Sunscreen Review: Protect Your Skin Without Wrecking Your Complexion Posted on June 24, 2016 by , 0 comments

One in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetimes. And the worst part is that a lot of that sun exposure can be limited by wearing sun protection like sunscreen, sunblock, and protective clothing. But just because you want to protect your skin from harmful cancer causing, age-promoting rays, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your complexion.

The basics of sun protection:

First of all, there isn’t a single sunscreen or sunblock out there that shields you 100% from the sun. Most can do about 97%, which is pretty good! Remember to apply fifteen minutes before going in the sun, reapply every a few hours, and use more than you think you need (most Americans use less than the effective amount and end up burned anyway). Your SPF should be no less than 30 and you want to find a sunscreen or sunblock that protects from UVA and UVB rays (UVA: causes skin cancer and premature aging, UVB causes redness and burning—and you don’t want either one).

Sunscreen vs. Sunblock

There is a difference in the verbiage between ‘sunscreen’ and ‘sunblock’. Sunscreen is also known as a chemical sunscreen. These products are absorbed into the skin and help filter out the sun’s harmful effects. Sunblock, also known as physical sunscreen, contains products like zinc oxide that sit on top of the skin to deflect the sun’s rays. Some of our favorites for keeping your complexion clear are:

Shieido Urban Environment Oil-Free UV Protector  

Clinique City Block Sheer Oil-Free Daily Face Protector

L’Oreal Paris Advanced Suncare Silky Sheer BB Face Lotion     


Mineral-based sunscreen is a physical sunscreen, meaning that it sits on top of the skin and isn’t absorbed. For some people with acne, this can be a safe alternative to oilier sunscreens. And for people who don’t like the idea of having harsh chemicals absorbed into their bodies, mineral sunscreens are a great alternative. Brush-on mineral sunscreens can be applied right on top of makeup. And there are plenty of different brands out there to try. We found: 

Brush on Block

Mineral Fusion Brush-On Sun Defense

Colorescience Sunforgettable Mineral Sunscreens

Sensitive skin

For those with sensitive skin, look no further than the baby sunscreen aisle. These are hypoallergenic, are typically 50 SPF or above, and contain high levels of minerals, which act as a sun block. Many options are also low on the chemicals and less toxic than some typical sunscreens. Our favorites include:

Babyganics Mineral-Based Baby Sunscreen Lotion

Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Sunscreen Lotion

Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen

Cover it up!

For those with super sensitive skin that breaks out no matter what, sun protection clothing may be the best fit, so to speak. Sun hats, sun shirts, sun skirts—many offer 75 SPF and higher. And they can be really cute, too! At the very least, they’ll be cuter than skin cancer and wrinkles.

Do you have a favorite sun protection method that keeps your summer complexion looking great? Tell us in the comments below!

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