What You NEED To Know About Sunscreen

I have a couple of pet topics and one of them is no other than sunscreen. Every Summer since this blog has existed I’ve tried to post a reminder about the importance of SPF (‘sun protection factor’). Every year my knowledge has also broaden and while the older posts are still useful (there are some product reviews included), I think I’ve managed to gather some good and updated information for you.

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You NEED To Wear an SPF

If there’s one thing to take away from this post, it’s this no-nonsense advice: wear your sunscreen. Every day of the year, even if it’s cloudy. On overcast days, only visible Sun rays are blocked, but you still are at the risk of getting sun damage, which causes about 80% of visible signs of ageing. It’s not only for aesthetic reasons, but by wearing sunscreen you also reduce the risk of getting skin cancer. No sunscreen provides 100% protection against UV radiation, there’s always some that will reach your skin, damaging the cells below. This damage builds up over time, which can increase your risk of skin cancers. Wear sunscreen every day!

How To Apply Sunscreen

What’s the best sunscreen for you? The kind you use. I’m repeating myself here, I know. Some people detest the physical sunscreens that might have a slight flashback or a white cast right when applied. If you’re hesitant then try several types: sprays, liquids and creams. The most important point is to apply and apply enough. SPF alone in makeup is not enough to protect you, as you won’t apply a sufficient amount.

As I’m not a dermatologist and sunscreen textures vary, I cannot say a certain amount for each sunscreen, but for the face and neck I’d aim to apply 1/2 teaspoon. I personally use a physical, very creamy type of a sunscreen: I dot it on my face and neck and massage gently until the product has absorbed and there is no white cast. Remember to reapply sunscreen every few hours if you’re in sunlight and immediately after swimming or sweating.

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Understand Sun Protection Factor

Studies over the years have shown that sun protection factors and actual protection percentage from ultraviolet rays don’t go hand in hand: SPF 60 is not double the protection of SPF 30. SPF15 means ~93% of UV rays are blocked, SPF30 blocks 97% and SPF50 98%. Above SPF50 the added protection is fairly miniscule, but the cosmetic properties of the sunscreen might be compromised (thicker, whiter texture).

You also need to check your sunscreen had both UVA and UVB rating. If your sunscreen says it’s “Broad Spectrum”, it means the product offers both UVA and UVB protection.

You might have seen that after the SPF and number there are products labeled with “PA” and plus ratings. PA grading system was established in Japan and is meant to inform about the level of protection from UVA rays. Always choose a product with PA+++ (or more) to get the best protection from UVA.

Susncreen and Vitamin D Absorbation

Vitamin D is produced by the body when the skin is hit by UVB rays. Theoretically, sunscreen use may lower the Vitamin D, but according to Harvard Health Publishing very few people wear enough sunscreen to block all UVB light. Where your live, skin color, weight, age, etc. also affects on Vitamin D absorption, so it’s safer to get sufficient amount of Vitamin D from food or supplements.

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What To Know About Physical And ‘Chemical’ UV Filters

I use the term physical and ‘chemical’ to demonstrate the differences in these UV filters, but some people may refer it as “natural/organic/mineral” and “synthetic” and so on. Physical sunscreens protect your skin from the Sun by blocking or deflecting the UV rays while chemical sunscreen absorb them. Physical UV filters are Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide, which are generally stable and safe sunscreen filters that don’t cause free radicals.

The issue in chemical UV filters is that some may irritate the skin and they have to be applied 15-20 minutes before being exposed to sun. On the other hand chemical UV filters are often cosmetically elegant: runny, light, colorless and odorless. Physical UV filters are thick, opaque and in some cases harder to apply if they leave a white cast. Some people are prone for breaking out from physical or chemical filters, so always patch test if you’re unsure if the product is suitable for you.

I personally only aim to use physical sunscreens, but for everyone I encourage you to avoid using oxybenzone and octinoxate as they damage reefs and have adverse health risks to humans and environment.

Read More About SPF on The Blog

Best Sunscreens For Summer 2018
What You Need To Know About Sun Care (2016)
My Sunscreen Reminder (and Innisfree Review)

Do you wear sunscreen every day?

Spring Beauty Favorites 2019 - Makeup, Skincare and Fragrance Loves!

