Sunday, November 6, 2016

SPF moisturizers giant roundup

I decided to chronicle my experience with various SPF moisturizers, since I started using an SPF product almost daily around 2013 or so. There's so much to learn about them! It's actually so overwhelming. But a great distraction from current US politics!

I used Aveeno "Active Naturals" Protect and Hydrate Sunscreen Lotion in two samples without any lost love. 

Active Ingredients: Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (8%), Octisalate (4%), Octocrylene (4%), Oxybenzone (5%). Purpose: Sunscreen. Inactive Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Silica, Cetyl Dimethicone, Dimethicone, Ethylhexylglycerin, Beeswax, Benzyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Behenyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Caprylyl Methicone, Acrylates/Dimethicone Copolymer, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Propylene Glycol, Chlorphenesin, Arachidyl Alcohol, Disodium EDTA, Diethylhexyl 2,6-Naphthalate, Sodium Hydroxide, Stearyl Alcohol, Fragrance, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Flour, Cetyl Alcohol, Lignoceryl Alcohol, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Codium Tomentosum Extract, Potassium Palmitoyl Hydrolyzed Oat Protein, Hydrolyzed Oat Protein.

  • According to EWG, "Oxybenzone is a common UV filter in sunscreen. It is a hormone disruptor and allergen. Sampling by the Centers for Disease Control and Protection has detected it in the urine of 97 percent of Americans. Despite emerging concerns, the sunscreen industry continues to rely heavily on oxybenzone as an active ingredient."

Aveeno does test on animals

Before that, I used Yes to Carrots Nourishing Daily Facial Moisturizer with SPF 15. It's active sunscreen ingredients are Zinc Oxide 3.2% and Titanium Dioxide 2.9%. Other ingredients are: Water,Ethylhexyl Palmitate,Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Certified Organic Ingredient),Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil,Glycerin,Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride,Cetearyl Alcohol,Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil,Magnesium Aluminum Silicate,Coco-Glucoside,Phenoxyethanol,Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract (Certified Organic Ingredient),Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin) Seed Oil (Certified Organic Ingredient),Butyrospermum Parkii Butter,Cetyl Alcohol,Xanthan Gum,Cyamopsis Tetragonoloba (Guar) Gum (Certified Organic Ingredient),Maris Limus Extract,Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil,Tocopherol,Aluminum Hydroxide,Gluconolactone,Glyceryl Isostearate,Hydrated Silica,Polyhydroxystearic Acid,Sodium Benzoate,Triethoxycaprylylsilane,Calcium Gluconate,Citric Acid,Potassium Hydroxide.

Yes To (Carrots, Cucumber, Tomatoes, whatever) is, like Ahava, an Israeli company, however, since about 2010 they moved to the US. There's some controversy about whether they are hiding Israeli roots and potential use of Israeli Dead Sea mud in order to avoid boycott from people who believe that the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories is illegal and therefore products made from ingredients taken from these occupied territories are also morally and legally unacceptable. However they now say that they are completely made in the US and removed any connection to Israel or use of Dead Sea mud from Israel (or Israeli-occupied territory) from their marketing.
   Yes To does not test on animals 


I also used up 3 partial bottles of Mary Kay Time Wise Day solution in various versions. In one Mary Kay formulation, the SPF actives are Octinoxate 7.5%, Octisalate 5%, Zinc Oxide 3.88%, Oxybenzone 3%.

Mary Kay does test on animals  


Right now, my sunscreen is Ahava Time to Smooth Age Control Even Tone Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20 which my friend who lives in Israel gave me as a present at my wedding in a cute little set. I like it ok. For sunscreen actives it has Avobenzone 3%, Homosalate 7%, Octisalate 5%, and Octocrylene 2.7%. With the exception of the Homosalate, this is exactly what the Estee Lauder cream that I believe led to breakouts used, which makes me now think that the sunscreen actives were NOT what were breaking me out because I haven't noticed any issues with this. It's a bit greasy, and it came in jar packaging, so I decanted most of it into an old, well-cleaned out Mary Kay pump bottle, after I finished the last of the Mary Kay SPF lotions (this took years). The Mary Kay lotion was much thinner so the pump tube was too small to work, I had to use the pump from an old serum, and even that didn't work until the thick lotion settled. I still use the jar in my gym bag and I'm not sure it's really getting the job done in terms of SPF, so I've been layering with a BB cream type product, which I prefer to use anyway when my skin is less than ideal.

