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Post in Skincare Aware

Allergic to chemical SPF

I am in the middle of establishing a skin care routine (trial and error), it's been very frustrating but I am willing to try anything.  I know that anti-aging care is important at an early age.  I am in my mid 20's and I have come to the conclusion that I am allergic to the chemical form of SPF. Any suggestions of an spf (moisturizer) that has none of the chemical elements? One that won't look pasty on my face that I can use with my makeup? (I have combo, sensitive, acne prone skin)

Re: Allergic to chemical SPF

I have quite a bit of experience with sunscreens and am also partial to the non-chemical sunscreens.


Would you be open to a non-moisturizer sunscreen and a separate moisturizer, or would that be too much of a hassle for you? Are you looking for a tinted or non-tinted sunscreen/moisturizer?

Re: Allergic to chemical SPF

You might have to do a moisturizer and then try to follow up with something like Bare Minerals Foundation and/or Mineral Veil - they have a few formulas and one of them has SPF in it - don't know if this will work for you or not.


Peter Thomas Roth also has a powder sunscreen that's in a round tubular casing with a brush on the end to apply it with - not sure if this is okay for your face, but it's good everywhere else.


I think there are a couple of other mineral powder products that have SPF - you might have to do a little searching.


Don't know if this will do the trick for you, but I hope it might just work out. Let me know how you make out with this, if you don't mind, okay? Don't feel bad if you forget though, my brain doesn't always cooperate with me and sometimes things slip through the cracks. Hope you find the perfect product(s).

Re: Allergic to chemical SPF

I asked the mods for other options because Sephora has so many moisturizers with chemical SPFs, but only 2 with just mineral. 

All the below suggestions are great, Sephora has a ton of mineral SPF, but you still need a moisturizer under it. 

I tried the Perricone Photo Plasma, and it turned my dry skin into a grease ball & I get a reaction to Argan Oil so JM is out. 

The MD tinted is lovely! So is Clarins, and Perricone No Foundation, but I need to wear a moisturizer under all of them. My favorite is Skinceuticals (not sold at Sephora), has a really nice fluid texture that glides on over your moisturizer, and the tint isn't too strong. 

Re: Allergic to chemical SPF

Dannyc, I'm so glad you mentioned Skinceuticals again.  I know you've recommended it before and I was scratching my head today trying to remember which brand you'd said!


Paula's Choice Resist Super Light Daily Defense SPF 30 is another really great choice.  I bought it a few weeks ago and really love the light fluidy texture that's not sticky or heavy at all compared to other physical sunscreens.  I'd only recommend for those with pink undertones though, for my yellow undertones the cast really stands out even with foundation on top.  If only they'd fix the tint, it would be my all-time favorite.

Re: Allergic to chemical SPF

Oh thanks for the PC recommend! I'm neutral, slightly yellow, but not really.

I tried the Juice Beauty, and thought it didn't moisturize well and was hard to spread out over serums. 

I don't care were they are from as long as it's just mineral. More for the days when it's raining or I know I won't be leaving the house. I still want protection, but don't want the extra step if I can avoid it on those days. 

Re: Allergic to chemical SPF

I've always liked Perricone MD's No Foundation Foundation, with SPF 30 from physical sunscreen ingredients, not chemical.  In terms of coverage it's slightly more than a tinted moisturizer.

Re: Allergic to chemical SPF

I think you would really enjoy this MDSOLARSCIENCES tinted creme SPF30 sunscreen - I too wanted something mineral. It's tinted and has that silicone-y feel - it actually is the same consistency/color as Benefit's the porefessional if you've ever used that. So it also smooths out my face and fills in my pores - win win!! They have an SPF50 as well but its white and I did not enjoy the consistency. This is a sunscreen that I don't actually dread wearing. I do tend to use something else for my neck since I want to save this for my face.


Another option is the Tarte BB primer SPF30. I love this. It also fills in my pores and its enough coverage for me on a daily basis (covers any red acne marks or redness in general). It does emphasize dryness in skin so depending on how combo you are this might not be ideal. I actually stopped washing my face in the morning (just using toner now) because my skin was getting so dried out from cleanser, and I really wanted to use this BB cream, kind of sad but helped me from over-drying out my skin with harsh cleansers and acne meds.


