The Sunscreen Project, Part 37: Summer 2013 Wrap-Up

/ Tuesday, October 29, 2013 /
This past summer and fall, I've reviewed many, many sunscreens. (25 to be exact!) I've also written several articles on sunscreen and what to look for, what to do/not to do, guidelines as updated by the US FDA, etc.

It was really rewarding being able to write all of these reviews, learn about all of these products and the science behind them, and to impart knowledge on anyone who has read (or will read) these posts.

I hope I've been helpful as an enthusiastic up-and-coming med student, patient and mass consumer educator, aficionado and consumer of all sorts.

Clinics is coming up and med school definitely takes a lot of time. Hopefully I will have the time to write more posts in the future.

Here's a wrap-up of everything I've written in these past 2 years, as well as articles I've linked:


Part 9: Coppertone Oil Free Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
Part 10: Wrap-up (Season 1)
Part 11: Season 2 Start - MAC Studio Moisture Fix SPF 15
Part 12: Avon Anew Rejuvenate 24-Hour Eye Cream, SPF 25
Part 13: Articles
Part 13.1: Articles (further updated)
Part 13.2: Articles - Chemicals to think about
Part 14: Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Sunblock SPF 30
Part 15: Neutrogena Healthy Defense Daily SPF 50
Part 16: Murad Essential-C Day Moisture SPF 30
Part 17: Clinique's Even Better Skin Tone Correcting Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20
Part 18: Algenist Ultra Lightweight UV Defense Fluid, SPF 50
Part 19: Murad Essential-C Eye Cream SPF 15
Part 20: Origins Brighter By Nature SPF 35 Skin Tone Correcting Moisturizer
Part 21: Origins A Perfect World Age Defense Moisturizer with White Tea, SPF 25
Part 22: Blue Lizard Daily Moisturizer for Face, SPF 30+
Part 23: EltaMD Tinted Moisturizer SPF 41
Part 24: ChapStick LipShield 365 SPF 50+
Part 25: Spearmint Lip Balm, SPF 15
Part 26: Miracle Skin Transformer SPF 20
Part 27: Eucerin Daily Protection Moisturizing Face Lotion, SPF 30
Part 28: Shiseido Urban Environment Tinted UV Protector Broad Spectrum, SPF 43
Part 29: Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse BB Cream SPF 25 PA++
Part 30: La Roche-Posay Anthelios SPF 60 + Anti-Aging Primer SPF 50
Part 31: Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream SPF 35
Part 32: Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream SPF 42 PA+++, No. 23
Part 33: Shiseido Perfect Hydrating BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 35 Sunscreen
Part 34: Simple Protecting Light Moisturizer SPF 15
Part 35: Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen, Broad Spectrum SPF 45
Part 36: Neutrogena Sensitive Skin SPF 60+

Articles from Futurederm:
Articles from LiveStrong:

United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):

Other (just for references, and to cross-reference, along to see a source that a lot of people read):

The Sunscreen Project, Part 36: Neutrogena Sensitive Skin SPF 60+

/ Monday, October 28, 2013 /
Sensitive Skin Sunscreen Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 60+
Photo source

This is another sunscreen I tried during my Cali trip. Short summary? Tried but failed.


Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide (4.9%), Zinc Oxide (4.7%)

Inactive Ingredients: Alumina, Arachidyl Alcohol, Arachidyl Glucoside, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Beeswax (Apis Mellifera), Behenyl Alcohol, Benzyl Alcohol, BHT, Bisabolol (L-Alpha), Butylene Glycol, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Cetyl Dimethicone, Dimethicone, Dimethicone PEG 8 Laurate, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate (Licorice Root), Disodium EDTA, Ethylhexl Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Isohexadecane, Methicone, Methylisothiazolinone, Pantothenic Acid, PEG 100 Stearate, PEG 8, Polyaminopropyl Biguanide, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Polymethylmethacrylate, Polysorbate 60, Retinyl Acetate (Vitamin A), Silica, Stearic Acid, Styrene Acrylates Copolymer, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Trisiloxane, Water, Xanthan Gum

There are no words... to convey how I feel... about this product... exactly...

  • Extensive protection with ZnO and TiO2.
  • Didn't cause breakouts [but perhaps that's because I only used it for 1 day].
  • (That's it!)
  • Super, SUPER chalky with huge white streaks. HUGE white cast.
  • Did NOT absorb well into the skin. Left huge greasy stains.
  • Vitamin A inside this product. Not good mixing sun protection with this! Like a family member of retinyl palmitate - which is contraindicated in sun protection products...
  • $12 for 3 fl oz  - seriously, the Blue Lizard sunscreen, ounce for ounce, costs around the same price, but is MUCH better...
Bottom line, I don't like this product, and I don't recommend it to anyone unless they want to either (1) look terrible in pictures, (2) look like Edward Cullen all day long, or (3) just have super super sensitive skin and can't tolerate any other product. 

The end.

The Sunscreen Project, Part 35: Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen, Broad Spectrum SPF 45

/ Wednesday, October 23, 2013 /
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen, SPF 45
Photo source

This is the second-to-last sunscreen I will review for the Summer 2013 season of The Sunscreen Project. I actually used this sunscreen for quite awhile during my Cali trip in July.

Honestly, I didn't even buy this sunscreen. My best friend from forever brought it along during the trip. He had used this during his mountain hikes, and so far found it to be a good "protector", so I figured it'd be a good try.

