Part III: Battle of the Sunscreens

HAVE YOU READ PART I: SUNSCREEN 101 - FILTERS, AMT TO USE, APPLICATION AND MORE FOUND HERE?

Have you read Part II: Battle of the Sunscreens here?

I am a collector of sunscreens and have slowly but surely amassed an army of them. However, not all are great for the skin and I have tried my best to break each one down into its main sunscreen ingredients, the good stuff in it and the slightly dubious ones. Ingredients that are generally not the best might not be extremely bad just because we don't apply enough of it to suffer from toxicity or the side effects. However, there are some that might trigger allergic reactions so I decided to just include them in. I've also classified Dimethicone/Silicone under Dubious but this has ruffled some feathers in the past lol - its true, dimethicone is not really a bad ingredient per say but I know some of you prefer not to have this in your ingredients list so that's really why I put it there. Pls take everything with a pinch of salt and remember that different skin react differently to products! What I hate might just be your Holy Grail!

I purchased all the sunscreens below myself with the exception of the Nature Republic one which was a gift and the Mamonde one which was in a PR package. 

*All opinions are my own* 

Nature Republic Provence Calendula Ice Sun SPF 50+ SPF PA+++ 

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MAIN INGREDIENTS:

  • Titanium Dioxide (UVB, UVA2) 7.4%
  • Octinoxate (UVB) 7.5%
  • Zinc Oxide (UVB, UVA1/2) 5.64%
  • Octisalate (UVB) 5%
  • Tinosorb S (UVB, UVA1/2) 

THE GOOD: 

  • Epilobium Anguvstifolia (Willow Herb) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract : anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant properties. Also has natural analgesics that has the abilities to soothe discomfort
  • Rosa Damascene Flower Water: anti-inflammatory and soothing properties
  • Lavendula Anguvstifolia FlowerWater: anti-microbial and soothing properties
  • Chamomile Recutita Flower Water: anti-oxidant and soothing properties

THE DUBIOUS:

  • Alcohol Denat
  • Silicone
  • Talc
  • Fragrance

MY THOUGHTS: 

Flo bought this when she was in Korea and gifted it to me cause #sunscreenaddict right here. She also read Makeupbox - Candice's review on this and decided to get one for me to try. 

My rule for sunscreen is more better than less. I tend to spam it on quite a bit but this one has coverage so I don't actually use this as a sunscreen. I apply it on top of regular sunscreen cause this has pigmentation and its GREAT for no-makeup days and when I just want to even out my complexion a bit. It's very light and feels like nothing at all. 

Even though this has plenty of soothing ingredients, the presence of alcohol denat (which is really quite necessary as it has an aerosol pump) might be uncomfortable for some. I don't quite mind the dubious ones just cause they are really quite regular ingredients and I don't normally avoid these anyway. I also use this on top of regular sunscreen so its more makeup for me. Remember, layering SPF50 + SPF50 don't make it SPF100. Sunscreen don't have additive properties. So I use a regular (1/4 tsp) amount of sunscreen even with this on. 

I would really recommend this if you're just looking for something to even out your skin tone and get along with your day. It doesn't seemed to interfere much with oil-control but neither does it cause it. I wouldn't say this is exceptionally long-lasting so good for errand days! ERM. Im not sure where you can get this cause Flo got it in Korea lol.

Mamonde Cotton Veil Primer SPF 50+ PA++++

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MAIN INGREDIENTS:

  • Zinc Oxide (UVB, UVA1/2)
  • Octinoxate (UVB)
  • Titanium Dioxide (UVB, UVA2)

THE GOOD: 

  • Butyloctyl Salicylate: this is a form of BHA and is an excellent carrier for zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. It is often used as a sunscreen actives solvent, required to ensure adequate solid organic sunscreen active ingredient solubility.
  • Glycerin: Skin-replenishing for hydration 
  • Dicaprylyl Carbonate: Emollient and enhance absorption
  • Octyldodecyl Neopentonoate: Potential SPF-boosting properties and allow the product to be less slick in combination with silicone
  • Boron Nitrate: Optical diffuser - has light-scattering properties so lessen the appearance of pores and fine lines. It also has good skin-adhesion properties and this allows it to be a good makeup base

MY THOUGHTS:

I actually don't understand the presence of Octinoxate here since zinc oxide and titanium dioxide would have been sufficient as sunscreen filters and officially make this a physical sunscreen. The addition of Octinoxate makes this a hybrid, I guess but I don't really like Octinoxate just cause it has a tendency to disrupt hormones through absorption. I guess its just an ongoing debate since many sunscreens still use Octinoxate as a chemical filter. 

With the two main filters being zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, of course this comes with a white cast. It's almost to be expected with physical filters due to titanium dioxide. I have come to not mind the white cast as much but something about the texture of this sunscreen throws me off. It has this...powdery-oily tacky feeling which is really unpleasant. I tried it a couple of times and just did. not. like. it. I did not like the feeling when I apply and I didn't like how it feels throughout. If you have oily skin, give this a skip. 

