putting SPF on again after you've done your face to maintain optimal UV protection has been tricky until now – these broad-spectrum formulas are a promising trend
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putting SPF on again after you've done your face to maintain optimal UV protection has been tricky until now – these broad-spectrum formulas are a promising trend
Bioderma Hydrabio SPF 30 Care Water

Bioderma Hydrabio SPF 30 Care Water (fragrance- and paraben-free)

Earlier this week we geeked out large about the coolest SPF release this year: fragrance-free Bioderma Hydrabio SPF 30 Care Water sunscreen. Its ultra-light, non-oily, alcohol-free mist format seems like the answer to our sunscreen-over-makeup prayers! Except the commute to buy it involves a flight to France, which is bit heavy on the wallet. A couple of other options, however, are available closer to home.

American friends, Coola Makeup Setting Spray SPF 30 and SuperGoop! Defense Refreshing Mist SPF 50 are both sitting on shelves (or the other side of your computer screen) at Sephora. Yep, you have ultra-light sunscreen mists, right there in the United States. So for you, reapplying sunscreen over your makeup could be as simple as a few seconds of spraying in a descending zig-zag from forehead to decollete. For the rest of us, it seems we'll have to make do with mineral powder for a bit longer. But let's at least look at the two sprays currently on the same continent as we are.

coola makeup setting spray spf 30

sunscreen water_coola makeup setting spray spf 30

Coola Makeup Setting Spray SPF 30

Beautygeeks has rather a tricky relationship with Coola -- we got them riled up when I wrote a post warning readers to read Coola labels carefully. Coola calls itself an "organic suncare" brand, which is just a tad misleading. Most consumers see "organic suncare" and assume the formulas contain natural sunscreen ingredients, which isn't always the case with Coola. And few people understand that even natural sunscreen filters – titanium dioxide and zinc oxide – are not and can never be called "organic" in the farming sense of the word. That's because they're minerals; they don't grow like plants.

So don't make the mistake of thinking Coola Makeup Setting Spray SPF 30 ($28 at is made with natural, mineral UV filters. It's not. (Bioderma Hydrabio SPF 30 water isn't either; ingredients are listed again at the end of this post.) The Coola SPF setting-spray formula relies on avobenzone (2.1%), homosalate (3.5%), octinoxate (3.5%) and octisalate (2.8%), the usual chemical filters found in most sunscreens. The "organic" word on this spray's label refers to the base liquid into which those chemical-filter ingredients are mixed. (Note: Coola does offer several fully natural sunscreens with mineral filters, and the Coola website has tons of excellent, clear UVA/UVB and ingredient information more people should read.)

I haven't tried Coola Makeup Setting Spray SPF 30, but I plan to as soon as I can get my hands on it. The formula is dosed with hyaluronic acid to help boost skin's moisture levels. Too bad it's not available in Canada yet. (I expect the brand is working on it.)

supergoop! defense refreshing mist spf 50

sunscreen water_Supergoop Defense Refreshing Mist SPF 50

Supergoop! Defense Refreshing Setting Mist SPF 50

Man, I dig so hard that this is an SPF 50. For me, the higher the SPF number, the higher the UVA protection.** Like the Coola and Bioderma sprays, Supergoop! Defense Refreshing Mist SPF 50 ($28 at is made with chemical filters: avobenzone (3%), homosalate (4%), octinoxate (6%), and octisalate (3%). For a cooling effect on the skin, this spray also contains peppermint and spearmint extracts, which unfortunately may irritate sensitive skin. Still, I'll be giving this a try at some point too. Just not yet, because it isn't yet available in Canada either. *sigh*

how to apply sunscreen over makeup

With a sunscreen water or sunscreen mists such as Bioderma Hydrabio SPF 30 or Coola Makeup Setting Spray SPf 30 or Supergoop! Defense Refreshing Mist SPF 50, application how-to is important to ensure we get the full SPF coverage promised on the bottle. We'll follow the suggested application method suggested by Bioderma's David Durand: spray your SPF mist for 5 seconds using a descending zig-zag motion from forehead to decollete.

