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Post in Skincare Aware

Reaction to Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen…alternatives?

Tried this sunscreen for the first time today. Went on okay with no irritation or issues until I washed my face tonight and did my usual skincare routine up through my vitamin c serum and then my face started burning. I used:


Paula's Choice CLEAR Pore Normalizing Acne Cleanser 6 oz/ 177 mL 


Paula's Choice CLEAR Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution with 2% Salicylic Acid 4 oz/ 118 mL 


Farmacy HONEYMOON GLOW AHA Resurfacing Night Serum with Hydrating Honey + Gentle Flower Acids 1 oz/ ... 


Farmacy Very Cherry Bright 15% Clean Vitamin C Serum with Acerola Cherry 1.0 oz/ 30 mL 


Once I got the c serum on it started burning. For the record I use the honeymoon glow daily with no issues. I use all these products daily. It didn’t start to hurt until the c serum went on. It was fine when I put the aha on.


i put on moisturizer hoping it would calm things and it didn’t help so I washed everything off my the PC cleanser.


It must be the Supergoop as it was the only new item but not sure what caused this.


I loved that it is clear and don’t want to use it again after that. Can someone recommend an alternative?

Re: Reaction to Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen…alternatives?

@sprocketta I don’t know this for a fact, but I feel like they changed something about that sunscreen. I’ve used it as my main sunscreen and primer for three years. I just opened a new tube and, out of nowhere, I break out and get burn-y. It’s never been an issue before! But my failsafe is Paula's Choice RESIST Super-Light Daily Wrinkle Defense SPF 30 2 oz/ 60 mL I can actually put it on my eyelids!

Re: Reaction to Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen…alternatives?

@sprocketta aww that sucks when you add a new product and it all goes to heck. If that was the only thing you added, then return it. Too bad... it’s my favorite sunscreen, the only one my skin behaves for. 

But another thing to consider how long you wait between adding products. Sometimes letting something settle in get soaked up can help with reactions. I wander around for 15-30 minutes sometimes. Like on goes the  vitamin C, let’s pick out our clothes, then lotion, make coffee, then sunscreen. Or maybe try just the sunscreen without anything else to see if it is the culprit all alone.

Re: Reaction to Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen…alternatives?

@Weetart all I do in the morning is sunscreen. I have been mixing in the DE o bloos but didn’t the day I tried the supergoop. I have never been able to make myself do more than that in the am. I have tried, trust me. But I value my sleep above all.

Re: Reaction to Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen…alternatives?

@sprocketta  Hmm, it's hard to offer an alternate chemical sunscreen without knowing what exactly caused your bad reaction. 


  • It could be Unseen Sunscreen, sure—but even then, it could be any one of the different chemical uv blockers that sunscreen uses (some folks are sensitive to specific uv blockers found in many sunscreens), or it could be any of the non-uv blocker ingredients in that sunscreen. 

  • Or, it could be your skin telling you "hey, I know you've used AHA + BHA + vitamin C nightly for [however long] with no issues, but that combo's been stressing me out bit by bit and now I'm at my breaking point." (Ask any dermatologist about folks who over-exfoliate with AHAs.) 

  • Or, it could be any ingredient in one of your usual products that's been aggravating your skin with no visible or tangible warning signs til now. (Happened to me with lavender oil and lavender extract.) Skin can become sensitive over time to nearly anything, and sometimes skin's pretty good at hiding damage until it no longer can. 


Consider patch testing Unseen Sunscreen for a few days, and then using your nightly products on the patch test area. See if you get that burning reaction again in the patch test area. I know you don't wanna hear this, but I'll also suggest easing off the AHA: cut usage back to 3 nights a week. AHA + vitamin C is probably fine, especially since Very Cherry Bright doesn't use l-ascorbic acid (though ascorbic acid and lactic acid are okay to layer as long as your skin tolerates it well, and you don't over-exfoliate with lactic acid). If in doubt, consult a derm. 


Meanwhile, try using a physical/mineral sunscreen if you haven't already. Most folks tolerate zinc oxide well, so any bad skin reaction will likely be caused by some non-uv blocker ingredient in whichever zinc sunscreen you choose. 


Hope your skin's feeling better by now! 

Re: Reaction to Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen…alternatives?

@WinglessOne thanks for the detailed response and food for thought. I haven’t used the supergoop again thought I was fine and used the honeymoon glow last night and got the burning within 5 seconds. Cleanser it off and used dr. Jart tiger grass cream which helped. I’m not sure what it is going on here. I was trying to puzzle it out last night and did realize that I also started using the DE o bloos a couple weeks ago. I think I am already using a chemical sunscreen. Been using it for the last 2 months. I am going to cut out the DE, trash the supergoop and leave off honeymoon glow for a while. I say I use it daily but honestly some days I don’t get my skincare in so it’s probably more like 3-4 times a week but I get that overexfoliation could be my issue. Not sure what else to do. I ordered the below sunscreen but now concerned it might be an issue.





Re: Reaction to Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen…alternatives?

@sprocketta  Yeah, sounds to me like the culprit is Honeymoon Glow. Temporarily stopping that product is a wise decision, especially since your skin barrier's damaged. Might also wanna cut back on the leave-on Paula's Choice BHA for a while. BHA's a gentler exfoliant than AHA, but a broken skin barrier needs a break from exfoliation so it can heal. 


