The Most Important Beauty Product

I love beauty products.  I am sure I have done enough research about beauty products and makeup to earn a Ph.D. on the subject.  I could spend all day in the beauty store and only come out to eat.  However, when I find an excellent product I can stick with it unless something changes, unlike many cosmetics junkies who one day claim to have found the holy grail and less than a week later are on to something else.

The most important beauty product hands-down is sunblock.  It is imperative to use sunblock every day because it prevents skin cancer, hyperpigmentation, burns, and the breakdown of skin cells that leads to permanent wrinkles.  If you don’t want to look like a troll someday, you have no choice but to wear sunblock daily unless you never go outside.  But I HATE sunblock!  It smells bad, it is too thick and greasy, or, in the case of the nice mineral ones, leaves a chalky white cast on brown skin.  I have exotic brown looking but normal/combination sensitive rosacea-prone pale red-haired Northern European acting skin, which is hard to protect from the sun.  For YEARS I had been satisfied using Purpose Redness Reducing Moisturizer SPF 30, except at the pool or beach because it is not water resistant ( I have a different, thicker SPF 45 for that).  All of a sudden this past fall this same product began to break out my skin with a crunchy red itchy rash.  I stopped using it for a while since it was winter and my day job prevented me from seeing the light of day anyway.  But now with spring arriving and longer days I tried it again, hoping maybe my face forgot about the abuse it took from that sunblock before.  But no, the itchy rash is rearing up again, dammit!  I asked my dermatologist(s) to recommend a sunblock that is:

  • sunscreenfragrance free
  • lightweight and easily absorbed
  • broad spectrum
  • portable and sanitary–not packaged in a jar
  • moderately priced
  • gentle but not zinc or titanium oxide-only (because of the white chalky film)
  • does not leave a shiny sheen
  • SPF 20-30
  • doesn’t burn eyes or stink too badly
  • water resistant (ok- wishful thinking)
  • can be worn under makeup

but they seem to find this topic way too boring.  All they say is find an SPF 30 that I like.  But here are hundreds of them!!!!  Even the ones with the best reviews are horrible. Now I am hunting again.  According to my research this time, which consists mainly from reviews by Paula Begoun, I have 3 good viable choices:  Neutrogena Age Sheild SPF 30, Neutragena Active Breathable Sunblock SPF 30, or Ultra Dry Touch Sunblock SPF 30.  I am headed to the drugstore today to smell, feel, and read the lables of the products.  I am not in any way promoting these products.  I am promoting the use of daily facial sunblock.  I encourage everyone to find the right sunblock for themselves.  I do however, recommend my most reliable beauty product information resource, Paula Begoun aka “The Cosmetics Cop”.  Check out her website and books for  comprehensive objective information on hundreds of makeup and skin care products.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. auset1
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 21:59:18

    try burts bees day lotion, its the only one that doesnt feel and look like wax on the face.


  2. Lisa
    Jul 12, 2009 @ 14:48:51

    Thanks! I love Burt’s Bees products but the sunblocks’ active ingredients are minerals–zinc oxide or titanium oxide, which are both white and chalky on brown skin. I finally decided on the Neutrogena Age Shield SPF 30 or 45, no higher or else it becomes too sticky. It doesn’t smell bad but it burned when I first started using it. I got used to it and it doesn’t burn any more.


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