Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Putting three SPFs to the test

L-R: Soleil Toujours SPF 30, Dermalogica Invisible Physical Defense SPF 30 and Avon Distillery Shade The Day SPF 25

*Disclaimer* This post contains gifted items. Products denoted with a '*' have been gifted. I was NOT paid to write about them and under no obligation to do so. All views and opinions are my own. 

You guys know that I never like to disagree with Haim at any point but I am NOT a summer girl. Like at all. Some people come alive in the summertime. I am not one of those people. I thrive in spring and autumn, when the world is coming to life and then dying. Summer is not my time. 

What I do love, however, is a good SPF. As a self-proclaimed SPF fiend - I've referred to myself as this in at least four different posts now, I'm committed to the title -  I thought I would try out three SPFs, ranging from mid- to high-end in price point, to the test. Trialling each one for a week to see if they're worth the money. 

As an SPF fiend (COMMITTED!) I like my SPF's to offer broad spectrum protection, have a lightweight texture, be non-comdeogenic and also, where at all possible, have a moisturising component too. Is this a bit too much to expect from one product? Let's find out. 

In third place is the Avon Distillery Shade The Day SPF25 Day Cream* (£18). Part of Avon's Distillery vegan skincare range, Shade The Day is a mineral sunscreen, designed to act as a moisturiser, mattifier and primer as well as a sunscreen. And it doesn't really do any of those things, but it's not without it's good points, so let's talk about those first. 

Shade The Day has a non-sticky and fast absorbing texture, which I liked, and it offers broad spectrum protection, which is the the best kind. Importantly, it does protect the skin from the sun - which yes, is the point of an SPF - and, less importantly, it smells really nice, thanks to the addition of rosewater in it's formula. As well as being vegan, the Distillery range is also eco-conscious; boasting low-water formulations and recyclable packaging, which I love. However, that's where the good points end. 

At £18 it's the cheapest of the three sunscreens I tested, but £18 is still hella expensive, especially for something that doesn't do what it says it will. The formula has an odd, almost dry quality to it that makes it quite difficult to apply, almost like you're having to drag it onto the skin, and it leaves  a ghostlike, white cast in its wake. It also broke me out, which is a huge no no! I like my SPF's non-comedogenic, thanks. I also prefer my SPFs to be a bit higher, 25 just doesn't really cut it for me, personally. 

After seven days of wear and two breakouts, I can't say that I rate this. Save your pennies and opt for La Roche-Posay's Anthelios SPF 50 or The Body Shop Skin Defence SPF 50 instead, which have similar price points and are amazing. 

In at (a very close) second place is the Soleil Toujours SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen Glow (£36). Mentioned in My Quarantine Skincare post, Soleil Toujours is a mineral sunscreen that combines sun care with pearlescent pigments, creating a lit from within glow on the skin. 

A good all rounder, Soleil Toujours boasts a light, liquid formula that is fast-absorbing and non-sticky with great lasting power. It is powered by zinc oxide and contains mugwort plant to reduce redness and irritation and aloe leaf juice to soothe. It also lends a really pretty glow to the skin, similar to the Becca Backlight Priming Filter, and provides a great base for make up. It could even act as a base in its own right if you're blessed with particularly good skin. 

My ONLY gripe is with the price. £36 is a lot of dough! But after testing it - and loving it - for a good few weeks now, I can say it is worth it. It's also worth noting that photo-ageing (ageing caused by UVA/UVD and sun damage) is preventable, so dropping your pennies on a good SPF now will save you spending a bigger chunk of change on anti-ageing products later.

Just pipping Soleil Toujours to the post is the Dermalogica Invisible Physical Defense SPF 30* (£49), a sheer, fluid sunscreen that offers broad spectrum protection. Of the three it is the most recognisable as a sunscreen without any of the pitfalls. It's not greasy, shiny or streaky and doesn't give you ghost face. It's also extremely lightweight and feels really comfortable on the skin.

Designed to be used year round, the Invisible Physical Barrier is powered by zinc oxide particles that  create a physical shield on the skin to defend it from UVA and UVB rays and blue light pollution. It also contains anti-oxidant rich green tea to protect the skin from environmental stressors and a 'bio-active mushroom complex' to reduce dryness, irritation and redness induced by UV rays. It's also non-comedogenic, I've been using it for a couple of weeks now and not one breakout has been had. As far as sunscreens go, it is damn near perfect. I only wish it was SPF 50. So the answer to my earlier question; is this a bit too much to expect from one product? is no, but prepare to pay big bucks for it. £49 is a lot but it is worth it. 

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