Sunday, 24 June 2012

Supergoop! City Sunscreen Serum SPF 30+ PA+++ review: All I ever wanted from a face sunscreen

Supergoop! City Sunscreen Serum

A big HELLO from a sweltering New York!

I know I've been away for ages and it's a bit weird that I'm jumping straight into a product review before explaining what I've been up to. But I need to review a product before this glimmer of blogging mojo ebbs away back to where it's been hiding for the last 6+ months. I've also lined up lots of product photos so you may see a barrage (by my standards) of blog posts of my recently found favourites after this one.

I've written a few posts in the past about great facial sunscreens in the past, but Supergoop! City Sunscreen Serum has trumped them all. The blurb:

A multitasking broad spectrum SPF 30+ daily repair serum for skin exposed to the sun, both in the past and the present. This ultra-light, Broad Spectrum SPF 30+ simultaneously protects skin, moisturizes on contact and combats premature aging.

Skin Types: Ideal for normal to dry skin types, especially skin that has started to show signs of aging and needs more intensive treatment and protection.

I'm always on the lookout for sunscreens that are instantly absorbed, non-greasy, non-sticky, non-shiny and that have high UVB and UVA protection. In the US, it's easy to get all of those, except the UVA protection.

The US is weirdly (for a country that actually gets a summer) behind Europe in terms of sunscreen regulations. There is currently no way to differentiate between products on the basis of UVA protection because UVA scoring doesn't exist here. Most US consumers are walking around feeling safe in the belief that their SPF 50+ sunscreen is preventing skin damage, when in fact their skin is worse off because high UVB protection allows them to stay in the sun longer without burning but it does nothing to protect against UVA rays. It's not clear whether the upcoming FDA regulations will introduce UVA scoring. I'm generally very suspicious about US sunscreens.

So a big pat on the back for Supergoop! for formulating and labeling their sunscreens with UVA protection in mind. Not only is their City Sunscreen Serum truly lightweight and non-sticky but it has also been formulated to achieve a PA+++ rating (the highest rating for UVA protection). It also doesn't contain oxybenzone which some tests say is carcinogenic (*sigh* isn't everything these days?).

Supergoop! City Sunscreen Serum box

The "serum" is dispensed through a convenient pump nozzle which never gets clogged or messy (so no wastage). It's also easy to control the amount that comes out with each pump.

Supergoop! City Sunscreen nozzle

The sunscreen is literally like a serum. It's more fluid than a cream but not so watery that it runs everywhere. It contains silicone but doesn't feel siliconey (oh man, I've been out of beauty blogging too long. Where is my mental bank of "product texture" keywords when I need it?).

Unlike most other "instantly absorbed" sunscreens, this doesn't contain alcohol so doesn't dry the skin out. I thought it wouldn't be moisturising enough to use alone, but it contains something called "Hydrovotin-24" which apparently simulates the skin's "natural moisturising factor" to keep skin hydrated. True to its word, my skin feels perfectly moisturised all day. I'm not sure this would be the case in the dry, dry winters here but I won't need as much sun protection then anyway.

Supergoop! City Sunscreen Serum swatch

Supergoop! recommend that if you do feel like you need additional moisturiser, then the serum should go on the skin first, and the moisturiser on top.

There is some water resistance in the sunscreen (light sweating is ok) but not enough to withstand 40 minutes in the water, which is the minimum required for a "water resistance" claim. It's designed to be an everyday sunscreen to be worn around the city (hence the name) not for beach or pool times. When I am running the Central Park loop in the blazing sun (yes, I have succumbed to cliché) and sweat is literally dripping off of my face, I am not wearing this sunscreen, I am using a Boots Soltan ONCE sunscreen.

If you had almost given up finding the perfect daily facial sunscreen, look no further... Supergoop! City Sunscreen Serum could just be "The One".

You can buy 50ml (1.7oz) for $42 direct from the Supergoop! website or from Sephora as well as various other online stores. Just be careful to check that what you've received is the "City Sunscreen Serum" and not the "Save Face Serum" which is the old, discontinued version and which will inevitably have a very imminent expiry date. Sephora initially sent me "Save Face Serum" despite their website displaying the "City Sunscreen Serum" (they refunded me when I complained).

The full ingredients in Supergoop! City Sunscreen Serum are:

Active Ingredients:
Homosalate (Sunscreen) 8%, Octisalate (Sunscreen) 4%, Avobenzone 3%, Octocrylene 2%

Inactive Ingredients:
Purified Water (Aqua), Cyclomethicone, Isostearyl Neopentanoate, Glycerin, Ceteareth-20, Polypropylene, Cetostearyl Alcohol, Xantham Gum, d-panthenol, Octanohydroxamic acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Silica, Triacontanyl PVP, Cetyl Dimethicone, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, PEG-40 Stearate, Tocopherol, Disodium EDTA , Pentylene Glycol, Panthenyl Triacetate, Sodium Lactate, Lactic Acid, Serine, Urea, Sorbitol, Sodium Chloride, Allantoin, Oleyl Alcohol, Ethyl Linoleate
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