◇ 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.
Andalou Naturals Oil Control BB SPF 30 £12.23 // $19.95
Although this is a BB Cream, it is untinted. It claims to be mattifying which interests me as I struggle with T-zone shine. Katie Vibes, a cruelty-free blogger I've recently come across, has a great review on it that's definitely bumped it up to a top contender. But I want something that will sit well on top of my moisturiser, not replace it. Will this do that?
Rec'd by Jenn and Caroline.
Paula's Choice Clear Ultra-Light Daily Mattifying Fluid SPF 30+ £29
This takes the cake as the most expensive of the bunch. The reviews on the Paula's Choice downplay it's mattifying prowess but say it layers well over moisturiser, which is exactly what I'm looking for.
Rec'd by Eline.
Rituals 50 Sun Protection Face Cream £18.50
Finally, we get to a dedicated facial sunscreen. Its high SPF appeals to me and even better, I can walk to House of Fraser to pick it up. Minimise that carbon footprint, get some exercise, don't have to stay in all day to wait for the post man.
Rec'd by Wiete.
Paula's Choice Extra Care Non-Greasy Sunscreen SPF 50 £18.50
Love the price tag compared to the other Paula's Choice option. Less cash, higher SPF. Big fan of the non-greasy. Some reviews have mentioned unpleasant stinging reactions to this though. Luckily, you can get a sample of this from the site for 70p so you can try before you buy.
Jane Iredale Powder-Me SPF Dry Sunscreen £28.75
This was in my basket to check out just the other day. But I'm wary about a powder sunscreen. It's SPF30 which is great. The blogs I browsed gave it positive write ups while the Paula's Choice review was pretty damning. Could this be used as an SPF setting powder maybe? I feel like I'd be more confident I got full coverage with a liquid.
100% Pure Everywhere Sun Stick SPF 30 £16
The creamy formula provides easy-to-blend coverage that never feels sticky and won’t clog pores. Music to my ears. But it is a stick. Like a glue stick? I haven't seen many reviews of this online so kind of tempted to get it just so I can figure it out for everyone.
Rec'd by Dina.
Let me know if I've missed anything. And if you've used any of these, how did you get on with them? I'll let you know what I end up getting!