Product Review: Kari Gran Three Sixty Five SPF 28



Last summer I had little patience for sunscreen. I barely wore it, opting for sunhats most of the time. After a number of years searching for “the one”, I still hadn’t found it. Vive Sana was the first mineral sunscreen I bought years ago (remember that NMDL fav?), and it was far too rich and never absorbed properly—a trend I would come to recognize as all too common among natural sunscreens. Eventually I found a few that worked well only to see them reformulated for the worse not long after discovering them. Back to square one. I had a good run with Pratima’s Neem Rose Face Sunscreen, which I still enjoy. I think I’d try it again if I could get over the exorbitant shipping cost, which amounts to 1/3 of the cost of the sunscreen. Of course, there’s the beautiful Josh Rosebrook Nutrient Day Cream and Juice Beauty’s CC Cream. Both wear like regular moisturizers without a hint of zinc, but these don’t offer the level of protection my fair skin needs when out in the summer sun.

Fortunately, a few new mineral SPFs have hit the market this summer from some of my favorite clean brands, including Kari Gran.

Kari Gran wants us to know that our skin needs protection from UV rays 365 days a year, hence their aptly titled Three Sixty Five SPF 28 broad spectrum physical facial sunscreen. While it may be true that sun protection is our biggest line of defense against premature aging, I’ve never been the type to wear SPF every single day of the year (see above), but all that may be changing. Finding an elegant new SPF formula and heading another year deeper into my 30s makes for a convincing set of circumstances. Time will tell come winter, but I’m protecting my skin with a physical SPF everyday this summer, and—get this—I’m actually enjoying it. Daily SPF is easy when your skin loves the ingredients.

I’m a huge fan of Kari Gran (we all love the Lip Whips here at NMDL) so I ordered Three Sixty Five the instant I saw it on Instagram. The simple formula caught my eye, especially with irresistible oils like red raspberry seed oil (oh hey natural SPF) and French plum seed oil. Since I love the quality of Kari Gran’s oils, I knew this new formula wouldn’t disappoint.

With 9 ingredients total, Three Sixty Five is perfect for sensitive skin, and it wears just like a high quality facial oil. As with any facial oil, less is more. When applied in a thin sheer layer—or barely a pump’s worth for the whole face—Three Sixty Five absorbs nicely and acts as a great primer under makeup. Though not completely invisible—the non-nano zinc oxide leaves a barely there trace (it is a non-nano, mineral sunblock after all)—the effect is actually one I welcome. It brightens and evens out my complexion, creating an almost airbrushed effect, so I find I wear less makeup with this SPF, and the makeup I do wear lasts longer. It’s a relief to find an SPF like Three Sixty Five for the summer, and this gorgeous formula may just convince me to wear SPF all year long.

Have you tried the new Kari Gran Three Sixty Five SPF or found another clean sunscreen you love? Share in the comments!


*photo via Kari Gran

20 Responses to “Product Review: Kari Gran Three Sixty Five SPF 28”
  1. Naomi says:

    I really struggle with this one! I have hyper-sensitive skin when it comes to physical block and the heat, even heat alone makes my skin freak out. Couple that with quite a fair, freckled complexion and having already experiences a bout of basal cell skin cancer I am in a pickle! I love being outside, I don’t want to give that up. I love fresh air and sunshine and hiking and water sports and just generally feeling carefree in the great outdoors with my dog. I have spent a small fortune trying out pretty much EVERYTHING ever mentioned on this site, including in comments. Anything with zinc no matter what the base or the formulation makes my skin inflamed and angry – it seems to trap heat and sweat and it’s a recipe for disaster. I stick to hats (hot in summer and leave me with sweaty flattened hat head) and avoiding being outdoors at peak times (like 11am through 3pm which is quite limiting) but I’m just not satisfied I’ve found the right solution, I’m not happy with these restrictions. I’ve reverted to a not-so-clean sunscreen (Supergoop) with the excuse that I believe it is better than the more real (to me) threat of more skin cancer (hello hours of surgery and 1+ years of pain afterwards while sensitive areas heal) and am also, this year, trying raspberry seed oil although I have no idea what level of SPF I can expect from this.

