin C derivative) and rosehip oil.

For me, the true test of sunblock is how well it works on my face (I like my camping trips to be one-bottle affairs), so I’ve been applying it to the visage and it’s just as great there as it is on my shoulders and feet. On both body and face, my skin feels conditioned but never heavy or coated, and my face in particular is hydrated yet delightfully bare. I’ve got dry skin and acne, and often choosing a cream means deciding which of the two is the lesser evil.  Again, my skin feels conditioned and balanced, and is lightly dewy, but never slick. Dr. Cherylanne DeVita (formulator of this fine line) credits this to the aloe vera, which she says creates the “soft, dewy finish.”  It’s nice to see my cheeks for their real color, and because it blends with such breathability I don’t feel cake-y or made up. No compensatory cosmetics necessary, but if you do want to doll-up, this cream is a fantastic base for whatever else you’d like to wear. (And this is the body block; I can’t wait to try the facial formulation!)

DeVita is available online and at various stores, including Whole Foods. Again, I worry DeVita is like easy credit. Sans my visible white haze, I feel naked – almost naughty – and yet, if not Santa Claus, I do need something to believe in. I’m actually going to run out and buy this for myself, my friends, and my dad. I highly, highly recommend this very reasonably priced ($27.95 for 7 ounces) sunblock.

Active Ingredient: Zinc oxide 19% Inactive Ingredients: Aloe barbadensis (certified organic aloe vera gel), Water (purified), Camellia sinensis (Japanese green tea) leaf extract, Capric/caprylic triglycerides (derived from coconut oil), Glycerin (vegetable), Butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), Olea europaea (olive) oil, Lecithin phospholipid, Hyaluronic acid (vegan source), Simmondsia chinensis* (jojoba) seed oil, Squalane (olive), Panthenol (vitamin B5), Tocopherol (vitamin E), NaPCA, Rosa moschata (rose hips) oil, Centella asiatica (goto kola), Copper gluconate, Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, Fucus vesiculosis (seaweed) extract, Allantoin, Sodium riboflavin phosphate, Chondrus crispus (Irish moss), Lavandula officinalis* (lavender) essential oil, Anthemis nobilis (chamomile) flower essential oil, Vitis vinifera* (grape) seed extract. Ingredient labeling adheres to international INCI standards