You know it’s a favorite when you reach for it immediately - over shiny new things, over expensive treasures. When I started planing this post it only took me a minute or two to gather these products. Some of them I’ve already reviewed on the blog while the others deserve much more attention. I think I have a good mix of skincare, makeup and fragrance here - including new and older products. Enjoy!

Spring Beauty Favorites 2019 | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Makeup

I was kindly gifted Rouge Bunny Rouge Light Corrective Eye Primer*, but I didn’t do a separate review as it took me months to decide do I dislike or love it. I find out it’s the latter, but it took me several tries to get it work for me. This primer doesn’t blend too easily and sets immediately: if you don’t work fast it may look patchy. For me this creates a perfect canvas for eyeshadow and corrects any eyelid discoloration. For under the eyes I’ve been testing the IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer*, which is worth its legendary status. You need a miniscule amount and the coverage is very good - for me this works also as a spot concealer.

Spring Beauty Favorites 2019 | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
Spring Beauty Favorites 2019 | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

For eyes I’ve been loving Chanel’s Ombre Premier cream eyeshadows (814 Silver Pink and 838 Ultra Flesh (LE)). I do love the old formula as well (don’t see too much difference there), but I think they have discontinued Illusion d’Ombre line, sadly. Tweezerman Lash Curlers* for Round Eyes have been life-changing. I can use the regular ones as well, but Round Eyes seem more comfortable. The curl and hold they give is excellent! Trust me.

Finally I gotta mention Kora Organics Rose Quartz Luminizer* and Clear Luminizer* for highlight. I’ve done two posts on Kora’s Luminizers: Rose Quartz is reviewed here and new shades here. So easy to use, perfect consistency. To finish my makeup I’m liking the Kicks Setting Spray* (matte). Kicks’ house brand is pretty good and I find I prefer this setting spray to Urban Decay All-Nighter.

Spring Beauty Favorites 2019 | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
Spring Beauty Favorites 2019 | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Skincare

Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Serum* is like a better, less expensive version of the Clinique Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly. It’s packed with sodium hyaluronate and natto gum to hydrate, plump and quenches thirsty skin. The formula has some floral and fruit peel oils, so if you’re very sensitive you might check the INCI or patch test before applying.

Summer is coming (hopefully soon) in Finland and I’m testing body products for reviews. So far my favorites have been quite inexpensive finds, which is great. Skin Treat is a KICKS exclusive brand and they have expanded from their body scubs to Bright Renewal AHA & PHA Exfoliating Treatment*, which is a light mousse that you can apply your acne-prone body areas, such as back, tights etc. Skin Treat Instant Firming Body Serum* is a very light moisturizer that supposedly firms, but I like it as a décolleté and arm moisturizer as it sinks in so quickly and I can dress right away. Before I go to bed I slather on some Flow Cosmetics Refreshing Peppermint Food Butter* on my feet, give them a little massage and put on wooly socks. The peppermint scent is so fresh and invigorating, but doesn’t disturb my evening routine.

Spring Beauty Favorites 2019 | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Fragrance

I’ve been a fan of Jo Malone’s scents for a good couple of years and she finally launched in Finland last Autumn. English Pear and Freesia cologne is my original favorite from her. This bottle of mine is rather old and almost empty, but since it hasn’t turned I’m trying to use it up. Spring weather and English Pear and Freesia go well together, even on cloudy days it brightens up my mood without being sickly sweet. I find colognes very subtle on me, but I’ve still received compliments while wearing this perfume.

What have you been loving lately?

*Products marked with asterisk(*) have been gifted for consideration.
My opinions are honest and my own. This page utilizes ad links to support this blog.

Whamisa Organic Flowers BB Pact Review

“More foundation reviews, Laura?” I swear to you, I don’t even own that many foundations. I just really enjoy testing and reviewing them, especially Asian ones if there is not enough coverage online. I probably should do a dedicated post what are my favorite product types and why - what do you think? Anyway, today we’re jumping again to K-beauty, but eco beauty style! Enjoy.

