reviews / rapid updates: sunscreen and eye concealer

SUNSCREEN

I had been using Derma E’s body SPF 30 (ZnO) and Vanicream SPF 50 (ZnO + TiO2) as main regulars over the last many months. I experimented with a couple of others. Some news, then:

1. AVEENO MINERAL SPF 50

I am NOT buying this again–I bought some for testing as it was on special bargain offer for a fiver, and once testing completed I donated it to a friend who uses it on her offspring–as it’s from the evil J&J empire who have few redeeming features (as compared to Unilevil and L’Ucifer, who have been cleaning up their acts in industry-leading ways, whatever their original motives for acts whose end results are ethically positive). It’s got low percentages of micro coated ZnO and TiO2, plus oat and liquorice extracts.

It’s worth reporting on because it’s one of the less drying all-physical sunscreens out there, and at a non-heinous price, in a tube that’s under the 3 fl oz / 100 ml size (= handy for travel), and fairly regularly available. Worth knowing about in case you have sunscreen needs and issues, desperately need some in a hurry (in North America and the Caribbean), and only have standard drugstore fare immediately available. Usual price can be anything from CAD7.99 to 18.99.

No fragrance, no irritation, feels nice on skin, easy to apply and blend. Fine on fair skin, may streak or look white or chalky on others. No photo-irritation–I wore this on a sunny day, and as dear readers know my skin if unprotected and faced with direct sunlight starts to hive and rash immediately, and to redden and start burning in about a minute or so–but have not tested it in strong sun.

There’s a baby version and an adult one, with identical ingredient-lists. Not to be confused with the other Aveeno sunscreens; there’s another mineral one that’s SPF 30, and a bunch of others that are at least part-chemical, many of which use words like “sensitive” on the label.

2. ELTAMD PURE PHYSICAL SPF 47 (ZnO + TiO2)

Unlike the previous item, this is not easily obtained, is more expensive, and isn’t as moisturising. I would still rebuy it. It’s the cheaper untinted “body” version of the EltaMD SPF 41. The latter is lovely stuff, but the tint looks like mud on my face and renders the stuff unwearable. I gather it can be worn by applying foundation on top, but I can’t be arsed with the extra faff and botheration.

Anyway. The 47 isn’t exactly moist but is manageable on moistened moisturised skin. It’s light and elegant, lotiony rather than fluid (the very fluid sunscreens usually, in my experience, are that way due to volatile silicones and alcohol; some of the former cause my skin to express unhappiness, the latter dries it out). Unscented. Zero skin reactions. Great for fast mornings as it needs no drying time, for an invisible finish. As ever, do bear in mind that I am pale: this stuff may well show up on non-pale persons. For regular use every day, I do still prefer my regulars (Derma E especially) as they leave skin moister.

It’s a winner for more serious sun and beaches and water (as tested out last week in Southern California). It stays on very well. Needs to be removed properly with oil (or other makeup remover), and I found you really need to do this in the evening because otherwise if you’re lazy, go out and drink lots of cocktails, fall into bed, and don’t wash this stuff off first: the next morning you WILL wake up with a facial-skin-hangover. Skin will feel dry and grotty and miserable.

It’s decently waterproof–as good, tested on parallel legs, as the Vanicream–and possesses a miraculous attribute which is already a reason to buy and rebuy it. It can be applied to dry skin and also to wet skin. I don’t entirely understand how this works, in terms of chemistry and physics. But it does. And that’s magic.

Performs as well as the Vanicream, on me anyway. No irritation, no burning. I had some slight freckling on my arms, using both sunscreens, which I didn’t have on the last similar mid-February trips or last summer. I’m hazarding a guess that’s because the main difference is that on these previous occasions I also wore antioxidant serum with lots of vitamin C, and had been doing so for some time before those trips away. I haven’t tested out this hypothesis properly, but will return to using such serums forthwith.

Sadly, especially once shipped to Canada, this stuff is way too expensive to use all over in sunny weather. I still use clothing and a hat and sunglasses as my first line of defence against the evil Forces of the Light; when wearing less ex. in ocean, Vanicream remains the grand champion.

Not tested on animals, vegan, and made by sensible people who employ scientists, test stuff on humans, and have as second main interest (besides the one in common to all businesses, making money) the health and medical well-being of skin.

EYE CONCEALER

That Bobbi Brown eye brightener stuff I’d been using for a while is very nice and pretty, but it DOES get in my eyes and DOES sting them. Admittedly, this was ascertained partly during the same episode that involved a lot of Margaritas and resulted in a horrible all-over hangover the next day, inside and out.

I returned in disgust to my previous concealer, which it turns out is totally fine and doesn’t (I had previously suspected it did) smear off on my glasses via my overlong eyelashes. Yes, they are long enough to bat against my glasses and also against the skin just under my eyebrows. They have to be trimmed when they get so long they’re hitting my eyebrows. No, my eyebrows do not grow all the way down to the eyelid-crease. No, I am not asking you to feel sorry for me. I am well aware that complaining about my eyelashes is the most foolish kind of whingeing. But hey, this here is THE PRAISE OF FOLLY and the poor good Lady needs and deserves praise from time to time.

Result: no smudging or smearing or migration. No irritation. Also good patted gently in the undereye baggy area. All of that so long as I don’t apply this stuff over excessive eye cream or balm. See, I think my previous error had been to do exactly that, apply concealer over thick balm. I know thick balm in the undereye is tempting, but on me anyway it results in puffy skin and more creasing; as well as the concealer and smudgy issues. Resist the temptation.

The stuff concerned is: Silk Naturals HD cream concealer in shade #20. I’ve also been using their cream foundation in C10 just under the brows, as a sort of discreet highlighter. So discreet only I can see it. That may mean it’s actually invisible. Certainly invisible to the normal naked eye; I’m very short-sighted, and all this makeup is behind my glasses, so it would really have to be very garish indeed before anyone else would see it. That having been said, eyeliner tightlining and mascara definitely are visible and do make a difference.

The SN stuff is also cheaper than BB. Online only.

I’ll add ingredients and links and whatnot later on; for the preliminary announcement of findings, that’s it and over and out from me. Happy end of February, and for those of you suffering outrageously cold bitter snowy icy Dantean-Hellish weather right now, (((warm hugs))).

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