Ah the joys of summer; cold ice cream on a hot day, taking a dip in the pool and sitting out on the steps to enjoy those extended daylight hours. With most things in life though there are unpleasant things to balance out those joys. The inexplicable need for every part of my body to sweat profusely, my hair having a mind of it's own, any makeup applied in the morning is guaranteed to melt off like butter by lunchtime and the sun's ability to fry my skin to a crisp.
During the summer months my priority becomes protecting my pale complexion with an arsenal of sunscreens. Now sunscreen and my face can be a tricky situation. All year long I try to wear sunscreen everyday, but there is that chance that the sunscreen and my skin will not get along. I do watch the ingredients on the labels to prevent this (oil-free, noncomedogenic), but I can never tell what will lead to an unpleasant eruption on my skin. I have tried a variety of brands and formulations; gel, spray, physical block, chemical block, but had not found one that I could bear to wear everyday, until about four months ago I found the one. Which leads me to my beauty recommendation for summer, fall, winter, and whenever.
MY facial sunscreen must have from now on is Clinique's City Block Oil-Free Daily Face Protector SPF 25. Yes a really long name, but it does its job. Which according to the package is to wick away oil and perspiration while providing broad-spectrum UVA/UVB daily protection. This sunscreen uses a physical block for sun protection, minerals Titanium dioxide and Zinc Oxide. All Clinique products are allergy tested and fragrance-free, so this block is ideal for someone with sensitive skin, such as myself.
I usually apply in the morning and forget about re-applying later in the day, unless I am outdoors. The sunscreen is lightweight, no heavy goopy creams here. I usually dispense a dime-size dollop into my hands and I rub it between my fingers to warm it up (I find that it goes on smoother if I do this). I start applying it to the areas, which are the most prone to the sun, nose, cheeks, forehead and chin, blending outward. It might seem like a lot of sunscreen, but trust me you need a lot to get the full benefits of the product. The other nice thing is while this sunscreen is not tinted it does have a light peachy color that evens out my complexion nicely and provides a nice base for any additional makeup I choose to wear.
How does it stack up on providing sun protection? I would have to rate it at a 9 (out of 10). I have gone out in the morning with City Block on and even on the hottest days where I feel like the sun is beating down on me my skin is still pale and freckle free when I get home at night. I also have really oily skin so usually when I apply other sunscreen my skin is an oil slick by lunchtime, but not with City Block. I have some mild shine by mid-day (some might call it dewy), but nothing compared to what it would be. The sunblock stays put until I wash it off at night.
Final thoughts. As with any skin care product test it on a small area to determine if it is compatible with your skin. For those with drier complexions I definitely recommend applying a light moisturizer pre-sunscreen, since this sun block is not designed to moisturize. The tube is small (1.4 fl oz.), but I have been using the same tube for the last 4 months and still have plenty left for another month. Clinique City Block Oil Free Daily Face Protector retails for $17.50 and is available online or at Clinique counters nationwide.