Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Tale Of Two Sunscreens - La Roche-Posay and Ipsa

Hello, I have a tendency to try new sunscreens.  I have been trying two new sunscreens since February and experienced very different reactions.  They are La Roche-Posay Athelios 50 Mineral Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid and Ipsa Sun Protector.  Before I get to them, here are some basics I look for in a new sunscreen:

1) Must be broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) with minimum SPF30

2) Can be physical, chemical, or combination of both.  I prefer physical sunscreens, but I also use chemical sunscreens.  In case you are interested, below is a list of FDA approved sunscreens found on the Skin Cancer Foundation's website:

FDA-Approved Sunscreens
Active Ingredient/UV Filter NameRange Covered
UVA1: 340-400 nm
UVA2: 320-340 nm
UVB: 290-320 nm
Chemical Absorbers:
Aminobenzoic acid (PABA)UVB
DioxybenzoneUVB, UVA2
Ecamsule (Mexoryl SX)UVA2
Ensulizole (Phenylbenzimiazole Sulfonic Acid)UVB
Meradimate (Menthyl Anthranilate)UVA2
Octinoxate (Octyl Methoxycinnamate)UVB
Octisalate ( Octyl Salicylate)UVB
OxybenzoneUVB, UVA2
Padimate OUVB
SulisobenzoneUVB, UVA2
Trolamine SalicylateUVB
Physical Filters:
Titanium DioxideUVB, UVA2
Zinc OxideUVB,UVA2, UVA1

3) Must be good for sensitive and dry skin

La Roche-Posay Athelios 50 Mineral Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid

There have been a lot of positive write ups on this sunscreen around the web.  In February, I read this is Charlize Theron's go to sunscreen, so I thought it must be a good one and I had high hopes for it to work for me.  

It is a physical sunscreen with SPF 50 for the face.  I like that it is water-resistant and fragrance and paraben free.  It has a runny milky consistency and it needs to be shaken up in the bottle before use.  You can get a white cast from it if you apply too much, so a little goes a long way.  It can be found in most drugstores that carry La Roche-Posay. 

During the first week of use, my skin had no problems and tolerated well.  I continued to use it everyday for weeks and I began to notice dry patches developing on my cheeks.  Given the weather was still cold and dry and I was constantly exposed to indoor heating, I thought the environment was the culprit for the dry patches.  But I never had dry patches in the past, so I was not entirely sure what caused them.  This sunscreen provides a matte finish, so I figured it must contain oil control ingredients.  I finally decided to stop using it and the dry patches began to dissipate.  I exfoliated and used a drugstore and some high end moisturizing products to combat the dry patches for good.  I will discuss these products in another post because they really work on dry patches.  Now I am back on with my regular skincare and have no problems since.  

My conclusion on this sunscreen is that it is more suitable for oily skin or if you live in a humid environment and need a sunscreen with oil control.  I really wanted to like this product, but unfortunately I will no longer be using it on my face.  I will however try to finish it by using it on the body instead.

Ipsa Sun Protector SPF 30 PA+++

In my early days of wearing sunscreen, my go to sunscreens were always Japanese brands such as Shiseido.  I have always trusted Japanese brands in skincare and I have tried numerous brands over the years.  Some friends of my mine swear by Japanese skincare and they have flawless and perfect skin to show for.

I picked up Ipsa Sun Protector SPF 30 PA+++ during my last trip to Hong Kong.  I have read good reviews on their makeup, but I did not know anything about this sunscreen.  This particular sunscreen was recommended to me by the SA because it is good for dry skin.  I have been using it for over one month and I must say it is fantastic.  It is a chemical sunscreen and it feels almost like a light moisturizer.  It has a light fragrance to it.  The weather has been warming up and it is the perfect opportunity to test it out.  So far, I have not been getting darker while using this.  I feel well protected with this sunscreen.  

Overall, this one is a winner for me.  The only downside is that it is rather hard to find in the US, as IPSA is sold exclusively in Asia.  There are some Asian cosmetics websites that sell it, but it is more expensive compared to the price I paid overseas.  I plan to repurchase this the next time I head to Asia.

What is your go to sunscreen these days?  Until next post......


  1. The Ipsa sounds great. I really wish Asian brands were more readily available in the States sometimes. I've been using La Roche Posay's Anthelio's 60 Melt in Suncreen Lotion for the past 2 summers and it works really well for me. It has a light sheer finish and I didn't have any issues with dryness. The consistency is slightly thicker and richer than the Sunscreen Fluid.

    Rowena @ rolala loves

    1. Thanks, Rowena. The sunscreen you mentioned seems to be suitable for normal to dry skin according to La Roche-Posay's website. I have not completely given up on La Roche-Posay yet, I might give this one a go.

  2. Great post! My go-to sunscreens are from Shiseido, Clinique & Estee Lauder!

  3. What a great post, Rola. I wish Ipsa was more readily available in the US so that I could try it. While I have combination skin, I am sort of reluctant to try La Roche-Posay after your experience- while my skin is not dry it can be sensitive, and what you went through is enough to make me avoid it.

    I wanted to let you know that I was just nominated for a Liebster Blog Award, and immediately knew that I was going to nominate you. You and I discovered each other early on in our mutual blogging endeavors and I have loved your blog from the beginning!

    xo, Lola


Love to meet and hear from my fellow bloggers and readers. Do not leave spam or inappropriate links here, they will be removed.