When we think sunscreen, the words "thick", "greasy", "heavy" and "smelly" tend to come to mind. We have been scarred by years and years of crappy facial sunscreen but I have good news - I have seen the light at the end of the tunnel. Great sunscreen is out there, my friends!
Sunscreens are getting better and better, formulas are more innovative than ever and we are finally encountering textures that are not thick, non-greasy, non-stinky, and that don't make our face feel like it's melting by lunchtime. Here are some of my current picks:
I have talked your ear off about this. This is still my everyday go-to during the week when I want my makeup to go on smoothly and last longer. It's light as air and doesn't smell. Zero grease factor. I pair this with more classical foundation formulas - nothing too silicone heavy. The primer has a lot of silicone in it already so I find that if I'm using it in conjunction with other silicone-heavy products, it can roll off the skin and look like crap.
Emma Hardie Amazing Face SPF 30
I recently reviewed this in full and you can catch up with the post here. The main points: strong yet pleasant sweet herbal fragrance, light and hydrating texture, leaves the skin surface feeling smooth, leaves radiant finish behind. Great option for all skin types but particularly if you're normal/dry and you're looking for some extra glow.
I wish this was more readily available in Canada. Currently only available to purchase in the USA (as far as I know), this is an innovating makeup setting spray with SPF 50. It intends to mattify the skin if applied throughout the day and it has a strong cooling sensation due to menthol. This is good for oily skins. If you're dry or sensitive - steer away from it because it has has menthol and lots of alcohol in it so it can irritate and/or dry out your skin. I wish they came out with a more "low key" version of this that isn't as drying.
This is similar in texture to the Emma Hardie albeit it has no light reflective properties and dries down to a satin matte finish. I find this more suitable for normal/combination/oily skins however if you are dry you can make this work as long as you moisturize well beforehand.
It has a light fragrance that doesn't linger on the skin long enough to be noticeable. It's designed to be used by those of us who live in urban areas and it claims to have anti-pollution properties. Lots of people are disappointed by the fact that Clarins discontinued the old version of this which was mineral sunscreen only (and SPF 40). Sadly this sunscreen is no longer purely a mineral sunscreen but I still think it's great for those of us with oily/combination skins.
If you're super sensitive and are looking for a mineral sunscreen alternative, Supergoop and First Aid Beauty both have wonderful mineral sunscreen offerings, each with SPF 40.