Summer may technically be winding down across the country, but all of us should be wearing healthy sunscreen every day.
Every year I buy the Sephora Sun Safety kits to add new products to my dark spot, melasma, hyperpigmentation and vitiligo treatment arsenol, but to be honest, I’m going to pass next year.
Too Many Repeat Products and Too Many Chemicals in Sephora Sun Safety Kit
I’m starting to sense a pattern here, and I don’t need travel sizes of these formulas 4 years in a row
Peter Thomas Roth Max Sheer All Day Moisture Defense Lotion
I’ve tried quite a few Peter Thomas Roth items over the past few years, but they aren’t always paraben free (at best). This oil-free sunscreen formula however has a really nice texture and doesn’t smell too much like sunscreen (unlike most chemical sunscreens). I’m not a huge fan of chemical sunscreens, and this Peter Thomas Roth broadspectrum lotion is full of them: avobenzone (doesn’t last long for sun protection from what i’ve read), homosalate, octinoxate, octisalate, octocrylene and oxybenzone. Many of these are considered toxic by EWG Skindeep database. Once you start using mineral sunscreent like zinc oxide, it’s hard to tolerate chemical sunscreens and their scent.
I really like Green Goddess products and this awesome infographic they made about sunscreen safety!
Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 50+
Truth be told, this Shiseido formula was my absolute favorite chemical sunscreen for years. I think I like it so much because it has both chemical sunscreens (octinoxate and octocrylene) and physical blockers titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. The formula is silky and dreamy with a pleasant added scent (I know, very odd for me to like scents). Besides a laundry list of other chemical ingredients, it also contains talc which is now an irritator for me.
Clarins UV Plus Multi-Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen
This paraben-free face sunscreen formula is very similar to the Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Cream, but thinner in concistency. It’s also a mix of chemical and mineral sunscreens and has a much more perfumy scent. If you really love scented things (and aren’t affected by artifical fragrances), I would recommend this formula, especially because it’s lightweight enough to wear under makeup.
Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 30
So the deal is, I have a hard time trusting these translucent gel-like sunscreen formulas. This chemical sunscreen formula actually has a really cool texture – it makes a great makeup primer. This blurring sunscreen is also paraben, phthalate and sulfate free. It boasts a mushroom peptide? anti-aging formula, but it does have added artificial fragrance and also uses retinyl palmitate (it is a part of Murad’s Age Reform line), but I don’t use retinol and retinol-related ingredients.
This year they also included the similar Cover FX Clear Cover Invisible Sunscreen. This vegan formula is paraben free, fragrance free and mineral oil free, but keep in mind it does contains chemical sunscreens and silicone. In general I do like Cover FX because they are talc-free.
Sugar SPF Lip Treatments
The past three Sephora Sun Safety Kids have included some version of a Sugar brand lip treatment with spft. This year’s version – the Sugar “Nude” Tinted Lip Treatment is probably my favorite. In general Sugar lip treatments are too scented for me, I just don’t like the formula (too silky / absorbs too quickly?) and I would prefer to especially not use chemical sunscreens on my lips where they can be easily digested.
Supergoop City Sunscreen Serum or Supergoop Defense Refresh Setting Mist with Rosemary
I’m just kind of over Supergoop. I’ve gotten soooo many City Sunscreen Serums and Rosemary Setting Mists samples over the years from Sephora, and they are both very underwhelming.
Some sort of AmorePacific Formula
This year it’s the Resort Collection Sun Cushion with SPF 30+ and two years ago it was the Natural Protector. Uggh…what is that weird scent they add to all of their products? So over this potentially awesome K-beauty brand – it could be so good if it wasn’t so scented!!! These products may be paraben and cruelty-free, but the added fragrance is too much. And I’ve racked up more AmorePacific samples form Sephora over the years than any other brand.
Sephora also loves to push Algenist and I actually really like the texture of the Sublime Defense Anti-Aging Blurring Moisturizer SPF 30 although Algenist does scent their products. This paraben free formula does include squalene which I love and microalgae.
Welcome Sun Safety Kit Repeats and Winners
Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47 is frequently repeated in these kits and used to be a common sample at Sephora. That’s how I discovered this gentle, organic mineral sunscreen and I still love it and use it most days.
Last year Sephora included St. Tropez Gradual Tan In-Show lotion and this year they included the St. Tropez Instant Healthy Glow gradual tanning lotion. I’ve frequently used St. Tropez products over the last few years (I was a big fan of the mousse + mitt). These paraben free formulas are very hydrating and don’t smell as bad as most self-tanning products (like Jergens) but they have a few too many chemicals for me to be using right now.
Dr. Dennis Gross Dark Spot Sun Defense Broad Spectrum sunscreen was included the past 2 years. Dr. Dennis Gross makes a lot of Vitamin C and dark spot treatment formulas that I do try from time to time and I do like this formula. This paraben free formula has mineral based sunscreen, but also lots of chemicals compared to my favorite healthy natural sunscreens, included BHT so I don’t use this sunscreen too often.
Last year and this year’s Sun Safety Kit included MD Solar Sciences Mineral Creme physical/mineral sunscreen. These gluten free, mineral oil free, paraben free, phthalate free are really nice lightweight face sunscreen formulations, but keep in mind they do contain silicone. This year’s version is the SPF 30 tinted formula.
Dr. Jart, Boscia and Coola are often frequent inclusions in these Sephora Sun Safety kits. This year, the Coola Daydream Mineral Primer in SPF 30 has been my favorite product. I use this natural SPF and water-resistant primer most days under my makeup. This cruelty-free mineral sunscreen primer has a similar texture and finish to the Murad Invisiblur perfecting shield but without the added fragrance and it only has zinc and titanium dioxide for its SPF protection.
While the Coola Daydream Mineral Primer does originally have a white cast, it blends in quickly. Keep in mind not all Coola products are organic and some do contain chemical sunscreens. SeaMakers & Co in La Jolla has a great Coola selection including my beloved Rosilliance BB Cream.
There are a few newer products this year like Vita Liberata Body Blur, Neogen Dermalogy Day-Light Protection and Dr. Brandt Pores No More Multi-Performance stick, but I haven’t made my mind up about these products yet 🙂