Of all the threads on NaturallyCurly, this is among my fav 5: What Beauty Tip Would You Give Yourself at 25?
One of the most frequent tips offered up was to utilize sunscreen…and all year round! I’ve definitely stepped up my sun protection game since reading this thread, but finding one that is ‘effective’, ‘non-hazardous’, non-whitening (I hate a white film!), and not ridiculously expensive, has been quite the challenge. Trust me.
I started my search on CosmeticDatabase … in an attempt to find the least hazardous one, considering I’d be applying it liberally to my face on a daily basis.
The first one I tried, Badger SPF 30, has a hazard rating of Zero and was reasonably priced at Whole Foods. Unfortunately, it refused to absorb and I was left with a thick white film on my face. No go.
I then tried Olay Complete Defense SPF 30 and Neutrogena’s Healthy Defense…but I’m pretty sure mine had the Helioplex technology. Both were almost perfect… non-greasy, smelled great, moisturizing, but only partially absorbed. If I used too much of the Olay, I was always left with a white haze around my mouth and nose. If you have a lighter skin tone, or are simply ready to experiment with Sunscreens, I would definitely look into these two. I’ll probably re-purchase the Neutrogena this week.
My fav, Olay Complete Spf 15 for Sensitive Skin has a lower SPF, but readily absorbs, leaves my skin soft, and doesn’t cause break-outs. It’s definitely worth looking into! Between this and my 100% pure Shea Butter (which also has some sun protection properties), I should be set for the summer. On serious outdoor days, I’ll probably turn to the Neutrogena. I use my sunscreen in the morn, and the Shea at night before bed.
I hope this gives you gals a starting point. All the products above have hazard ratings of less than 5.
If you have a favorite sunscreen please leave it in the comments with your review.
At the request of my dermatologist, I use Aveeno daily moisturizer SPF 15. That's the only one he recommended so that's what I go with. Absorbs very well.
I have been using Neutrogena for four years. I am allergic to the sun. I wear the SPF 80 or 100. If you put it on your face and don't put too much on, it absorbs pretty well. I have to wear it on my ears, my chest, my arms, my hands and my lips too. Yeah it's that bad. If I don't wear it, my skin breaks out with bumps and they don't go away until December.
I use No-Ad spf 60 with aloe & Vit E. It has everything we are supposed to avoid in it but it doesn't cause my skin to break out. This is how I use it; I squeeze a pea-sized amount onto my pinkie, then shake less than 1/8 tsp of mineral makeup powder into my palm and rub them together with my hands. Next, I rub it into my face and neck as if it were regular lotion until it practically dissappears from my hands. It has the same effect as a tinted moisturizer.
Yes sunscreen is very important to skins of color. Our skin attracts the sun like honey attracts bees. And when that happens, the complexion will be uneven and blotchy. Also if your skin has tiny dark marks (post inflammatory hyperpigmentation), they become worse.
Many believe that sunscreens should be worn while on vacation or if it is hot or sunny outside. But did you know that you should wear a sunscreen every day, even on rainy days, snowy days, etc. Why ? Because the rays are present and can worsen post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (dark spots, blemishes)
That is why your sunscreen should be a broad screen suncreen. That is, it protects from UVB and UVA rays.
Also my fellow natural sistas, just as you are aware of what you put in your hair and careful about how you treat your hair, don't forget that your skin is just as important.
Shea butter gives some natural UV protection.
Actually, all of this sunscreen stuff for black people isn't accurate. Black people, because of the melanin in our skin, which protects us more from UVB rays, need to be out in the sun more. This same protection is detrimental in that it slows down our ability to soak in Vitamin D. It is encouraged that we spend more time out in the sun (but not excessively, of course) in order to get Vitamin D to prevent getting certain cancers. Of course, it's recommended to eat a balanced diet rich in greens as well. Sunscreens and blocks have nanotechnology that the scientists that are playing with don't even know if it's safe or not (and with the addition to all of the other chemicals, of course it wouldn't be). The nanotechnology has the ability to go into your bloodstream and cause respiratory problems. I say, everything in moderation. We live in a Vitamin D deficient society, especially the farther away we live from the Equator.
I definitely co-sign on the sunscreen use. Year round. Both of my grandfathers had skin cancer (one was biracial, the other, dark-skinned) and even though I’m dark, I’m also paranoid!
I use Mac’s Prep + Prime SPF 50 because I use Retin A, it keeps my skin fresh looking and non-oily/grey.
On vacation and on weekends when I’m in the sun a lot more, I use Aveeno or Neutrogena sunscreen on my face and Neutrogena, Coppertone Sport or Kiehl’s spray on the body (all great, just depends on what kind of discount I’m getting on the product).
Drivers- don’t forget a hand lotion with SPF too!
My mom swears by Olay but I love Coconut Oil hands down!
I really like Aveeno sunscreen. It’s really light and it doesn’t leave you with that greasy feel.
Thanks for posting this. Before I went on med leave my co-worker pointed out my tan-line. The infamous line I have from my sunglasses on the left side of my face. There is no reason why I should have one of those before the summer is even here. I’m going to try out the Olay sunscreen (when I can finally get out of the house) this weekend.
hands down OLAY has some of the best face lotion, but it leave me a serious shine.