Tested on animals -? This story says that their website claims they don't, though I didn't find that on their website. This list states they are a company that does not test on animals. However, Beautypedia says they do. Beautypedia doesn't have a review of this exact product, just an SPF 15 version which didn't have the sunscreen ingredients listed as actives, this was from 2012 so I'm guessing they have improved on the formula, and hopefully reformed the testing process.

There's also the controversy surrounding Ahava, which is planning to move it's headquarters and main factory out of a town that is in the Israel-occupied West Bank. They've said they are going to move after some international pressure/ boycott, but I don't know if they have yet. The activists say they are still using product (including the dead sea mud) which they excavate from occupied territory. A Chinese company Fosun bought them earlier this year, so maybe that is why I am seeing more and more Ahava products showing up on the shelves, like at Ulta. This is a seriously messy situation that I didn't intend to get into while reviewing sunscreen! Nothing in this life is simple.

For BB creams, a couple months ago I finished up a bottle of Maybelline Dream Fresh. This is marketed to teenagers but honestly I had no complaints with it.  
Maybelline tests on animals 

Active: Titanium Dioxide (1.15%), Other: Water, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Glycerin, Octyldodecanol, Silica, Pentylene Glycol, Octyldodecyl Xyloside, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Isohexadecane, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, PEG-30 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Caprylyl Glycol, Disodium EDTA, Citric Acid, Polysorbate 80, Potassium Sorbate, Propylene Glycol, Methylisothiazolinone, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract. May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides

  • Methylisothiazolinone: generally not recommended in leave-on products due to its sensitizing effect (from Beautypedia)


Now I'm using Sarah McNamara Miracle Skin Transformer SPF 20 Face. It's a very similar product in terms of color and coverage. The Sarah McNamara product is a little bit thicker and less liquidy. 
Not tested on animals. 

Active Ingredients: Octinoxate 7.5%, Octisalate 5.0%, Oxybenzone 2.0%, Zinc Oxide 1.5%. Ingredients: Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Caprylyl Methicone, Cyclohexasiloxane, Water, Dicaprylyl Ether, Boron Nitride, Octyldodecanol, Passiflora Edulis Seed Oil, Glycerin, Dimethiconol, Ubiquinone, Tapioca Starch, Mica, Physalis Angulata Extract, Phenoxyethanol, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Caprylyl Glycol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Polysorbate 80, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Potassium Sorbate, Hydrated Silica, Serenoa Serrulata Fruit Extract, Hexylene Glycol, Silica, Isoceteth-10, Retinyl Palmitate, Benzyl Alcohol, Phytonadione, Cholecalciferol, Tocopherol, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides.

Beautypedia says the mica adds a subtle glow, the silicones give it the silky, velvety texture.

Beautypedia also says "The original formula was called out due to a low amount of zinc oxide. This sunscreen active is the only ingredient present that is able to cover the entire spectrum of the sun’s UVA (think aging) rays, and the previous version contained a paltry 0.85%. The current formula contains 1.5%, which is better and enough to propel this product to “Best” status." Unfortunately I think I might have the old formula :(

Interestingly, Beautypedia doesn't mention the problem with oxybenzone that Environmental Working Group does.

I've started to notice a bit of a yogurty smell, I hope it's not going off. I bought this at Sephora after I think getting a tiny sample of it.  The salesperson suggested that it wasn't a very popular product, which surprised me a bit considering they had given so many people a free sample and that I had liked it so much. I've never worn foundation and don't want to, so I may be in the minority in my love for extremely subtle coverage. I have the hardest time matching a concealer to my skin -- they are almost all too yellow -- so it's just nice that it disappears, leaving my skin looking marginally better but not like I have a layer of makeup on. It evens out redness from old acne scars or other blotchiness, leaves a nice velvety finish, and also makes concealer stay on better and blend better with my skin. It seems that you can get it at Ulta now, but not Sephora, or online maybe in some kind of informercial shady-sounding scheme.

Next up in my larder is a small sample of Garnier SkinActive Clearly Brighter Sunscreen Broad Spectrum 15 Brightening and Smoothing Daily Moisturizer
extra marketing hype: Antioxidant Complex Vitamin C + LHA; Oil-Free

Active ingredients: Avobenzone 3%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 5%
We shall see. I'd prefer to try more physical/mineral sunscreen (zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) but at least this doesn't have oxybenzone in it. 
Tested on animals 
Low SPF, though, and high fragrance. Beautypedia says the LHA is a derivative of salicyclic acid, also known as BHA, however, the pH is too high for it to be of exfoliating use.

