Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Brand Overview: Solscents (+Giveaway!)

In a beautiful, idealistic world, no one would go without sunscreen. Whether it be winter or summer, rain or shine, everyone would protect their skin with an SPF of at least 15. No one would get sunburned and everyone would be happy. 

Unfortunately, not everyone likes to wear sunscreen. 

Enter: Solscents. 

*I received this product from SolScents for review. After two full weeks of testing, these are my thoughts. All opinions are honest and my own.

SolScents is a company who sells scented sunscreen and lip balm. This is not an entirely new concept, but they take it to a whole new level. They don't just cancel out the typical sunscreen smell, but they add an awesome fragrance to it that makes applying sunscreen almost fun. Many people dislike the smell, or the feel, or insert-lame-reason-why-here, so they don't use sunscreen. Well, SolScents is essentially a company who negates any stupid reason and turns them all into benefits. Seriously, their mission is simply to get people to use more sunscreen. How can you argue with a vigilant goal like that? 

Richie L. Lin, MD, board-certified dermatologist, advises that consistent use of sunscreen is a main factor in preventing signs of premature aging including skin discoloration, dark spots and creases. According to Dr. Lin, "Moderating sun exposure over your lifetime is probably the single best thing one can do to slow the aging process. If you can prevent it from happening, you will be ahead of the game."

All of the wrinkle creams and lotions and potions that people are using in their 50s could probably be avoided just by using an inexpensive sunscreen in their 20s! If you use one "anti-aging" product in your life, make it sunscreen. It takes about 10 years for sun damage to really show its effects, so you won't even realize the damage you're doing to your skin by going without until it's too late! Starting now, you'll help your skin stay young and healthy into your 30s and beyond. 

I've always thought it was strange that some people dislike the smell of sunscreen. I actually like it--it reminds me of summer--but even if I didn't, there's no way I'd go without it. When SolScents contacted me and asked if I'd like to review a product on my blog, I did some research on them and said yes. If I can get at least one more person to use sunscreen with this review, then I like to think I'm making a difference. I wish this counted as community service back when I was in junior high and had to round up 32 hours of volunteer hours to join the National Jr. Honor Society. But, I digress.

Sunscreen Haters: If your relationship with sunscreen is like this, you have no more excuses. NO WAY OUT. 

If you thought that wasn't good enough, they also deliver a portion of the proceeds from every sale to a specific charitable cause. The cause depends on the product you choose. 

From left to right: 
Vanilla Silk, SPF 15 (Orange): Hunger Awareness
PiƱa Colada: SPF 15 (Yellow): Hope for Education
Cucumber Melon, SPF 30 (Green): Environmental Protection
Deep Love, SPF 30 (Blue): Bullying Awareness
Angelica, SPF 30 (Purple): No Animal Cruelty
Flower Blast, SPF 50 (Pink): Breast Cancer Awareness
Raspberry Dreams, SPF 50 (Red): Heart Disease Prevention

*Every sunscreen is matched with a lip balm of the same scent and cause. (Ex - A portion of the proceeds from every Raspberry Dreams Lip Balm goes towards Heart Disease Prevention as well).

I wish I knew how much of the proceeds go towards these causes, as well as the specific charitable organizations that the funds go to, rather than the cause, but I'm still happy that proceeds go towards them at all.

Let's look at the products they sent me: 

Aw, how cute is that? It's like a little nest of sun protection. I like how they actually put effort into their packaging, as opposed to shoving everything into a bubble mailer. Props to you, SolScents. 

I have been testing these products daily for two weeks. Here's what I thought of them: 

Angelica SPF 30 Sunscreen ($14.95 for 8oz) 

Before I get into how awesome this smells (spoilers: incredibly awesome), let's go more into the sunscreen formulation itself. Although I have not personally tried every one, these are the facts that go across the board for every color/cause/scent:
  • Every sunscreen offers broad spectrum protection, UVA & UVB
  • Every sunscreen is water-resistant for 80 minutes
  • Not tested on animals
  • Made in the U.S.A. 
This particular scent is a mixture of passion fruit, lily, and wild rose. If you're expected a complex, multi-layered perfume, look elsewhere, but for a sunscreen, this smells amazing. It's fruity and floral and my kind of scent. With seven scents, there's something out there for everyone's nose. If you ever wanted to pick what you sunscreen smelled like, welcome to utopia. 

