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Skincare 101: Three Sunscreens Put to the Test!

It’s been super sunny in Sydney these last couple of days (with today ironically being the exception) and so I think this post will come just in time for you beauties!

Good day sunshine

This sunny weather is a reminder that we should be wearing sunscreen everyday (in winter I do struggle with this, which is so very bad of me!). Now might be the best time to really find out which sunscreen suits me best before the summer rays really kick in! I need a reliable every day sunscreen which I can wear under makeup as well as a sunscreen which can be used on the body (on parts which are often exposed to the sun but forgotten about – i.e. the hands, arms and chest area). Sunscreen formulas have become so innovative these days, that it’s worth investing the time and research to find one which will suit your needs perfectly (and maybe even go beyond what you expected!).


I have three sunscreens which I have been testing out and wanted to share my findings with you. The Invisible Zinc sunscreen is a pure physical sunscreen while the Neova and SkinCeutical sunscreens are a combination of both physical sun blockers and chemical sun blockers. If you are a little confused as to what the difference is between a physical and a chemical sunscreen, check out my Sunscreen 101 post where I break down those difference for you! Today we will go through the plus and minuses of these three particular sunscreens 🙂

Invisible Zinc Environmental Skin Protector SPF 30+


A totally physical sunscreen containing 20% Zinc Oxide. This Australian branded sunscreen is probably one of the best mineral sunscreens on the market. Physical sunscreens work by physically blocking out the suns rays (UV light) so sunscreens such as this will form a protective layer/barrier on top of the skin. Physical sunscreens can appear quite white on the skin, but this Invisible Zinc sunscreen isn’t to bad – the white cast of the cream disappears quite quickly. It isn’t super shiny and shouldn’t cause your skin to become overly oily. If you have very oily skin, you could use this sunscreen as your daily moisturiser.

The issue I have with this sunscreen is that is it difficult to blend out the sunscreen around the edges of my face (for example, around the hairline and around my eyes) so you can often see where the sunscreen ‘ends’. Makeup sits quite nicely on top of this sunscreen and it doesn’t slide around during the day. The only major flaw is as I mentioned, the fact that it can be difficult to blend and can thus leave streaky marks on the skin. It has that typical sunscreen scent, but it is quite light, so it isn’t overly offensive.


  1. Starts protecting your skin from the suns rays immediately after application.

  2. Packaging comes with a pump dispenser.

  3. Has a light airy texture, which is phenomenal for a mineral/physical sunscreen.

  4. White cast disappears quite quickly after application.

  5. Good base under makeup.

  6. Zinc Oxide is great for sensitive skins (it’s often used in nappy rash creams).

  7. Zinc Oxide stops even more UVA rays (the rays that age the skin – UVB rays burn the skin) from penetrating the skin compared to UVB rays, and thus protects the skin from pigmentation better than other sunscreens. In saying this, it is still a broad spectrum sunscreen, so you are protected from both UVA and UVB rays.


  1. Can be difficult to blend. Also leaves streaky marks on the skin/around the hair line.

  2. Doesn’t contain any antioxidants in it’s formula – which would help to neutralise free radicals in the skin and help protect/repair cells from sun damage.

  3. Has a light traditional ‘sunscreen scent’.

You can buy Invisible Zinc products from your local Woolworth’s and Priceline stores, or from Adore Beauty online for $35.00 for 50ml.

Neova DNA Damage Control Sunscreen Everyday SPF 44


I would call this sunscreen a light lotion. It is the lightest sunscreen I ever used! It sinks into the skin so beautifully, leaving a silky, non-tacky texture on the skin, perfect as a base under makeup. It’s oil free but hydrating thanks to the inclusion of sodium hyaluronate (hyaluronic acid) which acts as a humectant moisturiser – working in both low and high humidity climates by pulling moisture from the air and trapping it in the skin. It also doesn’t have that traditional sunscreen scent which is quite surprising. It feels like a regular light moisturiser which I know a lot of beauties will appreciate!

The SPF in this sunscreen is made up of both physical sunscreen (Zinc Oxide 8.5%) and chemical sunscreens (Octinoxate 6.5% and Octisalate 2.5%). Most dermatologists recommend using a sunscreen which is a combination of both physical sun blockers and chemical sun blockers when in a high sun exposure environment (like Australia :P) because you get the benefits of both types of sunscreen. Chemical sunscreens neutralise a larger range of UVA and UVB light, however you still get that extra protection from pigmentation marks thanks to the inclusion of Zinc Oxide.

The other major plus of this sunscreen is the inclusion of vitamin C and E – which if in the right concentration, work together to neutralise free radicals. Here is a great explanation from Futurederm of how both work together to get the job done right –

“When vitamin C is combined with vitamin E, it creates a synergistic effect that ends up being more than the sum of its parts. That’s because vitamin C loses electrons as it encounters free radicals and neutralizes them, and vitamin E provides a source of electrons to replenish vitamin C. In fact, as one antioxidant is depleted it can essentially “borrow” an electron from the other and vice versa, helping both antioxidants work better (Cosmetic Dermatology).”

