The $45 beauty product that broke internet
THIS week, a sunscreen broke the internet.
Popular Instagram person and former beauty editor Zoe Foster Blake's website crashed on Thursday with the launch of her skincare brand Go-To's new sunscreen, Zincredible.
This product had been teased on Zoe's social media accounts for weeks.
It promised to be the best thing since sliced bread. The sunscreen to end all sunscreens.
Thousands of rabid fans drank the Kool-Aid and shut down the Go-To Skincare website on Thursday, desperately trying to get their hands on the $45 bottle.
So is it worth the hype? We got our hands on one and gave it a road test.
GIRL, WHY SPF 15?
First of all, Zincredible is not actually a sunscreen. It's a facial moisturiser with SPF 15, designed to be worn on an "average day", the brand says, during "commuting, the office, taking the kids or doggo to the park, errands, grabbing lunch".
Pretty much every dermatologist will tell you SPF 50 plus is what we should be wearing everyday to protect ourselves against the harsh Australian sun.
Aside from the skin cancer risk, the sun is the biggest cause of ageing.
It's the greatest source of wrinkles and pigmentation - the stuff that makes us look old and haggard. We all want to avoid it.
Plus, investing in a good sunscreen means you save money and time on other skincare products.
"SPF 50 plus is the gold standard," Melbourne dermatologist Dr Shyamalar Gunatheesan said. "You want a broad spectrum - protection against UVA and UVB rays - and you want it to be SPF 50."
What about on a cloudy, rainy day I hear you ask? Well, you still want maximum protection.
"UV damage is constant throughout the year. It can be a cloudy day but there can be a high UV," Dr Gunatheesan said. "With a cloud cover you can get more reflection from the clouds, so the damage can be more severe."
Zoe's Instagram followers put this question to their skincare overlord.
"Why is it only a SPF15 not a 30 or 50 for the stronger Australian sun?" one commenter asked.
This was the response: "SPF is about time, not strength.
This is an everyday moisturiser with enough SPF for an average day. We're of course making a higher strength for extended periods of time outdoors as well."
"Such a shame it's only SPF 15," wrote another commenter.
Go-To replied: "This is an ideal daily moisturiser with plenty of SPF for the average day".
In the promotional booklet sent along with the sample I received, was this statement: "If you don't like it, you won't use it. You're much better off using a lovely, light, clean SPF 15 that feels nice, applying liberally and using the correct amount, rather than using a small amount of a SPF 30 or SPF 50 that feels yuck. Zincredible SPF 15 provides all of the hydration and broad spectrum sun protection you need for an average day."
That's a very reasonable point. Some SPF is better than nothing.
But while Zincredible's texture is beautiful, and it smells nice, isn't oily or white or gross, I have anxiety just thinking about going outside with anything less than 50 plus on my face.
Here's how SPF works. SPF 15 protects against 93 per cent of UV rays, while SPF 30 blocks 97 per cent and SPF 50 blocks 98 per cent.
One way of looking at this is that SPF 50 only gives you five per cent more protection than SPF 15. Or, you could argue SPF 15 allows seven per cent of UV rays through, while SPF 50 lets through two per cent.
In the end, too many people don't wear sunscreen because they don't like the texture. This product solves that.
If you love Zincredible so much that you smother it all over your face everyday - and previously you weren't wearing any sunscreen at all - that's a good thing.
But if you've already found a 50-plus sunscreen you love that works for you, stick to that.
LET'S GET PHYSICAL
Then there's the whole physical or chemical sunscreen debate. Zincredible is a physical sunscreen.
People in the beauty world tend to get very obsessed about chemical versus physical sunscreens.
Here the difference: Physical sunscreens work by physically blocking UV rays, so they bounce off the skin. Chemical sunscreens absorb the UV filters and then scatter them, so they don't penetrate the skin and cause damage.
Opinion is divided on which is better - some people don't like the idea of the ingredients in chemical sunscreens.