However, I realized that this is very useful for neck application. Since my current HG sunscreen (mentioned below) gives me a slight white cast, I use this on my neck to offset the difference and I don't look so much like a freak. I hoard sunscreens like crazy so those I don't like to use on my face, I tend to use all over my body and I really like it for my neck since I dont really touch my neck often or feel much there? Available over Mamonde counters/Lazada

Sunplay Skin Aqua Sarafit UV Mist (Floral)

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MAIN INGREDIENTS:

  • Octinoxate (UVB)
  • Uvinul A Plus (UVA1)
  • Uvinul T150 (UVB)
  • Parsol SLX (UVB)

THE GOOD:

  • Emollients such as Isononyl Isononanoate, Triethylhexyl Trimelliatate for basic skin-conditioning properties 
  • Sodium Hyaluronate: hydration
  • Hydrolyzed Collagen: restoring suppleness 

THE DUBIOUS:

  • Butane: necessary for aerosol spray and disappears quick
  • Dimethicone
  • Fragrance 

Idk if I am being too judgmental on the brand here but Sunplay always have the oddest ingredients? Why is this so?? Firstly, Uvinul T150 is not FDA-approved. And so is Parsol SLX but this is approved for use in Europe and Asia though. I seldom come across these ingredients as main chemical filters and I definitely buy more sunscreens than an average person. It's just ingredients that are not commonly seen and I am not sure why Sunplay do this. 

Sure, there are basic emollients included but so do most sunscreens. The good ones like the hydrolyzed collagen is actually last on the list of ingredients so its basically NOT THERE. Let's not even try lol.

As for the dubious, the use of butane is for the aerosol pump and it does disappear quickly so its just a meh-factor. I bought this for the convenience of applying on my arms when I am outdoors but I really don't like the texture of it, even for my body. I almost NEVER use aerosol sunscreens for my face just cause of ingredients necessary to make it into an aerosol like butane and alcohol denat. On my body, it gives this weird sticky-ish texture and I don't quite enjoy it esp. if I have been perspiring the whole day and feeling already-sticky in this humid weather. 

I'd say give this a miss lah in general. I won't even use it on my body. Available in Watsons. 

Biore UV Mild Milk (For Kids) SPF 50+ PA++++

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MAIN INGREDIENTS:

  • Octinixate (UVB)
  • Tinosorb S (UVA, UVA1/2)
  • Uvinul A Plus (UVA1)
  • Uvinul T150 (UVB)

THE GOOD:

  • Emollients such as C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol for basic skin-conditioning properties
  • Cyclopentasiloxane: might be milding irritating for skin/eyes though
  • Tocopherol: Vit E

THE DUBIOUS:

  • Dimethicone
  • BHT: this does penetrate but relatively low amount remains primarily in skin
  • Methylparaben
  • Petroleum***

MY THOUGHTS:

I got suckered into this cause I saw that it was advertised for kids so the ingredient list confirm not too bad right? LOL. I really wouldn't use this on kids. I have decided that next time, if/when I have kids, I am only gonna use physical sunscreens on them. 

Uvinul T150 is not approved by FDA and the good stuff included are very....meh? I don't care so much for dimethicone in this as stated in my disclaimer above but the inclusion of not-so-friendly parabens is a no for me. If other sunscreens can do it, I don't see why you can't. Lol is it no give chance. 

As for petroleum....this is a personal preference. Vaseline is petroleum and I know some people who freaking love it. I have been trying to read up more on petroleum and mineral oil in beauty stuff and I found some points that I am just gonna share. Pls don't go crazy if you like petroleum and mineral oil, I am really just sharing.

1. Research has shown that despite the claim that petroleum and mineral oil used in the beauty industry is 'pure', a study done show that women's breast milk (collected after giving birth); both the fat and the milk were contaminated with mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons

Certain components of mineral oil (which is in many cosmetics) are toxic, and any that does get into the system does not metabolize.

2. According to EWG, 80 percent of all beauty products may be contaminated with one or more of the two dozen recognized cosmetic impurities that are linked to cancer. The scariest of these possible contaminants is called 1,4 dioxane, an impurity found in 22% of petroleum-based cosmetics and that is a possible human carcinogen.

3. They form an invisible film on the surface that blocks the pores and the skin's natural respiration process. THIS statement has been highly debated in the sense that cosmetic-grade forms comedogenic but hmm...better to be safe? 

4. Since both products form a seal, many with dry skin like the idea that it seals in moisture. But what if you don't have enough moisture beneath to start with?? I would say there's many other ways to lock moisture including the very simple act of layering hydrating (not astringent) toners. Just layering multiple layers and then sealing it with a good cream moisturizer with actual good ingredients might seem like a better idea, no?

I have been trying to eye my products' ingredient lists carefully these days and avoid anything with petroleum and mineral oil just because. Again, this is a personal preference. You can also do ur own research and decide for yourself! 

I won't use this on any kid's face or body for the matter that there are definitely sunscreens out there with better filters and significantly better ingredients. Available in Watsons. 

