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Living in Southern California, I am always on the lookout for a great SPF 30+ sunscreen. As a woman in my 50s with somewhat oily and sensitive skin that occasionally breaks out, I am especially concerned about minimizing sun damage as I age. Murad Essential-C Sun Balm ($25) is described on its site as providing "powerful SPF protection in a portable package [that] allows quick and easy application and broad spectrum protection from aging UVA/UVB rays, free radicals and dehydration."
I really liked the way the Essential-C Sun Balm applied. Because it comes in a tube similar to a roll-up stick deodorant, I was able to put it on directly, without having to worry about getting sticky, greasy hands. The packaging also made bringing it along on travel a breeze. It made my skin feel smooth, most likely due to its tangerine butter, and worked well under my jane iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream ($48 in the shop). It does not leave a white cast because of chemical ingredients like avobenzone, octisalate and octocrylene -- but, in any case, I do generally prefer an actual sunscreen (versus just what's in the BB cream) for health reasons. It didn't break me out or irritate my skin, and didn't make my face oilier. With broccoli extract to stimulate skin’s defense against UV damage, and antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E helping to protect against free radical damage, it did its job of protecting me from the harsh rays of the sun during this year's unseasonably warm fall. That, along with the fact that it’s free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates, makes Murad Essential-C Sun Balm a great product.
Ingredients in Murad Essential-C Sun Balm: Active: Avobenzone (2%), Octisalate (Ethylhexyl Salicylate) (2%), Octocrylene (2%). Inactive: Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Jojoba Esters, Synthetic Beeswax, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Dimethicone, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate -2, Isopropyl Isostearate, Caprylic/Capric/Myristic/Stearic Triglyceride, Diethylhexyl 2,6-Naphthalate, Hydrogenated Olive Oil, Ascorbic Acid, Bentonite, Bis-Vinyl Dimethicone/Dimethicone Copolymer, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Steareth -21, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Phenyl Trimethicone, Steareth -2, Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil Unsaponifiables, PEG-8 Dimethicone, Allantoin, Citrus Tangerina (Tangerine) Peel Oil, Glycerin, Brassica Oleracea Italica (Broccoli) Extract, Octyldodecanol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Silica, Water, Sodium Propoxyhydroxypropyl Thiosulfate Silica