Help me fight cancer and keep my hands goop-free!
December 31, 2014 4:34 PM   Subscribe

This past spring year my father (in his mid-seventies) was diagnosed with melanoma. He's fine (hurrah!) but this puts me at a higher risk of skin cancer myself. I need a facial sunscreen in deodorant stick form that's 60 SPF, and can't find anything locally that suits my needs.

Although I'm not a sun-worshipper, I HATE wearing stuff on my face. Really, really hate it. I have oily facial skin, avoid makeup and don't even use moisturizer most of the time. Putting more goop on is something I just don't do. (I hate getting it on my hands, too.) However, my GP has told me I need to wear 60 SPF sunscreen whenever I go out.

I've got my body covered (I wear a long-sleeved 50 SPF jacket in summer) but my face is a problem.

A few years ago I used a deodorant-style stick with facial sunscreen made by Neutorogrena. It didn't feel too greasy, it was invisible when I applied it and the stick kept my hands goop-free. However, I can't find it anymore (even online) and the only one I've found in a local drugstore made my face turn white.

Hive Mind, can you help me? I'm looking for a solid sunscreen that goes on clear, comes in a deodorant-style stick (or rollerball, if that exists) and is 60 SPF. I don't mind ordering online, but the vendor needs to deliver to Canada. Bonus points if you've tried the stuff yourself or if the vendor you recommend has a generous return policy.

Thank you in advance for all your advice and suggestions!

P.S. It's New Year's Eve here and I'm going out soon, but I'll be peeking at this on my smartphone. Discreetly.
posted by Schadenfreudian to Health & Fitness (14 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Was it this? Or is the issue that you want something face-specific?
posted by chocotaco at 4:41 PM on December 31, 2014

It's not spf 60, but if you really hate the feel of stuff on your face this sunscreen is recommended. It feels goey only for a couple of seconds and then it is completely absorbed by your skin. There were times when I literally couldn't remember if I had put it on or not because I couldn't feel it on my face. That's never happened before. With any other sunscreen, even hours after applying it I can feel it on my face and know I applied it that day. It was recommended by my Derm.

The brand also has a sports version that is spf 50 but I haven't tried that one.
posted by rancher at 5:21 PM on December 31, 2014

Best answer: I also hate the feel of goopy sunscreen on my face. Neutrogena Ultra-Sheer is my go-to sunscreen these days. Looks like it comes in a stick as well.

And reading your question again, I see that's what you've tried and liked! It's available on
posted by erst at 5:30 PM on December 31, 2014

The neutrogena one still exists. There just arent as many sunscreen options out right now if youre in a place with winter.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 5:30 PM on December 31, 2014

Yeah, I think your biggest issue is that the shelves are slim-stocked. Amazon US has all the various Neutrogena stick flavors, so they're still in production.

Look in the baby section of your favorite drug/discount store, or if you have a baby superstore. I prefer baby sticks to the Neutrogena ones, but you may find that specific one there as well.

Alternately, go to your local ski/outdoorsy superstore (REI etc), they should have a range and I suspect sticks are super-popular for glove-wearing sports.
posted by Lyn Never at 5:59 PM on December 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

I also hate the feeling of goopy sunscreen and over the years my preference has turned to Neutrogena Ultra Sheer or the drug store clones. I can confirm that the stick version seems to have disappeared from stores. However, looking at the Neutrogena site just now they show an "Ultra Sheer Face & Body Stick" that they are promoting as new and one of the features they list is it's invisibility. I'm finding the new stick in SPF 70 on Amazon, so there is hope.
posted by Miss Matheson at 6:04 PM on December 31, 2014

Best answer: Gah, $30 with shipping off Here's three sticks for US$20 + $12 shipping to Canada on eBay.
posted by kmennie at 6:15 PM on December 31, 2014

For what it's worth, the newest research is finding that melanoma is likely not as strongly associated with sun exposure as the basal and squamous types are. Prevention is still great for anti-aging purposes and such. That said, with a first-order relative, your chances do go up significantly (and even more astronomically with another relative) even without that sun exposure. Be sure to focus on detection just as much as prevention!
posted by kcm at 6:57 PM on December 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Not sunscreen info- but you might want to consider a yearly full-body check by your dermatologist. They’ll track (via notes and photography) anything that looks suspicious, and may remove & test moles just to be safe (they do it right there, and it’s not particularly painful). I go every year since I am in a sunny place and am outside a lot.

The last time I went she immediately zeroed in on a teeny tiny mole on my shoulder. I had never even noticed it, as my shoulders have some freckles. To me it looked like someone had pressed a very fine black ink pen against my shoulder and even if I had seen it I would have not thought anything of it. It rang all sorts of warning bells for her and she removed it right there.

It’s a pretty hardcore exam- separating your buns to peer in between, looking in between each toe, etc. But it gives me great peace of mind to do it yearly.
posted by aviatrix at 7:07 PM on December 31, 2014 [4 favorites]

Some sunscreen is better than no sunscreen, so if you don't find what you're looking for, you can still lower your risk. I'd say a lower SPF + the annual dermatology appt recommended above would get you very close to the ideal.
posted by vitabellosi at 4:40 AM on January 1, 2015

Research Asian, especially Japanese, formulas. They tend to be very lightweight. No sticks, but you can always wash your hands.
posted by LoonyLovegood at 11:06 AM on January 1, 2015

Response by poster: Everyone, thank you! You've collectively managed to identify my favourite sunscreen, find out where I can buy it in Canada, AND find a deal on eBay.

Hive Mind, you do not disappoint! Thanks so much!
posted by Schadenfreudian at 8:11 PM on January 1, 2015

Response by poster: Just a quick follow-up for the curious: I love the Neutrogena deodorant-style stick kmennie identified. You can't even tell I'm wearing sunscreen.

I've discovered a slightly different approach I'd like to share for future readers: Neutrogena UltraSheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen 110 SPF goes on almost entirely clear, and I started using a makeup sponge to apply it. Voila, no greasy hands! I'm using this approach at home before I go out, and then keeping the deodorant style stick for when I'm out and about, as you're supposed to reapply sunscreen every two hours.
posted by Schadenfreudian at 7:56 AM on June 25, 2015

Response by poster: And, last but not least: an interesting article about sunscreen from The Atlantic Online:

Another article:

Understanding UVA and UVB:

And an evaluation of sunscreens from comments on the same article (from the Environemental Working Group):
posted by Schadenfreudian at 8:02 AM on June 25, 2015

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