Customer Reviews: Vanicream Sunscreen, Sensitive Skin, Spf 60, 4 Ounce
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on July 26, 2011
I have HEAVILY researched sunscreens for about 6 months. Here are my concerns and some some facts I have learned. I have no affiliation with any company. I am not a scientist. I have a newborn on the way and my wife and I live in a very hot area and we both are light skinned, and I am anal and analytical to a fault. take from this what you will.
1. Harmful cancer-causing sunlight consists of UVA and UVB rays. But UVB are the rays that cause a tan. If you are not burning, you can still be getting pelted by UVA rays and not even know it-- Ask any dermatologist--Many people get cancer on their hands and arms even though they think they are always covering up, but in fact when driving for decades, UVA is damanging their skin badly--UVA can penetrate glass--
2. "SPF" protection refers only to UVB protection. Many of the worst melanomas and skim damage are caused by UVA, although both UVA and UVB are very harmful. So when you see "SPF" 60 or 100 or whatever, you may very well be receiving limited coverage and protection.
1. Zinc Oxide is the only non-chemical substance that can effectively block close to 100% of the UVA harmful rays, and blocks most of the UVB rays. Titanium Dioxide is the only non-toxic substance that can effectively block 100% of UVB rays, and most of the UVA rays. These substances are referred to as "mineral" sunblockers.
2. Even a mineral (non-chemical product) that does not contain some combination of both can be excellent, but not provide 100% coverage. (unless you are applying so much Zinc Oxide white layers "like you see surfers wearing on their nose" that the physical barrier alone will take care of almost all UVA and UVB. Some formulations use one or the other, but again, ideally you want both for full sprecturm coverage. This product lists both as active ingreditents.
3. When you see "full UVA and UVB spectrum coverage" on any product tube it may well mean nothing. It may mean that 99% of UVB is covered, and only 1% of UVA, but they can still call it "full spreturm."
4. Chemical-based sunscreens can also block 100% of UVA and UVB. Most every product you will find in stores iss based on chemical screens. The knock on these products is that they are said to have been proven to readily absorb into the deepest layers of the skin, where the toxins are released into the blood in large amounts, and need reapplication much more than chemical blockers. Most of these chemicals have also--according to my research--but you must determine this for yourself-- been proven very clearly to cause cancer in lab animals. Many specultate that this fact, along with the fact that these products lose their effectiveness very quickly and produce free radicals in the skin, and that those folks using high SPF products without UVA protection tend to stay in the sun longer, may be why skin cancer rates are higher in those using suncsreens than not using them.
5. Cosmetically, mineral blockers leave horrible white coating on the skin. Chemical screens do not. That is why chemical screens are so popular. Attemps by companies selling mineral blockers to reduce the "ghost" effect have led to the formulation of "nanonized" and "micronized" formulations, with very small particles that spread more easily that minimize dramatically the whiteness of the mineral blockers. Nano particles are 100 times smaller than micronized, which are much, much smaller than normal mineral blocker particles.
6. There has been a lot of hpye over the danger of nano/micro particles in lotions and products. It has been hyped that due to their small size they absorb in to the lower layers of the skin and enter the bloodstream in toxic leves just like the chemical screens.
7. My research--again, ad nauseum--you must confirm this for yourself--shows me that there has never been any credible study to prove these particles absorb into the deep layers of the skin. Recent studies, in my opinion, have proven conclusively otherwise. As well, I believe the FDA has recently de-bunked the "nano/micro myth." Check to confirm I am on the right track. Most of the hype seems to come from overzealous "green" sites who have not fully done their research or are mis-interpreting true studies, or citing non-peer-reviewed, double blind solid studies. Check with your dermatologist. Many probably mean well, but seem to be using incorrect information. From what I understand, breathing in titanium dioxide dust into your lungs in huge quantities would be a problem, but from a sunscreen, no.
8. The next concern I have is that nano and micro particles, if uncoated, have higher "photoreactivity" which causes them to release free radicals in the skin when exposed to UV light, thereby being cancerous. This is another reason people think that chemical and even nano/micro screens can lead to even more cancers in sunscreen users.
9. My research has led me to believe--you must check for yourself--that when coated with alumina, dimethicone or other coatings, the photoreactivty problem is reduced to minimal levess. Also, when the product itself has many anti-oxidents to offset the free-radicals themselves, the oxidation problem appears to be neutralized. Again, do the research yourself. Some products coat their screens, some do not. I have been told by a company rep that Vanicream coasts theirs very effectively. I would call them to confirm.
10. My next issue is with alumina. I don't want aluminum from deodorant or any other source. Vanicreme has it listed as the first ingredietnt. I have fouund out that somme sunscreens--including Vanicreme, are considered pharmaceuticals so they must list their ingredients in alphabetical order, not in descending order of concentration. Check with the company, but it is my understanding that the amount of alumina in this product is the least amount of any other ingredient, and on application is less than we probably get in our water or food--again--check to make sure yourself. I think their new products coming out have no alumina. Check with the company.
11. I have not checked into the other ingredients in this product, many sound strange to me, so you might want to check those. But as for the active ingredients repsonsible for blocking the sun and protecting you, that is what I found out and i am more comforatble with this product than any I have seen or found.
12. I find it to be a bit greasy, but overall after rubbing it in thoroughly, after a while it blends in pretty well and I use it every day on my face--but again, it is still a little greasy to me.
In my opinion, after checking numerous products, that vanicreme is the safest for me to use, and I like the cosmetic features of the product. more than the numerous products I have tried. You must research the product thoroughly or you may be doing more harm than good from some of these products.
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on August 29, 2007
I was looking for a safe, effective sunsreen for my trip to Southeast Asia this summer. Here are what I think are the strengths and weaknesses for this product
1, Many non-chemical sunscreens actually fail to live up to their SPF, but I do think it successfully protected my skin in the worst UV environment. (But I also used hats and such)
2, It is relatively safe for my skin. It didn't make my skin break out.

