We purchased Coola’s Full Spectrum 360° Sun Silk Drops so our writer could put it to the test. Keep reading for our full product review.
It's no secret that wearing sunscreen daily is essential, but so many formulas are thick, greasy, and not exactly a joy to use overall—trust me, I would know. Historically, I’ve had trouble finding a sunscreen that layers underneath my other skincare products and makeup, so I’m always on the hunt for one that I’ll actually want to wear (and is formulated with clean ingredients).
So, when I discovered the Full Spectrum 360° Sun Silk Drops—an innovative sunscreen-skincare hybrid from Coola, a California-based sun care brand (and Byrdie fave)—I was eager to try it out for myself. In addition to broad-spectrum SPF 30 protection, it claims to shield the skin from damage caused by blue light, infrared, and pollution. But does it really work as promised? To find out, I put it to the test myself. Read on for my honest thoughts.
Coola Full Spectrum 360° Sun Silk Drops
Star Rating: 4.5/5
Best For: All skin types
Uses: Sun protection, anti-aging
Potential Allergens: None
Active Ingredients: Avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene
Byrdie Clean?: Yes
About the Brand: Coola is a California-based beauty brand known for its eco- and skin-friendly sun care products.
About My Skin: Combination and acne-prone
I have combination and acne-prone skin, so I’m fighting the constant battle of choosing products that work for oily skin without accentuating dry spots or breaking me out. I also have dark spots and hyperpigmentation, so wearing sunscreen—especially in sunny Miami where I live—is super important to me.
Ingredient Quality: A chemical formula with lots of benefits
This product is a broad-spectrum chemical sunscreen—meaning it protects against both UVA and UVB rays—with an SPF of 30. Its active ingredients are avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, and octocrylene. Although this product is clean by Byrdie's standards, it's worth noting that the EWG found that avobenzone can cause irritation. Fortunately, though, oxybenzone—a potential endocrine disruptor and an ingredient banned in Hawaii due to the damage it causes to coral reefs—is nowhere to be found on its ingredient list.
Beyond sun protection, Coola's formula claims to provide several other benefits. Hyaluronic acid provides a hydrating boost, while the brand's proprietary Full Spectrum 360° complex infuses the skin with plant stem cells and antioxidants. The brand claims the formula protects against air pollution and damage from HEV light (also known as blue light) and infrared. It’s also vegan and cruelty-free.
Application: Fun-to-use dropper
One of my favorite things about this sunscreen is its packaging and application. The small glass bottle is a translucent purple-pink color, and you apply the product via a dropper. But it’s not your typical dropper. Instead of squeezing to dispense the product, there's a button on top of the cap that you press to get the product in and out of the tube. I found it to be faster and more effective than other dropper bottles.
The Feel: Super light and blendable
Right out of the dropper, the sunscreen is light, smooth, and iridescent. Honestly, I’ve never tried a sunscreen quite as silky as this one. Also, one of the brand's main claims about this product is how lightweight and fast-absorbing it is, and I found this to be true. To me, it feels more like a super light serum than any sunscreen I’ve tried—and it blends in just as well as one. (It's also worth noting that this product can also be mixed with your go-to moisturizer or foundation, but this can reduce the value of its SPF.)
In order to get the full benefits of SPF in this product, the brand suggests applying three to five drops per area of the face (T-zone, cheeks, neck, and so on) 15 minutes before sun exposure. This formula isn't water-resistant, though, so be sure to reapply it after swimming or sweating—in addition to every two hours, as is recommended.
Fragrance: Light and beachy
Although this product is formulated sans artificial fragrances, it's scented with extracts like jasmine and orange flower. To me, it smells like a luxurious beach day complete with crystal clear water and a fancy cabana. I tend to dislike fragrances in my skin products, but this one didn’t bother me. It's also not very strong—after each application, I didn't smell it on myself again.
The Results: Protects skin without irritating it
Directly after application, this sunscreen felt slightly tacky on my skin, so I usually let it soak in for a few minutes before applying my foundation. When applied this way, I found that it virtually disappears and doesn’t interfere with my makeup whatsoever—in fact, I might even say it adds a bit of moisture and makes my foundation look better. After each day of wear, my skin was no more oily or dry than normal. Also, it's never broken me out or caused skin irritation.
One day, I used this product as my primary SPF (along with sunglasses and a hat) on a long, sunny boat day. I didn’t get wet or sweat very much—but I did forget to reapply it every two hours as instructed. Even so, I was so surprised to find that besides a slightly pinker nose, my face wasn’t burned at all.
The Value: Pricey for the size
Coola Full Spectrum 360° Sun Silk Drops Sunscreen is priced at $46 for a 1-ounce bottle. This is pretty steep for a sunscreen (you can find quality SPF for much less), but when considering its added skincare benefits and innovative formula, the price feels worth it to me.
Similar Products: It's pretty unique
Murad City Skin Age Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50: If you like the idea of Coola’s sunscreen but prefer mineral sunscreens, you might like Murad’s sunscreen. It also has a higher SPF of 50 instead of 30. At first glance, the $68 price tag is steep, but when you compare the 1.7-ounce bottle to Coola’s scant 1 ounce, it comes out at a slightly cheaper price per ounce. Like Coola, the Murad sunscreen also claims to protect against pollution, as well as blue and infrared light.
Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 40: While still pricey, Supergoops’s Unseen Screen is much more affordable at $34 for 1.7 ounces. It provides broad-spectrum SPF 40, as well as antioxidants and purported blue light protection. Unlike Coola Sun Silk Drops, Supergoop’s product is specially formulated to play well under makeup and leaves a primer-like finish to keep oil at bay and help makeup stay on longer.
Our Verdict: It's worth it
You know when you want to hate an expensive product so you don’t have to buy it again, but you just can’t? That’s how I feel about Coola Full Spectrum 360° Sun Silk Drops. Its formula manages to pack in many impressive features, and it's actually fun to wear. Unfortunately for my bank account (but fortunately for my skin!), I’ll definitely be buying it in the future.
Environmental Working Group (EWG). The trouble with ingredients in sunscreens.
Downs CA, Kramarsky-Winter E, Segal R, et al. Toxicopathological effects of the sunscreen UV filter, oxybenzone (Benzophenone-3), on coral planulae and cultured primary cells and its environmental contamination in Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol. 2016;70(2):265-288. doi:10.1007/s00244-015-0227-7
Jegasothy SM, Zabolotniaia V, Bielfeldt S. Efficacy of a new topical nano-hyaluronic acid in humans. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2014;7(3):27-29.