Bypassing SPF: An Unique Suncare Range That Doesn’t Rely On Numbers For Sun Protection

by Gio

institut esthederm suncare range

I need a holiday.

Like, seriously, I’m happy to test sunscreen ranges in the heart of London, but wouldn’t the results be more accurate if I were sipping a fruity cocktail on a tropical island?

One can only wish…

At least, the usually cold London weather is cooperating. This past months, temperatures have reached 30+C. It was like being in sunny Italy again. Woo hoo!

It was the perfect time to play with the new Institut Esthederm suncare range, an innovative line that doesn’t rely on SPF to keep you safe from UV harm.

WTH?

I’ll explain in a minute. Keep reading:

institut esthederm adaptasun sea and tropics protective body lotion

Adaptasun Sea And Tropics Protective Body Lotion

Institut Esthederm doesn’t believe in SPF. That only tells you how long you can stay in the sun without getting a sunburn, but offers NO protection against wrinkles, dark spots and all the other havoc the sun wreaks on your skin.

You need a sunscreen that protects your skin from both UVA and UVB rays for that. The problem? Well, while SPF is an universal system, there is no universal rating for UVA. Institut Esthederm has developed its own.

Basically, the more suns you see on the packaging, the higher the protection from ALL UV rays. Adaptasun Sea And Tropics Protective Body Lotion has three suns, the maximum (but you still need to reapply it every couple of hours!).

This lotion protects skin from the sun using the Adaptasun complex, which is made up of:

  • Benzotriazolyl Dodecyl p-Cresol: an UV absorber that helps stabilize (ie keep effective) other easily degraded UV filters.
  • Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane: a.k.a. Avobenzone. It protects skin from UVA rays but it’s very unstable and degrades easily when exposed to sunlight. Avobenzone can penetrate deep into your body, so it’s not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and small children (everyone else can use it safely).
  • Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate: a.ka.a Octyl Methoxycinnamate. It protects skin from UVB rays and helps other UV filters last longer, too.
  • Homosalate: a weak UVB filter. If it were used alone, it wouldn’t even be able to protect that well from UVB rays!

The lotion has a fairly lightweight texture that sinks quickly into my skin without leaving a greasy residue or white cast behind. I’ve been using it for about a month now and never got a sunburn, not even on the hottest London days.

I’m pleased with its sun protection abilities, even though I can’t promise you it will withstand the hotter tropical sun. I also can’t vouch for its natural ability to optimize natural tanning – but then my pale skin NEVER tans, anyway.

institut esthederm bronz repair protective anti-wrinkle and firming face care

Bronz Repair Protective Anti-Wrinkle And Firming Face Care

This face cream has sidestepped traditional SPF, too, but still provides plenty of protection from ALL UV rays. Here’s how:

  • Benzotriazolyl Dodecyl p-Cresol: an UV absorber that helps stabilize (ie keep effective) other easily degraded UV filters.
  • Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane: a.k.a. Avobenzone. It protects skin from UVA rays but it’s very unstable and degrades easily when exposed to sunlight. Avobenzone can penetrate deep into your body, so it’s not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and small children (everyone else can use it safely).
  • Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate: a.ka.a Octyl Methoxycinnamate. It protects skin from UVB rays and helps other UV filters last longer, too.
  • Ethylhexyl Methoxycrylene: helps stabilize other UV filters, especially Avobenzone.

The face lotion has a thicker texture than the body lotion, but still leaves no white cast or oily residue on my skin. It keeps my skin safe from the sun without giving me pimples. If you have oily skin, it’s moisturizing enough to double up as your day face cream!
institut esthederm tan prolonging body lotion

Tan Prolonging Body Lotion

I haven’t managed to build up a tan here in London (which is a good thing because tanned skin ages faster), so I can’t vouch for its tan-extending ability. But I can tell you what else it does.

