Sunscreen. One of those things that I'm forever on the hunt for but yet never seem to get right. The problem? I'm reactive to certain sunscreen chemicals, I have breakout prone skin, I don't like suncreen in my moisturizer and I wear foundation so it must be comfortable all day.
Fickle, I know.
In my latest search, I was introduced to Cyberderm, a company that specializes in health conscious sunscreen formulas with modern textures for every day use. This means focusing on using more mineral sunblock ingredients to shield rather than simply filter UV rays and catering to sensitive skin types in particular. It all looked great on paper so in my daily routine they went.
Product: Every Morning Sun Whip SPF25*, Simply Zinc Sun Whip SPF30*
Price: $38 CAD
Availability: Online and select skincare retailers
Cyberderm currently offers two sunblock/sunscreen formulas with different textures to suite anything from acnegenic to drier skin. Reading the description, I was impressed by the use of zinc oxide in both formulas; a physical sun shielding ingredient that veils the skin instead of being absorbed into the bloodstream (like many chemical formulas). Plus, its usually considered pretty stable and is kind to reactive skin types. The air tight vacuum sealed in 50ml bottles means its hygienic and keeps the ingredients fresh inside. The small pump is easy to control and so far has remained clog free as we.
SIMPLY ZINC SUN WHIP SPF30*
Ingredients: (w/w) 22% Zinc Oxide, Aqua, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glyceryl Isostearate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Methylcellulose, Tetrapeptide-21, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Glycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Xanthan Gum, Butylene Glycol, Benzoic Acid, Dehydroacetic Acid
This first version as suggested by it's name, is a solo zinc oxide based sunblock in a moisturizing olive oil based formula. It's marketed towards those who are looking for a strong daily shield especially hyperpigmentation or sensitivity is already an issue. The sunblock itself has the consistency of thick whipped buttercream; a combination of moussey and creamy but certainly more on the heavier side. Because it is so emollient, I decided to skip moisturizer and go straight to sunblock which was very hard to rub into the skin evenly if you're in a rush. If you happen to leave an uneven spot, the product dries quickly so the it becomes even harder to smooth out and unblended area. If anything it behaved the exact that zinc oxide has always behaved in other pure sunblock I've used in the past so sadly there was nothing revolutionary in terms of texture or application.
Once on my face, it does feel heavy although makeup applied just fine over top. There is an ever slight white tint (especially if you weren't careful with application) but any foundation or bronzer used over top should mediate the problem. My main issue with this zinc based sunblock is how it seemed to sweat off my skin during the hotter days and it does so in a rather unflattering white film over my face. At that point it's futile to try and touch up my makeup so I usual admit defeat and take the whole thing off. So while this is pure zinc protection, while it doesn't break me out and while it dries to a non-greasy finish, it's not something that feels comfortable or long lasting enough for my personal needs.
EVERY MORNING SUN WHIP SPF25*
Ingredients: (w/w) 15% Zinc Oxide (ZinClearTM), 7.5% Octinoxate (Encapsulated), Aqua, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glyceryl Isostearate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-75 Stearate, Ceteth 20, Steareth-20, Glycerin, Cetyl Dimethicone, Methycellulose, Trisodium Ethylenediame Disuccinate, Xanthan Gum, Sclerotium Gum, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Silica, PVP, Chlorphenesin, Cetyl Alcohol, Sodium Citrate, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium EDTA
With the first trial gone bust, there was even higher expectation when it comes to the Every Morning Sun Whip. This version is a physical-chemical combination cocktail with zinc oxide and octinoxate and offering a good daily dosage of SPF25. The reality is, chemical sunscreen ingredients tend to be lighter in texture and make for more "invisible" products that feel more comfortable on the skin overall. The feel of this one is comparable to the Lancome Teint Benefait (though perhaps a little thicker) and spreads very easily like a creamy moisturizing lotion. Again, I forgone my regular morning face cream when using this and it works just fine for the summertime alone. While I can still feel the product on my skin (vs bare skin), it's much more likable and again makeup applied without a problem over top. I especially loved that it wasn't silicone based (as many lightweight skincare are) and so I had no pilling issues with layering additional products.
It did a great job at protecting me from the sun during a full school day (let's be real here, the instruction says reapply every 2hrs but that's not happening while I already have makeup on though I leave that option completely up to you). After a few weeks of daily use, I did notice a few more whiteheads than usual though I wouldn't call it a breakout. Overall, it was actually a great choice for this summer as it never got terribly hot for very long and I liked that it had enough moisturization for my combination skin without feeling downright greasy but once in a while I would need a mid-day blot.
THE FINAL VERDICT
I really like Cyberderm's approach to looking at sun safe ingredients and the whole ethos of their skincare brand with a focus on education and their aims at making high quality, skin friendly sunblock. However I think I was just expecting more from their products. The Simply Zinc Sun Whip SPF30 wasn't a formulation that sat well with my skin type and given the fact that the consistency wasn't any more remarkable than other more affordable physical sunblock options, I'd call this a pass. The Everyday Sun Whip SPF25 is something I'd recommend for dry to combination skin types or to anyone living in mild climate zones as this is still a little too rich for oily skin or hot weather. It does however feel comfortable for daily wear and pairs well with makeup for city protection.
Stay beautiful Sunshine,