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Can you help me find the perfect sunscreen?
June 17, 2005 12:24 PM   Subscribe

I am looking for a good daily sunscreen to wear on my face. My criteria are: (1) little/no chemical "sunscreen" smell; (2) fragrance-free; (3) oil-free; (4) SPF in the 8-15 range; (5) transparent or clear. How the sunscreen smells is very important to me: I am sensitive to smells and often don't wear sunscreen because the scent is so strong.

Yes, I have read the previous posts on sunscreen, but none of them address the smell problem that's so important to me.
posted by betterton to Health & Fitness (20 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Many of the regular face moisturizers come with SPF in them, maybe what you currently use has an SPF version?
posted by blackkar at 12:36 PM on June 17, 2005

I just picked up this awesome stuff from Nutragena. I can't remember the exact name but it is sunblock with moisturizer 45 SPF. No fragrance at all, blends fully into the skin and is not sticky and seems to work really well. I got it at CVS. I would recommend any of their sunblock products. This particular one is in a predominantly white tube with some blue lettering. I use it everyday because I had some pre-cancerous lesions on my ears.
posted by spicynuts at 12:37 PM on June 17, 2005

I always recommend Ombrelle. It works miracles on even the fair-skinned, sunscreen-hating boyfriend. No bad smell, not greasy, non-blackhead forming. Also: Prescriptives "All you need" with SPF 15, Lancome Bienfait Total with SPF 15, or Clairins undermakeup. The Prescriptives and Lancome are my daily face lotions and aren't really waterproof or for exercise, but they smell normal to me, and while are slightly expensive, I figure that if they make me wear sunscreen everyday, it's worth it in the long run. The oil-free from Neutrogena looks good too.
posted by fionab at 12:43 PM on June 17, 2005

i just use purpose brand lotion w/SPF 15.

"Purpose Dual Treatment Moisture Lotion with SPF-15 is oil free, hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, and fragrance free."
posted by puke & cry at 12:44 PM on June 17, 2005

Darphin is good. Not cheap, but very light, easily absorbed and with no sunscreen smell (that I can discern).
posted by essexjan at 1:04 PM on June 17, 2005

Purpose is nice and additive free, and also not too expensive, but I find it a little sticky. I'm using it right now but would like to find something better, so am following this thread eagerly.

Basis used to make one that I loved inordinately, and then for some reason they cruelly discontinued it. I think perhaps Ombrelle is not offered in the US, or is called something else here. If it is simply sold under another name, I would love to know what it is. Does anyone know?
posted by redfoxtail at 1:11 PM on June 17, 2005

Kiehls, Kiehls, Kiehls. I use the Ultra Facial Moisturizer with SPF 15. Very good, non-smelly moisturizer.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:30 PM on June 17, 2005 [1 favorite]

Oh yeah, Kiehls is great and not greasy. And sorry redfoxtail, I forgot that Ombrelle, for some odd reason, is not sold in the US. I send it to all of my US friends though, because they all got used to mine and haven't found another that they love as much. If you send me your address, and promise to paypal me some moolah, I'll gladly ship your sunscreen of choice. They make all sorts of SPFs and spraps/creams/lotions/waterproof formulas, so let me know which you want. I'm going to NYC on Tuesday so I can mail it within the US.
posted by fionab at 1:33 PM on June 17, 2005

CVS "brand" beauty lotion
no tint
SPF 15
posted by suchatreat at 2:26 PM on June 17, 2005

I use Cetaphil's Daily Facial Moisturizer SPF 15, which has no sunscreeny smell.
posted by stefnet at 3:21 PM on June 17, 2005

I use Oil of Olay's SPF15 sensitive skin/fragrance free stuff... Longs even has a generic version that's a little cheaper. It's really light feeling and not greasy or gross. I have super sensitive skin and it works really well for me for the day.
posted by doubtful_guest at 3:28 PM on June 17, 2005

I've been using Loreal's Futur-e. It's pretty much scentless, not at all oily or greasy, goes on clear, and is SPF 15. I don't like putting anything else on my face, including makeup, but I use this stuff every day. It runs about $10 a bottle, which usually lasts me 6 months to a year.
posted by geeky at 4:56 PM on June 17, 2005

Regarding Ombrelle not being available in the US, there was a NY Times article on it just the other day. Ombrelle contains Mexoryl, which has not been approved by the FDA yet (for bureaucratic reasons according to the article), but which apparently blocks both UVB rays (which cause burns) and UVA rays (which cause wrinkles and general damage) very well. I am constantly on the lookout for a better sunscreen for my face, as I have melasma (dark patches made worse by the sun, from birth control pills in my case). Fionab, could you maybe get me some as well? I'd love to try it.
posted by Nice Donkey at 7:34 PM on June 17, 2005

I have sensitive skin, and like Coppertone's Faces spf30--oil-free, hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, and fragrance free. (and it's not thick and greasy like some.)
posted by amberglow at 7:42 PM on June 17, 2005

Second the Coppertone Faces. I use it currently, and it's the least greasy water-resistant sunscreen I've been able to find.
posted by Nice Donkey at 7:46 PM on June 17, 2005

I just got home and re-smelled my Neutragena. I take back what I said. It does indeed have a scent, so ignore my advice. Sorry about that.
posted by spicynuts at 9:18 PM on June 17, 2005

1) Paula's Choice Extra Care Non-Greasy Sunscreen - SPF 30+
Normal to Oily/Combination Skin

2) Paula's Choice Essential Non-Greasy Sunscreen - SPF 15
Normal to Oily/Combination Skin

Paula Begoun only makes fragrance-free cosmetics and skin products, and she also has one of the most liberal 60-day return policies available on the web, so it's worth a shot.
posted by invisible ink at 11:06 PM on June 17, 2005

It looks like you can buy Ombrelle on eBay. If that doesn't work, email me and I'll send you some from NYC next week.
posted by fionab at 11:19 PM on June 17, 2005

Neutrogena's Healthy Defense, a pump spray liquid with SPF 30 is my current favorite after years of putting up with the gels that made me feel lightly dipped in plastic wrap. It has a mild, lightly citrus odor that, to my nose, disappears very rapidly. It seems readily available--I found it at Target recently and I know it can be ordered from places like
posted by salt at 11:20 AM on June 18, 2005

Clinique "Cityblock" spf 15 or 25. Low smell factor, non-greasy, very slightly tinted.
posted by iwouldificould at 9:33 AM on June 19, 2005

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