Ingredients, from

Active Ingredients: Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (10%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (2.8%), Oxybenzone (6%)

Inactive Ingredients: Water, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Silica, Diethylhexyl 2 6 Naphthalate, VP Hexadecene Copolymer, Dimethicone, Ethylhexl Glycerin, Caprylyl Methicone, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexyl Stearate, BHT, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG 100 Stearate, Trideceth 6, Behenyl Alcohol, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Sodium Polyacrylate, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Methylparaben, Iodopropynyl Butycarbamate, Propylparaben, Ethylparaben, Fragrance


  • Felt light and easy to spread
  • High SPF factor
  • Has both UVA and UVB ray coverage
  • Good price - $10 for 3 fl oz.
  • Contains oxybenzone
  • Is a chemical sunscreen, which may irritate sensitive skin types
  • This product stung. Honestly I think it was because I was definitely not used to the more dry Cali climate, but honestly the avobenzone stung my face raw. I remember feeling like I was giving myself hives whenever I put it on (and trust me, the time I got hives was not fun, especially since at the time the eight-year old me did not recognize what it was and did not go to the hospital). On day two of the trip, since my skin hadn't gotten as dry due to the Cali climate, I was okay, but by day 5 of the trip it felt agonizing putting it on every morning.
Ultimately, I think this product is a good thing for those with thick or resilient skin. As for me and my rather sensitized skin, I think I'll pass.

Review: MUFE Smoky Extravaganza Mascara

/ Friday, October 18, 2013 /
MAKE UP FOR EVER - Smoky Extravagant Mascara
Photo source

I was fortunate enough to be able to receive a sample of this product from Sephora recently. 

I've never really used any high-end mascaras ever since my first one, the Estee Lauder one my mother gave me when I first started wearing makeup, ended up in a raccoon eye disaster. Also, I've always felt that drugstore mascaras were super awesome. In addition, since each mascara can only last 3 months before the preservatives in the product begin to lose their efficacy, high-end mascaras are often thought of as a waste of money.

Here is the ingredients list:

Water, Paraffin, CI 77499 (Iron Oxides), Polybutene, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, Triethanolamine, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Acacia Senegal Gum, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Silica, Phenoxyethanol, Crambe Abyssinica Seed Oil, Caprylyl Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Algin, Hydrolyzed Rhodophycea Extract, BHT, Serine, A13301/01.


What did I think of it?

  • Really defined my lashes well. Even with one coat.
  • High staying power. Lasted for hours, even without a primer. This is the first washable mascara I've used that has done this.
  • Really lengthened and volumized my lashes.
  • The cone-shaped brush does not allow for great precision for even coating of my lashes, especially given my eye shape. It's really hard to wipe off excess mascara at the tip of the cone.
  • Lack of variety. Often times stores will have multiple shades of mascara - brown, dark brown, black, etc. This mascara only comes in black. A single shade.
  • Made my eyes water for a bit. Guess that wasn't the best.
  • Price. $24 for 0.23 oz on Sephora's website. Yikes.
Honestly, for the price point and for the brand, this is a nice mascara. However, I've encountered many mascaras (e.g. Maybelline, L'oreal) that produce similar effects and are only a quarter of the price. Truthfully, I could buy a year's worth of mascara at the drugstore for the price of one mascara from MUFE. Also, thinking of the watery effects of this product - meaning, the fact that it makes my eyes water - I don't think it's the best product that I could try in this category.

My DIY Christian Louboutins

/ Sunday, October 13, 2013 /
The time I will be able to truly buy Christian Louboutins is when I actually become a real doctor. But until then, I wanted to try a makeshift way to create a somewhat semblance of them...

Acetone (100%)
Rubbing alcohol (70%)
Cotton rounds
1 pair of black shoes (or whatever high-heels you prefer)
Q-tips to clean up excess nail polish

Nail polishes:
Base coat and top coat: Revlon Multi Care Base+Top Coat
Base color: 1:1 mixture of ELF Essential Nail Polish in Fire Coral and Maybelline Express Finish #800 in Sultry Siren.

The setup

Step 1: Clean the shoes with rubbing alcohol and cotton rounds.

Step 2: Apply a layer of topcoat.

Step 3: Apply 2 layers of the 1:1 mixture.

Step 4: Apply 1 layer of top coat.

Step 5: Allow to dry for at least 3 hours (for good measure), preferably overnight.


DIY Christian Louboutins

Question from Secretlifeofabionerd: If you had the money, what would be the one fashion item that you would buy right away??? GO!!!

/ Tuesday, October 8, 2013 /
My friend, KL Cao from Secretlifeofabionerd, recently asked this question on her Facebook site:

If you had the money, what would be the one fashion item that you would buy right away??? GO!!!

My answer? It's conditional.

  • If I could spend it on anything, I would first spend it on med school tuition. So many loans and $40K+ in debt every year is tough. Just being able to break even for med school would be nice.
  • If I had to spend it on fashion things, I would use it on things that are practical. Clinics clothing for medical school (basically, business professional clothing), some nice Clarks or comfortable GB shoes for walking around hospitals in clinics, etc.
  • For makeup - lots of waterproof makeup. I've noticed that it lasts longer, wears longer, and I am definitely not one of those girls who is patient enough to touch-up all day long. It's 10 minutes in the morning and out the door I go. Some nice, high-quality MUFE or UD makeup would be nice.
  • Or perhaps a nice Tempur-Pedic mattress. My twin-sized mattress is pretty old. Oh well. It still works. And the eggshell mattress pad is a nice bonus.

Top 3 skincare products to own to maintain youthful skin

/ Thursday, October 3, 2013 /
This video explains it all.

Gossmakeupartist is Wayne Goss, a renowned makeup artist from the UK. In this vid, he discusses the top 3 products to buy for maintaining youthful skin without cosmetic surgery.

I definitely agree with him. This is especially after I've done quite a bit of research/reading to learn about skincare and its science.

I would definitely suggest anyone who would like to learn more about these ingredients to watch his video.



Search This Blog


Copyright © 2010 Vitamin C Goodness, All rights reserved
Design by DZignine. Powered by Blogger