The lotion has a milky, lightweight texture that sinks immediately into your skin. I was a bit surprised at this because the second ingredient is thick mineral oil. No, that’s not bad for skin.

I know you’ve heard a gazillion reasons why mineral oil is bad for skin, so please check out this post where I debunk them all. Mineral oil works by creating a shield on the skin that slows down water loss, keeping your skin hydrated for hours.

Plus, the lotion is loaded with vitamin C, vitamin E, licorice extract and lots of other antioxidants that fight the nasty free radicals that give you wrinkles. It’s not every day you see so many in a lotion, so stock up ladies!

Unless you have super dry skin, like mine. The lotion keeps it happy and soft for a few good hours but I still have to reapply it a couple of times a day. 
institut esthederm micellar after sun shower gel

Micellar After Sun Shower Gel Face & Body

After a long day spent swimming in the sea and playing beach volley on the beach, it’s time to go home and get all that sand, salt, sunscreen and anything else that’s sticking to your skin off your body.

But, your skin is probably very sensitive after all that sun exposure. Institute Esthederm Micellar After Sun Shower Gel Face & Body is one of the gentlest shower gels I’ve come across, so it’s perfect for the job.

This refreshing shower gel contains Sodium Cocamphocetate, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate and Coco-Glucoside, three of the gentlest surfactants (stuff that helps water mix with oil and dirt) available to cosmetic scientists today.

These 3 little workers lift all the grime off your skin, leaving it clean, soft and sparkling. Yep, you’re read that last part right. The shower gel is infused with gold sparkles that give your skin a lovely glow (granted, that’d look better on me if I were holidaying in the Mediterranean than stuck in London, but you can’t have everything…).

One more thing: this stuff smells just like sunscreen. It’s pleasant but a bit weird. Just saying…
institut esthederm un soir en ete

Un Soir En Ete Eau De Parfum

Do you like the scent of Institut Esthederm sunscreens? If you can’t get enough of it, now you can enjoy in perfume form, too.

Ok, Un Soir En Ete doesn’t smell exactly like the sunscreen scent, but it was inspired by it. Close.

The scent opens with the sparkling but bitter aroma of clementine-bergamot, evolves into a floral bouquet of tuberose and ylang ylang and fades away into a sweet sandalwood and vanilla accord that’s tinged with warm amber.

It’s refreshing but warm, summery but with hints of autumn. I can see myself wearing this all year long to remind myself of the summer gone by.

Oh, before I forget, staying power is ok. It’s not the most longlasting of scents but it doesn’t stay too close to the skin and disappears after 3 hours, either.

Have you ever tried the Institut Esthederm suncare range? If so, share your experience in the comments.

Price & Availability: Adaptasun Sea And Tropics Protective Body Lotion, £42.50; Bronz Repair Protective Anti-Wrinkle And Firming Face Cream, £35.00; Tan Prolonging Body Lotion, £39.50; Micellar After Sun Shower Gel, £18.00; Un Soir En Ete, £43.00 at Cult Beauty and SpaceNK.

SHOP THE POST

Adaptasun Sea And Tropics Protective Body Lotion Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau*, Ethylehexyl Methoxycinnamate, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Glycerin, Homosalate, Tribehenin PEG 20 Esters, Cyclopentasiloxane, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Dimethicone, Pongamia Glabra Seed Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Benzotriazolyl Dodecyl P-Cresol, VP/Ecosene Copolymer, C20-22 Alkyl Phosphate, Creatine, Glyceryl Stearate, Glycyrrhetinic Acid, Mannitol, Methylpropanediol, PEG-100 Stearate, C20-22 Alcohols, Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Trilinolenin,  Chlorphenesin, Acetyl Tyrosine, Aspartic Acid, Cerum Oxide, Helianthus Annuus(Sunflower) Seed Oil, Polyethylene, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Dextran Sulfate, Squalane, Polysilicone-11, Sodium Hydroxide, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Oleoyl Tyrosine, Butylene Glycol, Triolein, Tripalmitin, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Linalool, Hexyl Cinnamal, Oleic Acid, Hydroxycitronellal, Propylene Glycol, Polysorbate 60, Medicago Sativa (alfalfa) Extract, Trinolenin, Limonenem Tristearin, Caprylyl Glycol, Benzyl Benzoate, Geraniol, BHT, Copper Gluconate, Carnosine, Artemia Extract, Triarachidin, Disodium Adenosine Triphosphate, Isoeugenol, Coumarin, Tocopherol, Laminaria Digitata Extract, Potassium Sorbate, Acetylhexapeptide-1,  Dextran

