◇ cruelty-free? Made by a brand that does not test on animals (ingredients & final products), does not sell in the Chinese market (where it is required by law to test), and is not owned by a parent company (L'Oréal, Shiseido, Kosé) that sells in China or might test for other "reasons"
◇ UVA? From Hirons: "UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin, gradually destroying elasticity and causing premature ageing." I'm 23 and getting older. I want my skin to look like it does now when I'm 43. I want this stuff in my skincare regimen. If a product contains SPF, it protects for UVB but not necessarily UVA (source).
◇ SPF30+? I need a sunscreen that has a protection factor of 30 or higher because I am pale-ass-pale. Also I have a family history of melanoma so the more I can do to ward off that, the better.
◇ facial? No, not the one where I get pampered sitting in a chair. I want a sunscreen product that's formulated to be used on the face. Or at least claims to be suitable to both body and facial use.
It sounds like I am asking for a lot here. And after spending a couple hours researching through Paula's Choice and blog recommendations, it was becoming more apparent that maybe this is a lot to ask for. There are of course a lot of products that tick all the boxes except cruelty-free. Then some that are cruelty-free but don't have high enough SPF. Or are marketed as a beauty balm, not a sunscreen. Or marketed as a moisturiser with SPF rather than a just pure and simple sunscreen.
Putting an all-call out on twitter did yield some results. Bless you, Twitter. So here's what I've narrowed my options down to.