Coola SPORT Mineral Sunscreen SPF 35 – Citrus Mimosa

Photo Jan 15, 11 26 13 AM

My grandmother is my beauty guru. Despite being well into her 80’s and only recently developing white hair, her skin is the definition of radiant and supple. I’m quite certain her first wrinkle appeared around her 50s and even now age spots are not a concern for her. Her beauty ritual is uncomplicated but it comes from four key aspects: getting enough sleep, being happy, moisturizing, and sun protection. The concept of sun protection is heavily ingrained in my own beauty ritual today and until now I’ve only hopped from one sunscreen to the next, wishing for better (healthier/less controversial) ingredients, stronger performance, or more suitability with my finicky skin. Well dear friends, after somewhat of a miss with my first Coola Sunscreen – I’ve found the gem that changed the sunscreen game for me. May I introduce you to Coola SPORT Mineral Sunscreen SPF35- Citrus Mimosa?

Photo Jan 15, 11 26 39 AM

I can say with full confidence that this is hands down the best sunscreen I have used and if I never discover any other sunscreen brands, I’ll be okay because this will be repurchased ad infinitum. Unlike the previous sunscreen from Coola that I tried, this is a physical SPF that uses Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide as the active ingredients. Titanium Dioxide has its share of detractors but at the end of the day, I still believe it has less potential to harm than chemical sunscreens which can actually generate free radical damage and become unstable during UV exposure. Zinc Oxide is kind of the green gold standard, and it is an ingredient I’ve come to love not only for its comprehensive UV-protective trait but also because Zinc itself helps to refine skin and reduce inflammation.

Usually physical blocks are thicker and leave a white cast, and while this is thicker than the usual liquid chemical sunscreens, I find that it left a breathable protective barrier that seemed to provide the right level of moisture for my skin which is especially appreciated during this Polar vortex. I have been using this sunscreen for the past 3 months so I think the moisture would still be wonderful for when the weather isn’t blistering as well. The infamous white cast associated with physical sunscreens has not been an issue, instead I’ve found the cream to refine and hide the minor imperfections, helping skin appear more even and bright without any shine.

Photo Jan 15, 11 26 21 AM

The inactive ingredients make this sunscreen shine over others based on the stellar quality of plant oils, vitamins, and plankton extract. And while there is concern over potentially photo-sensitizing oils, I’m told that physical sunblocks that actually block UV rays from contact with skin help to prevent these photo-sensitizing oils from becoming dangerous. I can understand why these oils are included, the scent is a creamy-citrus-sherbert fragrance which matches well with the creamy texture.

The formula is water-proof to an extent, and this is important to me personally because a lot of sunscreens sting my eyes, making it impossible to wear as I walk to and from the gym.

If it sounds like I’m raving about this product, it’s because I do love it, and I look forward to using it every morning. Now there are some potential drawbacks. If you apply a lot of makeup (as in.. going on camera foundation, concealer, powder, etc.), this sunscreen may not be the perfect surface and could cause clumping. The dispenser is not my favorite as the cream seems to dry near the entrance if it is not regularly used.

I know there are many sunscreens on the market now, especially cleanser alternatives which are highly welcomed – for anyone still searching, it would be a mistake to not take a look at this sunscreen. At $36 for 3oz, I believe it’s priced very competitively especially for this level of ingredients and performance. While I’m not saying it’ll be right for everyone, I firmly believe that after all of the bottles of sunscreen I’ve used – this one stands above the rest.

Coola SPORT SPF 35 Sunscreen

Advertisements

Coola Face SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer

 

 

Image

 

As I was rationing out the final few pumps of my Sunday Riley Cashmere SPF 30, I complained to a few green beauty girlfriends about the lack of a luxury cleanly formulated sunscreen. I’ve tried brands from 100% Pure to Vive Sana, and while I would repurchase them, they have not managed to sway me from giving up the silkier less-clean sunscreens that I’ve come to love. That’s when I began hearing wonderful things about Coola, a company with a dedicated line of sunscreens for everyone: chemical, physical, face, body, sport, matte, mineral, spray, scented, unscented, etc. you name it, they have it! I noticed their cute packaging and fell in love with the literature of “organic suncare” (indeed 70% of the inactives in the formula are certified organic). As I read the ingredients lists, I was amazed that a company was using truly luxurious ingredients in a sunscreen which just isn’t that common. 

Image

Few sunscreens will pack in ingredients like Plankton Extract as well as beneficial skin oils that can rival a face oil such as Acai Fruit Oil and Evening Primrose Oil. Now I have to admit, this sunscreen does use silicones and chemical sunscreen but if that isn’t your cup of tea, you can buy a mineral/physical sunscreen from them as well.

After much debate, I selected the Cucumber Moisturizer for it’s silky texture, and non-streaky application. My skin didn’t need time to adjust to it, no breakouts or fussiness. The scent is light and delightful, not at all overwhelming or ‘artificial’, so I daresay even those who do not like scented products will find much to enjoy in this. The silky texture reminds me of a light moisturizing cream. The pump applicator is a very efficient way to dispense product and I usually apply 3-4 pumps for my face and neck. I use a little more than the average person because I don’t like to re-apply throughout the day.