After that, I also bought (because it was on sale): CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30
Marketing hype: For normal to dry skin, MVE delivery technology, invisible zinc, non-comodogenic, non-irritating, with ceramides, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid

Actives: homosalate 10%, meradimate 5%, octinoxate 5%, octocrylene 2%, zinc oxide 6.3%
I bought this becuase of the zinc oxide, niacinamide, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid, seems like a great moisturizer! Beautypedia LOVES it, however it gets some bad user reviews for poor application and/or irritation, so I'll just have to try it myself.
Not tested on animals. 

Estee Lauder creme gives me breakouts

On our honeymoon, I started to get a few small spots, which was disappointing because I had basically perfect skin at the wedding. I had only some very faded scars from spots past. I got very lucky because I was getting a tiny bit sick and pretty stressed what with getting married and all the work, decisions and pressure of a DIY destination wedding with people coming from multiple continents. Anyway it's not surprising that my perfect skin didn't last, since sometimes things like stress and illness take a little bit to show up on one's skin, and our honeymoon was a lot of "glamping" and hiking, and I was only using honey as a cleanser. I just want to have it on the record that our honeymoon was one of the one of the most fun, relaxing, beautiful times of my life and I would go back to that yurt in North Carolina in a heartbeat.

Anyway, I lost faith in that routine when it stopped working perfectly and started to experiment again with products that needed using up or that I couldn't resist not buying. At some point I started using another product swiped from my grandma's house, Estee Lauder Resilience Life Firming/Sculpting Face and Neck Creme SPF 15. I was alternating it with whatever was in my gym bag, probably Mary Kay, but used it exclusively when we were on vacation in May, and broke out terribly. Usually on vacation I have nice skin, I think because I don't pick and I'm not stressed and not exposed to pollution. But I experimented by taking breaks from the Estee Lauder and eventually used a lot of it up on my body, and now that it's finally finished, I think it was the cause of my breakouts. They were mostly closed comedones, small hard skin-colored or whiteish spots, and some more infected/inflamed spots.

Here are the ingredients:
Avobenzone 3%
Octisalate 5%
Octocrylene 2.7%
Water, Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate, Cetyl Alcohol, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate, Glycerin, Polyethylene, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Di-C12-15 Alkyl Fumarate, Petrolatum, Butylene Glycol, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Propanediol, Octyldodecyl Myristate, Hexyldecyl Stearate, Dimethicone, Laminaria Saccharina Extract , Algae Extract, Mimosa Tenuiflora Bark Extract, Plankton Extract, Artemia Extract, Laminaria Digitata Extract, Linoleic Acid, Malachite, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria), Saccharomyces Ferment Lysate Filtrate, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Glyceryl Stearate, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Yeast Extract\Faex\Extrait De Levure, C12-16 Alcohols, Ethylhexylglycerin, PEG-100 Stearate, Whey Protein\Lactis Protein\Proteine Du Petit-Lait, Trehalose, Thermus Thermophillus Ferment, Ergothioneine, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate, Acetyl Glucosamine, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile), Glucose Oxidase, Lactoperoxidase, Caffeine, Cholesterol, Sorbitol, Palmitic Acid, Decarboxy Carnosine HCL, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sterols, Polysilicone-11, Caprylyl Glycol, Isohexadecane, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Glucose, Zinc PCA, Tocopheryl Acetate, Behenyl Alcohol, Citric Acid , Sodium Hyaluronate , Aminopropyl Ascorbyl Phosphate , Polysorbate 80 , Sodium Hydroxide, Potassium Sorbate, Maltodextrin, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Lecithin, Potato Starch Modified, Hexylene Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Yellow 5 (Ci 19140), Red 4 (Ci 14700), Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Mica

Holy shit, that's a lot of ingredients. This little jar costs $52-82, which is an interesting thing to know about my late grandma, that she was willing to spend that. It could have broken me out because it was well past it's expiration date, or because of any number of those ingredients. I wondered if it might be one of the chemical sunscreen ingredients? Many people can find them irritating and prefer a "physical" sunscreen like zinc oxide. 

On second thought, I wonder if it was the yeast extract? I tend to have allergy issues with yeast.

Anyway, I'm on the way to healing my skin again. Things were looking really good until I got impatient and ordered an ultrasonic spatula skin "scrubber" which I had read good things about. It did appear to get out some oil or sebum, but it led to lots of obsessive picking which of course led to irritation and breakouts. It was also defective (the power button only worked sometimes) so I'm returning it. Prior to the Estee Lauder I don't remember closed comedones really being a problem, and they are the devil! I try to be patient and use salicylic acid daily (I'm using Paula's Choice), but eventually I pick them which of course makes things worse.