Until we Canadians get hands on those ultra-light sunscreen sprays, though, we can continue to top up our makeup with layers of mineral sunscreen powder, such as Eminence Mineral Defense Sunscreen Powder SPF 30 (at select spas and Just note that according to Eminence, this sunscreen powder works best under a spritz of hydrating mist (they recommend their Stone Crop spray) to ensure the minerals knit together to form a more uniform UV protection over the skin than it does without. 

Other options: mineral sunscreen powder by Peter Thomas Roth and Colorescience (at

bioderma hydrabio vs coola and supergoop

Liza has this amazing brain when it comes to the beauty industry and context, so I'll tell you what she tells me about these three sprays. "I think it's smart the way that Bioderma markets Hydrabio SPF 30 in France, because Brumis (brumisateurs) are way more popular over there than they are here," she says. "Both the Supergoop and the Coola are marketed as makeup setting sprays, not just refreshing hydra-mists. I think I'd feel more comfortable pulling a 'water spray' like Bioderma out of my bag at midday rather than a 'makeup setting spray.' Also, a cooling water mist implies that you'll use it multiple times throughout the day for both refreshment and a sunscreen top-up."

I rather agree with her assessment, of course. What do you think?

Whatever your point of view on each of these sprays, as with Bioderma Hydrabio SPF 30 Care Water, it sucks for Canadians that neither Coola Makeup Setting Spray SPF 30 nor Supergoop can be purchased here. But at least they're closer, on the same continent. We'll have to beg favours from our south-0f-the-border BFFs. Or road trip!

More importantly though, these ultra-light mists are a breakthrough – surely we'll start to see similar sunscreen formats from other brands, and their accessibility will increase, right?

So, US beautygeeks: has any of you tried Supergoop! Defense Refreshing Mist SPF 50 or Coola Makeup Setting Spray SPF 30? There are reviews on Sephora's site, but we'd love to hear your feedback!

shoppity shop-shop

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**In North America SPF indicates only UVB protection – defense against sunburn. But in broad-spectrum sunscreen, some of the ingredients that filter out UVB also excel at filtering out UVA rays, which penetrate the skin more deeply than UVB. They include titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, but you can only go so high with mineral filters before the formula gets heavy and looks white on your skin. More suitable for sheer, weightless textures, chemical filters such as oxybenzone and octocrylene protect against UVA and UVB; avobenzone protects against UVA. High levels of those ingredients (max allowable is apparently 6%, 10% and 3% respectively; confirmation pending) usually means high SPF numbers.

Coola Makeup Setting Spray SPF 30 ingredients:
Avobenzone 2.1%, Homosalate 3.5%, Octinoxate 3.5%, and Octisalate 2.8%: Offer sunscreen protection. Alcohol*, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract*, Algae Extract*, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Water*, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract*, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Fragrance (Natural), Glycerin*, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, PVP, Silica Silylate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Water. *Certified Organic.

Supergoop! Defense Refreshing Mist SPF 50 ingredients:
Avobenzone 3%, Homosalate 4%, Octinoxate 6%, and Octisalate 3%: Provide sunscreen protection. Alcohol Denat, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Isododecane, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Stem/Leaf Oil, Mentha Viridis (Spearmint) Leaf Oil, PVP, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Silica Silylate, Water.

Bioderma Hydrabio SPF 30 Care Water ingredients:
Aqua/Water/Eau, cyclopentasiloxane, disodium phenyl dibenzimidazole tetrasulfonate, glycerin, homosalate, octocrylene, ethylhexyl salicylate, cyclohexasiloxane, butylene glycol, phenylbenzimidazole sulfonic acid, arginine, sodium hydroxide, pentylene glycol, 1,2-hexanediol, caprylyl glycol, disodium edta, mannitol, xylitol, tocopheryl acetate, rhamnose, sodium metabisulfite, ectoin, niaciniamide, hexyldecanol, pyrus malus (apple) seed extract, brassica campestris (rapeseed) sterols, tocopherol.