White Formula UV Protective Gel with Hyaluronic Acid SPF 50+ PA++++

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MAIN INGREDIENTS:

  • Azobenzene (UVA) 1%
  • Octinoxate (UVB) 2%
  • Octocrylene (UVB, UVA2) 1%

THE GOOD:

  • Emollients such as Glycerin for basic skin-conditioning properties 
  • Phospholipids: attract water and hold on to it
  • Caprylyl Glycol/Pentylene Glycol: moisturizer, anti-microbial properties
  • Niacinamide: 
  • Radish Root Ferment Filtrate: natural preservative compared to parabens
  • Trehalose: retain moisture with anti-aging properties
  • Urea: moisturizing, anti-itch propertjes and strengthen skin barrier
  • Sodium Hyaluronate: hydration
  • Carob Seed Extract: moisturizing and anti-septic properties 
  • Carrageenan Extract: Skin-conditioning and protects against UV rays

THE DUBIOUS:

  • Dimethicone

MY THOUGHTS:

See what I mean by better sunscreens out there with better ingredient list? I bought this mainly to use on my body. I have been trying so many out and nothing felt comfortable enough until this. Before I go on, I am officially declaring this my HG for body! I really hate sunscreen smell - like, HATE and this is VERY minimal. SCORE. This also comes in a gel texture and glides on easily and dries quick without that overly oily-sticky feeling. DOUBLE SCORE. 

The ingredient list for this also looks pretty decent and I have nothing much to complain about? Sure, the chemical filters are not the best but I am using this on my arms only so that's fine for me. For body sunscreen (and by body, I generally mean the parts exposed most to the sun aka my arms), I really need it to be comfy. It irks me when I get sticky in this weather and then the sunscreen makes me feel extra oily and icky? Urggh. But this doesn't!! I am really really liking this and I don't feel put off when I have to apply it to my arms repeatedly. I wish it comes in a bigger version tho. Available in Watsons.

Make P:REM UV Defense Me Blue Ray Sun Fluid SPF 50+ PA++++

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MAIN INGREDIENTS:

  • Zinc Oxide
  • Titanium Dioxide

THE GOOD:

  • Emollients like Dicarylyl Carbonate and Cetyl Ethylhexanoate for basic skin-conditioning properties
  • Salvia Hispanica Seed Extract: known as Chia seed and the omega-3 fatty acids protect the top stratum of skin and provides relief to wounds
  • Cetella Asiatica Extract: known as Gotu Kula. Has anti-aging, healing and anti-oxidant properties
  • Houttuynia Cordata Extract: moisturizing and soothing properties
  • Citrus Aurantium Bergarnia Fruit Oil: antiseptic and has a citrus aroma
  • Salvia Officinalis Oil: sage oil that has anti-aging properties
  • Betel Alba Juice: anti-aging, astringent, anti-inflammatory properties
  • Xylitylglucoside/Anhydroxylitol: seal in moisture and prevent water loss
  • Xylitol: boosts level of hyaluronic acid and increase ceramide in skin
  • Nymphaea Alba Flower Extract: moisturizing, brightens skin, soothing effects and anti-aging properties
  • Cardiospermum Halicacabum Flower/Leaf/Vine Extract: natural cortisone which is good for redness, rashes and even prevents mosquito bites
  • Helianthus Annus Seed Oil Unsaponifiables: rich in Vit E and is a plant-derived squalene!
  • Tocopherol: Vit E 
  • Glucose: water-binding properties
  • Sodium Hyaluronate: hydration
  • Rufus Arctics Callus Extract

MY THOUGHTS:

This is a straight-up physical sunblock with only zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as filters. This also means that this will create a white cast. I am gonna add it in right away that if you're skin tone is medium to dark, you are gonna hate this cause its going to make u ashy with the cast.

However, if you're fair-skinned, this is omfg the best sunscreen I've used so far. The finish is slightly tacky which means it acts as the best makeup base ever. I have absolutely no oil-issue with this and it doesn't cause me to get oilier throughout the day. With the white cast, its not as bad as the Mamonde one above but gives me this very very nice finish and glow like my skin is just...brighter. I haven't been using ANY primer of sorts ever since I used this cause I don't see a need to. This acts as a really awesome primer for most of my foundation (if I wear it) so far.

Idk how to describe it in its full glory. Pls don't expect this to be non-sticky or one of those very light sunscreen. The lack of alcohol denat should be a big clue that this really isnt gonna be very light. But its not heavy too? 

The inclusion of all the awesome ingredients make this really skin-friendly. I feel like my skin don't get irritated when i use this and omg lah I just really really love this. Plus it comes in a HUGE bottle and I am still on my first despite spamming it on daily. I only use this on my face and I don't see myself changing sunscreen anytime soon unless something really better comes along. 

I have not tried the gel or lotion or whatever form this range comes in so I can't answer those of you who have been enquiring. So far, this works the best for my skin and I just really don't see myself changing sunscreen anytime soon. I got it off Shopee but I cant rmbr the buyer lol fml. Just key it in to the search bar lah. It should appear.