The last few weeks have been almost drought-like here in Vancouver. Every day has been hot, dry and sunny, plus the last couple days have been hazy with smoke due to forest fires happening miles away. As I write this post, I sit in the dark in my office, sweating and smelling like a campfire. In such conditions, it becomes of utmost importance to protect yourself from sun damage. Recently, I got to try out the new suncare line from Avene with their latest sunscreen formulation, the Avene High Protection Lotion SPF 50+.
The Avene High Protection Lotion SPF 50+ contains a unique "triple combination formula" of chemical sunscreens, vitamin E and Avene's special thermal spring water to protect, soften and repair skin. This sunscreen can be used for both face and body and is water-resistant, paraben free and suitable for sensitive skin.
The primary ingredients in this product are:
- Avene thermal spring water
- C12-15 alkyl benzoate - commonly found in sunscreens, this ingredient acts as a thickener and emollient
- Dicaprylyl carbonate - commonly used in sunscreens to help make it spreadable without leaving skin feeling greasy
- Methylene bis-benzotriazolyl - a sunscreen ingredient that absorbs both UVA and UVB rays
- Tetramethylbutyphenol - ditto
This product also claims to contain tocopherol, which is a precursor to vitamin E, but which falls nearly at the end of the ingredient list and therefore probably contains only a minimal amount.
Price & Packaging
A 100 ml squeeze tube retails for around $30 at drugstores wherever Avene is sold. The packaging for this sunscreen is a pretty typical squeeze tube with a flip-top cap that makes it easy for travel. 100 ml may seem like a lot, but considering you are supposed to apply a golf ball sized amount per application to your entire body, it means this product "shouldn't" last you very long. Even if this lotion is on the higher end for sun care, it does contain some extra benefits such as the Avene spring water and other moisturizers. I'm also biased to spend this amount because, as you'll see, I really really like this sunscreen!
It's always hard to state definitely whether a sunscreen works or not because so much of its effectiveness is dependent on how you use it and apply it, so I'll leave that rating up to the labs! What I can talk about then is how it felt to use this lotion on a daily basis as a regular person.
As I get older, I become more paranoid about sun damage, so I always apply this lotion to my chest, hands, arms, feet and face in the morning. Even though it's probably pointless to do so as even SPF 50 will wear off in a few hours, it still makes me feel better about my morning commute.
After trying this lotion out for a few weeks, I have to say that I absolutely love it. The Avene High Protection Lotion SPF 50+ is quite watery when it first comes out of the tube, but applies as if it were much richer once you work it into your skin and doesn't leave it shiny, greasy or sticky at all. Well, it does leave it slightly tacky, but no more than a rich moisturizer does. Other sunscreens I've used in the past have left my skin with an ashy white cast, or felt so thick that it left my pores feeling clogged - the Avene High Protection Lotion SPF 50+ will do none of that whatsoever. It's also unscented, so no terrible "tropical" fragrance making you smell like a cheap hotel bar and causing coworkers to sniff the air inquisitively as you pass by.
Overall, I can't think of one bad thing to say about this sunscreen as it ticks off all my boxes: it's lightweight, has high SPF, applies easily, isn't greasy and doesn't smell. The only thing that does make me cringe a bit is the price, but for daily use on your extremities, I think it's an okay amount to spend.
Buy - the highest SPF you can get, with a lightweight, non-greasy feeling. Must-have!