I think you would really like the MDSOLARSCIENCES sunscreen though it feels like a primer as well.


I tried a sample of the Perricone Photo Plasma, the texture is also enjoyable - I think for the price though the MDSOLARSCIENCES 


Oh and I tried that Josie Maran one on my hand in store recently and its more like a typical white liquidy sunscreen (blending in fine on my hand though) and it smelled fruity! If you don't like that mousse/primer-y feel (photo plasma and the tinted creme ones I mentioned) this would be worth checking out. Higher SPF too.

Re: Allergic to chemical SPF

I hate to be the party pooper but i hate the md solar science sunscreen 

It does apply like a dream, cast just the right amount of white and doesnt make me red, 

But even on my dry skin its terribly greasy. It comes off when you touch it and is very hard to apply the primer on such greasy skin. 

I have been blotting it with a sheeg of kleenex but i feel like ive been getting darker. Might be a subjective feeling, but i cant stand the thought of losing the benefit of sunprotection.. 

Re: Allergic to chemical SPF

I second a lot of @carolang's suggestions. I'm also allergic to chemical sunscreens, so I have to use zinc oxide and titanium dioxide instead, which the MDSolarSciences and Tarte's BB cream both contain. I have also used both of them, although I cannot recommend them as moisturizers alone (which you said you were looking for). I put on a moisturizer first and then do a tinted sunscreen. If you want something cheaper or with a stronger SPF, I can also recommend Neutrogena's Sensitive Skin sunscreen or even their baby line -- they all have mineral sunscreens. Just be careful if you have darker skin since they can leave a whitish caste --- it may be easier to go with a tinted sunscreen.


If you do have sensitive skin, I would recommend doing a spot test on your arm before trying these products on your face. Dermatologists usually recommend doing it on your forearm and wait 24 hours to see if you have a reaction. However, I usually wait 48 and try it twice just in case. I mention this because although the MDSS product should have worked, I still had a reaction on my face. (I did test it on my arm, and it was fine. According to my derm, our facial skin is more sensitive than our body. So, this test is not always a guarantee.) I just started trying Tarte's cream on my face today, so we'll see what happens.

Re: Allergic to chemical SPF

I'm really loving the tinted mdsolarsciences mineral creme too. I have the non tinted one as well but greatly prefer the tinted. Makes my face look flawless and it offers great protection too

Re: Allergic to chemical SPF

I think Perricone MD's Photo Plasma might be worth trying.  It's an oil-free moisturizer that contains only mineral sunscreen.  The consistency is almost mousse-like - it didn't feel heavy like a traditional cream on my combination skin, and it played well with my Clarins tinted mineral sunscreen.  It also comes in a smaller size (0.5 oz.), which would be a good choice if you're trying it out for the first time.  Good luck on your search!  Smiley Happy

Re: Allergic to chemical SPF

I've been researching this quite heavily this week and I found this product by Neutrogena: Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer SPF 50 with Purescreen for Sensitive Skin. It might be a bit hard to find in stores, but it's available at Ulta and drugstore dot com. I am going to pick it up at Walgreens tomorrow as its the only place that carries it near me.

Re: Allergic to chemical SPF

This.   It only has titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.  Neutrogena's Pure and Free Baby and Aveeno's Naturals Sunblock for Baby are also just physical ones as well.  Clinique's sunblock may also be too.

Re: Allergic to chemical SPF

Hi delasoul,

I recommend Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47. It uses SunBoost ATB which is "a unique blend of antioxidants, skin-soothers, and hydrators that work in tandem with natural sunscreens to boost sun protection while conditioning and nourishing the skin."  

Josie Maran - Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47


Smiley Happy -Laura

Re: Allergic to chemical SPF

Laura, or any other mod. Is this the ONLY moisturizer with physical SPF that Sephora carries? 

Re: Allergic to chemical SPF

Hi dannyc,



The MDSOLARSCIENCES Mineral Crème Broad Spectrum SPF 50 UVA-UVB Sunscreen also contains a physical SPF.



<3, Randee

Re: Allergic to chemical SPF

Randee, that isn't a moisturizer, it's just an SPF product. 

Re: Allergic to chemical SPF

I know, dannyc, but it was the only other product I could find that contained a mineral SPF that we currently carry on our website.

<3, Randee
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