Thursday, March 15th, 2012

The Hit List

What’s the Worst Sunscreen for the Face…?

What brand/products win this category? What makes it so terrible?

Thanks to Tricia for today’s topic!

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54 thoughts on “Hit List: Worst Sunscreen for the Face

  1. Avatar of Cat Cat

    I know this is kind of a mini-rant and has nothing to do with the coverage, but all sunscreens would be my answer. I seriously haven’t been able to find one that doesn’t make me break out all over my face. I’ve also never found one that works well with foundation over it, no matter what I do it never looks the same :/

    • Heather

      Avene is the only one I have found that doesn’t make me breakout. I have super sensitive skin.

      • Unfortunately, Avene SPF50 does breaks me out. =( I was so disappointed when I found out that so many people like it, but I cannot like it.

    • Adrienne

      Have you ever tried the one by clarins in the little white bottle? I’m quite acne prone and it never gave me problems, and I found it to be nice and thin and mon greasy, so it went well under makeup. I’ve felt Lancôme’s as well, never tried on the face, but it’s insanely light weight and seems matte finish. Neither are on the cheap, but might be worth checking out, I know last year Clarins had samples of theirs. Sound like you’re pretty sensitive to sunscreens, do see if you can get samples before buying, allowing the BA to takedown your phone number may help if you would like a sample with out a purchase, or try sephora

    • Lisa

      I like Ocean Potion’s– the regular, haven’t tried the new “faces” one yet. They feel light (lighter as the SPFs go down, though) and don’t sweat off. Hate that they’re hard to find and the website doesn’t have a store locator, but whatever.

    • Biore UV is a good. So is Lauria Mericer and Ole Henrickson. I think some ones that considered “sports” are good too. They dry really dry and last all day long.

      • Avatar of Silvia Silvia

        Bioré is truly amazing! It’s the most perfect sunscreen for oily skin and dries super fast, perfect for aplying makeup afterwards :)

    • Kim

      You should try La Roche Posay if you haven’t already. I use either the Hydraphase UV SPF 30 moisturizer or the Anthelios SPF 60 and both make me shiny as all heck, but they’ve never broken me out. I was actually put on the brand because I was on accutane and LRP is so so gentle. A coat of finishing powder on top and some blots throughout the day help with the sheen factor.

      • Sue

        I agree with Kim! I am also very prone to clogged pores and congested skin, thus I avoided sunscreens for a long time. Thankfully I began using sunscreen religiously beginning at 19! LRP Anthelios Ultra-Fluid Lotion (French: Lotion Ultra-Fluide) SPF60 is the absolute best sunscreen hands down! If that doesn’t work, Vichy Aqualia Thermal UV Hydrating Treatment is a good moisturizer/sunscreen combo. However, it’s only SPF 15/PPD18

    • Em

      Using a moisturizer/sunscreen combo is the only thing I’ve found that works under foundation.

      • beachgal

        That’s what I have come to. Nothing on it’s own unless I am going totally sans all skin care and only maybe light eye makeup works. It’s all going to come up and be a greasy slick on me. I won’t buy my tinted moisturizers or day creams unless they have spf in them. I like Tarte Smooth Operator a lot (spf 20) – now they are putting spf in mineral makeups like BE, Laura Geller. I tend to always stay out of the sun best I can. Hard as I live at the beach. I like my pasty white look and don’t even bother with working to get tan, or faux tanning anymore.

    • Julie

      Do you use an oil cleanser to remove your sunscreen/makeup at night? I often find that because facial sunscreen is meant to last a long time, it can be almost impossible to remove without an oil cleanser. That has helped me.

    • Naie

      Have you been using chemical sunscreens or physical? I am sensitive to chemical sunscreens (they make my face turn orange within minutes and sting considerably). The only sunscreens that work for my face are chemical ones (titanium dioxide & zinc oxide); I have been using Shiseido SPF 60+ for a decade with no ill effects.

    • Petunia

      Jan Marini Antioxident Daily Face Protectant-untinted- has worked for me for years- I always go back to it- it is a moisturizer and spf30 sunscreen and makeup stays put on top of it. I have never reacted to it.