    I really REALLY want something that works for me. I love love love being outside. I love surfing (admittedly terrible at it but love it) and kayaking and other stuff on the water which I know just increases the risk.

    Okay, so I have nothing valuable to add on this. No suggestions, no miracle ideas. But weighing in to say I’m delighted to see this post and can’t wait to read comments from others.

  2. Linda says:

    This product sounds so intriguing. I’ve been addicted to the Suntegrity primer with SPF 30 in it. I’ve gone through countless jars and wear it every single day. It has really helped to change my skin and protect it. I’ve got crazy hyperpigmentation issues and I feel like any sun exposure just exacerbates things. The Suntegrity has helped to calm it down. The Kari Gran sounds interesting but since it is an oil, I’d worry that it isn’t as effective.

  3. Geri says:

    I wanted to try the Pratima also but cancelled my order when I got to the shipping cost. I have been using Juice Beauty the last year and like the SPF 30 Tinted mineral moisturizer as well as the CC spf. I also like Suntegrity’s products and Josh Rosebrook but they are a little more expensive. I am curious about Kari Gran’s 365 and hope I can get a sample with my next order from Integrity Botanicals (boy do I love samples!!) I have been wearing sunscreen DAILY for over 20 years-always a zinc oxide one-I started with Neutrogena that had zinc or titanium oxide in it before I even thought about a chemical being a bad thing!! I have always liked the evening and brightening effect of the zinc, too and now I like that my skin is younger and smoother than most (ok almost all) of the women in my age group that I see. Linda—I never thought about an oil not being as effective.

  4. Katy says:

    Sounds very interesting. Will you share swatch photos? :)

  5. Charlotte D says:

    Always fun to hear about new sunscreens! Thanks for the post. But one question for you, Susannah: I’m curious why you say the Juice Beauty CC cream isn’t enough for your fair skin in the summertime? It has 20% zinc oxide, where the Kari Gran you discuss here has 17%.

  6. Heather says:

    Charlotte, I was curious about that as well. Josh Rosebrook’s Nutrient Day Cream is labeled as SPF 30 and the Kari Gran is SPF 28. Susannah, do you believe the Josh Rosebrook does not live up to it’s SPF claim? Thanks!

  7. Jackie says:

    I’ve been obsessed with the Kari Gran System + Lip Whip for years. It’s customizable for year round use and absolutely elegant, pure, and clean to the core. I’m also obsessed with finding the perfect facial sunscreen – something translucent, silky soft, and doesn’t smell awful. I too ordered 365 the second I saw it go up online.

    IT IS, BY FAR, THE BEST FACIAL SUNSCREEN I HAVE EVER USED. Clean, non-oily feeling but still highly moisturizing. Plus, the SPF is just right and the formula smells gorgeous. The glass (eco!) UV-protecting bottles match the whole KG line to make a cohesive, chic lineup on my bathroom counter. Until I found 365 I was using TATCHA Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen SPF 35. It was fine and met most of my requirements. However, I still have a hard time trusting the brands that keep getting bigger. Kari Gran is hand formulated and poured at their HQ in Seattle, how much more transparent can a company get?

    Buy it, you won’t be disappointed.

  8. Kate says:

    @Naomi – this is pretty much me in a nutshell. I don’t even want to think about the amount of money I’ve spent on physical blocks just hoping and praying that this formula would be “the one.” On top of the sensitivity issue you mentioned, I have really, really dry skin so anything with zinc in it seems to both trigger some sort of rash and cause flakiness. Super, super attractive. Much like you, I’ve given up for now and I went with Coola (the one with the chemical block). I knew I could at least feel ok about the rest of the ingredients in it apart from the active sunscreen ones. Sorry to not have any good solutions but I wanted to offer a sensitive skin solidarity to you!!!

  9. Kelly says:

    I dislike pratima’s shipping cost too, but is still half the price of kari gran since you get 2 ounce instead of one. Plus if you buy a few at a time it’s a real bargain. I just don’t like that a sunscreen is only 1 ounce, it feels like they are trying to fool you that your getting a good deal but your not when the size is so small.

  10. Naomi says:

    @Kate – thanks! :)

  11. Sarah Roberts says:

    I have a few thoughts/responses, but my overall feeling is that I am excited to try this!

