Why Mineral Sunscreen?
According to the Environmental Working Group, the chemicals present in some sunscreens may present a serious health hazard. The EWG also provides a list of their top-ranked natural sunscreens, but the Desert Essence Organics Age Reversal Mineral Sunscreen wasn't on that list. This begs the question: At $15.99 per 3 oz bottle, is this natural sunscreen product worth the cost? Desert Essence sunscreen reviews from users have been mostly positive, but we take a closer, hands-on look.
Ingredients (5 out of 5)
This product is indeed chemical free. The active ingredients that protect you from the sun (SPF 30) are a combination of superfine zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Most of the other ingredients are easily recognizable (organic vegetable glycerine, sandalwood essential oil, and so on) and there's a long list of ingredients you won't find in this bottle, including paraben and sodium lauryl/laureth sulfates. No artificial fragrances and colors means this product is particularly friendly to those with allergies or sensitivities to such products.
Application (5 out of 5)
Versatility (5 out of 5)
This product is billed as a face-specific sunscreen, but can be applied just as easily to any part of the body. Since so little is needed, the 3 oz tube that at first seemed skimpy is suddenly more than adequate–there's plenty to go around. One's skin feels moisturized but not greasy after using this product, a fact that lends it just as well to use on the body as the face. Desert Essence Mineral Sunscreen can also be used underneath makeup, giving you the option of protecting yourself while still looking your best if you so choose.
Protection (5 out of 5)
It's difficult to comment on the protective abilities of this natural sunscreen without having a way to scientifically verify its rating of SPF 30. However, one notes that when applied to skin that had already been badly sunburnt–to the point of blistering–it was sufficient to protect this already tender and damaged skin from further burns. A similar application to unburnt skin–followed by hours in the sun–yielded equally good results.
Conclusion (5 out of 5)
In conclusion, this natural Desert Essence sunscreen is in fact worth its hefty price tag ($15.99 for a 3 oz bottle) if you're determined to avoid chemicals. The only gripes are minor ones: It must be shaken vigorously before use and when applied to extremely dry skin (such as a severe sunburn) it may not absorb entirely, leaving faint white marks behind. This latter problem can be resolved, at least partially, by remembering the prior tip: Shake vigorously to mix the liquid with the superfine mineral powders before use. The other part of the solution, of course, is to put this sunscreen on before you get burnt, not after.
Interested in other sun-protection options? Check out our list of top-rated natural sunscreen products.