Have you noticed how mineral sunscreens can use only one UV filter (usually zinc oxide) and still provide stellar protection, while synthetic sunscreens need to use a ton of them to get the same results?
That’s because lots of synthetic UV filters are quite weak, and simply can’t provide that much protection when used alone. An example? Homosalate.
What The Heck Is Homosalate, And What Does It Do?
Not only it struggles to protect skin well from UVB rays, but it also offers no protection against UVA rays. Ok, it does provide some, but its UVA protection range is very narrow, so really it doesn’t help there. Using it alone would be crazy.
But, how does it work? Just like any other synthetic UV filter. It absorbs UVB rays and transforms them into a less dangerous form of energy (heat).
What’s The Problem With Homosalate?
It’s weak. And, it degrades quickly when exposed to sunlight. That’s the problem with sunscreens. We need them to protect us from the sun, but sunlight inactivates UV filters, making them useless after a while. That’s why we have to reapply sunscreen every two hours. Ironic, isn’t it?
So, how quickly does homosalate degrade? We don’t know. So, just follow the instructions on your sunscreen bottle, and reapply the thing as often as they tell you to. If not, don’t complain the sunscreen sucks. You’re just not using it properly.
Is Homosalate Dangerous?
Now, the question you all want to know. Is homosalate dangerous? Pretty much every other synthetic UV filter is accused (often wrongly) to cause cancer or some other nasty disease, so it’s only natural to assume that overzealous folks may have found something wrong with homosalate, too, right?
Apparently not. Homosalate has a good safety profile and, so far at least, it hasn’t been accused of doing anything bad. Phew! Too bad it can’t be used alone, though, isn’t it?
Where Can I Find Homosalate?
Clinique Sun Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen Face Cream ($21.50)
What sets this sunscreen apart is the addition of antioxidants, such as rosemary and vitamin E, that can boost the efficacy of the UV filters and help protect skin from sundamage. It’s quite moisturizing, so it’s more suitable for dry skin. Available at Boots and Sephora.
Vichy Capital Soleil SPF 60 Soft Sheer Sunscreen Lotion ($30.50)
This one isn’t so rich in antioxidants, but it has a more lightweight texture that works for all skin types. And, of course, it still offers excellent UV protection. Available at Derm Store.
Paula’s Choice Skincare Lipscreen SPF 50 ($9.00)
Because your lips need sun protection, too. It’s also moisturizing, has plenty of antioxidants, no scent or flavor, and leaves no white cast behind. And, it works well with makeup too! Available at Paula’s Choice.
The Bottom Line
Homosalate isn’t dangerous. But, it isn’t that effective either. That’s why it’s always used together with other UV filters.
What do you think of homosalate? Do you use it?