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All my Five Best sunscreen picks are based on the mineral actives, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Although titanium dioxide is a photosensitizer, it is used in micronized form in these recommended products and, therefore, are supposed not to penetrate the skin and damage cells. These Five Best sunscreens are suitable for the face. They won’t leave a chalky cast and play well with serums and makeup. However, they are not necessarily your best bet for pool, outdoor sports and beach - I’ll do a round up of body and sport sun protectors in a few weeks. Honorable mentions should also go to MD Solar Sciences for creating a mineral sunscreen that is the most cosmetically viable I have come across, Badger and Hydropeptide’s award winning SPF 30 Anti-wrinkle.
Suntegrity All Natural Moisturizing Face Protection SPF30 ($45 in the TIA shop). The active is zinc oxide at 20%. The thing I like best about Suntegrity (there is a body version as well for $29 in the TIA shop), is that it has powerful antioxidants such as astaxanthin. This is a potent radical scavenger, but what makes it useful in analyses have shown that astaxanthin is also an efficient absorber of specific ultraviolet sunlight rays that may contribute to skin aging and cancer. It gets an antioxidant boost from red algae and pomegranate. No nasties and it is paraben free. Read the full Suntegrity review.
DeVita Solar Protective Moisturizer SPF 30+ ($19.85). The active is zinc oxide. Highly popular within the Truth In Aging community, DeVita’s sunscreen is a simple lightweight formula. As Kim said in her review: “It dries quickly and is not greasy at all. It feels super nice on, and makes for a great daytime moisturizer.” Another reviewer, Anna, uses the DeVita body version for the face as well.
Nutra-Lift Maximum Protection UVA & UVB SPF 30 ($21). The actives are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. As Summer put it in her review, the ingredients read more like an organic smoothie than a sunscreen. There is aloe vera and oat protein to soothe the skin, plus extract of soybean, sunflower seed, almond, white cranberry, pomegranate, carrot, cucumber and green tea all combating free radicals and boosting protection of the skin. Good for even sensitive skins and offers good protection.
ColoreScience Sunforgettable SPF30 or SPF50 ($50). Actives are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Although this is a powder that is brushed on, it is one of the most protecting sunscreens I have ever used. Colorescience claims that it is very waterproof as well. And it never makes me break out. I think many people find the idea of a powder a little odd, but I like that I’m not slathering on yet another layer. The Perfectly Clear version is almost undetectable on fair skin and it works well as a finishing powder, helping to even out skin tone a little. As our reviewer Marsha put it: “a very comfortable, effective and easy to use sunscreen”. Read my full review of ColoreScience.
Lumixyl MoistureLock Sunscreen SPF30 ($58). Active is micronized titanium dioxide and SymHelios. This is rather a clever sunscreen in that SymHelios prevents UVB rays from causing an amino acid, tryptophan, to form a toxic substance. This toxin binds to a protein in our bodies called the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) where it wreaks havoc by destroying collagen and elastin, creating oxidative stress and potentially leading to skin cancers. Enter SymHelios. This binds to the AhR, preventing UVB radiation. Although this is not a chemical free formula, I find it pleasant to use with no adverse reactions. Read the full review on Lumixyl’s sunscreen.
Ingredients in Suntegrity
Active ingredient: Zinc oxide 20% Ingredients: Water (Purified), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Capric Caprylic Triglycerides, Sorbitan Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Hexyl Laurate, Jojoba Oil, Cetyl Dimethicone, Dimethicone, Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom Salt), Sunflower Oil, Cucumber Extract, Hyaluronic Acid, Tea-Oil Camellia, Pomegranate Oil, Red Algae Extract, Astaxanthin, Citrus Sinensis (Sweet Orange) Essential Oil, Citrus Reticulata Blanco (Tangerine) Essential Oil, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Essential Oil, Polyaminopropyl Biguanide*, Ethylhexylglycerin* *Paraben-free anti-microbial agent.
Ingredients in DeVita
Active ingredient: micronized zinc oxide: 14% (transparent) Inactive ingredients: Purified Water, Certified Organic Aloe Vera Gel, Capric/Caprylic Triglycerides (derived from Coconut Oil), Stearic Acid, Vegetable Glycerin, Hyaluronic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate (from vegetable oil), Lecithin, Vitamin E (Acetate), Allantoin, Comfrey Root Extract, Grape Seed Extract.
Ingredients in Nutra-Lift
Active ingredients: Zinc Oxide (10.00%), Titanium Dioxide (2.00%). Other Ingredients: Infusion of Aloe Vera gel* (aloe barbadensis), Avena Sativa*( oat protein), Soybean* ( glycine soja) extract, Sun Flower Seed (helianthus annuus) extract, Ascorbly Palmitate ( vitamin C), Lecithin, Coconut extract, Glycerine, Carrot* extract, Green Tea* extract, Avena Sativa* (oat) Betaglucan, natural Xanthan Gum, Almond* extract, natural mixed tocopherols (Vitamin-E), white cranberry* extract, Cucumis Sativus* (cucumber) extract, Punica Granatum*(pomegranate) extract, Eucalyptus extract, citric acid, sodium benzoate. *Certified Organic Ingredients
Ingredients in Colorescience
Active ingredients: Titanium dioxide 22.5%, zinc oxide (24.5%). Other ingredients: Mica, dimethicone/vinyldadimethicone crosspolymer, corallina officianalis, calcium silicate. May contain: iron oxides, titanium dioixide, dimethicone, chromium oxide greens
Ingredients in Lumixyl
Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide 8.40% Inactive Ingredients: Cyclopentasiloxane, Water (Aqua/Eau), PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Pentylene Glycol, Aluminum Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Chloride, Polyglyceryl-3 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Caprylyl Glycol, Stearic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol, Disodium EDTA, Benzylidene Dimethoxydimethylindanone