Although facial sunscreen is very important, I don’t talk about my whole sunscreen saga often. Two reasons:
- I haven’t found one I actually care for which leads to…
- Being a lazy jerk about application despite it needing to be a priority for me.
Body sunscreens are fine and I have zero issue with them. I have two Hawaiian Tropic favorites (this SPF 50 one glides on and moisturizes beautifully, and this SPF 20 one is shimmery). For a while, I pursued moisturizers with at least SPF 15 sunscreen in them and hated every.single.one. They smelled weird. They left a white cast. Regardless of being oil-free, they left my skin with an awkwardly shiny sheen and worst of all? They broke me out.
And what do we say to the product that’s causing breakouts?
So, like an ass, I had forsaken the effort for a while and relied on my foundations and whatnot for protection, and the sunscreen saga was at a halt. Then, my mom received a melanoma diagnosis (she’s OK! – she paid attention to her skin and saw a dermatologist when she noticed a change in some moles she had [for the love of cats please go if you notice such a thing]). They caught it early enough that a couple relatively simple excisions were all that were necessary, though she does have to go back every so often because sufferers are at increased risk in the future. I stopped tanning (but I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t miss it), and I got serious about sunscreen. After all, a few blemishes and effed up, scaly-textured skin between your eyes, even if you have them perpetually, are far better than having to contend with melanoma.
For a long time, I was using an SPF 50 Walgreens-branded (oh snap, yes, generic!) variant of a popular Neutrogena sunscreen (I am unsure of which one, but I think it is a Dry Touch one, maybe this one?) – but the reviews were fantastic, the price was nice, and it was accessible. I actually mentioned it in my old Skincare Basics and in an old Favorites. It didn’t keep me in a perpetual state of blemish-dom, but my skin wasn’t happy with it – and it wasn’t my own overt scrutiny; my husband noticed the change in how the skin on my face appeared.
The sunscreen itself is GOOD – it absolutely does its job. No sunburn, even out all day, including through peak sun at an amusement park in July. It took me all this time, and this product, to realize that I have some kind of sensitivity to many readily available sunscreens. Honestly, I’m not sure which component doesn’t play nice with my skin, but after doing some research about my complaints and situation, I came across several recommendations for a Biore sunscreen.
While I used to be a pore strip loyal, my mind hasn’t been blown by Biore for years. Or, more specifically, Biore US. You see, Biore is owned by the KAO Corporation and originated in Japan. They are actively doing business in Japan and enjoy success there – and they don’t indulge in shenanigans the way their US counterpart does. Sunscreen is serious business in Asia, and I learned that many formulations over there differ significantly from our thick, smelly, stark-white pastes…and in fact tend to be kinder to skin. Dozens of testimony lead me to stray from the beaten path of western sunscreen and down the rabbit hole that is asian items.
First stop? Biore AQUA Rich Watery Essence SPF 50+ PA++++. It just came in the mail from Amazon and I’ve never been so excited about a sunscreen – I so hope it’s the right one for me, I’m really looking forward to discontinuing use of stuff that makes my skin unhappy. What protection efforts are you making for your skin?