Disclaimer: Block Island Organics sent me a bottle of their sunscreen to test in exchange for this review.
If you’re a longtime reader or someone who follows me on Pinterest or Twitter, you’ve likely seen me mention Be More Fancy, which is sort of a code name for the operation I started in January 2013 to thoroughly educate myself about all things makeup, hair, skincare, and fashion. It was an attempt to have some fun with all those things and I can honestly say it’s turned into a passion.
One of my main sources of information, inspiration, and trends that I haven’t discussed much is Reddit. Makeupaddiction and skincareaddiction are both excellent places to find tutorials, product reviews, and more from like-minded and often highly experienced and knowledgeable users. The journey into better skincare has been especially rewarding, since at 29 I still struggle with acne (which I’ve been able to pin down as a result of normal hormonal cycles) and have combination skin that can be extremely dry in places and oily in others. And despite my upbringing on the surface of the sun in the southwest, I’ve never really given a second thought to wearing daily sunscreen. Yes, I KNOW how bad this is and how irresponsible it is, especially since I need more than one hand to count the number of people I’ve known who have battled skin cancer, some also having lost that fight.
So I decided to try some new things this summer. Based on some skincareaddiction recommendations, I decided to try out a sheer-finish sunscreen on our first trip to Pensacola of the summer. I was so glad that I opted not to wear contacts to the beach that day, since the sunscreen irritated my eyes beyond words. It was simply awful.
Fast forward a few weeks, and I received an email from Block Island Organics, asking if I’d like to try out their products. I did some research on their website and read about their products and decided to give it a go. I was already in sunscreen no-man’s land and was also looking for something I could wear successfully in the sun without irritating my eyes as well as for everyday wear under makeup. I have primarily worn this sunscreen as an everyday skincare product, since SPF 15, which I received, is too low SPF for fair-skinned me to wear at the beach without having to constantly reapply.
I have been using the Block Island Organics SPF 15 as part of my normal skincare routine for several weeks. Before reviewing this product, I wanted to use it for an ample amount of time to ensure that it wasn’t causing breakouts or negatively affecting my skin in any way.
First things first: what’s the sunscreen like? The formula is thicker than most commercial sunscreens, but is creamy and not greasy. It goes on with a white sheen, indicative of the ingredients that make it work, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. If you plan to use this as an everyday product and are subject to flash photography at any point in your day, you little red carpet-going thing, you, take note. The active ingredients in this product are attributed to camera flashback (you’ve seen those photos of celebrities with what appears to be white powder around their noses, foreheads and eyes, which is setting powder that contains materials that reflect very bright flashes). Since there is approximately zero flash photography of my face on any given day, I was totally fine with this and it certainly wasn’t something I felt I should be concerned about.
So once the sunscreen was on my face, I was delighted to see that the white sheen disappeared pretty quickly and left a slightly tacky texture to my skin, which I was so glad about because it served as a wonderful primer for my foundation. Seriously, this was an excellent product to serve as a base for my makeup, even more so in the summer when I keep my product use to a minimum. Powder mineral foundation is my summertime go-to base, and the Neutrogena loose powder I use has worked incredibly well over the BIOS base.
Another thing I really liked about this product was the scent. While it’s technically unscented, there’s a little bit of a sweet but pleasant smell. It’s so faint that it disappears on your face, and my guess is it’s the aloe in the product, which naturally has a mildly sweet, fresh scent. There are also several other plant extracts that could be at work here. It’s really nice stuff and I’m glad it’s something I can wear to the office and not project I AM WEARING SUNSCREEN, CAN YOU SMELL IT all day.
As far as daily wear goes, I can also attest that this sunscreen did not melt off my face in situations when I was outside in the steamy New Orleans summer weather. There was no sunscreen-melt that irritated my eyes, and it was easy to wear this product with contacts. I was so relieved, especially after my beach day sunscreen disaster.
If you’re in the market for some new skincare products, I’d recommend Block Island Organics without reservation. Besides offering a great product, it’s a family-owned start-up business that’s concerned about the safety and integrity of their products. That’s something I can back. Through the end of this week, you can use the code kswims for 20% off your order.