In Search of the Perfect Sunscreen

Working outside means sunscreen is pretty much part of my uniform.  For those of you who love being outside the summer months this probably isn’t an issue, but I absolutely hate sunscreen.  I hate the smell of it; I hate the feel of it on my skin.  I also hate getting sunburn, more than I hate sunscreen, so I’ve put up with it for years.  Not anymore though.

There are hundreds of sunscreen options for people today.  No rub sprays, scents other than Generic Sunscreen scent, no scent, sweat proof formulas for athletes, even dry sunscreen.  Dry sunscreen claims to go on the body without that greasy sunscreen texture, but do they all pass the test?

My first sunscreen was Coppertone Dry Oil Continuous Spray SPF 10.  First of all, I wouldn’t recommend this level of SPF First of all since even the can states “suncare products with an SPF below 15 may not provide adequate protection against sunburn and skin damage for some skin types.”  Second, what exactly is dry oil?  It sounds like a contradiction.  The can also says that it “won’t clog pores or leave your skin feeling greasy and sticky.”  When I put it on my skin didn’t feel greasy, but I wasn’t 100% sticky feeling free.  I could definitely feel the sunscreen on my skin like a weird layer of armor against UV rays.  It was a strange type of sticky; a weak kind like glue that wasn’t completely dry but still wouldn’t be able to hold anything.

I went to a few drugstores in my area looking for a new sunscreen.  Most were the typical kind with the feeling I hated and the scent that leaked through their cans and bottles, polluting the entire aisle.  I only found two brands at my local drugstores that sounded promising.

One was L’Oréal Paris Sublime Sun Advanced Sunscreen SPF 30 Hydra Lotion Spray.  It seemed promising since L’Oréal makes cosmetics so they should be able to make a decent sunscreen that doesn’t feel terrible on my skin.  I turned the can over and read the directions to see step number three: rub lotion into the skin.  Seriously?  Call me lazy, but the whole reason I buy spray sunscreen is so I don’t have to touch it and cause streaks on my skin.  I put the L’Oréal can back. 

My only other choice was Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunblock SPF 30.  The can said “weightless,” “clean feel,” and I didn’t even have to touch it.  Feeling that I had nothing to lose I bought it and waited for work the next day.

The Neutrogena sunscreen worked just as promised.  I applied two coats before work just to see how thick it would get before I felt it.  To my surprise I didn’t feel it at all.  I didn’t even have the strong urge to wash my hands after apply sunscreen to my face.  I felt light and dry.  Finally, a sunscreen I could live with.

Written By: Nikki M.

Photo Sources:

http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/assets/2010/06/22/sn-tanning.jpg

http://pics.drugstore.com/prodimg/166369/300.jpg

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