The texture is thicker than any sunscreen I've ever used before. It feels thicker, like a true lotion, and it feels more moisturizing, too! It's kind of a multi-functional product in that way, and a definite time saver in the morning. I am a morning shower-taker, which is a problem because I never wake up early enough to do anything, so this has me out the door quicker. I slap some of this on my arms, hands, and anywhere else exposed (in the summer, there is more skin to cover, but since it's still winter I'm wearing so many layers so you might not even be able to detect that it's me). Yes, you have to wear sunscreen in the winter! The Sun is a BAMF and it can penetrate through clouds and bounce off the snow on the ground, so it's essential that you wear sunscreen no matter the season. I do use less in the winter than the summer, since I am wearing more clothes and thus less of my skin is left uncovered, but since I don't walk around in a bodysuit, there is always some place I need to apply sunscreen. 

On the usual morning, I can use this as a lotion, sunscreen, and fragrance, all in one. It doesn't last as long as a concentrated perfume, but after six hours, I could still smell it on my arms. One of my pet peeves is that I need to smell good, and I don't feel self-conscious going out with only this on my body, since it makes me feel fresh, girly, and clean throughout the day. I don't find that my skin feels dry, and winter in New England is C-O-L-D. Needless to say, I'm really enjoying this product! 

I personally would not use this on my face, since I have sensitive skin and this is heavily fragranced. It's not so intense that it gives you a headache, but I prefer to use unscented products on my face when I can. If you would like to try it, more power to you. 

Ingredients: My only issue with this product is the fact that SolScents does not list their ingredients on their website. It's kind of a big issue for me, actually. When someone asked on Facebook, they only offered the active ingredients, which is almost a warning sign to me. I'm an ingredient snob, and many people wouldn't normally care, but that's something I find important. The only way to get the full ingredients list is to buy the product yourself and read the label.

I emailed the PR representative for SolScents about the lack of ingredients, and the very next day she replied with a list of ingredients and their purposes. They get a good grade for customer service in my book! Here are the ingredients for this sunscreen and what they do:

Active Ingredients (Sunscreens): 
Avobenzone, Homosalate (only for SPF 30 and 50), Octisalate, Octocrylene, Oxybenzone (only for SPF 30 and 50) 

Other ("Inactive") Ingredients: Acrylates (Emulsion Stabilizer), Allantoin (Skin Conditioning Agent), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Skin Conditioning Agent), Butylphthalimide (Solvent for Oxybenzone), C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate (Skin Conditioning Agent - Emollient), Carbomer (Viscosity Increasing Agent)< Disodium EDTA (Chelating Agent), Fragrance (Fragrance), Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose (Viscosity Increasing Agent), Isopropylphthalimide (Solvent for Oxybenzone), Methylisothiazolinone (Preservative), Methylparaben (Preservative), Polyethylene (Waterproof Agent), Polysorbate 20 (Emulsifying/Solubilizing Agent), Propylene Glycol (Solvent/ Humectant), Propylparaben (Preservative), Sorbitan Oleate (Emulsifying Agent), Sorbitol (Skin Conditioning Agent - Humectant), Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter (Skin Conditioning Agent), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E) (Antioxidant / Skin Conditioning Agent), Triethanolamine (pH Adjuster), Water (Solvent)

As you can see, this does contain some parabens (ex. methylparaben). Those of you trying to stay away from parabens (which have been linked to breast cancer), that may affect whether or not you purchase this product. You have to ask yourself how much that matters to you. Just something to keep in mind.

