Suncare Products I'm Using this Summer

It's basically summer, and all I want is a gorgeous tan and a wrinkle-free face. Too bad those never go hand in hand right?! I'm usually the girl on the beach who isn't careful enough with her sunscreen, and as I'm getting old, I decided this year I'm going to be truly psycho about suncare. I don't think "suncare" is a real word, but I basically apply it to any and all skincare products that help me a) achieve an appearance that the sun would normally give me, without the negative side effects and b) prevent against sun damage (the main culprit for wrinkles.)

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My main reasons for fighting the sun this summer?

  • melasma prevention (melasma = discoloration)
  • wrinkle prevention (duh)
  • skin cancer prevention (obviously)

I recently learned that some sunscreens are essentially complete BS. Did you know that SPF is basically a marketing tool? Anything above SPF 30 has the same strength, and your sunscreen's effectiveness really depends on the percentage of titanium dioxide or zinc oxide in the formula. These, amongst a few other ingredients, really give your products those UV ray fighting powers. I'm not a doctor, so I'm just relaying what my dermatologist told me, but I did some Google searches and it all seems to add up. You see those lifeguards on the beaches with the white noses? That's pure zinc. There's a reason that's a tried and true sunscreen method.

Upon hearing the whole SPF myth, I went to ULTA and spent a small fortune on suncare products for this summer. Here's what's in my beach bag. Some of these protect me from the sun, and some of them just make me look like a tan goddess. 

BODY

For sun protection:

Pacifica Mineral Sunscreen Coconut Probiotic SPF 50 ($16)

This is a water resistant sunscreen with 14.9% zinc oxide. I was told 15-20% is a good amount, so this made the cut for me. I also appreciated the price point as well as it being 100% vegan and cruelty-free. I need my sunscreens to be lightweight, so this spray works great for everyday use. Huge fan.

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For sunless tan

COOLA Gradual Sunless Tan ($46)

I've tried lots of self-tanners, but wanted to go a different route for summer. I've heard raving reviews about COOLA, so I decided to take the plunge. Not gonna lie, this tan isn't gradual. The color you get from one application is pretty strong. This isn't a bad thing, but just be careful not to streak or do anything that may mess up the color. You definitely get the bang for your buck. COOLA is pretty pricy, that's the one downfall. In my opinion, it's weird to market a product as 80% organic....like if you're not 100% organic, you're not organic at all. Either way, this is a solid product and I'll be using it this summer.

For fun/to try something new

Smashbox + Vlada Petal Metal Shimmer Spray ($39)

If you're beauty obsessed like me, you may have seen Fenty Beauty's body lava all over Instagram. I really wanted to get that same sheen and sparkle that all those IG models were getting from using the product. (If you haven't seen it, it's basically a body shimmer that makes your skin glow like you're a fucking trophy.) I'll take it. While body lava was sold out (and I didn't want to spend over $80 for shimmer), I did find this great shimmer spray that does the same thing and has more a rose gold tint, which is perfect for my skin. I like this a lot for when I'm wearing a swimsuit or if I want to look exxxxtra sexy in a dress. I also use it on my collar bone a lot if I wear low cut shirts, just to accentuate my bone structure.

Face

For sun protection and a quick bronze:

Pacifica Mineral Bronzing Face Shade Coconut Glow SPF 30 ($16)

This is more of my beach/outdoor activity face sunscreen. Also, did you notice the SPF 50 sunscreen I mentioned above had 14.9% zinc oxide, but was marketed as SPF 50? Well, this SPF 30 face sunscreen has 20% zinc oxide, but is marketed as SPF 30. I'm confused, but I know that 20% zinc oxide is good for me, so that's why I bought this product. I also bought it because in addition to waterproof protection, it provides me with coverage and a subtle face tan. 

For some light face makeup with added sun protection:

COOLA Golden Organic BB+ Cream SPF 30 ($52)

This is my everyday coverage kind of makeup. I mix it with the Pacifica sunscreen for extra sun protection. This only has 5.6% Titanium Dioxide, which, let's face it, is significantly less than the Pacifica bronzing face lotion with 20% zinc dioxide. However, I wanted to try it because I needed a BB cream for summer anyway (I like to use these instead of foundation for my everyday/not on camera look.) I honestly don't understand how this is $52, when other high-end BB creams go for more of a $30-40 range, but oh well. I tried this so I could report back. I like the product because it's light and gives a solid amount of coverage, and honestly, I may buy it again. 

For a more permanent glow:

TAN-LUXE THE FACE Illuminating Self-Tan Drops ($49)

$49 for a small bottle of oil!?!? Before you judge, hear me out. I have used a lot of spray tans on my face, and they always leave my skin feeling dry. Putting spray tan on my face also prevents me from using my favorite face creams. That being said, the reason I love this product is because you can use a little bit of oil in your face creams (excluding products like retinol, which make you peel) and you wake up with a spray tan glow. 

BeautySkyler Bouchard