Image

After extensive use, there are a few issues. This isn’t waterproof so sometimes the formula will slip especially during the hot and humid summer weather. This is forgivable, but I noticed that it irritated my eyes. So I do not wear this sunscreen if I know I’m going to workout. The other issue I have is that although this sunscreen is light and doesn’t leave a white cast, it immediately makes my skin shiny and add a layer of sheen. Oily isn’t how I would describe it, but it just doesn’t look clean. The moisturizing benefits aren’t that substantial where it should make my skin look like I obviously applied something. Thankfully they have both mattifying and waterproof options (though unfortunately none with the two features together). 

While I would not repurchase this moisturizer for the above reasons, I found my initial experience with Coola pleasant enough and with enough potential that I’m looking forward to trying one of the other options that might be a better fit for me. Have you had any experiences with Coola? Which of their sunscreens do you like?

July 4th Long Weekend Skin Ritual

p1000378

Well… we’re finally into summer! It’s funny how all year I long for summer: vacation, travel, etc. but when it actually comes around there is nothing I’d rather do than stay indoors! Well this long weekend I’m going to a wedding in the Hamptons so I know that I’ll need to have my best skin arsenal available, especially as the event will take place outdoors in the sun!

Here’s what I’m taking:

VOSS: I admit, this is probably going to be finished on the ride over but it proves a point that hydration is the most important thing for keeping skin healthy and this is especially true during the summer when sitting under the bright sun. What makes VOSS great is that the bottle is glass (instead of plastic which can leak toxins), and it is recyclable – though I would not reuse this extensively since you can’t really clean it out. The water is also extremely pure with natural minerals that are good for skin.

Tatcha Aburatorigami Beauty Paper: A must-have for summer to leave skin with a fresh complexion. This is essential for avoiding the dreaded oily-face in pictures especially at weddings where you’re dancing or sitting outside. These papers will last the entire night and best of all, they won’t smudge or move makeup so you won’t have to worry about frequent touch ups.

YÜLI Liquid Courage: I very rarely use a product and think “this is really going to keep me as youthful looking as possible as I age” but Liquid Courage delivers that, and that is why despite testing different products – I have never strayed from this MVP. Check out their loaded mind-blowing list of ingredients to see why this deserves the acclaim. Layer this precious antioxidant serum under your moisturizer and sunscreen before you go out. Also, apply this the night before a major event for that subtle glow and brightness that this serum always delivers.

Coola Face SPF30 Cucumber Moisturizer: Why use two products when you can use one that does both jobs perfectly? Coola’s SPF30 Moisturizer is a beautifully made light cream that is both a moisturizer and a sunscreen with the recommended SPF30. The beauty of having two functions is that you won’t need to layer on products which is a blessing in the hot weather for blemish prone skin. And another bonus, Coola products are made with so many great ingredients that they’re actually called “organic suncare“, so the antioxidants in the naturals provide extra protection from UV rays that traditional sunscreens do not. There are some silicones in the formula but I’m used to this from lightwe sunscreens so I’m happy to make this trade-off.

YÜLI Panacea Elixir: Clarifying? Check. Balancing? Check. Hydrating? Check. This is a blemish-prone skinned girls dream. I’m somewhat of a devotee to this elixir because it’s deceptively effective. At first, you think it’s just light refreshing floral waters until you see your pores shrink, your skin become refined, and your blemishes subsiding. It hydrates while it purifies your skin! As a true beauty junkie, I’ve drifted away from this to use mists that are cheaper (i.e. Evan Healy) and more expensive (i.e. Tata Harper) and after playing Goldilocks, the Panacea Elixir was just right. So at the wedding if you want me, I’ll be the girl shamelessly spraying away.

Happy 4th!

SPF Recommendations

Hi there, I’ve been following your blog for awhile and love the honest reviews. But I need help! I’ve been looking for a good, non-greasy SPF that’s suitable for wearing under liquid foundation. Even so-called light formulas seem to slide off my face halfway through the day. I want to protect my skin but I want to look normal while doing it. Do you have any recommendations? Thanks!

I wish I had the answer but when it comes to sunscreens, I have a bit of a Goldilocks problem. The recommended sunscreen is physical rather than chemical but physical blocks always seem heavier and leave a white cast while the chemical blocks are more fluid and absorbable. With some physical sunscreens, because it’s so heavy or thick, my skin tends to get congested but chemical blocks sometimes irritate my apparently super-sensitive skin so it really depends on specific brands.

As for the ‘slide off’ your face issue, have you tried those waterproof sunscreens? I haven’t really had this issue, but I do remember using my boyfriends Jack Black Water Resistant SPF when I went swimming and that stuff stayed ON. The only reason I don’t use it regularly is because it makes my skin feel dry. 

I’ve used Sunday Riley’s Cashmere SPF 30 to good results and I like the iconicShiseido SPF bottles to layer under makeup because they’re so fluid. For something more natural and clean, I like the 100% Pure Argan Oil Moisturizer and the Coola Sunscreens. I’ve also been dabbing with more multitasking products and I’ve been using the Omorovicza Complexion Enhancer SPF 15 which is kind of like a tinted moisturizer. I know that soon REN is launching a BB Cream with SPF15  as well so I’m excited to try that.