Actually, Zoe herself helpfully explained some of the concerns about chemical sunscreens in this 2013 blog post: "There is growing concern that some of these chemical filters used can generate free radical damage ('bad'), and some are even thought to be endocrine disrupters, which means they're messing with your hormones."
That's the main point of difference with Zincredible. If you prefer natural products and really don't want to put chemical UV filters or any synthetic ingredients on your face, then this is for you.
I'm personally not fussed about chemicals. Even water is technically a chemical.
I've been using chemical sunscreens for years and my pale skin loves me for it.
But it's purely a personal preference. Do what works for you. Just keep that beautiful face of yours SPF-ed up.
BTW, here are seven other excellent chemical and physical 50-plus sunscreens for you to try.
MECCA COSMETICA TOO SAVE FACE 50-PLUS SUNSCREEN
Price: $40 for 45ml or $18 for a mini 30ml travel tube
Available from: Mecca Cosmetica
This is my favourite sunscreen ever. I've been using it every day for years and never looked back.
It's a chemical sunscreen and contains hyaluronic acid, pomegranate extract and vitamin E. You can use this instead of moisturiser if you're oily (or lazy like me) and it creates an excellent base for makeup.
ASPECT GOLD ENVIROSTAT SPF 50 SUNSCREEN
Price: $30.80 for 75g
Available from: Adore Beauty
It's four-hour water resistant and comes in a cute little tube perfect for travel. Smells amazing too.
INVISIBLE ZINC 50 PLUS SUNSCREEN
Available from: Woolworths, Priceline, Chemist Warehouse, Adore Beauty
This is one of the few affordable physical sunscreens out there.
Zinc is the same ingredient that's in Zincredible - it's a physical blocker of the sun.
LA ROCHE-POSAY SPF 50 FLUID TINT
Available from: Priceline, Chemist Warehouse
OK, so now we've moved onto tinted sunscreens, because sometimes you just want a bit of coverage.
This is a cult favourite perfect for those beach days when you don't want to wear makeup but you also don't want to go completely barefaced.
It's super sheer, watery and easy to blend.
LA ROCHE-POSAY SPF 50 BB CREAM
Available from: Priceline, Chemist Warehouse
Another winner from this awesome French pharmacy brand. The texture is more like a foundation and blends really easily.
IT COSMETICS CC CREAM WITH SPF 50
Available from: Sephora
This is literally a miracle product. I don't know how it works, but it has the perfect amount of coverage to make skin look perfect - and it contains SPF 50!
If you're oily you might find this too dewy. But don't worry, there's an oil-free matte version set to arrive in Sephora this month.
The only problem is the very, very limited shade range. There are currently five shades. Absolutely not good enough in 2018 when 40-60 shades is now the norm for many brands.
The CC cream always sells out which is super annoying, so sometimes I buy the mini travel tubes to tide me over. If you see it at Sephora, stock up. It won't be there for long.
RATIONALE BEAUTIFUL SKIN SUPERFLUID SPF 50
Available from: Rationale clinics and their online store
Rationale is a bougie Australian skincare brand with crazy high prices. We're talking $92 for a cleanser.
Founder Richard Parker and his slim-fit, black turtlenecks would love all Australian women to stop wearing foundation and start dropping $915 on Rationale's "Essential Six" skincare range.
It's a wild premise. Lots of very wealthy and beautiful women on Instagram "swear by" this range.
Rationale products are beautiful, but the routine is not sustainable for the average person.
What you should splurge on is their incredible $85 tinted physical sunscreen. I know that price is insane, but a little really goes a long way.
I only use this on non-work days so it lasts for absolutely ages.
It's perfect for when you want coverage and sun protection on the weekends but can't be bothered to do your face up.
Promise the credit card bill will be worth it.
This column is not sponsored and this is not advertorial content. Every review is independent, honest and ad-free.
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