Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. I’ve broken the biggest beauty rule in the book—one that has been drilled into my head since I was a fledgling beauty addict stealing my mom’s fashion magazines. I never wear sunscreen (pause for shock and horror). I know I’m supposed to wear it every day, but the reality is closer to once every few months, when I know I’m going to be out in the sun for an extended amount of time. I’ve heard it said that if you’re not wearing sun protection, the rest of your skin care is essentially useless, but I still can’t bring myself to change my ways.
My aversion to sunscreen comes down to two major factors, the first being that I am simply very lazy. As someone who’s chronically running 15 minutes behind, my morning skin care routine has to be as quick as possible. Adding a sunscreen and then giving it time to sink in before moving on to my makeup frankly just takes too long.
The second factor is the majority of sunscreens haven’t worked for me. I’d experimented with texture, brands, and mineral and physical forms, and hadn’t found the right fit. They either pilled up, were too matte or too shiny, or disrupted my makeup. Most sunscreens also cause my skin to break out or irritate my sensitive eyes, and I was starting to think SPF just wasn’t for me. Sure, I’d be wrinkly later on, and not wearing sunscreen isn’t doing any favors for my hyperpigmentation, but at least I don’t have to deal with all the drama now.
I’d dabbled in moisturizers with SPF (as opposed to layering a separate sunscreen over my moisturizer), but I found most were too low in SPF to really make a difference, and I was too married to my favorite moisturizer to make the swap. Time was on my side though, and right as I ran out of my beloved Embryolisse, the Supergoop Superscreen Daily Moisturizer SPF 40 arrived at my desk.
The Superscreen is a daily moisturizer with SPF 40. It comes in a very Instagrammable pot and has a bouncy, whipped texture that I can only describe as pudding-like. There’s a light floral fragrance with a hint of Play-Doh that I actually kind of like.
I’d tried Supergoop before and had unfortunately broken out shortly after, but I was sucked in by Instagram hype yet again and decided to give the Superscreen a try. I’m pleased to report not only did I not break out, but my skin looked amazing. It soaks right in, and my skin feels immediately plump and bouncy, which could be attributed to the formula’s inclusion of blue-green algae, an ingredient with nourishing benefits and antioxidants. The cream is rich enough to hydrate my dry skin and leave a pretty glow, but doesn’t leave an oily residue. And most important, it creates a perfect canvas for makeup, with no flashback or pilling.
The formula also contains cerium, an element that protects from blue light damage. The jury is still out on whether blue light has an effect on our skin, and it personally feels a little gimmicky to me, but it’s nice to know I’ll be protected if it does turn out to be dangerous. The other thing to note is that this is a chemical sunscreen with avobenzone, homosalate, and octisalate as the active sun-protection ingredients. According to a new FDA proposal, there are only two guaranteed safe ingredients to use, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, because they sit on top of your skin. These actives are currently being reviewed for human safety by the FDA but haven’t been deemed unsafe. They are reef-safe though and won’t cause damage to the oceans.
I’ve turned a new leaf, and since I tried Superscreen about two months ago, I’ve worn sunscreen every day—my all-time record. And that’s nothing to scoff at.