Good moisturising sunscreen for Australian summer
December 11, 2010 8:10 PM   Subscribe

Need recommendations: A moisturiser with high SPF for somebody whose skin turns pink after a few minutes in the Australian sun. Don't mind if it's expensive; in fact, I welcome luxury products. We just need it to be a nice formulation, non-greasy non-sticky, non-white. It would be for the whole body (usually just neck, arms and face), but need not be a product specifically targeted to body. Bonus points for a non sunscreeny scent, and if I can purchase it from StrawberryNet.

Preferably at least SPF 30.
posted by KLF to Health & Fitness (13 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Elta MD oil-free 45 spf is amazing -- not at all greasy, and it doesn't smell like sunblock. I use it every day, year-round.
posted by leslietron at 8:39 PM on December 11, 2010 [2 favorites]

Plain old Vaseline lotion is always ranked at the top or near the top in ever moisturizing lotion test in Consumer Reports. They have several SPF versions, and they are cheap. The beat out all the super fancy moisturizers and lotions all the time.
posted by sanka at 8:41 PM on December 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

You might be interested in Lisa Eldridge's videos on sunscreen. Video 1 and Video 2. She mentions Loreal Sun Expertise. sells it as well as many other brands she recommends.
posted by Fairchild at 9:09 PM on December 11, 2010

Alba Botanica makes a great SPF 45 green tea sunblock that's been my go-to summertime item for years, for both face and body.
posted by bunji at 9:20 PM on December 11, 2010

Best answer: I'm also in Australia. I use Nivea Light Feel Everyday Sun Lotion. It's SPF 30 and despite not being a face-specific product, it's the one of the few sunscreens I can use on my face without breaking out. They make a face-specific version as well, I think.

Be aware that sunscreen is heavily regulated in Australia - not surprising for a country with high rates of skin cancer. If you order products in from overseas, they may be less effective than what you can buy here. The Body Shop, for example, sells sunscreen outside Australia. It feels and smells lovely, but it isn't available here because it it's not protective enough to meet the TGA's standards. If your skin is as sensitive as you say, you should probably be using sunscreen that's sold here, and sold as sunscreen, not moisturiser with an SPF rating on the side.
posted by embrangled at 9:36 PM on December 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

Seconding Elta. Best sunblock I've ever used--it practically feels like you aren't wearing any, but it really works.
posted by teamparka at 10:34 PM on December 11, 2010

Also in Australia, and I use Nivea Moisturing Sun Spray - goes on nicely, absorbs super quickly. Does smell a little of sunscreen but in a nice 'Beach! Sand! Adventure!' way. Also, 30+ SPF and fine for face and body. Be REALLY careful about buying something that isn't protective enough.
posted by latch24 at 11:08 PM on December 11, 2010

Seconding both the Nivea recommendations - they're much less icky-feeling than a lot of sunscreens. I've never gotten burnt whilst wearing either of them (and I am pale, pale, pale).

With regard to "at least SPF 30" - you can make a SPF 100 sunscreen in Australia, but you can only advertise it as 30+, because SPF has seriously diminishing returns past that point and it gives people a false sense of security to think they're using SPF 60, when SPF 60 is definitely not going to give you twice the protection. Something to bear in mind if you're buying off Strawberrynet, where a lot of products claim SPF 50.
posted by jaynewould at 12:30 AM on December 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

you can make a SPF 100 sunscreen in Australia, but you can only advertise it as 30+, because SPF has seriously diminishing returns past that point and it gives people a false sense of security to think they're using SPF 60

The reason for this has to do with how SPF is measured. To quote a previous comment of mine:

One thing about SPF, it's not a linear scale. The SPF of a sunscreen measures how much longer a fully protected person takes to burn. So if you normally take 10 minutes to burn, with SPF 30 you'll take 300 minutes (5 hours).
SPF 30 blocks 96.7%, SPF 100 (which is ridiculous) blocks 99% of UVB rays which are the ones that cause sunburn.

The reason that you can't label sunscreen as more than 30 SPF in .au is that sunscreen will degrade chemically, rub off, etc. over the course of 5-6 hours, making ratings higher than that nonsense.

UV-A does not cause sunburn, but it does contribute to skin cancer risk, not all sunscreens block UV-A effectively and SPF does not measure how well UV-A is blocked, so look for a sunscreen that is labelled as blocking both.

Most people do not apply it thickly enough (as noted above, protection falls of as the root of the amount applied - Apply half of what you should, get only a quarter the protection)
Nor do they re-apply it often enough, even water resistant sunscreens need frequent re-application if you're immersed in the water especially if engaging in vigorous activity.

Sun protection tips:
-Put it on thicker than you might do naturally
-Get a sunscreen that blocks UVA as well as UVB (this is most likely what the Aussie labeling requirements are about)
-Wear a hat and opaque top when practical, regardless of sunscreen
-Re-apply early and often, especially in the water and if physically active
-Stay out of the sun entirely during peak insolation (12-2:30 or so)
posted by atrazine at 2:38 AM on December 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

Nthing the advice re non-Australian products.

Also, I like Sunsense, which you can buy anywhere here. They make a non-oily matt face sunscreen and a moisturising face sunscreen - I prefer the latter but both are pretty good.

I remember hearing about a clear zinc, marketed by some Australian supermodel, which sounded great but I havent found it.

Lastly, you could try a Cancer Council shop - they have a fantastic 30+ vanilla scented lipgloss, so they may have some nice-but-powerful creams, too.
posted by 8k at 12:58 AM on December 13, 2010

Best answer: Doh, I almost forgot my new favourite: neutrogena ultra-sheer. It complies with aust standards as far as I can tell and it has a wonderful texture. They do a face and a body version. Much nicer than sunsense.
posted by 8k at 1:05 AM on December 13, 2010

I pretty much pimp Devita Solar Body Block to anyone I meet. I have extremely Irish skin and am outside a lot (in Southern Cali, no less). I put it through its paces on a trip to the Mexican Riviera and since then I would gladly pay twice the price for this stuff. The thing that does it for me is that it uses Aloe as its base - which rubs in and dries really quickly with practically no residue. This is unique as far as I know. I really can't tell I have it on, and it goes on so fast, so clear and works so well that I don't ever hesitate to reapply. Its also a physical blocker, which is great if you're as into sunblocks as I am. I quite literally love this stuff and may request to be buried with a crate full to use in the next life(promise I don't work for them!)

BUT...the drawback is that it is NOT you're out of luck there.

For water I use AquaSport.

I'm going to have to check out the Nivea brands listed above though!
posted by jnnla at 5:13 PM on December 14, 2010

Another Aussie here who detests sticky, greasy sunscreens. I recently bought the first product on this page: Invisible Zinc. SPF 30+, UVA and UVB, and cruelty-free. It felt quite thick and sticky when I put it on, and I was worried I'd be disappointed. But within minutes I could barely tell it was there, and forgot about it until I showered and realised there was still a little residue. It doesn't smell too sunscreeny and doesn't show as white. I didn't feel the need to moisturise after putting it on, I'm not sure it'd be ok as a permanent replacement though - everyone has different moisturiser needs.
posted by harriet vane at 4:15 AM on December 15, 2010

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