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Ep 209 - The #DamnGood Skin Barrier-Boosting Creams We’ll Use Forever

“Barrier Repair” is a big beauty buzzword - but what does it really mean? Today we’re bringing you a little Skin Barrier 101, along with a roundup of our #damngood skin-saving favorites.

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Today we’re chatting with Dr. Michelle Wong, known for her easy-to-understand explainers on her Lab Muffin Beauty Science blog and YouTube channel, to break down recent headlines around sunscreens not living up to their SPF rating on the label. (Hello, Purito-gate and Krave-gate!) But that doesn’t mean you should give up on sunscreen – quite the contrary. Tune in for Michelle’s expert advice on finding not only a lovely textured sunscreen that isn’t greasy, chalky and doesn’t mess with your makeup, but one that you can trust to perform as it claims. That’s right, she’s naming names!


Plus, Michelle reveals how we might be sabotaging the strength of our SPF ourselves – Gwyneth, we’re looking at you – with some helpful tips on how to actually boost sunscreen efficacy, along with the best way to reapply it throughout the day. And if you love today’s episode, be sure to check out Michelle’s awesome new 12-part podcast series called Skincare School, co-hosted by Adore Beauty’s Senior Editor Amy Clark. Happy Sun Days!

Products & References Mentioned In This Episode:

*Note that every product recommended by Breaking Beauty Podcast is independently selected, though some products you buy through the below links may earn us a commission.*

  • The organization that tests sunscreens is [behind a firewall but you can see some of the top-performing sunscreens they tested in 2021 here.]

*Disclaimer: Unless otherwise stated, all products reviewed are gratis media samples submitted for editorial consideration.*

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We know our #podfam loves a good drugstore find, so we’ve partnered with Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada to get the 411 on the skincare musts that are sure to pop off in January. Just in time for your New Year skin resolutions, maybe you’re looking to add a new step to your skincare routine, or maybe you’d like to try out a buzzy ingredient you keep hearing about. Well, we went on a virtual, VIP shopping trip with Shoppers Beauty Pro Chanel Cruz, who fills us on everything from a new, 20% vitamin C capsule that’s the perfect dupe for a pricier, prestige version, to a brand new retinol treatment that cocoons as it refines. Plus, you’ll find out which affordable under-eye patches the retailer can’t keep in stock, and your new BFF for double-cleansing the lazy-slash-busy way.

Carlene and Jill go on a virtual shopping trip with Shoppers Beauty Pro Chanel Cruz (below)

The drugstore insider has all the intel on what’s been selling out since the start of the pandemic – and how consumer skincare habits and attitudes have been changing at home, too. And finally, how on earth do you find the perfect, personalized skincare products when you’re shopping online during a lockdown? Big news! We’ve got the scoop on the retailer’s new, Virtual Skin Analysis Tool that gives you a real-time skin diagnosis, with customized product recommendations — AND earn those Optimum points — all without leaving the comfort of your couch.

Products Mentioned in this Episode:

*Note that every product recommended by Breaking Beauty Podcast is independently selected, though some products you buy through the below links may earn us a commission.*

We’re back with another episode of the #DamnGoods! Before we get into our regularly scheduled programming, Carlene and Jill fill you in on some actionable steps we’re taking to continue our commitment to the #AmplifyMelanatedVoices movement. If you’re a Black Creator interested in starting a podcast, email us at and we will share any technical know-how we’ve learned along the way, from how to produce an episode on all platforms to monetization. Secondly, as we’ve always supported brand founders, we are now making monthly donations to our local Black Business and Professional Association (BBPA), supporting entrepreneurship, higher education and economic empowerment of Black Canadians.

In today’s podcast, we’ll touch on the latest FDA findings around sun safety, along with our roundup of the best mineral sunscreen innovations that have managed to shake their “chalky” reputation of the past. Also known as physical sunscreens, SPFs that use mineral filters like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to filter out the sun’s UV rays used to resemble thick white paint when you put them on. Good news though! The 2.0 versions now come in sheer, silky textures, matte finishes and glowy serums (seriously, there’s something for everyone!)

From a formula for dry skin you’d swear is a skincare lotion to a winner for oily skin that’s already selling out at Sephora to a groundbreaking luminous serum for all skin tones, get ready to get your summer on with this epic mineral sunscreen shopping list. Plus, our favourite option for clean beauty lovers, our pick for best drugstore mineral SPF and an update from aesthetician extraordinaire Dija Ayodele of Black Skin Directory on the hyperpigmentation workbook you need if dark spots and discolouration have gotten the better of your complexion.

