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Biossance

Squalane + Mineral SPF 45

1.69 fl. oz. for $ 39.00
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Biossance’s Squalane + Mineral SPF 45 has a formula that looks great on paper but is not nearly as impressive in use due to some impossible-to-ignore performance issues.

First, the positives: This moisturizer with sunscreen comes in an opaque tube with a pump that ensures its air- and light-sensitive ingredients (including some proven antioxidants) are protected and remain effective. True to its claims, this provides broad-spectrum mineral sun protection thanks to its inclusion of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.

The main problem with this sunscreen is that it is repeatedly described as “lightweight” and “weightless,” and it most certainly is not. Straight out of the tube it’s creamy, but as soon as it touches skin and warms up, it becomes tacky and almost syrupy, which makes for quite a bit of drag during application.

It’s a challenge to get even coverage, which is an issue because of its initially obvious white cast (which can happen with mineral-only sunscreens). The drag makes the white cast tough to blend away; those with medium or deeper skin tones will still likely still see it on their skin.

Biossance describes the finish of this sunscreen as “luminous,” but a more appropriate adjective is “sparkly.” Between the shine this adds to skin and its thick emollience, it’s not a great option for those with combination to oily skin, and even those with normal skin might have issues.

Another negative? The good that those ingredients provide is countered by the inclusion of fragrant bitter orange flower extract. It’s not here in a great amount (and has less potential to irritate skin than orange oil), but even small amounts of fragrance can trigger irritation.

In the end, even though the SPF rating is impressive, and the packaging is great, there are far, far better sunscreens available!

Pros:
  • Provides broad-spectrum SPF 45 via gentle mineral sunscreen ingredients.
  • Contains a few proven antioxidants.
Cons:
  • Texture is syrupy and difficult to apply evenly.
  • Has a noticeable white cast that’s difficult to blend out.
  • Contains fragrant bitter orange flower extract.
Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: No

A clean, lightweight and non-greasy daily mineral facial sunscreen that protects skin from UVA/ UVB and infrared rays, while defending against environmental stressors. Plus, this No Compromise™ formula makes the perfect primer for easy makeup application.

Active Ingredients: Zinc Oxide 7%, Titanium Dioxide 4.069%. Inactive ingredients: Water, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Squalane, Polyglyceryl-3 Sorbityl Linseedate, Cetyl Dimethicone, Dimethicone, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Glycerin, Styrene/ Acrylates Copolymer, Thermus Thermophilus Ferment, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Sodium Chloride, Hydroxyacetophenone, Tocopheryl Acetate, Saccharide Isomerate, Caramel, Pentylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Bisabolol, Benzylidene Dimethoxydimethylindanone, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Flower Extract, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract.

Biossance is the commercial beauty arm of biotechnology brand Amyris. Amyris manufactures plant sugars (like that from sugar cane) into specialty ingredients for use by other companies, but chose to center Biossance around one ingredient in particular: plant-based squalane.

Each Biossance product prominently features squalane; so much that it’s in the name of every offering. Squalane has its merits—it’s an excellent skin-conditioning ingredient and has antioxidant properties—but skin needs much more than one focused ingredient to feel, look, and perform its best.

Thankfully, Biossance includes other ingredients in many of its squalane-centric products and these are also impressive, particularly bakuchiol (which has many retinol-like properties), antioxidants, and peptides. Unfortunately, the brand also uses a number of fragrance ingredients in many of its products, and whether naturally-derived or not, fragrance is known to irritate skin—even if you don’t see or feel the damage taking place. For this reason, most of the brand’s offerings wind up being middle-of-the-road, though there are a couple of standouts.

For more on Biossance, visit the brand’s website at https://biossance.com/.

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