In search of Sunscreen that Doesn’t Clog Pores

June 21, 2010 at 10:11 pm | Posted in Anti-Aging, Skincare | 1 Comment
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Happy Summer! In some parts of the U.S. this means lots of sunshine (just not in Seattle yet!). Too much sun exposure, however, can be hazardous to our skin. Got wrinkles, sagging skin, age spots or melasma (patches of dark brown pigmentation and one of my biggest skin problems)? Blame it on spending time in the sun.

Wearing sunscreen is a must. But it often breaks out my acne-prone skin so I proceed with extreme caution. I recently renewed my search for a broad spectrum sunscreen– spf 30 or higher — that blocks out both UVA (ages skin) and UVB (tans or burns skin) rays. And it must not clog my pores. I’ve concluded that physical sunscreens (e.g., titanium dioxide, zinc oxide) cause my pores to clog like crazy.

Every skin reacts differently to active ingredients and I think this is especially true for sunscreen, so I encourage you to try a two-week sample of a sun protection product or purchase at a store with a good return policy.

DERMAdoctor Ain’t Misbehavin’ Skin Clarifying & Mattifying Sunscreen Spf 30 (4 oz, $30)

I have been using this for a month and haven’t had a single breakout. HOWEVER, my face is an oil slick by 10AM (way more than usual). The product promises to “soak up excess oil” (clearly doesn’t apply to me), and help keep pimples at bay (it contains a natural salicylic acid), which can’t hurt. The consistency is thick but it blends nicely and is quickly absorbed by the skin.

Kiehl’s Super Fluid UV Defense Spf 50 (1.7 oz, $32)

Kiehl’s has the most watery thin consistency of any sunscreen I’ve tried and it glides smoothly on the skin making for an easy application. It is oil-free but leaves makes my skin feeling a bit greasy, probably due to the silicones (which BTW my chin hates!). If you aren’t sensitive to ‘cones, I would give it a try.

MAC Prep and Prime Face Protect Spf 50 (1 oz, $30)

I desperately wanted this sunscreen to be “the one” because it has amazing oil control properties — better than any other product I’ve tried (my makeup lasted all day!). But, alas, we couldn’t be together. The spf protection is zinc oxide that caused me non-stop pimples. However, if you have oily skin and can tolerate physical sunscreens, I would run — not walk — to the MAC counter and pick up a bottle.

Eucerin Everday Protection Face Lotion Spf 30 (4 oz, $8.99)

Eucerin is recommended by many dermatologists, so I was especially excited to try it and gave a full month to evaluate. Unfortunately, it seriously clogged my pores (it has both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) and was too greasy for my super oily t-zone. It is billed as a moisturizer, so if your skin is drier you might give it a try. The price is right!

I continue the search for my holy grail sunscreen, but in the meantime I will use DERMAdoctor.


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  1. […] I tried many good ones, but DERMAdoctor KP Duty quickly became a favorite. I discovered DERMAdoctor looking for sunscreen and after hitting two home runs this line is becoming a […]

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