1, THE greasiest sunscreen I ever experienced. It's ok when you're out hiking or at the beach, but when I went out to see friends, they often commented on how much I was "sweating." When I really did sweat, it made the cream turn white and visible (dotty on my face).
2, As it's noted on Skin Deep Cosmetic safety database, it's not perfectly safe. While I didn't have any breakouts, my face (not my body) got itchy wearing this. But I was able to get around it by putting on a moisturizer before applying this.
3, It's pretty tough to wash off. Though it's not waterproof, after I washed my body I could still smell it and see it on my skin (showing up white especially in wrinkly area).

Despite the problems, I think I might use it again next summer (at least on my body) because I haven't been able to find a better safe, high SPF sunscreen. Other ones don't make my face shiny but make my face look all white.
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on January 16, 2012
I have sensitive skin and am a woman of color. Most physical sun blocks look horrible and do not completely disappear...even a slight white film is completely visible on my skin. I stumbled upon Vanicream at a non-chain pharmacy and the pharmacist said it was good and let me try it on my skin. It did not leave a white film and so I got it. Have been using it for about 2 years now. It is thick and does go on greasy. It is a little labor intensive to use because of the consistency but this is how I put in on, which is similar to how I was told to put on thick night creams: I rub it between my hands and "pat" it all over my face. After contact with the skin, it seems to melt a little, making it easier to spread. You do need to spread it so it rubs in and not just wait for it to absorb. As another review noted, because it is gentle, it does not irritate my eyes and so I can use it under my eyes for coverage, no problem. After that I let it sit while I do other things (brush my teeth, whatever) and then put on my makeup. It is particularly good if you use a stick foundation which I stopped using for awhile because it was a little too dry/matte, but over the SS, provides a nice "tinted moisturizer" type finish. If there is a still a little shine left, I do NOT use powder but oil blotting paper. This, for me, seems to work pretty well and my face feels soft and protected all day. I LOVE it in the winter; less so in the summer but keep coming back to it year-round because I don't like how other sunscreens make my face sting or the smell of them.
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on July 9, 2007
My dermatologist told me to use Vanicream or Neutrogena for my melasma. Neutrogena stings like crazy after using an exfoliator or Retin-A. Vanicream feels like a dream. I have never had any tanning or darkening of spots when I have it on. I have normal to oily skin and it doesn't make me break out. It is a little oily, but only if you lay it on too thick. If you want a matte finish to your face, that's what face powder was made for!
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on July 9, 2008
This is the only sunscreen that I don't have allergic reactions to. I've tried Neutrogena, Aveno, and other hypo-allergenic sunscreens, but sadly I'd break out into rashes a few hours later. A dermatologist recommended Vanicream a few years ago. He even demonstrated how gentle it was by putting it in his eye! He was a little out there, but he proved it caused no irritation.

