Monday, 10 August 2015

Favourite Facial City SPFs

By the time you read this I will be in Rome putting a few of these to the real test. With average temperatures of 37 degrees C/98 Fahrenheit I am more than a little scared of a melasma explosion and thus spare no expense when it comes to city/face SPFs. They are in the same category as serums for me. Way more important than a moisturiser. It's one of the true investments in your future face.

When I'm thinking 'no nonsense' protection, but I need/want to wear makeup, these are the four products I am never without. In alphabetical order - no favourites. Links in the titles.

Creme de La Mer The Reparative Face Sun Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF30


Obviously this is the luxury option and boy does it feel it. Absorbs beautifully, leaves a comforting 'glow' layer on the skin - softens, hydrates, contains all the usual Le Mer key ingredients including Golden Algae Ferment that is triggered by sun exposure, the sea waters etc etc. 
I literally only use this for holidays where I want my skin to glow and have the option of wearing makeup, like you keep your new or best shoes/handbags for the same reason. I reapply throughout the day no problem. If reapplying over makeup, I stick to CC creams. Particularly Lauder or Kate Somerville, which has the edge because its tints are good colours. £90.00/$130.00 for 50ml (I know I know)

SkinCeuticals Mineral Radiance UV Defense SPF50


When I'm feeling oilier/more prone to breakouts this is what I head to. Broad Spectrum, 100% mineral filters, this has a slightly mattifying effect and although it has only one colour tint, that disperses upon application and doesn't cause problems for darker skins (to the best of my knowledge and reader feedback). I love SkinCeuticals products and this is no exception. £35.00 for 50ml.
N.B. - The SkinCeuticals range is different in the USA and appears to be called Physical Fusion and is a shockingly more affordable $34.00. How rude.



This one is actually my favourite feel. I love the glow and the smell of sunscreen and this has both in abundance. Broad Spectrum SPF50, this is substantial enough to use as a moisturiser without another one underneath - something regular readers will know I very rarely advocate/do.
Contains the same delivery system for the SPF ingredients as the Zelens so they both offer less chance of an allergy or dermal uptake. Genius. Also contains retinyl palmitate and Matrixyl 3000 peptide. Super.
$48.00 for 50ml (approx £31.00 plus import duties)


Zelens Daily Defence Broad Spectrum SPF30


Probably the one that I trust the most, if I had to pick, primarily because I was working with Dr Lens when he was developing this product (I'm not now, we're just mates) and know what dedication went into the formula. 
Broad Spectrum SPF30, this is loaded with all sorts of proven antioxidants including polyphenols and pycnogenol. Most importantly, it contains unique micro-encapsulated filters that prevent direct skin contact with the active ingredients. Great for sensitivity. £55.00/$85.00 for 50ml


All of these are highly, highly recommended.

21 comments:

  1. Thanks Caroline !

    It's something I haven't ever thought to spend money on until this year- and I will continue to do so! Can't wait to try the above mentioned products !!!

    As always - you're the bomb :)

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  2. I really really suggest giving Paula's Choice RESIST Super-Light Daily Wrinkle Defense SPF 30 a go! It is the BEST sunscreen I have ever used - slight tint means no grey cast, surprisingly creamy, comforting feel for a "light" product - it feels better than my night cream! - no breakouts, and good SPF. I've turned many of my family members onto it, although men can sometimes baulk at the tint, as if overapplied it can look strange on stubble!!

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    1. I absolutely ADORE this Paula's choice SPF. It only has mineral actives, so it doesn't cause any burning sensations like chemical actives can for me. It also keeps my face matte, but extremely comfortable, even without a daytime moisturizer! It's the only SPF I've found that I don't dread using. I know sun protection is an absolute must and this product makes it an enjoyable experience, which I feel like is the real battle with SPF use!

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  3. Thank you so so SO much Caroline! I am about to embark on a 3 month trip round SE Asia and I've been worrying about my skincare routine while I'm away and the havoc SPF will play with my skin. I now feel like I have good options available, and not just 'how much concealer will I need?'. I shall be investing in either the KS or the Zelens SPF methinks! Now, off to stock up on DDG pads :) xx

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    1. Enjoy your trip to SE Asia! There are TONS of amazing beauty products from Asian companies (Jap & Korean!). Also, if you do pop by Singapore, make sure to check out DrGL's products (so lovely and I bulk buy all of them when I'm there on holiday). Sephora in SG also does carry KS.

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    2. Thanks so much for the tips! I may just have to pop to Singapore :D xx

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  4. Hi Caroline,
    I looked into SkinCeuticals Mineral Radiance UV Defense SPF50, but unfortunately found out their mineral sunscreens are nano, so that kind of put me off...

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  5. Thank you so much for doing this SPF series - it's so good to have a voice I can trust. Your blog has totally changed my skin.

    I would love you to discuss stingy eyes and SPF if you can - is there a specific ingredient we should avoid if certain SPFs leave us weepy?

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  6. Hi Caroline. I hope you're having a great time in Rome! I thought the SkinCeuticals sunscreen was going to be a Holy Grail product for me, and it would have been EXCEPT for the white cast. On my skin, which is brown, this read as an opalescent, whitish-pink. If it had been jewelry, I would have loved it! But on my face, not so much. I passed it on to my boyfriend, who is white, and he loves it. He also has no idea about the price. :)

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  7. Hi Caroline, loving this series. Would you use Zelens on a non-city sun holiday? Eg Mallorca countryside, a bit of lying by the pool. And what do you think of Chantecaille Ultra Sun protection SPF50? They call it a primer (anti-glycation primer) which makes me wonder if it is full-on SPF suitable for holiday use. Thank you lovely! X

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  8. Hi Caroline. Can I use the city spf ie zelens la mer mentioned in this post as my beach spf? Or these products are not protective enough?

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  9. Hi Caroline- thanks for your great recommendations as always. Not sure if you have ever tried any Australian skincare, but I was wondering if you have ever used/ heard of the brands 'Ultraceuticals' or 'Invisible Zinc'? They are both my favourite brands for face sunscreen and would definitely recommend them to any Australians :)
    Lydia

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  11. In 2010 you said to stay away from sun products that contain Vit A, Retinol, Retinoids - anything beginning RET...
    What changed, Caroline? ;) If it's ok to have them in spf products, it makes the search much easier - almost all drugstore brands have retinyl palmitate in their ingredients.

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    1. Hiya! Thanks for the heads up - 5 years is a massively long time in product formulation. I'll check back through older posts and adjust accordingly. This happens quite often these days. Sophisticated formulas mean ingredients can be used much more wisely and freely. Hope that answers your question. X

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  12. Thanks Caroline, as always very helpful. I trust no one but you if it comes to beauty products recommendations. I have one question. Do filters expire? If I don't use it up this year cam I continue using next summer?

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  13. In your previous post called "vit d and spf" you say to avoid oxybenzone. But now you're recommending it...is it okay to use in these specific formulations?

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    1. Good name. ;)

      Yes see above comment - I need to update some older posts based on updated formulations. Will do end of this week when I'm back :) - please always feel free to remind me/give me a shout if you see anything contradictory. Thanks x

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  14. The Skinceuticals made me break out terribly. Not suitable for acne-prone skin - full of silicones and other nasty stuff.

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  15. Wow I bought the Creme de la Mer two years ago and it was about £50! What's changed in 2 years?!?

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