I have been trying BIORE and its nice and has less of the shine that sunscreens usually give me…
I’m going to go against the tide here a point out that there are a number of studies that point to sunscreen being toxic, and perhaps a cause of cancer, for two main reasons-
1. Blocking sun rays means blocking vitamin d
2. The chemicals, colorants, fragrances and preservatives that go into sunscreen are harmful.
I’m not an expert on this subject- however a member of my family is, spending day in and day out in a oncology ward. She has said on numerous occasions she’ll take a few wrinkles over sunscreen any day.
Just thought I throw that in the mix
Avalon Organics Vitamin C Moisture Plus Lotion SPF 15 is the best that I have found and I have been through many (lol). It has a great smell, its organic and non-greasy (you know that glow you get by the end of the day). I went to get a facial and the esthetician was amazed. I told her the products I use (Avalon Organics), and she raved about the condition of my skin. You can typically find it at Target or Whole Foods. It runs about $13-16 bucks, but its worth the 4oz bottle. Also you only need a little.
I use Olay Complete All Day Moisture Lotion with SPF 15. I’m 26 and I’ve been using that for about 6 years already. I’ve recently started using Banana Boat Sport Ultra Sweatproof in SPF 30 on TOP of the Olay. I live in Miami now so I want to make sure I’m protected and that the few scars that I have don’t get darker. The combo works well. I’ve tried other moisturizers and sunblock but they leave me greasy and with the white film. I love my combo. I’m sticking to it :o)
Eboney, the Newbie
I use kiehls UV protective everyday facial moisturizing cream spf 15. I’m only 24, but I’ve used sunscreen pretty much every day for the past 10 years. I’m serious about protecting my skin! I have tried tons of sunscreens over the years, from drugstore to high end, and this is the only one that absorbs well without leaving my (somewhat oily, acne prone) skin looking oily or feeling irritated. It just feels like I’m putting on a light lotion and absorbs completely. I love it. It’s not cheap at $29.50 for 3.4 ounces, but that lasts me at least 3 months, so less than $10 a month isn’t a huge expense.
For black women, UVA protection (the aging rays) is more important than UVB protection (the burning rays, measured by SPF) for regular, everyday sun exposure. This sunscreen has Mexoryl SX, an ingredient that provides enhanced UVA protection. There’s no measure of UVA protection in the US (they have certain measures in Europe and Australia), but there are ingredients to look for such as Mexoryl and Helioplex that provide enhanced protection.
I use Clinique’s Super City Block Oil-Free Daily Face Protector SPF 40. This is the ONLY sunscreen I have been able to use that doesn’t cause me to break out. I have extremely oily skin so sunscreen has always posed a problem for me. It also doesn’t cause my skin to be any oilier than it normally is. I have been using this for over a year, and I’m very pleased with it.
I have to second Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunblock. No white film, as I experienced with the Clinique sunblock (CityBlock, I think) that my dermatologist recommended. Picked some more up at Costco just last week at a reasonable price.
Are you using sunscreen in addition to a moisturizer? Also how do you use your shea butter, it seems too thick and greasy to put on your face…please explain further!! 🙂
BOSICA has the best moisturizer/sunscreen combo on the market! Nikki, I used to use the Olay as well and got the same results. This leave NO WHITE FILM…is totally 100% natural (not even preservatives). The only down side is that it cost $27 for 1oz. But…that 1oz bottle lasts me almost 2months with liberal use…so it was totally worth it for me.
I use Alba Botanica Hawian Sun w/ green tea SPF 30. It works for my VERY oily acne prone skin and is non whitening. I got it on sale at WF for 6.99 and I think the regular price is 9.99. I have also read that if it is white then you aren’t rubbing it in enough so try that and see how it goes.
People of color definitely need sunscreen, too. This past October my husband and I went to Jamaica for our honeymoon and I called myself being well-prepared by using shea butter (if you didn’t know shea butter is said to have sunscreen in it).Plus, I’m from the south, and thats what I had been using all summer without any problems. Well by the second day of our vacation I slowly started to break out; by day four I broke out with a rash all ova my body. At first I thought I had the measeles because it was little fine bumps that itch really bad. It was very uncomfortable. Well turns out, I had a freaking sunburn!!! So I had to get a shot of cortisol
(thank God for travel insurance), use hyrdorcortisone and the doctor told me that I had to purchase sunscreen that had at least SPF 45. Plus it turns out Jamaica is that closer to the equator so I had to use something with a lot more protection (shea butter wasn’t cutting it). I was shocked because I’m a caramel colored sister and didn’t think I needed that much protection but you best to believe this summer I will be using sunscreen of SPF 45 or higher from now on!!!
I use Neutrogena Ultra Sheer (SPF 70) on my face. My skin is UBERsensitive so I’m very cautious as to what I put on it, esp. since 99.3% of everything face related will break me out. 🙁 I love this stuff! It’s very light and dissolves instantly.
i use the all you need spf 15 by prescriptives (actually, i use all their products) and i love it! it absorbs well, smells AMAZING (no funky sunscreen odour) and leaves no white residue. the only thing that’s not so great is the price ($40).
Not sunscreen related… I’d tell my yonger self that confidence is super sexy. I guess I’ve known this for a while but it’s just beginning to sink in.
I actually use the Olay Complete SPF 30 for Sensitive Skin. I tend to always opt for “sensitive skin” products in an effort to buy something less hazardous.
I was a little disappointed because as you mentioned, if you use too much you are left with that white film. And I always use too much or too little, haha. I haven’t perfected the amount to use yet.
Other than that, I can’t complain about it. It’s one of the cheaper alternatives out there and I love the pump dispenser. You can never go wrong with Olay products.