One of the most frequent questions I am getting right now is “What face SPF do you use!?” Well good question ladies. There is not a one size fits all answer here – WHY!? Well because you wouldn’t go out to dinner with zinc slathered across your nose and cheeks – just like you wouldn’t hit the beach with something less than 30 SPF. So hence; the rotation. I have 4 top picks for this summer that do not disappoint.
But first things first. What makes a clean/nontoxic SPF? You want to look at the label and see mineral barriers like either Zinc Oxide or non-nano Titanium Dioxide for the active ingredients. Most of the sunscreens out there today use chemical barriers like: oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, octinoxate etc. which are just straight up nast. Oxybenzone for example, can cause allergic skin reactions, is a weak estrogen and has potent anti-androgenic (counteracts testosterone) effects.
And then after checking out the active ingredients you want to take a look at the inactive ingredients. These are essentially the ingredients that carry and hold together the active ingredients. Like, to make zinc spread like a lotion, you have to add some sort of butter, oil or wax to it. And to make it smell nice, a company may add essential oils (clean) or fragrance (usually dirty). If it’s a clean formula you will see organic botanicals, oils, butters and maybe some benign synthetics. And if it’s not a clean formula you will often see ingredients like: fragrance, retinyl plamitate, triethanolamine, benzyl alcohol, PEGs, phenoxyethanol, parabens and more.
So after vetting a bunch of face SPFs for ingredients and then testing to see how they work – like not too oily or greasy or white and no pilling or clumping – I’ve come up with 4 that are on heavy rotation (depending on the occasion) because they work and they’re clean.
I grabbed Babo’s SPF 40 Face Sheer off of Amazon and I have been loving it for my beach days. It comes out white but rubs into clear so it’s functional without looking like you belong in a 3 ring. It uses non-nano zinc and titanium as a mineral barrier so the active ingredients check out. The inactive ingredients check out too. There is nothing scary there but also Babo isn’t afraid to use synthetics either. Meaning it is not top-of-the-line in organic skincare but it gets the job done without employing toxins. It adds a little bit of a moist look to your face and I wouldn’t say it was great for putting makeup over although you could easily do a cream cheek on top of it. I also love the price.
This product is the LEGIT in so many ways. It has only one ingredient: Rosehip oil. Rosehip oil has been tested to function between SPF 26-50 on its own. How crazy is that!? RAW as a company is special because their oils are single sourced, raw, unrefined, cold-pressed, unformulated + packaged in dark glass – in other words, they are the real deal. You won’t find another rosehip oil like this on the market.
I love RAW’s Age Defying Concentrate for everyday wear if I am going to the office or will be around town doing errands. This is sold as a face moisturizer so this doubles for both. I wore this a ton last summer and now I’m out but it was my daily go-to June through September 2016. So easy. So clean. And easy to wear makeup over. Plus the benefits of rosehip are crazy good. It aids in hydration, elasticity, cell turnover and collagen production and is rich in antioxidants. I can’t say enough about this formula (actually can you call one ingredient an formula? Anyways…) SO GOOD.
Kari Gran’s Three Sixty Five is a great formula to use if you are going to your kids soccer game or a BBQ or an outdoor event where you don’t necessarily need full beach protection but you still want to be sure you are limiting UV exposure with a mineral barrier. Kari Gran 365 offers SPF 28. It is oil based and uses non-nano zinc oxide as it’s mineral barrier. It comes out white but blends into skin clear. My skin is definitely moist after applying but you can totally layer a cream foundation.
I got this in one of my Beauty Hero deliveries and it quickly became one of my go-tos. The inactive ingredients in this formula are notable. Heavy representation of organic and nonGMO oils. No water has been added to this formula so no preservative is needed either. A++.
I’m excited that they now offer this in a 30 ml size for $48. Last year the only option was 50 ml for $75. Now you can choose!
Suntegrity 5 in 1 offers SPF 30 and comes in 4 colors; fair, light, golden light, medium. I was sold when I saw it on my friend Molly a few weeks ago. It goes on so even, mitigates redness and protects. Easy to build makeup over, this doubles as a BB Cream or a very light foundation. It goes on with no pilling or splotchiness. If I wore foundation everyday, this is what I would be wearing all. summer. long.
It uses non-nano zinc for it’s active ingredients and a mixture of organic and synthetic inactive ingredients. Oh and it’s fragrance free too.
Okay, had to include Hynt Beauty’s SUN PREP because it looks too good not to. I have been dying to try it ever since I heard fantastic things from my girl Suzi so you know, in that case, it’s gotta be good. This is an SPF 30 block, moisturizer and primer all in one. Seems perfect to use as a daily moisturizer before applying makeup – or not applying makeup. It uses Titanium Dioxide as it’s active ingredient and the inactive ingredients look really good too like organic sesame seed oil, organic aloe vera leaf, organic green tea leaf and more.
Hook, Line and Sunscreen
So these are my go-tos and what I would recommend as of late. If I find anything else I like, I will be sure to add it here. What have you been using? What do I need to add to this list?