I'm kind of a lip balm junkie, so getting another one to add to my collection was exciting. not only that, but many lip balms don't actually have an SPF! Like the sunscreens above, these are not testing on animals, made in the U.S.A., and are water-resistant for 80 minutes. I've never gotten sunburned lips, but Google it (Hell, I'll even do it for you). It's gross. And it's probably painful. I know I talk a lot, so I don't know if I'd be able to handle that. A quick and easy fix is a lip balm with sunscreen! 

When I first looked at it, I thought it looked like one of those hard, waxy lip balms. However, when I tried it, I found that, luckily, that wasn't the case! This makes my lips soft and smooth for around 2 hours. If you lips are chapped and painful, I don't think this will heal them (then I would use Aquaphor), but for an every-day lip balm to create a moisture-barrier between your lips and the rest of the world, this works. It also smells awesome (sweet, like raspberries). When I saw that their lip balms matched the sunscreens, I wasn't sure how I would feel about the flowery scents, but they've altered them! Thinking ahead, I love it! The Angelica lip balm mainly concentrates of the passion fruit scent, rather than than the floral, so it won't seem like you're eating flowers. Huzzah.

The only flaw in my glowing review, is the lack of ingredients list on their website. I really hope they change that soon, because if I didn't get the chance to sample it beforehand, it would seriously impact my decision to order them or not. However, if you wanted the specifics on anything, I'm sure you could email them like I did and they would reply to you no problem.

I copied the ingredients list for you all from the label on my lip balm.

Active Ingredients: Octinate 6.5%, Octisalate 5%, Avobenzone 2%, Octorylene 1.5%

Inactive Ingredients: Coconut Oil, Beeswax, Sunflower Oil, Flavor, Dimenthicone, Shea Butter, Rosemary Extract, Vitamin E, Stevia Leaf Extract

This product contains a lot of moisturizing ingredients in it! Those trying to stay away from silicones (ex. dimenthicone) may be wary of this lip balm, but other than that, I'm quite pleased with the list.

To my knowledge, SolScents is not sold is any chain stores (at least not near me), so the only way to order them in on their website. They also offer value packs, including sunscreen and lip balm duos, and multiple bottles of sunscreen. Shipping is $5 for the first item and $1 for every consecutive item, with free shipping on orders $35+, so it's best to order in bulk if you find that you like it.

Overall, I had an extremely pleasant experience with these two products, so I contacted the SolScents representative I spoke to earlier and asked if I could do a giveaway for you guys! One winner will receive one (1) Angelica sunscreen and one (1) Raspberry Dreams lip balm. See below for details:

Official Giveaway Rules

 1. This giveaway is open to readers anywhere in the United States ages 18 or over. 
 2. Winners will be generated by Rafflecopter/Random.org and announced one week from today (Tuesday, March 11, 2014). 
 3. If you win, you will be notified via Facebook, email, and Twitter. If you do not respond within 72 hours to accept your prize, a new winner will be chosen. 
 4. College Beauty Buff is not responsible for any products lost or damaged in shipment, electronic malfunctions, taxes, death, or Bowser Attacks. I am merely choosing a winner randomly and submitting the shipping info to SolScents, who will handle the rest. (Aka, if something bad happens, it's not my fault, and I am waiving all liability). 
 5. If you are chosen as a winner, and I find out you just followed/entered to win and then unfollowed after your points were calculated: you get nothing, you lose, good day sir.

tl;dr: Don't be an asshat, I will ban choose another winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
In case you don't win, SolScents products are quite affordable! When I run out of these I would highly consider repurchasing, because everyone needs sunscreen (so why not have it smell good?). You can check out their YouTube Channel, Facebook, and Twitter if you'd like to find out more.

What do you think about the idea of scented sunscreen products? Wish you'd thought of it first? Seen other similar items out there? Tell me below in the comments!

Disclaimer: These products were sent for review. All opinions are honest and my own. I am not sponsored, nor affiliated with SolScents or any other brand mentioned in this post. College Beauty Buff does not accept monetary compensation for reviews. 

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