I thought I had found it.
The perfect mineral sunscreen.
After years of slathering on thick formulas that felt greasy on my skin and turned me into the female version of Caspar The Ghost, I was finally holding in my hand the superhero that put them all to shame.
Its superhero name? Skinceuticals Mineral Matte UV Defense SPF30.
On paper, it has it all:
- a tinted pigment that keeps that horrible white cast away
- a lightweight formula that makes piling on the layers quick and easy
- a matte finish that leaves your skin shine-free for hours
What’s not to like?
The Problem With Skinceuticals Mineral Matte UV Defense SPF30
Skinceuticals Mineral Matte UV Defense SPF30 harnesses the power of titanium dioxide to protect you from UV rays.
Titanium dioxide is both a shield and an absorber: it absorbs most UV rays into a less damaging form of heat and scatters away the rest.
It’s also super gentle on the skin. So gentle, even babies (after they’ve turned 6 months old) can safely use it. If you usually stay away from sunscreens because they don’t agree with your sensitive skin, try one with titanium dioxide. You’ll be amazed.
The catch? Titanium dioxide protects from ALL UVB rays, ALL short UVA rays but only SOME long UVA rays. It comes close to providing broad spectrum protection, but not quite.
That’s why it should be used with other UVA filters. But, there are none here.
What’s The Deal With Nanotechnology?
Titanium dioxide is pretty thick. How the heck did Skinceuticals manage to make it so thin?
Nanotechnology. You take a big molecule and make it so tiny, it becomes invisible. The new tiny molecule also has a much lighter texture, making it a lot more pleasant to use.
Critics say these tiny molecules can penetrate the skin and cause all kinds of problems once inside the body. That’s not true. Science has found that these nanoparticles remain on the skin.
That’s where they should be to protect skin from the sun, anyway. If these particles got in, what would stop UV rays from penetrating as well?
The real problem with nanotechnology? It makes titanium dioxide less effective at fighting UVA rays. Coating them with silicones, like Skinceuticals did here, helps a bit, but doesn’t solve the problem completely.
Let’s Put It To The Test: Personal Use And Opinion
Skinceuticals Mineral Matte UV Defense SPF 30 has a souffle-like texture that’s a bit hard to squeeze out of the tube. Once you do, though, it goes on smoothly and feels so lightweight and comfortable on the skin.
I apply half a teaspoon without my skin looking greasy, shiny or white. The matte finish looks very natural on my skin and its tinted pigment doesn’t alter my skin colour.
When it comes to aesthetics, you can’t fault this sunscreen.
But what about protection? I’ve never got a sunburn while wearing it. But, I didn’t expect one. Sunburns are caused by UVB rays and titanium dioxide protects well from all UVB rays, remember?
It’s the long UVA rays it can’t keep up with. Long UVA cause wrinkles. Unlike a sunburn, wrinkles don’t appear on your skin straight away.
You think your skin’s safe because it’s not burning and then, one day you look in the mirror and see those lines starting to creep up all over your face. And you’re not even 30, yet.
If Skinceuticals added a dollop of zinc oxide to this sunscreen to up the UVA protection, I’d be all over it. As it is, I’ll leave it on the shelf.