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My Favourite Safer, 100% Mineral and Reef-Friendly Sunscreens

  • September 09, 2020
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Fall may be coming soon, but it’s not the time to stash away your sunscreen. In fact, you shouldn’t. Ever. Yes, I am that friend who often asks if you’re wearing sunscreen. 

Plus, it is still warm and bright here in Vancouver. The breeze may be cooler, but staying directly under the sun in the middle of the day could still be a scorcher.

Do I really need sunscreen?

It is a good idea to keep sun care a regular part of your daily skin/body care ritual, especially if you will be exposed to the sun between 11:00am and 3:00p.m. You can check the day’s UV Index to gauge your exposure risk. Most native weather apps now include this information. If the UV index is 3 or higher, you should protect your skin as much as possible. It’s that simple.

Safer Reef-Friendly Sunscreens
Safer Reef-Friendly 100% Mineral Sunscreens


Not all sunscreens are created equal

For the past few years, I have tested a lot of sunscreens in my quest for 100% mineral (i.e. physical), reef-safe and skin-friendly brands and formulas that don’t leave my Asian skin chalky or ghostly. I’ve even tried Korean brands, but they still had chemical ingredients, fragrance, and numerous toxic ingredients. I kept getting hives from them.

After more than half a year of experimenting, I discovered Beautycounter through my friend and I have been using their 100% Mineral Sunscreens for almost a year now.

My skin, which usually reacts to most formulas, LOVES them.

I am sharing them with you because they work even for my ultra sensitive skin.** Nothing compares, even the more expensive brands.


Safer, 100% Mineral & Reef-Friendly Sunscreen Formulas:

Best for face (sheer, no white-cast formulas):

  • Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Stick – SPF 30 – contains ultra-moisturizing cocoa butter . Reef friendly and water-resistant for up to 80 minutes.This works well for me especially when my skin is feeling a little dry and/or flakey. Water-resistant for up to 80 minutes.
  • Countersun Daily Sheer Defense For Face – SPF 25 (currently available in the US only) – lightweight and fast-absorbing. This is a better choice if you want the finish to be matte. Contains chicory root and squalane to help with skin hydration, and Vitamin E for anti-oxidant benefits. This is my favourite for daily use. My office and crafting nook receives direct sunlight.
  • Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer – ultra sheer coverage provides just the right amount of healthy, dewy glow. Glow-boosting ingredients: infused with a triple complex of black currant seed oil, peony root extract, and vitamin C for increased appearance of firmness and radiance over time. This formula in infused with “glow boosting” ingredients: a triple complex of black currant seed oil, peony root extract, and vitamin C for increased appearance of firmness and radiance over time.

Both perform well under liquid foundation  and/or mattifying powder

Best overall dry finish for face and body:

Best overall nourishing formula for face and body:

  • Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 This is great if you want to skip lotion or moisturizer either for the face or body. Reef frienater-resistant for up to 40 minutes. It will also need to be rubbed in a little more into the skin. This does gets absorbed into a dry finish, but not as quickly as the mist.

Scenario-based suggestions:

Day at the beach/pool: Sunscreen Lotion or Stick for the face and Sunscreen Mist for the body. These will provide you with 80 minutes of water-resistant sun protection at a time.

Running errands: Any of the face sunscreens suggested above and Sunscreen Lotion or Mist for the body.

Hiking and or Hot Sweaty Day: Sunscreen Stick or Daily Sheer Defense for Face, or use Sunscreen Lotion or Mist for face and body.



Disclaimer: I am a senior consultant with Beautycounter and will earn a percentage of the sale IF you purchase through my shop, betterbeautywithjoy.com—I appreciate your support. You can purchase directly on beautycounter.com if you wish. I share products that I have personally tested and loved. These have consistently worked (and have not aggravated) my sensitive, 40-something skin. If you have any questions about the products or the business (aka my side hustle), please contact me at hello [at] betterwithjoy.com. Happy to chat!

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