Whamisa Organic Flowers BB Pact Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Whamisa Organic BB Pact

I’ve introduced Whamisa in my earlier post about Whamisa Organic Flowers Deep Rich Toner review, but in a nutshell they are a Korean eco beauty brand specialized in organic and fermented skincare. For very sensitive skin types these fermented products might be too active and aggravating, but Whamisa is overall a good brand if it works for you. Whamisa Organic BB Pact* (*gifted) is their alternative to a cushion foundation: the foundation dispenses from little holes in the compact, but the packaging is similar to 99% of cushion foundations. Available in 3 shades. 16g for €42.9. This BB pact has 48.16% organic ingredients and SPF 50/PA++++. Available at Jolie (FI)*, House of Organic (FI)* and Natural Goods Company (FI).

Whamisa Organic BB Pact Packaging

I was surprised when I first opened the packaging - it’s not a cushion but “a pact”! Um, a compact, I guess? Which means you put the puff on the top and gently press down, the foundation dispenses. Although this might be more hygienic way to store your foundation vs a traditional cushion compact, I personally didn’t love this dispenser because:

1) Due to the small amount of holes, you get product unevenly on your puff.
2) The puff absorbs a lot of the foundation and is difficult to clean.
3) If you only press the dispenser, it can squirt the foundation. Not cool.

I’m also asking why is the compact so simple and boring looking? Whamisa has some of the cutest packaging and colors in their skincare line, I wonder why any of the floral print wasn’t used on the BB Pact? The puff is pretty standard and okay, but again - quite difficult to clean (VS with regular cushions the puff doesn’t absorb as much product in my opinion).

Whamisa Organic Flowers BB Pact Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Using the Whamisa Organic BB Pact

My best way of application is gently press the pact dispenser without the foundation flying all over the place. I pick up the foundation with my finger, apply on my face and blend with the original puff or a Beauty Blender*. This does defeat of the point of the pact, but I’ve found this the most nice and hygienic way to apply. I usually do like the small puffs that come with cushion foundations. I have bought them in a multi-pact years ago, so I always have some clean in my makeup stash. I wash the puff after every use with Dr. Bronner’s soap* or Marseilles soap bar.

The foundation isn’t as runny, slippery or thin as some other cushion foundations, the Whamisa Organic BB Pact resembles a regular light-to-buildable coverage foundation. I usually press the dispenser only once to get a light coverage, but this does build a little bit - it’s not dewy or translucent in finish, so I imagine more combo skin types might enjoy this as well. I’d say the finish is normal.. demi-matte when applied and gets a slightly luminous during the day (but not as much as the YSL Le Cushion Encre de Peau for example).

I’m on the dry side, but still the foundation doesn’t slip, slide or “get eaten” by my skin aka break apart during the day. I haven’t noticed the color oxidizing either, which is great. Foundations that change color when they dry are a big no-no for me. So a lot of good points in the Whamisa Organic BB Pact. One thing that I will say, this foundation might emphasize large pores (if you wear no primer/powder). I personally don’t have very large pores around my nose, but I’ve noticed the added luminosity does emphasize my texture a little bit.

Whamisa Organic Flowers BB Pact Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
Whamisa Organic Flowers BB Pact Swatches | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
Whamisa Organic Flowers BB Pact Swatches | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Whamisa Organic BB Pact Swatches

First of all, the color range is depressing. I know, some Asian brands seem to cater their shade range only to the local majority, but there is still variety from “Natural Beige” (deepest shade) to “Light Beige” and “Pink Beige”. To avoid this review turning into a rant, I’ll save it for another time and shut up for now.

21 Light is a light neutral beige with a hint of warm undertones, close to MAC NC15

Whamisa Organic Flowers BB Pact Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Overall thoughts

I very much like this BB Pact, if you’re looking for a more natural tinted moisturizer with a slightly more coverage (emphasising the word ‘slightly’). Compared to some other cushions, I think Whamisa beats the YSL Encre de Peau cushion for me, but the Chanel Les Beiges still remains as my favorite. I think I will use up this Whamisa BB Pact, but will not run to repurchase because of the boring / odd packaging (EDIT: I gave it to a friend, who says it’s “perfect”). If you can get past that, this is a nice eco AND K-beauty foundation.

If you can’t find a shade in Whamisa, I recommend checking out my Purlisse BB Cream review here. If you’d prefer to find an eco beauty foundation I have lots of new reviews coming to you soon!

PS: Cara says hello!

This foundation was kindly gifted for consideration. Thoughts are my honest and my own.
This blog utilizes ad links (marked with *) to support the blog. Thanks!