Holy Grail SPFs
Finding the perfect sunscreen isn’t easy. I’ve always been all over the map with my sunscreen brands, never quite finding ALL the qualities one wants in a sunscreen: one that won’t pill off the skin when applied, one that won’t make you breakout, and one that feels comfortable on your face so that you’re motivated enough to wear it every day, rain or shine, and reapply frequently. That’s the point after all.
Then there’s the health concern of which type of sunblock to choose: mineral or chemical? Mineral SPFs are touted as being “safer” by staunch environmental advocates and more effective by some dermatologists.
For these reasons, I’ve been loyal to the Elta MD UV Physical, a tinted sunscreen cream sold at select medical spas and dermatologists’ offices in Canada and the U.S., for more than a year. This SPF uses micronized zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which means that I was able to slop it on my face and head out immediately since these minerals work right away. However four months ago, after more than a year of using it, I started to notice that my skin was getting drier than normal, particularly around my lower face. I had dry patches around my lips that made me look like I had a peel done. Adding a hydrating serum underneath the sunscreen helped a bit but I was still getting flaky skin more often than I liked. I knew that I needed a heavier day cream – but adding another moisturizer to my morning routine on top of my sunscreen would be a recipe for zits for my combination skin.
When I mentioned my predicament to my dermatologist, Dr. Lisa Kellett, she suggested I try her anti-aging sunscreen formulas – there are two types, a spray and a lotion.
Kellett Skincare SPF 30 Spray
The continuous spray SPF, she says, is popular with men (especially hairy guys) and active people who tend to break out from post-workout sweat (that’s me!). Because it’s alcohol-based it helps to dry out excess oil in the skin, reducing the amount of breakouts. I’ve gone through three bottles so far, and I keep one by my door so that I remember to spritz my exposed legs and feet before leaving the house. Did you know that melanoma is often found on the tops and bottoms of feet? A spray sunscreen is perfect for protecting forgotten feet, after all, who has time to put sunscreen lotion on their feet in the mornings? I don’t know about you, but the only time I put any kind of cream on my feet is before bed on wintry nights, hoping that by morning my hideously dry soles become softer.
Buy it here.
Active Ingredients: Homosalate 5.0%, Octinoxate 7.5%, Octisalate 5.0%, Oxybenzone 4.0% Inactive Ingredients / Ingrédients inactifs: SD Alcohol 40, Acrylates/Octylacrylamide Copolymer, SD Alcohol 40-B
Kellett Skincare SPF 30 Face Lotion
This has the best texture of any sunscreen I’ve tried. It’s lightweight, spreads well, and hydrates like an overpriced night cream. It feels great under makeup (I apply it right when I wake up all over my face and neck, let it soak in for 20 minutes while I prepare my brekkie) and even over makeup (when I reapply before leaving the office for the day). What’s more, this lotion can actually help fade dark spots over time because it contains licorice root extract, a common anti-inflammatory ingredient found in skin-lightening cosmeceuticals. Seriously, what more can you ask for in a sunscreen? I carry a tube at all times in my makeup bag…
Buy it here.
Active Ingredients:Avobenzone 2%, Homosalate 7.5%, Octisalate 5.0%, Octocrylene 2.75%, Oxybenzone 2% Inactive Ingredients: Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, BHT, Butylphthalimide (and) Isopropylphthalimide, Cetyl Alcohol, DEA-Cetyl Phosphate, Diethylhexyl 2,6-Naphthalate, Disodium EDTA, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract Methylisothiazolinone, Methylparaben, Polyester-8, Polyethylene, Propylene Glycol, Propylparaben, Silica, Stearyl Alcohol, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Triethanolamine, Water
If you have high standards with skincare, you will love these formulas! Here’s Dr. Kellett explaining how to use them correctly.