I was excited to try Biossance’s new sunscreen product because it’s a non-nano zinc oxide based formula that’s EWG Verified and cruelty free, and of course it contains sugarcane derived squalane, which is what they’re known for.
While the ingredient list does contain several ingredients I can’t pronounce or spell – Methyl Dihydroabietate, Polyglyceryl-3 Polyricinoleate, Ethylhexylglycerin – that in the case of the first and last ones, appear to be potential allergens or irritants, overall the ingredient list is short and doesn’t include parabens, chemical blocks, silicones, or oils.
Application and formula
The thing that stood out most to me about this product besides the ingredient list was how light and thin the formula felt and how easy it was to apply – this might be the lightest weight purely mineral block sunscreen I’ve ever tried. It was easy to distribute, went on in a thin layer, and was easier to get off than some other sport type mineral blocks I’ve used (this is what you’d expect, but thought it was worth noting). It’s a little sticky and did sit on my skin all day but didn’t feel oily or heavy. I didn’t notice it unless I touched my face.
Biossance says it leaves a “soft, dewy finish.” I guess that’s true. To me it looked like it highlighted all over indiscriminately, and that seemed to somehow magnify my pores and make my flaws stand out. So while I’m normally a fan of a dewy finish, I’m not sure I love a translucent dewy finish without any coverage. I haven’t tried layering it with make-up, something that might be an option for anyone with this concern.
I did not notice any white cast. Some other reviewers mentioned a tiny bit in the initial application that blended in easily.
Okay, SPF 30 is not very much SPF, but there is no indication that the product doesn’t live up to this rating. The formula feels like you would be able to reapply without issue, but I haven’t tested this. I did try layering a higher SPF formula from another brand over this and didn’t have any issues.
The only mineral block ingredient this formula contains is non-nano zinc oxide according to their product page, so based on that, yes, it should be reef safe. That said, I’m not sure how well it adheres to your skin compared to something formulated for sport or water activities. After one bout in the water, it did feel like some of it washed off pretty quickly. It also stung my eyes a little.
In terms of feel, this is the best entirely mineral block sunscreen I’ve tried yet. I’ll have to see if I like the finish more over time. I don’t know if I’ll get in the water again with this one, but it will definitely be great for everyday terrestrial use. I would still opt for a more aggressive, higher SPF formula for sports or extended sun exposure type activities, but for when you just need a little bit of coverage, this is a nice option. I would be interested in seeing a tinted moisturizer line based on this formula.