Beauty Product Review: Sunscreen

My daughter Vanessa was in town recently and raving about her new sunscreens that she brought on her trip to Morocco. I have been slathering SPF 60 on both my kids since they were in diapers, so I’m thrilled she has taken to using sunscreen every day.

She has very sensitive skin and has also needed freckles removed by a dermatologist so is very careful with purchasing a quality sunscreen. My history of melanoma makes me a nut about sun protection, and I want it to be healthy. I’m not a fan of chemical sunscreens because of the endocrine disruptors they contain. I prefer physical sunblock which prevents damage with no health downside.
Elta MD sunscreen

She was raving about Elta MD, and so I wanted to give it a try. She had the tinted version which I was afraid would look orange on me, but it didn’t! In fact, it prevents that ghostly cast some physical sunscreens can leave.

Elta MD sunscreen

It went on smoothly and blended right in to be invisible on my face. I love it and have ordered my own. The best price I’ve found is here at Amazon, which is lower than my dermatologist’s price for it.

Color Science Sunforgettable

Then I dusted on her Color Science Sunforgettable. It’s a broad spectrum sunscreen that acts as a translucent powder. She carries hers in her purse for quick touch ups on her face, hands and neck throughout the day. Genious! It provides 50 SPF in a purely physical form. It’s simply Titanium Oxide and Zinc Oxide.

I’ve ordered both and am excited to get them. In fact, I ordered 2 of the Color Science. One for my dressing table and one to carry in my purse.

How are you protecting yourself from the sun this summer?



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  1. Barbara Vance says:

    Add me to the list of happy EltaMD customers, after recommendations from my dermatologist, also. This tinted sunscreen is all I need on a casual day for sunscreen and light coverage. I have fair, super dry skin, and I use a moisturizer under this product.

    1. I use a moisturizer under it too, mine just happens to also have a sunscreen in it! Call me paranoid, but I can’t protect my skin enough. Thanks for reading, Barbara!

  2. My cosmetic dermatologist recommends both these products. They are great!!

  3. Based on the recommendation from the pharmacist, I’ve been using La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL SPF 60. Mexoryl is approved in Canada and La Roche is imported from France. They have the mineral based ones at our local drug stores too. You have a very valid point about the chemical.sunscreens. I always found the mineral ones heavy. Perhaps I should give it another try when I’ve used up my present supply.

    I’ve used Color Science brush-on and keep it in my car. No room in my purse. It’s great for a touch up but not a substitute for regular lotion. It has a very soft brush unlike different brands I’ve tried. In my cabinet, I have The Shiseido compact SPF 35 and also the UV37 protective stick foundation as a concealer.

    I regret those few years when I tried to get a tan like other people. My skin wasnt meant for it.

    I also wear Sunveil hats which are approved as a sun block.

    1. You sound serious about sun protection, like me!! I’ve not heard of that Shiseido stick. I used their sunscreens for years until they added chemical sunscreen into their formulas. My dermatologist told me the Mexoryl is a superior sunscreen. It’s a juggling act to get the best protection without those endrocine disrupters!
      You’re exactly right about the softness of the brush with the Colorscience. I did try a different brand from Whole Foods and the brush was coarse.

  4. Jennifer, do you like this product better than the Josie Maran SPF47 (untinted)? On your recommendation I started using that product a few months ago and really love it. However, it goes fast and does get costly, so it is good to know about an alternate. I really appreciate your skincare posts – thank you!

    1. I use both! The Josie Maran is also a moisturizer so I use that first then put the other over it. Plus it’s great for my neck and chest, which I don’t use the tinted in because I’m afraid it’ll discolor my clothes.

  5. I have been using the tinted Elta MD 41 for a couple of years (recommended by my dermatologist) and can really see a difference in my skin. The other product looks interesting too! I also love hats, not only for sun protection but also to fight the frizzes in our hot, humid southern climate. When at the beach or pool I love the Lands End swim shirts. Not only do they protect my arms and shoulders from the sun, but after swimming in them they keep me cool while sitting under the umbrella.

    1. Sun protective clothing is such a great invention!! I have a few things I really love. I didn’t know Lands End made them too. Thanks for letting me know, Nan!

  6. Thank you – EltaMD sounds like a good U.S. alternative to my current favorite from France, La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Ultra-Light Sunscreen Tinted 1.7 OZ, 50ml.

    It contains Mexoryl SX,which is the most effective UVA-blocking sunscreen ingredient but it’s not yet available in the U.S. (There is a version of this product by a similar name in the US but it doesn’t contain this active ingredient). It has a very light consistency with a slight tint (no ghostly white case at all) that is a wonderful base for makeup. It runs about $25 USD. There is a scented and unscented version.

    1. I used to use the La Roche Posey, after my dermatologist recommended it. It was amazing. Then I began to worry about the chemicals in it so have leaned towards physical blocks lately.

  7. I have had melasma for about 25 years. The only way to prevent it is to avoid the sun. I wear a lotion with SPF, wear a broad rimmed hat when outdoors, plus avoid prolonged sun exposure as much as possible. I miss just being able to be out in the sun, but the big upside is that my skin is still looking quite young due to sun avoidance.

    1. I’ll bet your skin looks great! More people need to protect their skin the way you do, Jen!! Thanks for sharing.

  8. I agree with your views on chemical sunscreens. I am sensitive to titanium dioxide so have to stick with good old zinc oxide! Suntegrity 5 in 1 facial moisturizer is my go to “foundation”, I bought a UPF shirt to go to and from work, and Suntegrity body sunscreen when out playing. You are doing a great service promoting sunscreen! Keep it up

    1. I’ve not heard of Suntegrity, Lisa. Thanks for the heads up! I’m always looking for the best protection that isn’t yucky to use. I’ll check it out!!

  9. Thumbs up from me on the Elta MD. I have used it for years in the white version. I sampled the “clear” one and didn’t like the feel but didn’t know there is a tinted one. I’ll check it out when mine expires soon. The powder sunscreen looks interesting! Thanks for the sunscreen info!

    1. That’s good to know about the clear version, Terry. I never would have bought the tinted without trying it first.

  10. I use Bioderma sunblock on my face, and whatever was on sale on my arms. I have a tinted Bioderma with physical barrier, but it’s still too pale, even for a pasty face like mine. I sometimes darken it with a drop of darker foundation. But I’ve read that mixing reduces the efficiency of the sun block.
    I’ve had bad luck with sunblock discoloring white clothing. It’s one reason I’m not loyal to a brand (the Bioderma for the face is because it doesn’t irritate, but it doesn’t touch my clothes either)–I keep trying to find something that won’t leave a yellowish stain on white clothes. And it doesn’t come out! Any suggestions?

    1. I hate when sun block discolors clothes too! I’m not sure if chemical sunscreens do it less, but I’m guessing they might.
      I just know my summer whites will need to be replaced frequently, so don’t spend a lot of money on them. If I find the answer, I will share it!

  11. Mary Wyatt says:

    Thank you for your post. I have extra sensitive skin and my aesthetician has given me samples of the Elta MD SPF 41 tinted facial sunscreen. I really like it and agree with your evaluations on the tint and ease of use.
    The Sunforgettable product sounds interesting.
    Have a great day!

    1. I was surprised the tint works so well on my pale complexion! It’s really a great product.