    • Avatar of Shay Shay

      Yes to Carrots! SPF 15 moisturizer works really good underneat my foundation & it doesn’t break me out– And my skin is REALLY oily. My trick is to mix a little with my Neutrogena Healthy Skin, since it’s a little darker than my skintone since I’ve paled since the summer. Perhaps some cometic alchemy like that would work for you? : )

    • Avatar of Shay Shay

      ALSO. I’ve found that baby sunscreen, like Baby Magic by Coppertone, is non-greasy & has INCREDIBLE coverage. :D

  2. Adrienne

    My “worst sunscreen” is actually one that a lot of people like: the Neutrogena Sheer Dry Touch sunblock I think it’s called. For something called “dry touch” that was supposed to be non greasy, I found it to be the complete opposite!! Incredibly greasy upon application, and didn’t dry down. I’d have to use two oil absorbing sheets before applying makeup! I’ve bought multiple bottles too, so I know I didn’t just get a dud bottle.

    • Stef

      Oh man! I am so happy you said that! I completely agree. Also, when i sweat, whatever little bit is on my nose slides into my eyes and stings for a long time. Absolutely hate it.

    • army wife in alaska

      Completely agree. We had R&R in Hawaii and I got this brand for sunscreen and it did the same for my face. But I think though it became greasy because of over-application. Also, no matter what concealer I use whether high end or drugstore, it makes them crease and cake under my eyes.

    • Eve

      Totally agree! It leaves a greasy film and burns my eyes!

    • Naie

      Oh, I completely agree. And it would pill up uncontrollably under any type of makeup.

      • Victoria

        Totally agree, i thought since it doesnt work for my face, ill just use it for my arms and so but it didnt even feel good on the body. My skin felt oily and as if it couldnt breath and i didnt like the smell. Neutrogena was the first one i tried years ago and i think turned me off sunscreen for thelongest time.

  3. MonicaP

    Chemical based sunscreens burn my eye lids. For example, if I put on a chemical sunscreen like Neutrogena Dry Touch Sunblock and then put foundation over it and sweep foundation over my eyes .. then the sunscreen transfers and my eyes lids burn.

    If I use Neutrogena for Sensitive skin, then I’m fine – no irritation.

  4. Kry

    All of them, except Shiseido Urban Environment UV Protection Cream SPF 35. I tried so many sunblocks: drugstore, designer, organic, hypoallergenic, low SPF, high SPF, etc. The ONLY one I can have on my face is the Shiseido. I even got my brother hooked on it. Eventually, I had to force him to buy his own.

    My skin is fair to light, very dry, sensitive, 40s.

  5. I think banana boat baby is pretty bad. Also some 100 SPFs. They are too white and don’t sheer down.

    • Catherine, I agree whole heartedly re:Banana Boat Baby! As a mom and a women whose eyes seem to tear up with almost all sunscreens, I have found Blue Lizard Sensitive to work the best for me and my kidos!

  6. sarah

    LaVanilla Face SPF40–the ONLY sunscreen that does not react with my uber sensitive skin!!! Love it.

  7. Sally

    Hahahaha! Love this question! No idea if they even still sell the horrible stuff but my dad used to slather my brother and I with something called Bullfrog 60 SPF Sunblock when we were kids and had to work (I grew up on a cattle ranch) with him. It was like it was made of some kind of unholy slightly gritty grease. Hated it! But it worked…

    • Lark

      Bullfrog is awesome! Outdoors sweaty sunscreen of choice, icky but it beats wrinkles and melanoma. Your daddy did you right, thank him! I lived in Bullfrog when I was racing bikes, it acts like shade, better performances in summer.

      • Sally

        I have grudgingly… ;) I have lily-white skin and it was the best thing available in the early 90′s. Apparently the brand it still around. Just hope they improved the formula!

  8. Julia

    Peter Thomas Roth Uber-Dry Sunscreen. Maybe it’s just me, because I know a lot of people love this, but it doesn’t stay on well. If I rub/touch my skin after it has dried down, it all bunches up and peels off.

