By McKenzie Bohn
Given the oppressive winter gloom that has settled over us, it can be hard to remember that you should be wearing SPF every day. Sunscreen can be a decidedly un-sexy product, which might be why it’s often left out of morning routines, but more and more buzzy skincare brands have been coming out with sun protection that you can actually look forward to putting on in the morning. Case in point: Drunk Elephant—one of Sephora’s consistently bestselling and fastest-growing skincare lines—finally launched their Umbra Sheer Physical Defense sunscreens in Sephora Canada this week.
This is a win for Canadian skincare fans, as we often don’t have access to the same range of options as American consumers. As Dr. Lisa Kellett of Toronto’s DLK Skincare explains, this is because sunscreen is a drug, as far as the Canadian government is concerned: “It needs to have a drug identification number. They have to be approved by Health Canada before they can be sold in Canada. It’s a process, it’s very expensive and very labour-intensive.”
That’s certainly good news for us health-wise, but often brands simply choose to skip the Canadian market instead of jumping through the hoops. When Glossier started shipping to Canada last year, their Invisible Shield sunscreen remained unavailable for this exact reason (the website says “coming soon”—but it has said that for a while). While we may still have to wait for the Glossier sunscreen to make the jump across the border, Drunk Elephant’s offerings are also worth getting hyped about. The brand prides itself on using exclusively clinically effective ingredients—no extraneous fragrances or silicones here—and they’ve managed to formulate their sunscreen with absolutely no chemical filters (which are what can sometimes send your skin into a tailspin when applied daily).
But don’t get confused—even “physical” sunscreens contain chemicals. “They all have chemicals. Titanium oxide and zinc oxide [the primary ingredient in Umbra Sheer Physical Defense] are chemicals that work to reflect light off of the surface of the skin. People may think it’s not a chemical, but it is,” Dr. Kellet explains. “Chemical” sunscreens have ingredients that create a chemical reaction to defuse UV rays; the non-reactive properties of zinc oxide are what makes the sunscreen suitable for all skin types, sensitive skin included. Drunken Elephant also has a tinted version, so you can skip foundation. Plus, the graphic black-and-white packaging should earn it a prominent place on your skincare shelf—a reminder to put it on Every. Single. Day.
From THE KIT