MY FAVE FACIAL SUNSCREEN PRODUCT : NIOD SURVIVAL 30
I get a single question through my Skincarma IG page nearly every day:
“What’s your favorite sunscreen?”
Among the slew of skincare-related questions I get about the order of serum application, best acne treatments, best eye creams, even best wrinkle treatments, this one is the easiest to answer. My fave sunscreen is the one that I reach for involuntarily, when I’m not trying to mix it up, when I’m not trying out new formulas. It’s the NIOD Survival 30 — my OG SPF and my go-to. And, as wild as it sounds, I’m forced to buy it illegally on the Web because it’s not available in the United States. I don’t know why — but I do need to find out. (Deciem, if you’re listening…) There are certainly more illegal things I could be doing, like vaping my favorite Sour Tangie THC oil. So there’s that.
But illegal sunscreen? How has it come to this? In the US, sunscreen products are classified as drugs and thus all SPF formulas have to go through a rigorous approval process with the FDA that literally takes a year or more. I know because I’ve experienced it first hand in my work developing skincare with SPF protection. So, while NIOD Survival 30 is a pain in the ass to get if you live in the US, it’s well worth it. Why? First, it’s super blendable for a mineral SPF, combining both Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. It leaves no white cast, of course, because Survival 30 has a hue that’s derived from the natural ingredients in the formula. With a sun protection factor of 30 (NIOD says it actually tests at SPF 33) and UVA-specific protection of PA+++, it’s deflecting and neutralizing 97% of UV rays to prevent skin damage. I actually had a question the other day that went something like this:
“It’s not that sunny here where I live. Do I really need to use SPF 30?”
I almost died.
Seriously. That happened. Let’s break this down for a second.
Wouldn’t you want to block out as many of the sun’s damaging UV rays as you can?
While no sunscreen will protect you against all UV rays (only staying in a dark closet will!), it seems perfectly logical to me that you’d want to protect your skin as best you can from damage. Like if you’re going to put the effort into it, go for it! Using anything less than SPF 30 is like going to the gym and only doing 15 minutes on the crosstrainer or treadmill, then placing out. Not me, it’s all or nothing. Thirty on the crosstrainer, 30 on my face!
So, back to NIOD’s Survival 30…
Here’s the thing that makes it next-level: Survival 30 is much more than a sunscreen. There are actually four Survival formulas — sunscreen-free Survival 0 and three with sun protection. Like all of the Survival formulas in the NIOD Survival series, Survival 30 is antioxidant-powered to reinforce the skin's defenses against both environmental and lifestyle assaults. Survival 30 is formulated to target the effects of multiple daily aggressors including a range of free "oxygen" radicals including the superoxide radical, nitrogen radicals and carbonyl radicals. If antioxidant protection were measured like sunscreen is with a “broad-spectrum” designation, this would be classified as broad-spectrum antioxidant protection.
“Survival is a range of four networked protection systems with technologies that help support healthy skin defences against environmental and lifestyle-related assaults.” - NIOD
The texture of Survival 30 is amazing. It’s got a super-spreadable, liquid viscosity that’s more like a serum than a lotion. It applies quickly and I’ve found it effective in the eye area with no migration into the eyes. There’s a whole lot more to the Survival formulas that boosts their defensive efficacy, including purified Lutein, yeast-derived Superoxide Dismutase, Pycnogenol and Dimethylmethoxy Chromanol — a potent free-radical scavenger. Survival 30 is one of the most well-formulated pro-skin health treatments I’ve ever come across. It’s worth the effort — and certainly worth getting your hands on it illegally if that’s what you have to do!
Whether you get your hands on my fave sunscreen or not, what's most important is that you're giving your skin the tools it needs to protect from multiple environmental attacks — and to maintain healthy, youthful functioning. Anti-aging is more than serums and creams marketed to repair signs of visible skin aging.
Sunscreen is anti-aging at its best.
Meet Jeanne and Susan.
No Skincarma blog review about the importance of sun protection would be complete without an introduction to my friends here, Jeanne and Susan — identical twin sisters.
No, they're not my actual friends; in fact, we've never met. But they inspire me to be better like a good friend would. If you need proof of the very real effects of sun damage on skin, look no further than Jeanne and Susan. The sisters looked exactly alike growing up. But Susan has spent her life in Florida worshiping the sun (she's also a heavy smoker, a double whammy!) while sister Jeanne lives in Ohio and has generally avoided overexposure to the sun (and smoking) throughout her life. While both were 61 when the photo was taken, a scientific study of Susan's skin at Case Western Reserve University showed an 11-year age difference — Susan has extreme hyperpigmentation (sun spots), deeper wrinkles and degradation in skin elasticity.
The Ingredient List of NIOD Survival 30:
Cyclopentasiloxane, Aqua (Water), Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Glycerin, PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Dimethicone/PEG-10/15 Crosspolymer, Propanediol, Acrylates/Ethylhexyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Hexyl Laurate, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Dimethylmethoxy Chromanol, Inulin, Alpha-glucan oligosaccharide, Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Fruit Extract, Superoxide Dismutase, Xanthophyll, Pinus Pinaster Bark Extract, Polygonum Aviculare Extract, Alteromonas Ferment Extract, Padina Pavonica Thallus Extract, Arginine, Glycine, Alanine, Serine, Valine, Proline, Threonine, Isoleucine, Histidine, Phenylalanine, Aspartic Acid, PCA, Sodium PCA, Sodium Lactate, Squalane, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Melanin, Sucrose, Tapioca Starch, Stearic Acid, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Pentylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Sodium Chloride, Dipropylene Glycol, Tromethamine, Ethoxydiglycol, Alumina, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol.