Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration – Oil Free Lotion Sunscreen 30 SPF

Hawaiian Tropic Weightless Face Sunscreen

I’ve used every Hawaiian Tropic sunscreen and tanning lotion under the sun (hah) since I was 16 years old. And, since I’m on this quest to find a new American HG sunscreen, I decided to give their Face sunscreen a try for $8.

It comes in a canister, almost, but with a push pump. It comes out plain white, and the application is pretty easy — of course you’ll need to rub it in to get rid of the whitecast, but that’s the deal with sunscreen. After that, there’s not really much residue white cast to deal with, or any crazy clinging to tiny baby hairs. It’s not tacky, and dries quickly. Sweet! It has a pretty strong smell — very sunscreen-y, and a hint of light floral, but that doesn’t bother me. From the get go, I really liked it…

…until my face started to turn bright red, and started to itch! Now, admittedly, my skincare sin is that I very rarely ever patch test, so I have no one to blame but myself. But the active ingredients in this are relatively similar to Cerave’s sunscreen, which I didn’t have an issue with, so I’m not sure if there was an interaction with something else I was wearing, or if I’m intolerant of something else in this sunscreen. In the resulting days I broke out just a bit, but I suspect this was because of my reaction, since the product does claim to be non-comedogenic.

Later on in the week, I did an, ahem, reverse patch test (yep I know, that’s not how you do it). I didn’t experience the same redness I had before, but the itchiness was definitely there.

I’m really not happy that my skin didn’t love this product because otherwise this ticks off all the boxes for me, in terms of what I’m looking for in a sunscreen. Lightweight and smells good. The SPF could be higher, but 30 would work for inside-only days. Heck, after the initial application I even tried applying makeup, and that went on smoothly over this product (although in the end I ended up just washing everything off, since my skin itched so much).

It’s really mind boggling to me since it’s not my first rodeo with these ingredients, and I wish I knew what the trigger had been. I do love this product, but I guess I can’t win ’em all… ~A

Perceived efficacy: 4.5/5

Longevity: n/a

How much I wanted to like this product: A new category for failed attempts! 5/5

Recommended for sensitive skin: No

Cerave Sunscreen, Broad Spectrum 30 SPF

Cerave Sunscreen 30 SPF

I cut out chemical sunscreens during my cystic acne phase, and only used physical sunscreens, spending many days with white-cast nightmare skin. Now that that part of my life is over, I decided to tip-toe back into the world of chemical sunscreens. My holy grail sunscreen is Its Skin 2pm Sunblock 50spf+, but it ships from Korea, and at present, I can’t find it for cheaper than $25, which is more than I’m willing to spend. So I picked this up in the meantime. I know 30 spf isn’t terribly high by any means, but I don’t intend on using it for scenarios with intense sun.

I’ve been using this for two days straight, and layered it over different moisturizers each day. Goes on fine, no pilling at all, no white cast, felt pretty smooth to the touch. Doesn’t smell like anything, which is fine by me. So from the onset, I liked it! I checked out my face in the office mirror at noon, it looked okay at that point still.

I got out of a big meeting at 3pm and… there it was, the pilling disaster. The sunscreen was clinging to my dry areas, and those parts of my face became a nice, white-ish, peeling goop mess. I’m sure that was a sight to behold for everyone else in that meeting. I’ve always heard that you need to re-apply sunscreens halfway through the day anyway, but I suspect that reapplying would have made the pilling situation 10x worse!

So.. I don’t know what to think. I love the application, but the longevity doesn’t seem to stretch as long as I’d like. I’ll probably keep using it until I can get my hands on something else (and avoid those known dry spots like the plague). I’ve seen the price points range between $8-$14, but it likely won’t be something I’ll repurchase. ~A

(Update, a few weeks later: acne sufferers, SKIP THIS ONE!)

Perceived efficacy: 4.5/5

Longevity: 2/5

How much I actually like this product: 3/5