  9. Romina Elorrieta

    The worst sunscreen that I’ve ever tried was one that a friend recommended me, which was called IQQU advanced sunscreen with SPF35. It made my face white and chalky as hell and dried out my skin on the cheeks area. I had some sort of scaley patches that felt very itchy. I’d love to find a sunscreen that’s for daily use…

    • Avatar of Elena Elena

      WOW! I love IQQU Sunscreen and probably will repurchase it :) So many people with different opinions…

    • Adrienne

      I absolutely love the teture of the IQQU, but it made my skin sooooo greasy! It was absolutely unbelivable!
      For me the worst sunscreens are the La Roche-Posay ones sadly…it makes me breakout like crazy.

  10. Tam

    I am on a constant quest to find a sunscreen for my oily, acneic skin. I need one that doesn’t roll off in balls when I apply my makeup over it. Or, when I don’t wear makeup and just want to wear sunscreen alone, the sunscreen doesn’t give off a white cast. I spent approximately $40 for Elta MD UV Shield SPF 45 and for the reasons I listed, I don’t like it. What a waste of money.

  11. Kia

    The best is keihls. Very light weight, it can spread all over because it very loose. The worst for me is shiseido too thick and leaves my skin feeling greasy.

    • Avatar of Tensy Tensy

      Kia, Kiehl’s is my HG sunscreen. I have worn it everyday for 2 years. It goes on light and disappears into the skin immediately after application.

  12. Makaegan

    I have two that were terrible for me and for completely different reasons. The first was the YTC SPF cream and it was SO greasy I felt disgusting every time I tried to apply it, regardless of how little I actually used. And the second is Banana Boat Sport Performance Faces. Worst. Sunscreen. Ever. It burned so badly when I used it and it broke me out worse than any product I’ve ever used. I have pretty nice skin to begin with, but when I used this I literally looked like I could star in a Proactiv “Before” segment. It was terrible. Never again.

  13. Em

    Um…all of them? LOL. Sorry. I’ve had really bad luck with sunscreens (both for the face and body). Even the ones that swear they’re “dry” or “fast absorbing” are greasy. I’ve only found one sunscreen that I like for my face (Protect Daily Sun Protection Argan Oil Infused SPF 40+), but for my body, I’m still hunting.

  14. Dormouse

    I can’t think of any in particular. Sunscreens are a problem for me. I have oily skin, and so many sunscreens are just not compatible with this skin type. I dislike the white film titanium dioxide leaves on my face. The chemical sunscreens always seem to be in an emollient base, or maybe the chemicals themselves feel greasy. Perhaps they work best in a richer formulation.

  15. katie

    aveeno continuous protection is GREASY like crazy. i had it on my face and arms and my arm left a big nasty grease smear on the inside of the car window. grossssssss.

    unlike several others, the neutrogena dry touch stuff works great for me. it does sting a bit if you sweat and it gets in your eyes, but i’ve never had an issue with it being the least bit greasy. i do dislike the scent however. kind of like… old lady rose perfume.

  16. Vanicream Sunscreen SPF30

  17. Danyal

    I plan on trying to make my own this year. Just picked up some Zinc Oxide.

    • Oh my goodness. Please don’t do this. Reading this scared me lol!

      There are several reasons why you shouldn’t do this. Though zinc oxide (ZnO) is an excellent UVA/UVB physical sunscreen, it has to be under a certain nanoparticle size in order to function properly. ZnO, as a metal oxide, also needs to be properly coated by something like dimethicone to prevent free radical generation, something that ZnO is also excellent at doing. Third, the average consumer (which I’m assuming you are), simply doesn’t have the proper devices to measure how much sun protection can be achieved. Finally, ZnO alone isn’t great at providing UVB (SFF) protection. It’s usually combined with titanium dioxide (TiO2) or various UVB chemical sunscreens. Therefore, while you’d be gettting great UVA protection, you might still get a sunburn.