Products Mentioned In This Episode:
** Note that every product is independently selected by Breaking Beauty Podcast hosts, though things you buy through the below links may earn us a commission.***

Thank you to our show partners. When you support them, you support the making of Breaking Beauty Podcast!

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Are you ready to discover the best sunscreens for face for the summer of 2019? We know, we know – SPF isn’t sexy. But the truth is, once you find the Holy Grail of face sunscreens that you actually love to wear, it’s actually the best anti-aging cream you could ever buy.  Jill and Carlene tested over 20 of the buzziest sunscreens for face, and at the end of the episode, they reveal their top three favourites in store right now.

But first, time to phone a friend! Skin therapist Dija Ayodele, founder of The Black Skin Directory in London, gives us the scoop on her groundbreaking work advocating for the #protectyourmelanin movement. Dija explains why every skintone needs to wear sunscreen, and she shares her very best SPF tips (like why do you need a facial sunscreen instead of moisturizer with SPF, anyway? And what step do you put sunscreen on in your skincare routine?).  Plus, Dija reveals why these are the best face sunscreens for black skin in her books: ECooking Solcreme Sunscreen SPF 30; Unsun Tinted Mineral SPF 30; Glossier Invisible Shield Sunscreen SPF 30

We phone a friend, Dija Ayodele, founder of The Black Skin Directory

Dija’s raising awareness that every skin tone needs sun protection

In this skin-saving Damn Goods episode, Carlene and Jill dig into their beauty editor handbook to share some Sunscreen 101, like the meaning of broad-spectrum sunscreen and the difference between chemical and physical formulas.  Then, stay tuned as they deliver the Coles Notes on this year’s jaw-dropping Consumer Reports sunscreen study, like the sad fact that very few sunscreens actually live up to their claims. (Here’s just a few of the Consumer Reports sunscreens that earned top marks: La Roche Posay Anthelios Melt-in Cream SPF 50, Banana Boat SunComfort Clear UltraMist Spray SPF 50+, Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch Ultra Radiance SPF 30, Trader Joe’s Sunscreen Spray SPF 50, Bullfrog Land Quick Gel SPF 50 Sunscreen.) And for the grand finale, you’ll hear their honest reviews on the SPF formulas for face that they’d actually buy again—and which ones weren’t worth the hype (Nexxxxxt….!).

Products mentioned in this episode:

Jill’s faves:
La Roche Posay Anthelios XL Dry Touch Gel Cream SPF 60
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch SPF 60

Carlene’s fave
La Roche Posay Anthelios Ultra-fluid Lotion SPF 60 (aka Shaka Lotion)
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Face Sunscreen SPF 60
Coola SPF 50 Classic Face Sport Classic Sunscreen White Tea Moisturizer
Neutrogena Sheer Zinc SPF (mineral protection)

A comprehensive list of all the face sunscreens we tested:

Murad Age Reform Invisiblur Perfecting Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 30
Shiseido Ultra Sun Protection Lotion SPF 50+ Wetforce
Dermalogica Super Sensitive Shield SPF 30
Clé de Peau Beauté UV Protective Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 50+
Coola SPF 50 Classic Face Sport Classic Sunscreen White Tea Moisturizer
Vichy Idéal Soleil SPF 60 Anti-Shine Dry Touch Lotion
Amore Pacific Moisture Sun Protector Broad Spectrum SPF 35 Sunscreen
Beauty Blender Selfie Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 38 Dry Oil Primer
La Roche Posay Anthelios Ultra Fluid Lotion SPF 60
Estée Lauder Perfectionist Pro Multi-Défense UV Fluid SPF 45

Aveeno Face Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50 for Sensitive Skin
Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Face Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50
Consonant The Perfect Sunscreen SPF 30
Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF 30 Broad Spectrum Sunscreen
Supergoop Play 100% Mineral Lotion SPF 50
Vichy Idéal Soleil SPF 60 100% Mineral Filter
Institut Estherderm UV Protect Your Protector Care 100% Mineral Very High Protection SPF 50
Ava Isa Pure Untinted Matte SPF 45 Sunscreen With Certified Organic Bio UVA Ultra

Every product is independently selected by Breaking Beauty Podcast hosts and/or guests. Products you purchase through our links may earn us a commission.

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