It has a light scent and doesn't leave white streaks on your skin. It's a little greasy at first, but that goes away as you work it into your skin and as it dries.

If it weren't for this product, I'd probably still be wearing long sleeves and oversized hats in the summer time.
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on June 28, 2011
Hi. I guess that this sunscreen works well, but it is SO GREASY that I can't use the stuff. I read the reviews of this product and just figured "Oh, how GREASY can it possibly be"? One person said, "Oh, you can just put powder over it if you want a matt look" in their reviews. I tried that, and my face was now GREASY with powder stuck to it. It was not a good look. This sunscreen just NEVER seemed to be absorbed by my skin after "Rubbing it in". It never rubbed in. My face just looked wet and shiney, and after adding summertime perspiration to that, my face was totally icky. I guess that I can use it on my arms, but for my face, it just didn't work.
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on March 30, 2009
My boy's pediatrician recommended Vanicream moisturizer to help with his eczema, and we've had successful results. The sunscreen has been EXTREMELY useful for the whole family (I think my husband, an avid hiker, is its #1 fan), considering the dry air and 100°F plus temperatures in our city. The moment you apply it, you can really feel the quality of the sunscreen, which by the way does not feel heavy on the skin at all. Just a couple of weeks ago we tested it during a trip to the beach, and it worked very well, considering that we spent quite a bit of time under the sun and in the ocean and pool water. None of us got sunburn and our skins remained soft and moist.
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on October 5, 2011
I bought this because I have very sensitive skin. Eucerin burns my skin. Cervae with sunscreen burns my face. This product did not burn my skin but it is very greasy. Not for everyday use or under makeup. I put it on and walked into the kitchen. The first thing my husband said was "your face looks greasy". I tried to put makeup powder over it but my face looked oily with makeup.
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on October 30, 2014
I used to swear by the vanicream SPF 60. It is no longer available, so this seller should change the picture. What you get I vanicream SPF 50+ which is disgusting and I can't stand to use it in myself or my daughters. The SPF 50+ also does not work as well and my daughter burned for the first time this year because of the new formulation. It smells awful, it is extremely drying and it is very gritty and chalky, leaving a thick white residue that looks ridiculous, like white face paint. We look like ghosts with this stuff on. The vanicream SPF 60 used to go on clear and had no smell and we NEVER burned. Don't waste you money on the SPF 50+.
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on May 30, 2012
I need this because I walk my dog four times a day, but it is very greasy. I'm trying to use 'less' of it and rub it in, but I don't know if I'm using enough now to protect me from the sun?

I feel greasy/tacky all day. My husband doesn't want to kiss my neck (9 hours after application!) because he says the stuff is gross. So, it lasts, but it's greasy.

I tried putting makeup base over what I applied on my face and then powdering my face, the oil came through almost immediately. It seemed like it got 'greasier' as the minutes clicked by?!? (I have DRY facial skin, so having the grease come through my base and powder is really saying something.)

I wish they could make it less greasy. I feel dirty and 'icky' all day now, until I am able to shower it off.
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