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Reader reviewed and recommended: Abella Colorshade

Is a Solution for:
Sun Protection for Face
April 23, 2009 Reviewed by TIA Community Member 7 Comments
Reviewed by Terri

First of all let me give you a bit of background on myself. You remember that cartoon Casper the Friendly Ghost? Or for someone more current Tilda Swinton. I am that pale. Seriously. So needless to say I burn very quickly. Secondly I train border collies for sheepdog competitions. I am outdoors a lot. I cannot avoid it. I need all the help I can get in the sunscreen department. The problem is most sunscreens really do a number on me. I always break out. Even with well known brands. Even with the ones suggested by my dermatologist. I just bought a name brand sunscreen with an SPF of 90. Well I did not burn, but boy did my face explode. So you can imagine my dilemma. I swear last spring and summer I gave up and just put zinc oxide on my face. I was really intrigued by Abella Colorshield after reading Kate's two thumbs up review.

When it was offered I jumped at the chance. Could this be what I have been looking for? I was lucky enough to receive the color shade in Light. Abella is 30-plus SPF and it is tinted zinc oxide. Well we all know zinc oxide is thick and kinda yucky. I was anxious to see how they managed to make it wearable. When I first applied it alas it did feel thick. But after just a few minutes it evened out and sunk in. It feels great on the face, no itchiness, no horrible chemical smell that just about induces nausea. Another great thing about this product is it covers small imperfections. They don't advertise as such, but it does.

The ingredient list is very impressive. It contains green tea and vitamins D and E. The label also states it is non comdogenic. Yeah, right we will see! After my initial application and no ill effects, I was hopeful. Hopeful that I would not wake up the next day covered in red blotches and blemishes. I wore this sun shade all day during my outdoor time. I was very pleased with the feel and look with this on my face. Even better I had no adverse effects. NONE. Nada. I am deeply in love with this product and will continue to use it. I most certainly will purchase again after I have used this tube . I will teel you I am very excited to find something at last that I can use comfortably and confidently. I cannot recommend it enough.
  • April 26, 2009

    by Justine

    Hi, Celine,

    I agree that it is not necessarily for people with sensitive skin because it does contain petroleum-based ingredients and parabens.

  • April 24, 2009

    by celine

    not biafine I'm french woman
    there are many people which make allergies at the product

  • April 24, 2009

    by Justine

    Here is the link for Biafine info:

  • April 23, 2009

    by Justine

    Hi Anamarie,

    The BEST ever product for sun-burn is BIAFINE. I swear by this stuff, but I have to get my mum to send it over from France. I believe you can buy it from Canadian pharmacies without prescription, however. It's like a total miracle cure. They use it for burns patients.

  • April 23, 2009

    by marta

    Hi Anamarie,
    Tomorrow you can read about my unhappy experience with Solar RX. I'm going to hunt down Pratima right away.

    The post sun exposure question is a great idea for a post and I'll do something on it in detail next week. But I can recommend pure aloe vera for burnt skin and Suki's Brightening cream for helping to tone down redness. But more to come.....

  • April 23, 2009

    by Anamarie

    After trying every oily, sludgy option on the mineral market, I found Pratima Neem Rose facial sunscreen and it changed my life—18.5% zinc oxide, no whiteness, and a dewy sheen, and it smells delish. (I don't work for them, I swear, I just like it that much.) I do wonder if the tint in Abella actually adds coverage, though (I never feel like sunscreen alone blocks everything out).

    While we're on the subject, Marta, do you have any tips for what to do/products to use after you've been out in the sun—even wearing zinc and a hat—and you've gotten some unwanted exposure?

  • April 23, 2009

    by Justine

    I got to try out Abella also. I opted for the Medium and was worried at first that it would be too dark. I have always considered myself pretty light-skinned (well, I'm a Brit, so I basically have very pasty skin, prone to freckles and terrible sunburn); however, the Medium turned out to be the perfect shade for me. This is a little disconcerting because it probably means that I have not been protecting my skin well enough from the Florida sunshine (where I now live).
    In fact, this was one of the reasons why I was so interested in Abella in the first place. I have been a loyal (bordering on obsessive) fan of Stila's tinted moisturizer for years now, but I had this niggling feeling that SPF15 probably wasn't enough to ward off insidious sun-damage. Kate's review of Abella was very timely (she seems to have this uncanny ability to know exactly what I am looking for), and I was immediately intrigued.
    Having tried it out for a few days now, I am also pretty happy with this product. I agree with Terri that it does seem a little thick, and you really do only need a 'pearl-size' amount as per the manufacturer's instructions. I also agree that it really does get absorbed amazingly well considering. I have, however, noticed a teeny bit of residue along my hairline, and I can't help feeling that maybe it is just a bit too much make-up for me at times. Having said that, it stays put all day fabulously (even on hot and humid days). It is also delightfully free of rubbish, as Terri points out. I think that is hugely important for a sunscreen, which is a daily essential.
    I know that I will continue to use this product; however, I have sneakily started to mix in a tiny bit of my beloved Stila. My complexion needs its fix of 'dewyness' despite the fact that I know this is a purely cosmetic effect -- a quick comparison of the ingredients for Stila is enough to make you cringe:
    Active Ingredients: octinoxate 4.00%, avobenzone, 2.00%. Inactive Ingredients: water (aqua purificata), purified, diethylhexyl carbonate, ethylhexyl stearate, cyclopentasiloxane, diisostearoly polyglyceryl-3 dimer dilinoleate, prunus amygdalus dulcis (sweet almond) oil, microcrystalline wax (cera microcristallina), glycerin, cetyl dimethicone, hydrogenated castor oil, magnesium sulfate, aminomethyl propanol, chlorphenesin, benzoic acid, phenoxyethanol, methylparaben, [may contain mica, titanium dioxide (ci 77891), iron oxide (ci 77491, ci 77492, ci 77499)].

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