Effective sun protection creams and lotions are the only non-prescription product that the FDA allows to make anti-aging claims. But buying a powerful yet effective sunscreen can be daunting. Go into any pharmacy and you’re met with a long wall of options. Waterproof? Oil-free? Broad spectrum, Fragrance-free? I covered this material before in a series of Sunscreen Cheat Sheets, but once you have picked the right formula, then you want to get the best possible price. Remember you need to use sun protection each and every day and you need to use it fairly generously. If you’re not using up a 3 ounce bottle in three months, you’re not applying enough. Designer sunscreens from Peter Thomas Roth and Shiseido are beautiful products that are at least 3X the cost of drugstore brands. It wil cost you $120-140 per year for just this one product. We can do better.
Here are five of my favorite affordable facial sunscreens. Products that are meant to be used for the body will tend to discolor make-up that is applied over it. Facial sunscreens are formulated to accept layers of makeup without turning them dark or orangey.
1. Aveeno Active Naturals Positively Radiant SPF 30 ($19)
A light but broadspectrum moisturizing formulation that is beautiful for drier skins. It also contains soy complex which is known to reduce melanin production. This lightly scented sun screen both prevents aging sun damage and increased dark patches.
2.Neutrogena Clear Face ( Break-out Free) SPF30($ 12.99)
This oil-free lotion contains Heli0plex, the uber strong broad spectrum sunscreen. This is an excellent choice for oily/acne prone complexions.
3. Coppertone Sensitive Skin Faces SPF50 $12.99
This super effective fragrance-free broad spectrum sunscreen is also water resistant. It has both chemical and physical sunscreens for better protection with less irritation.
4. Neutrogena Sensitive Skin SPF 30 $10.99
This may be the best choice for truely sensitive skin as well as skin that has just been treated with lasers, IPL or even Retin A. This product contains only titanium oxide yet delivers a full 30SPF. I always have a fresh bottle of this sunscreen in my beauty tool kit.
5. Susan Posnick Brush-On Block 30SPF( $25.00)
An innovative brush on sunscreen delivers a totally gentle broad spectrum 30 SPF. When my skin seemed to be overreacting to everything but water, Brush on Block was the only sunscreen I could use. Now that my skin has calmed down, I still use it everyday to reapply sunscreen protection. It comes in a translucent shade that works for most skin tones. Its available online at Susan Posnick.
One final thought: Most sunscreens are too irritating to use in the delicate eye area. Not only does the sun cause wrinkling, it promotes dark circles. To protect the eyes, use sunscreen fortified concealers and I reviewed my five favorites in the current issue of the No-Nonsense Beauty Newsletter. You can subscribe to this quarterly online newsletter in the right hand column of this page.