Avene Mineral Ultra-Light Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion 50 SPF+

Avene Ultra Light Sunscreen

Euch. Nothing I dislike more than a product that doesn’t live up to it’s claims.

I made a year long switch to physical sunscreens only, whilst navigating my insane hormonal acne, to see if the ingredients typically used in chemical sunscreens were making my break outs worse. This was the third? I tried, I believe. Not good. First of all, it just doesn’t smell good — no expectations of fragrance and florals here, I just wanted it to smell like nothing. I can’t explain it — it smelled like a slightly-damp basement, almost. I know I really need to work on my adjectives and descriptors, but that’s the only thing I can come up with. Either way, smelling that smell on your face all day is just… eugh.

No amount of rubbing this product in or hybrid “let it sit then rub” or “rub it then let it sit” will fully get the product to go in, without leaving some type of residual white cast. And if you have tiny baby hairs growing on your skin, FORGET IT! White cast all over the place, and it goes without saying, this pills like crazy, with or without makeup. Again, physical sunscreens =/= absorbent, but this one was tougher than the others I’ve tried. So throw the whole, “Sheer, non-whitening” advertisement in the can.

Then, 3pm comes. My makeup and/or moisturizer show signs of starting to break down. And so does my sunscreen. Hello, pilly, white-cast-y, oily mess! Get ready for whiteness to cling like crazy to your dry spots, while you’re at it.

I know that physical sunscreens are supposed to be more effective than chemical ones, in general and particularly with long periods of exposure to the sun, but MAN, I am so happy to make the return to chemical sunscreens. I was stoked to throw this little bottle of Avene in the trash. Physical sunscreens are tough, either way you slice it, but there’s definitely much better out there that beat the $28 price mark here. ~A

Perceived efficacy: 2/5 (I mean, it probably works as a sunscreen, but the sheer/non-whitening part? Pschtt..)

Longevity: 2.5/5

How much I actually like this product: 1/5



Cerave Sunscreen, Broad Spectrum 30 SPF

Cerave Sunscreen 30 SPF

I cut out chemical sunscreens during my cystic acne phase, and only used physical sunscreens, spending many days with white-cast nightmare skin. Now that that part of my life is over, I decided to tip-toe back into the world of chemical sunscreens. My holy grail sunscreen is Its Skin 2pm Sunblock 50spf+, but it ships from Korea, and at present, I can’t find it for cheaper than $25, which is more than I’m willing to spend. So I picked this up in the meantime. I know 30 spf isn’t terribly high by any means, but I don’t intend on using it for scenarios with intense sun.

I’ve been using this for two days straight, and layered it over different moisturizers each day. Goes on fine, no pilling at all, no white cast, felt pretty smooth to the touch. Doesn’t smell like anything, which is fine by me. So from the onset, I liked it! I checked out my face in the office mirror at noon, it looked okay at that point still.

I got out of a big meeting at 3pm and… there it was, the pilling disaster. The sunscreen was clinging to my dry areas, and those parts of my face became a nice, white-ish, peeling goop mess. I’m sure that was a sight to behold for everyone else in that meeting. I’ve always heard that you need to re-apply sunscreens halfway through the day anyway, but I suspect that reapplying would have made the pilling situation 10x worse!

So.. I don’t know what to think. I love the application, but the longevity doesn’t seem to stretch as long as I’d like. I’ll probably keep using it until I can get my hands on something else (and avoid those known dry spots like the plague). I’ve seen the price points range between $8-$14, but it likely won’t be something I’ll repurchase. ~A

(Update, a few weeks later: acne sufferers, SKIP THIS ONE!)

Perceived efficacy: 4.5/5

Longevity: 2/5

How much I actually like this product: 3/5