I’ve been trying quite a few new sunscreens lately, and here are the hits and misses!
For more, check out:
Last weekend I had fun in the sun. 🌞 I went to the beach AND the pool (on different days), and it’s my solid belief that any time you get to spend time near a big body of water is a good thing.
And if you also get to test a couple of new sunscreens while you’re at it, that’s even better!
Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protector Lotion SPF 50+
Wait — technically, only one of the sunscreens is new-ish. It’s a chemical sunscreen called Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protector Lotion SPF 50+ Sunscreen for Face/Body ($49 for a 5-oz. bottle, which works out to $9.80 per ounce).
I used to wear Shiseido sunscreen waaaaay back in the day when MBB was just a wee baby website in 2007 (!). It’s been a few years, though.
I’m happy to say that it’s still around (and still pricey) and, yes, still pretty darn good.
(It’s good…but it’s not nearly as great as the Sun Bum SPF 70 Lotion I’ve been using and loving, but more on that in a sec.)
The good? it’s tinted, so there’s absolutely no white cast, and the texture is on the thinner side, so it absorbs easily and you aren’t left sitting there for half a day rubbing it into your skin. If you like sunscreens with a runnier texture like La Roche-Posay Melt in Milk or Neutrogena Invisible Daily Defense Lotion Sunscreen, you’ll probably like it.
It’s also very moisturizing, which my dry skin LOVES, and the faint, lovely citrus scent isn’t overpowering.
It’s a little different than I remember it being, though, because after I rub it in, there’s a slightly greasy film left behind, but it dries down in about 15 minutes. It’s not sticky or uncomfortable or heavy, but it’s present…and I can definitely feel something on my skin.
I did a little experiment at the beach last weekend to see how the Shiseido stacks up to the Sun Bum SPF 70 Lotion, which has been my go-to jam lately. I applied the Shiseido on one side of my body and the Sun Bum on the other, and while both sunscreens prevented my skin from picking up much color, the Shiseido side was slightly more tan than the Sun Bum side.
I plan to keep the Shiseido one around until I finish it up because I like how moisturizing it is and how easy it is to apply, but I probably won’t be buying it again because Sun Bum works better and is much more cost-effective at $15.99 for an 8-oz. bottle, which works out to $2 an ounce.
Ulta Beauty Mineral Matte Tinted Face Lotion SPF 30
Speaking of cost effective, here’s a lovely, affordable hidden gem for ya: Ulta Beauty Mineral Matte Tinted Face Lotion SPF 30. This physical sunscreen is available in a single shade, which, frankly shocked me because it actually suits my tan skin tone pretty well (I’m an NC 42 in MAC, for reference).
FYI, I’ve noticed people with lighter complexions in the reviews on Ulta’s website mentioning the tint appearing orange on their skin, so if your skin is fair, please be aware of that.
I like this tinted moisturizer a lot, almost as much as a Bliss Block Star. The price is excellent — $12.99 for 2 ounces ($6.50 per ounce), which is much more affordable than Bliss Block Star, which is $19.99 for 1.4 ounces ($14.28 per ounce!).
Like Bliss Block Star, Ulta Mineral Matte absorbs quickly, layers well both on its own and with makeup, and has a beautiful, natural-looking matte finish. Also, Ulta Mineral Matte has a similarly slippery silicone-y feel to it, like Block Star, so it feels smooth on my face.
The major differences are 1) the scent (Ulta’s is floral and slightly more obvious) and 2) the dry time. Ulta’s takes about 20 more minutes to completely dry down, so you have to be patient.
BUT, IT WORKS. I wore it all last weekend in conjunction with a sun hat, and I didn’t pick up any color on my face!
If your skin tone is in the medium to tan range, don’t hesitate to grab this next time you’re at Ulta. It’s a hidden gem, and, quite frankly, I don’t understand why more people don’t talk about it.
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,