Any sunscreen with active ingredients (uv blockers) other than zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide is a chemical sunscreen. That Neutrogena sunscreen contains all of Unseen Sunscreen's uv blockers, plus it contains oxybenzone which some folks are sensitive to. If you've worn this sunscreen and Unseen Sunscreen and had no skin reaction during the day, then I doubt a uv blocker is causing your current issue. From what I've read and heard from derms and folks with any sunscreen sensitivity, a bad reaction caused by a uv blocker happens while you're wearing it in the sun, not after sunset when you wash it off. But a doctor's the best person to advise you on all that. 🙂 


I hope the Shiseido sunscreen works out for you. Try to patch test it before using it on your whole face. 

Re: Reaction to Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen…alternatives?

Sorry @WinglessOne do you think I should Toss the supergoop or try again once my skin has settled down?

Re: Reaction to Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen…alternatives?

@sprocketta  I think you should try Unseen Sunscreen again once your skin's settled down—but on the day you try it, don't use Honeymoon Glow. See if you still get a burning reaction. 


Meanwhile, you can also try using Unseen Sunscreen on your neck and pretty much anywhere you've got sun-exposed skin, aside from your face. I don't like to toss a product unless I can't use it in any way and can't safely give it to someone else who can use it. I've tried many sunscreens, and the non-tinted ones that don't work well for my face (usually because they leave a white/grey/purple cast or they feel too heavy/greasy) become body sunscreens, especially for my exposed feet and ankles. Anyway, if Unseen Sunscreen doesn't cause a bad reaction on your neck/chest/etc., that's a good sign. 

Re: Reaction to Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen…alternatives?

@WinglessOne Good call about body sunscreen. I am shelving the honeymoon glow for a while.

Re: Reaction to Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen…alternatives?

Thanks @WinglessOne I’m really bummed about the honeymoon glow. But I care way more about sun protection. Not sure if I should try the Supergoop again in a couple weeks. I will say that I am now a huge fan of cica creams. I had a couple samples of the dr. Jart tiger grass cream which really helped. I bought a laroche posay cica cream a while ago but it didn’t help what I needed. I had an awful mosquito bite on my face and the cream did wonders for it.

Re: Reaction to Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen…alternatives?

It’s probably the mixture of Vitamin C and Acids together. You shoulding be mixing those. Also, Vitamin C is very irritating with sun exposre, even with sunscreen. Also, Soopergoop is a chemical sunscreen and I also had a horrific reaction to it as well. 

Re: Reaction to Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen…alternatives?

@davidLO123  Sorry you had a bad reaction to Unseen Sunscreen (assuming that's the Supergoop product you're talking about; they make several different sunscreens, including 100% mineral sunscreens). Chemical sunscreens aren't bad—many folks, like me, use them daily with no issues—but some people are skin-sensitive to specific uv blockers and should avoid those ingredients. Hopefully you've found a sunscreen that works for you! 


About vitamin C: it's not irritating with sun exposure unless your particular skin has a vitamin C sensitivity. 


When I say "vitamin C" in this case, I'm really talking about l-ascorbic acid. Farmacy Very Cherry Bright doesn't contain l-ascorbic acid. Instead, it contains several vitamin C derivatives that are more stable than ascorbic acid. But even if it did contain ascorbic acid, it'd still be perfectly fine to use during the day with sunscreen. In fact, skin gets the most antioxidant benefit from vitamin C when it's applied in the morning for pollutant/free radicals protection. L-ascorbic acid is famously sensitive to sunlight and air, so any good serum containing it should be formulated well enough to stabilize it. 


What can definitely be irritating with sun exposure is citrus juice squeezed onto skin directly from fruit. That's how some folks get "margarita burn" on their hands and mouths. That's a photosensitive reaction caused by a chemical found in lemon and lime juice... I don't recall the chemical's name right now, but it's not l-ascorbic acid or any of its derivatives. Lemon and lime essential oils can also create this bad reaction. 


Re: Reaction to Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen…alternatives?

Were you in the sun more than usual that day? That can cause irritation when also using heavy acids. I would try applying the Vit C in the morning and acids at night.

My favorite chemical sunscreen is the Fenty. My skin can be sensitive and don’t have any irritation with it.


But, I know some people just have issues with “chemical sunscreens” so maybe you are one of those people. Try using a “physical” sunscreen (zinc oxide) and see if that helps. Farmacy Green Defense Daily Mineral Sunscreen 1.7oz/ 50 ml Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer™ Physical Daily Defense SPF 30 These are generally considered better for sensitive skin but they take some massaging since the zinc is white and also will have flashback in flash photos.

Re: Reaction to Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen…alternatives?

@xxMiniMoose Totally normal amount of sun that day. I get what you’re saying about the vitamin c but I do no skincare in the morning except sunscreen. I tell myself that I will, but I hate mornings and shower at night and every morning it never happens. It’s not something I find I make extra time for in the morning. I have no idea why the supergoop bothered my skin so much and don’t know if it’s the silicones or something else. I just know my face again and have zero desire to adjust my routine for a new product. Needs to work with what I have. P.S. make sure you tag the person when you respond so they get a notification. Use the @ symbol. I probably sound close minded but I’m realistic about myself.


ETA: I am such a dope. I didn’t process your comment about physical versus chemical. Thank you. I’ll do some research on that.

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