Bronz Repair Protective Anti-Wrinkle And Firming Face Care Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Ethylexyl Methoxycrylene, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Glyceryl Stearate, Clycerin, Dipropylene Glycol, Peg-100 Stearate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Cetyl Alcohol, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Cera Alba/Beeswax/ Cire D’abeille, Tocopheryl Acetate, Benzotriazolyl Dodecyl P-Cresol, Oryzanol, Creatine, Fragrance (Parfum), Glycyrrhetinic Acid, Mannitol, Methylpropanediol, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, Pentylene Glycol, Pongamol, Butylene Glycol, Trilinolein, Caprylyl Glycol, Xanthan Gum, 1,2-Hexanediol, Acetyl Tyrosine, Aspartic Acid, Cerium Oxide, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Polyethylene, Disodium Edta, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Sodium Dextran Sulfate, Polysilicone-11, Sodium Hydroxide, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Oleoyl Tyrosine, Potassium Sorbate, Triolein, Tripalmitin, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Linalool, Hexyl Cinnamal, Hydroxycitronellal, Oleic Acid, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di_T_Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Medicago Sativa (Alfalfa) Extract, Trilinolenin, Phenoxyethanol, Propylene Glycol, Aclohol, Limonene, Carbomer, Sodium Lactate, Tristearin, Tris(Tetramethhylhydroxypiperidinol) Citrate, Benzyl Benzoate, Polysorbate 20, Geraniol, Copper Gluconate, Bht, Citronellol, Asiaticoside, Artemia Extract, Madecassic Acid, Carnosine, Tocopherol, Asiatic Acid, Triphosphate, Citral, Laminaria Digitata Extract, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Red33 (Ci 17200), Acetyl Hexapeptide-1, Dextran. * Cellular Water (Aqua/Disodium Adenosine Triphosphate/Carnosine/Mineral Salts)

Tan Prolonging Body Lotion Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau*, Paraffinum Liquidum/Mineral Oil/Huile Minerale, Glycerin, Lanolin, Stearic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate, Peg-100 Stearate, Triethanolamine, Ascorbyl Methylsilanol Pectinate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract, Morus Alba Leaf Extract, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Carnosine, Algae Extract, Disodium Adenosine Triphosphate, Glycyrrhetinic Acid, Lecithin, Micrococcus Lysate, Carbomer, Propylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Fragrance (Parfum), Limonene, Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Benzyl Benzoate.

Micellar After Sun Shower Gel  Face & Body Ingredients: Aqua (Water)*, Sodium Cocamphoacetate, Propanediol, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Citric Acid, Coco-Glucoside, Glyceryl Oleate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Sodium Citrate, Fragrance (Parfum), Sodium Hydroxide, Fructo-Oligosaccharides, Rhamnose, Propylene Glycol, Linalool, Hexyl Cinnamal, Hydroxycitronellal, Mica (CI 77919), Glycerin, Limonene, Peumus Boldus Leaf Extract, Iron Oxides (CI 77491), Carnosine, Pentylene Glycol, Disodium Adenosine Triphosphate, Laminaria Digitata Exract, Tocopherol, 1-2 Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Hydrogenated Glycerin, Citrate, Lecithin, Ascorbyl Palmitate. * Cellular Water.

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