This has been a much anticipated post so I am very excited to finally be able to share it with you. There are many sunscreens out there and with the goal not to overwhelm I have narrowed it down to three favourites. They’re all Australian because after all, only Aussies can truly understand how harsh our sun can get. Sunscreen is so very important all year round, but especially in summer when we tend to spend more time outdoors.
To start off the sunscreen discussion on Fluke I first wanted to talk about the two types of sunscreen; chemical and physical.
This type of sunscreen contains ingredients which absorb the harmful UVA and UVB rays so that your skin doesn’t have to. Most sunscreens you see on the supermarket shelves are chemical blockers and they typically have a light-weight texture or come in sprays and aerosols. They have been known to cause irritation on babies’ skin and sensitive skin as well as contribute to free radical damage. To counteract that, many chemical sunscreens contain antioxidants.
Physical sunscreens’ main ingredient is good old zinc oxide which creates a physical barrier to deflect UVA and UVB rays. This type of sunscreen is typically a little bit thicker and depending on the product it can have a white ghosting effect. Physical sunscreens are best suited for people who want a natural product, have sensitive skin or are applying it on babies and young children.
To sum it up, chemical sunscreens absorb and physical sunscreens reflect. Whichever one you choose (it may be a mix of both) ensure that it offers broad spectrum protection which means it is protecting against both UVA and UVB rays. Use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 30+, although I would recommend 50+ for the body.
With the basics aside, let’s get into the reviews.
Drift Essentials Suncream SPF50+
Drift Essentials Sun Cream SPF50+ is a zinc based lotion that has been designed for surfers, so if you are a keen beach goer or like to be active outdoors, this one could be a great option for you. Housed in a pale yellow tube with cool minimalist branding, it’s water resistant for 4 hours, sweat resistant and reef friendly. It contains a mix of physical and chemical ingredients as well as Aloe Vera and Vitamin E (an antioxidant).
Out of the tube it’s very thick which makes you think that it’s going to leave you looking and feeling like a greasy ghost. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it actually dries matte, doesn’t feel greasy whatsoever and doesn’t leave a noticeable white cast. Whilst it does take a little bit of effort to rub in, it’s totally worth it. You can apply it and not worry that you will burn, or that it will slide off as you start to sweat or get in the water. It has a typical zinc sunscreen smell which I quite like. It’s the smell of summer.
Cost: AUD $29.95 for 125mL from The Beauty Edit.
We Are Feel Good Inc. Sensitive SPF50+
We Are Feel Good Inc. have three sunscreens in their range and as they contain chemical blockers I thought I would try the Sensitive SPF50+ to avoid any irritation to these ingredients. It comes in a cute, peach coloured bottle with white details and it’s certainly the best looking sunscreen packaging out there. I’m a big believer in making sunscreens appealing, and if it takes cool packaging to make people use it more then that’s ok with me. This lotion is fragrance free, preservative free and reef friendly.
I really enjoy the light-weight texture and of the three, it gets top marks in that category. It just feels like you are using a nice body lotion rather than sunscreen. It is easy to rub in, dry to the touch once absorbed and there is no ghostly white zinc factor. If you are ok with chemical sunscreens then this one is worth a try.
Cost: AUD$27.95 with free shipping from We Are Feel Good Inc.
Natural Instinct Invisible Natural Sunscreen SPF30+
I spotted the Natural Instinct Invisible Natural Sunscreen SPF30+ at Priceline and thought it sounded really good. An invisible, natural formulation is hard to find but there it was lurking on the bottom shelf of the sunscreen section. The active ingredient is, of course, zinc oxide and it also has some very nourishing ingredients such as Shea Butter, Grape Seed Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, Vitamin E and Safflower Seed Oil which offer moisturising benefits. This sunscreen is reef friendly and free of chemical UV filters.
The texture is definitely the runniest of the three, in fact you have to be a little bit careful with it. Firstly you have to shake the bottle to make sure that the ingredients are dispersed properly and secondly it will come out of the tube whether you squeeze it or not. Whilst these may seem like drawbacks, I actually don’t mind because the application is probably the quickest with this one and the end result is great. It is completely invisible and despite all the oils and butters it contains I don’t find it too greasy. There is a little bit of residue, I’ll be honest, but for us dry skinned folk the added moisture is welcomed.
Cost: AUD$15.99 at Priceline. Also available in a 200g size.