    1) I too was confused by the claim that the juice and JR products weren’t enough protection compared to the Kari Gran. It might be explained by a difficulty using enough of a tinted product to get full protection? But I am just fine using 2 pumps daily of Suntegrity 5-in-1 so I also found this really confusing.
    2) If this oil sunscreen is a less-is-more situation, how can I use enough (1/4 teaspoon) to guarantee that I am getting the full SPF?
    3) for folks who can’t do zinc-based sunscreens, I have a thought! What about coated zinc? It is less popular in the eco world, but it should provide the same or better UV protection while preventing the zinc from irritating your skin.
    4) Why oh why is the Pratima shipping so high? I bought some when I was in NYC and it truly is lovely, but I’m not sure I will repurchase any time soon because of the price :(

  12. @Naomi I hope you find your holy grail sunscreen! The struggle is real, right?

    @Linda the oil format is totally effective! I’ve put it to the test and it really stays put. Great absorption power.

    @Charlotte @Heather Juice Beauty tends to sit on top of my skin and leave a sheen that bothers me in my humid climate. It tends to slide around on my face, so I feel like it’s not as protective after I’ve been wearing it all day and head out into the sun later in the afternoon, and I’m not one to reapply in the middle of the day. Suntegrity also tends to sit on top of my skin in the same way. The Nutrient Day Cream is beautiful to wear, smells fab and is ultra calming. It’s a great daily SPF and has protected my skin well in almost every case except on two occasions when I was caught out in direct sun light for about an hour right before noon. I shouldn’t have been out in that kind of sun anyway. I didn’t burn, and I totally would have without the NDC, but I experienced some pink-ening.

    @Sarah great questions. I know that the all three sunscreens have comparable amounts of zinc, so maybe it boils down to the other ingredients in the formula and how they wear on skin, which of course is highly individual. I wonder if maybe the fact that you can see more of the zinc in the Kari Gran formula explains why I’ve gotten better protection with it? It is a physical UV blocker so that could make sense. With regard to the less is more point I made, I haven’t needed to use anywhere near 1/4 teaspoon to get great results in the sun. As you smooth the Three Sixty Five across your skin, you can see a protective layer of zinc going on before the oil absorbs. It’s pretty cool.

    @Katy let me get back to you on swatches!

  13. Kate says:

    @Sarah – hmmm, I’m not altogether sure if I’ve tried anything with coated zinc! Now I’m going to have to go down a research rabbit hole and see what I can find out. Thanks for the suggestion! :)

  14. Katy says:

    @Susannah Thanks! Pics really help :)

  15. Michelle says:

    Susannah, do you use any other moisturizer with this product or is this your final moisturizer/primer/oil all-in-one? I’m in SoCal with very dry weather combined with very dry skin so my current rotation is the Pai chamomile moisturizer mixed with a few drops of the One Live Organics Oh Mega chia oil. I let that sink in and then use Supergoop’s CC cream with SPF 40. My skin seems to really like those combined but I know Supergoop isn’t the cleanest out there so I’ve been looking for alternatives. I’ve tried the Juice Beauty and Suntegrity but I’m with you, they don’t seem to absorb very well on my skin and leave that shiny-sunscreeny film. thanks for the review!

  16. I just found out that this is the Beauty Heroes selection for July!!! So excited to try it this weekend :)

  17. Jess says:

    What about UVA?

  18. Liz says:

    What are people’s take on whether this product is for oily skin? Will it break out oily skin. Two of the main ingredients are Avocado and Macadamia Oil which are high on the Comedogenic scale.

  19. @Michelle I’ve used this all on it’s own as my main moisturizer, but more often I use it on top of something else, like my Pai Replenishing Day Cream, the LBF Supernova Day Cream, Barbary Fig Seed Oil, and a handful of other things. I decide based on how my skin is feeling/looking each day, but bottom line—it’s beautiful every which way I’ve tried it! I think it would work really well with your current rotation.

  20. Hy says:

    Have you ever try Living Libations sunscreen called Everybody Loves The Sunshine?
    I wonder how it works throughout a day ;)
    Love your post

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