Beautycounter Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Lotion

Function

Protection? Broad Spectrum SPF 30

Filters? Zinc Oxide (19%)

Country of Origin? United States

Water resistant? Yes, 40 minutes

Who is it for?

Skin types? The sales associate at the beauty counter store (who accused me and a friend of mine: two pale, frowny New Yorkers wearing all black, of being from Los Angeles) said she recommends this for normal to dry skin. I agree.

Works for all skin tones? It isn’t like, amazing, but I don’t think it’s like, the worst.

What is it like?

Texture? It’s a rich cream texture. It feels borderline lifeguard-y.

Filmy, sticky, or heavy? It is quite filmy and quite heavy. There is no stickiness once it’s dried down. It has a notable staying power. Once a reasonable film has been laid down, it is not shifting.

Flashback / White cast? There isn’t really a white cast. I suppose if one was an inch from my face, they might be able to detect a slight white overlay, but I don’t consider it to have a proper like, ‘cast.’ The flashback exists, but it’s muted. It isn’t like a headlight of glare.

Greasy? No, not really greasy.

Finish? Demi-matte / velvet.

Positive opinions?

The good news about this sunscreen is the fact that I don’t find it drying, and there is no white cast. I also don’t find it expensive for a mineral sunscreen from a prestige brand.

This is a good sunscreen for the beach, I think. It is water resistant, and I have confidence that it won’t be removed by shifting around, the removal of clothing, or a quick dip in the water. I also think this could be a good sunscreen for those who are exercising outdoors: one could sweat in this and have confidence it will stay in place.

Any bad news?

When I tested it in the store, I was quite won over by this sunscreen. I liked its creamy occlusiveness, and I was impressed by the lack of cast. However, I find it simply impossible to tolerate an adequately dense film of this sunscreen. It has cement-esque permanence. Once it has been applied, it is staying strong. It’s too rich and too heavy, so applying it takes around an hour, and it leaves my face itchy. I’ve taken to using it as a body sunscreen. After a day of wear, I still feel the need to take a damp cloth and over my arms to remove the significant film that remains. While this could be a positive for an athlete concerned with UV damage, I don’t find it appealing, at all.

The other issue with this sunscreen is its fragrance. It smells strongly of citrus: bergamot and bitter lemon. This fragrance has profound staying power: it will linger all day, overpowering any perfume one may use to mask its pervasiveness. I’d quite like to see an end to citrus fragrances in sunscreens: it’s hard to have confidence that their phototoxic components have been removed.

Price?

$39 / 198 ml | $0.20 / ml

Arbitrary personal ranking out of 10?

My love for this sunscreen is more a matter of practice than an endorsement (≤ 6/10).

Similar products?

The Tatcha Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen is much better esthetically than the Beautycounter. The Tatcha contains Octisalate as well as zinc, so if one can’t handle a synthetic filter, it isn’t ideal. They are in similar creamy bases, but the Tatcha is less filmy and feels much better on my skin.

I’d recommend the Ren Clean Screen Mineral over this, based on texture alone. The Ren isn’t water resistant, but it doesn’t turn into cement, and it has a much more appealing fragrance.

It can be purchased here