Why Tarte’s New Tarteguard 30 Sunscreen Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Deserves Its Day In The Sun
Sunscreens may come in different forms (serum, gel, spray-on, lotion, swivel stick, etc,), but, in terms of their formulations, they can basically be divided into categories: chemical or physical. Chemical sunscreens include synthetic ingredients like avobenzone, homosalate, oxybenzone, octocrylene, octisalate, and octinoxate, which work by absorbing UV rays before they reach the skin. Physical sunscreens, meanwhile, are typically formulated with either titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, and they work by creating a protective coating on the skin that reflects oncoming UV rays so that they’re unable to penetrate the skin.
Though most dermatologists recommend physical sunscreens over chemical ones, consumers often gravitate to the latter since they tend to be more lightweight and they don’t leave behind the white cast or pasty residue associated with zinc oxide-based sunblocks. Still, chemical sunscreens are controversial due to a number of factors. First, they lose their potency quicker than physical sunblocks, often losing 90% of their efficacy within an hour after application. Once this occurs, they not only become obsolete as UV protectors, but they might actually become dangerous. See, in recent studies, some of the ingredients used in chemical sunscreens have been shown to act as photosensitizers, triggering the production of free radicals that actually make the skin more vulnerable when exposed to UV light. Not ideal, right? But there’s more: chemical sunscreens penetrate the skin and make their way into the bloodstream, which some scientists believe could be of concern since some of these ingredients might disrupt the body’s hormonal functions, leading to everything from premature breast development to lower-than-average sperm counts. As if these facts weren’t disturbing enough, there’s another consideration: some people react adversely to these synthetic ingredients, developing skin allergies and irritation.
Now, the chemical vs. physical sunscreen debate has been raging on for years now and more research needs to be done (particularly since some chemical sunscreens haven’t shown the scary photosensitizing ramifications previously discussed) but, if you want to play it 100% safe, you’re better off eschewing any chemical-packed sunscreen. But how can you do so without having to don a white cast worthy of a Caspar the Friendly Ghost Halloween costume? Since few of us want to go outside resembling French mimes or kabuki actresses, it’s essential to find a physical sunscreen that blends in as well as it’s chemical counterparts. Enter the new all-mineral, non-chemical Tarte Tarteguard 30 Sunscreen Lotion with Broad Spectrum SPF 30, $32 (Available at Sephora.com and TarteCosmetics.com).
First, there’s the adorable packaging: a cube-shaped neon violet bottle with a rubber sleeve covering the body of the bottle, thereby making it both waterproof and virtually shatter-proof. The vivid color is itself appealing to the eye, as it the coral pink lettering across the front, but details like a pump dispenser and a golden ring around the bottle neck add both convenience and a touch of glamour.
Then there’s the consistency, which is milkier than most chemical-free sunblocks without being overly heavy or sticky. The color, meanwhile, is initially as white as that of Elmer’s glue but, as you rub the product into the skin, it blends in seamlessly, leaving behind no streaky or chalky residue. Now, it won’t be immediately invisible )it might take some vigorous rubbing), and you’ll need to wait about 20-25 minutes even after the white cream is no longer detectable for your complexion to appear matte (yes, it will seem a bit shiny for a solid 15 minutes or so, but that, too, shall pass). Ideally, then, you should apply the cream about 15-20 minutes before going outside or before applying any subsequent makeup. Otherwise, you can layer a mattifying primer over the sunscreen to neutralize the shine a bit and give skin that smooth canvas we all desire when applying foundation, blush, and so on.
But here’s the magical part of this non-chemical sunscreen: in addition to offering broad spectrum protection, it actually incorporates nourishing botanicals that work to moisturize, soften, brighten, and replenish the skin. These include: maracuja extract, which is rich in essential fatty acids and vitamin C that help to deliver a more even and luminous skin tone and which fight visible aging signs; red algae extract, a natural moisturizer and emollient often used in anti-aging formulations due to its polysaccharide content, which helps to enhance skin cells’ immunity; sodium hyaluronate, a natural humectant that draws moisture to the skin and helps to fortify the skin’s natural barrier, thereby helping to ensure the optimal moisture balance; honeysuckle extract, which calms and soothes any existing inflammation or redness; apple extract, which is rich in antioxidants and also acts as a toning agent, keeping excess oil at bay; soybean extract, which stimulates collagen, elastin, and protein production, helping to diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, making skin appear more taut, and reducing any existing blotchiness or patchiness, yielding a more even skin tone.
Non-sticky, lightweight, breathable, and undetectable, this non-chemical sunscreen will effectively protect the skin from UV damage while also addressing some of your concerns regarding premature aging signs, dark spots and uneven skin tone, dryness, and dullness.
Need another reason to make the Tarteguard a beach bag favorite? Consider this: unlike most sunscreens, which have a vile scent, this one features an ocean lily scent that’s subtle and pleasant.
My one caveat: if you do go swimming while wearing this sunscreen, you might notice some white streaks on your face as you emerge, but not to worry! The Tarteguard sunscreen isn’t waterproof (in fact, it’s designed to rinse off easily with water) so, if you do take a dip in the ocean, simply dry off and apply a new layer to your face.