      Hope that clarified some issues! :)

    • NeenaJ

      Be sure to check out the sunscreen recipe on Sarah’s blog, Dempeaux. It’s excellent.

  18. Lark

    All of them! They all seem to gunk up your skin or get in the eyes and sting, and make a huge mess of make up. I’m writing about daily wear, put it on first sunscreens. The SPF 15 most things come with simply do not hack it in the Deep South. Sun will fry my skin off starting about St. Patricks day, or, Now!
    Neutrogena makes a dry oil spray in SPF 50 that works well, but not under make up. Hoping this year offers better. I need to go get some minerals too, pouring sweat season starts in a few weeks. With highs in the 90s too 100s and high humidity with tropical sun the fair skinned can get cooked! I want a thin moisturizer with # 50 SPF with no smell and no breakouts!

  19. Megan

    I am sorry but I hate all of the neutrogena sunscreens and aveeno’s. They just pill up on me and I have to wear sunscreen under my makeup everyday, even on the rainy days. Roc Day Moisturizer with SPF has to be the absolute worse though. It just comes off almost in sheets.

    The best I have found through the process of elimination and something that I can use on both my body and face with no breakouts is the SUPERGOOP brand. I buy the large half gallon thing every spring along with the face spf, their stick to go, and their slim bottle (for frequent hand use). The small things I end up rebuying about three to four times a year. Its a bit over kill but last year, at the age of 28 I had to have several places (swatches) of skin removed due to melanoma.

  20. Samantha

    Neutrogena Pure & Free Liquid isn’t too bad. It is 100% physical, and has SPF 50. It has a very runny texture, and isn’t greasy at all. It works well under makeup, almost like a primer. It is similiar in feel to the Clarins UV 40 – but much cheaper. I am very acne/clog prone, and this doesn’t seem to bother my skin. Easy to remove as well. Best I’ve found so far…and I’ve tried alot! Doesn’t really provide any moisture, so might not work for dry skin.

  21. elise

    I am super sensitive to pretty much everything. I cannot wear any lotion/makeup/face product that has ANY commercial sunscreen in it. I get a rash and it burns my skin under my eyes. I have tried a bunch of sunscreen brands and the only one that I have found that I can wear on my face is by Alba brand, its in the Hawaiian line and its SPF 50. I cant wear it with make up because it makes me feel like I have really oily skin and I am normally dry. SO I gave up wearing foundation in the summer and just suck it up and just wear eye shadow and lip gloss.
    I can say that the WORST sunscreen that I have tried was the Nutrogena (sp?) Dry touch waterproof spray sunscreen. I think that’s what its called. Not only did it feel totally slimy and sticky but it was all but impossible to get off my body!! I had to use a salt scrub in the end to get it off my arms and I scrubbed my legs pretty much raw and gave up. Needless to say I threw it away and went back to lotion instead of spray. But by far that one was the worst. And I still got a burn on my shoulders. Oh and it smelled horrid too.
    My favorite sunscreen lotion is the original Hawaiian Tropic, I just dont use it on my face and I really like the smell too.

  22. Avatar of Amy amy

    I’ve never had a bad sunscreen experience, but I really like Neutrogena pure&free baby sunblock stick, SPF 60+. I also really like Physicians Formula Tinted Moisturizer and pressed powder with a 50+ SPF, for a quick “face”; however, if I perspire at all around the eyes, it stings a bit, so I won’t wear it in high humidity. I also absolutely *never* go outside without a big pair of sunglasses or a full layer of SPF.

    Personally, I would rather use a *bad* (but effective) sunscreen than no sunscreen. A temporary break-out is better than permanent wrinkles anytime, IMO.

    As far as all over sunscreen, the higher the SPF, the better, as I really hate tan lines.

    For reference, I am NC15, tan easily, never burn, and am of Greek and Irish descent. I am also 38 years old and have absolutely no fine lines or wrinkles due primarily to a lifetime of sun safety and a bit of genetics.

  23. Sally

    worst sunscreen for face: Becca Mineral SPF30 Primer…it’s so thick, it drags on my skin, and it makes me break out.