I have a shocking confession to make. I don't wear sunscreen very often. The single most effective anti-aging product you can buy, and I just can't be bothered. Every single bottle I've tried, be it light or heavy, cheap or pricey, they all irritate my skin, burn my eyes, break me out or basically just get on my nerves. I'll deal with it when I have to, when I'm hiking or at the beach, but usually I just put on an enormous hat, and devil take the hindmost.
This is a supremely stupid attitude, and I've finally paid the price. Last summer I was in a Target dressing room, which may possibly have the most shockingly depressing and unflattering lighting known to man, trying on a sundress. It was too small, and got stuck on my head for ages. But that's not the point of the story - the point is that I noticed a dark smudge of dirt on my upper lip which I tried to nonchalantly rub off, only to find that it was a patch of darker pigment, just in the perfect spot to give the impression, in certain lights, of a somewhat dashing moustache.
So that was that. I (finally) got the dress off my head, and began the search for an SPF that I could stand. And now, just in time for summer and long days of sunshine, I think I've finally found it...
NIA 24 is a new, highly regarded skincare line that's based around Niacin, also known as Vitamin B3, which has proved extremely effective in healing and repairing damaged cells while renewing and strengthening skin. Hyperpigmentation and sun damage is faded and brightened, while skin feels plumper, younger and less fragile.
I've been using their Sun Damage Protection SPF 30 daily for the last month, and it's really quite something - not just light and weightless on skin, but I think it's actually improving the tone and texture of my skin. No breakouts, no greasiness, no unpleasant feeling of it sitting on top of my skin. Just glowing skin, and nary a moustache in sight. And no eye irritation. Everything irritates my eyes. WATER irritates my eyes. The fact that this doesn't is incredible, and enough to keep me in cases of it for life.
The first two days I used this, I was a bit disappointed by the fact that is seemed to leave my skin drier and dehydrated feeling - upon further research, this is apparently completely normal as the skin repairs itself and rebalances - the dryness was completely gone by day three. So give it a chance and don't judge right away. While the formula feels rich, it sinks in well after a few minutes, with no greasiness or residuge, though I find I still need a light moisturizer underneath for my dry skin. I'm currently using the mineral SPF, though there's also a broad-spectrum chemical version, which I intend to try next - a great range of choice for those sensitive to certain SPF ingredients. There's an extremely light, almost imperceptible fragrance, but it's perfectly pleasant. I think it smells of pineapple and fresh bread, but don't let that put you off - I may just be strange.
What I really, really love about this cream is that the high amounts of active Pro-Niacin in the formula mean that skin is not only protected from sun damage, but that previous damage is being reversed - it's not just protecting skin, it's actually improving it. Yet another incentive to be judicous about applying it consistently.
At $45 it's on the high end of daily sunscreens, but it's a very generous sized tube - it will easily last an entire summer - so I think its price is fair, and I'll be repurchasing consistently. I'm looking forward to trying out several of the other products in the line as well, so look for reviews of their serums and moisturizers to come.
I can hardly wait to try this out in summer, during long, blistering hikes and langurous hours in hot, poolside sun, feeling virtuous as I extol the neccessity of broad spectrum protection without feeling like a hypocrite. I hope to have nothing more than a faint smattering of charming freckles across the bridge of my nose - nothing more permanent than that.
Are you good about applying sunscreen? Do you have any sun damage or hyperpigmentation? Have you found the perfect formula yet, or are you still looking? Spring is here, so you better have a good one at the ready! I highly recommend this one - I expect 20 years from now that I'll be thankful I started using it when I did....
(Product was kindly provided by Dermstore for review)