The concentration of vitamin C needs to be higher than 1% in order to work effectively with the vitamin E, but it looks like the Neova sunscreen contains about 4-5% of the stuff! Neova have also gotten the ph levels right when it comes to these antioxidants, so they can effectively penetrate the skin and work their magic! It doesn’t stop there, the Neova sunscreen also contains L- Ergothionene which is also a powerful antioxidant and Photolyase which increases UV protection by 300%  (Photolyase is a type of plankton which are UV light resistant) AND helps repair DNA cell damage. Photolyase needs UV light to be activated and can take up to an hour to work ‘at full speed’ so just keep that in mind.

After ALL of those benefits and pluses, this sunscreen does have a minor flaw. After application I tend to see little white flakes on my skin. I contacted Nicki from Futurederm and she let me know that this is probably desquamation (exfoliation of the skin) caused sometimes by acidic products. It’s not a major issue but I do have to ‘sweep’ these little white flakes off my face using a makeup brush before makeup application. If i didn’t, it would look like I had little teeny tiny bits of paper stuck to my face. Luckily, I didn’t experience any irritation or reddening of the skin.


  1. Super light-weight, oil free, silky lotion texture. Blends beautifully and easily into the skin.

  2. Moisturising without being oily.

  3. Great base under makeup.

  4. No traditional ‘sunscreen scent’. Only has the faintest scent and it smells like a regular moisturiser to me.

  5. Protects the skin from a wide range of UVA and UVB light thanks to a combination of physical and chemical sunscreens.

  6. Innovative formula – Contains antioxidant protection at the right quantities, as well as ingredients which help repair skin cells.


  1. Takes 20 minutes after application to protect fully from the suns rays. Photolyase takes about an hour to fully kick in and must be ‘activated’ by sun exposure/UV light.

  2. Desquamation – the tiny little white flakes which appear on the skin after application.

You can buy this Neova sunscreen from the Futurederm shop for $39.00 US dollars  (you will have to add shipping on top of that). The only place where I have found Neova products to be sold in Australia – at a reasonable price – is Fresh Fragrance and Cosmetics. There this sunscreen retails for $64.00 (free shipping and you may be eligible for a discount if you are a member).  The Neova DNA Damage Control Sunscreen Everyday comes in a 74ml tube – so you get a little more product than the Invisible Zinc Environmental Skin protector sunscreen.

 SkinCeuticals Ultimate UV Defense Sunscreen Broad Spectrum 30+


The SkinCeuticals sunscreen is another combination of both physical and chemical sunscreens (Zinc Oxide 7% and Octinoxate 7.5%). This formula is also oil-free – thank goodness the days of heavy, oily sunscreens are gone! It has a light cream texture and also has a light traditional sunscreen scent, like the Invisible Zinc sunscreen. It doesn’t leave a white cast on the skin and is easy to blend into the skin. I wouldn’t say it leaves a tacky finish on the skin, but because it is half a physical sunscreen, you can feel a light protective layer sitting on top of the skin, so it doesn’t feel ‘invisible’ say like the Neova sunscreen does.


  1. Protects the skin from a wide range of UVA and UVB light thanks to a combination of physical and chemical sunscreens.

  2. Blends into the skin easily, oil free formula.

  3. Good base under makeup.


  1. Takes 20 minutes after application to protect fully from the suns rays.

  2. Doesn’t contain any antioxidants in it’s formula – which would help to neutralise free radicals in the skin and help protect/repair cells from sun damage.

  3. Has a light traditional ‘sunscreen scent’.

The SkinCeuticals sunscreen can be purchased online from Adore Beauty for $61.80. It does contain a whopping 90ml of product, so substantially more than the Neova or Invisible Zinc sunscreens. You can also find this sunscreen at Kiss and Makeup NY for $40 US (plus shipping).

So which sunscreen wins out the prize for best everyday sunscreen? For me it’s the Neova sunscreen hands down! Not only does it protect from a wide range of UVA and UVB rays, it also contains antioxidants to help protect my skin even more from UV rays and prevents pigmentation. The innovative formula also helps repair skin cells which may already be damaged. I looove the texture of this sunscreen and the fact that it doesn’t feel like a sunscreen on the skin. Yes the desquamation (what a bizarre word lol!) is a little annoying, but I can live with it thanks to the great formula. The SkinCeuticals and Invisible Zinc sunscreens are still high quality sunscreens and as they don’t leave an oily residue on the skin, they would both work brilliantly on the body. I think I may give my Invisible Zinc sunscreen to my boyfriend and keep the Skinceuticals sunscreen to use on my arms, hands and chest area 🙂

One last note – it’s a great idea to use a Vitamin C and E serum in the mornings to help boost the UVA protection of your daily sunscreen (that’s the doing of vitamin C 😉 ). I love my Futurederm Vitamin CE Caffeic Silk Serum (review here). The other goodie is the SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Acid Serum. Both serums have synergistic antioxidant capabilities which are also found in the Neova sunscreen (along with other skin benefits – check out the review to learn more!). There’s nothing like prevention when it comes to helping keep your skin UV damage free, plump and healthy looking!

I hope you beauties found this post helpful, let me know if you have any questions and what you look for in a daily sunscreen 🙂

Catch ya next time,

Beauty Bee~

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