High-End Face Sunscreen Collection

Although we are still in springtime, it is definitely getting hotter and I am starting to see more and more new sunscreens coming out. We should all be putting sunscreen on our face every single day, but I start thinking more about it when it starts to get hotter outside. Since I am checking out the new sunscreens, I thought it would be fun to go through the ones I own and decide which are my favorites. I do have combination skin and sweat a lot more in the summer, so one of the trends you will see throughout this post is that I am looking for a very light, non-greasy sunscreen. So, let’s get into my sunscreen collection!

Mineral Sunscreens:

A brief definition of mineral sunscreen – Made with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which protect from UV rays by acting as a physical shield.


Farmacy Green Defense SPF 30,  $36 (1.7 oz)

Overall, this is a nice mineral sunscreen. The ingredients include Titanium Dioxide (2.40%) and Zinc Oxide (5.82%) as well as some interesting ingredients like Black Chokeberry extract (antioxidant) and marigold extract (blue light protection). It is not too thick or greasy and has not caused any breakouts for me. However, it does leave some shine and you can feel it on your face. It also takes a little bit to rub it in to avoid a white cast. Although, it works well for me at preventing any sunburn.



Drunk Elephant Umbra Tinte Physical Daily Defense SPF 30, $36 (2 oz)

I just had a sample size of this sunscreen (which is actually expired now), but I am happy I did not purchase the full size. This is a very thick tinted mineral sunscreen (Zinc Oxide 20%) that leaves your face very glowy/greasy. There are also a lot of other beneficial ingredients, including sunflower shoot extract, Astaxanthin-Rich Algae Extract, Raspberry Seed Oil, Virgin Marula Oil, Aloe Vera Leaf Extract, and Grape Juice Extract. It is possible that someone with dry skin may enjoy this sunscreen, but it is definitely not the one for me. I think because it is so thick, that it causes my face to sweat a lot more and leaves a very thick heavy layer.


Biossance Squalane + Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30, $30 (1.7 oz)

This sunscreen is my favorite of the mineral sunscreens I have tried (Zinc Oxide 14%). It is very light and rubs into the skin super quick. I don’t get any visible white cast on my skin. Not only is this a light formula, it is also hydrating with Squalane and soothing water lily among its ingredients. Overall, it is nice and simple, perfect for everyday use.

Chemical Sunscreens:

A brief definition of chemical sunscreen – Protect from UV rays by absorbing them and turning them into heat, then releasing them from the skin.

Shiseido Urban Environment Oil-Free UV Protector SPF 42, $35 (1oz)

I really like this sunscreen, although it is very expensive. It is super light and is actually mattifying, which just helps me stay a little less greasy in the summer. The active ingredients include Octinoxate 4.9%, Octocrylene 3.0%, and Zinc Oxide 12.5%. Other ingredients include Paeonia Albiflora Root Extract, which helps reduce the look of pores and Scutellaria Baicalensis Extract. Also, upon doing some research, Octinoxate is not a reef safe ingredient and is harmful to coral reefs. So, although I do like how this sunscreen feels on my face, I will be avoiding it in the future.


Paula’s Choice Ultra-Light Daily Hydrating Fluid SPF 30, $33 (2 oz)

This is a mattifying sunscreen that is also hydrating. Active ingredients for this one include Avobenzone 2.0%, Octinoxate 7.50%, Octisalate 5.0%, and Octocrylene 2.0%. This one also contains various extracts, including green tea extract. It is a very thin formula that rubs in quickly to a clear finish without white cast. Once rubbed in, it is not detectable on the skin. Unfortunately, this one also includes Octinoxate, which is not reef safe.


Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40, $34 (1.7 oz)

I really like this sunscreen. It comes out clear and works like a makeup primer. It has a silicone feel to it and blurs pores. The active ingredients for this one include Avobenzone, 3%, Homosalate 8%, Octisalate 5%, and Octocrylene 4%. Unfortunately, in my research I found that Octocrylene is another ingredient that is not reef safe although this sunscreen is advertised as reef-safe, which I will discuss a little more below.


Those are my sunscreens! I encourage you to also go through the sunscreens you own and the ingredients they contain. Overall, to be safe in the future, I will stick to mineral sunscreens and be on the hunt for a more mattifying one (please comment below with suggestions). Hawaii has even banned the sale of sunscreen containing oxybenzone and octinoxate, which seems to be the criteria for labeling a sunscreen as “reef safe” (although a lot of other ingredients have been found to be unsafe for reefs). I will be continuing to research these ingredients, but you can check out the Haereticus Environmental Laboratory if you are also interested in learning more on this topic. Thank you for checking out my blog!

– Hannah

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3 Replies to “High-End Face Sunscreen Collection”

  1. callmecarolina

    Great review, thank you for the reef-safety information. I find that chemical sunscreens are the most comfortable to wear, unfortunately. I’m trying to stick to mineral sunscreens exclusively as well.

    • Hannah

      Thank you! Yes I have found that too. The mineral ones tend to be too heavy on my skin, but the Biossance one is the best I have found so far. However, I have more oily skin and that one is really shiny, so I am still looking for a less greasy one.

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