From their gorgeous packaging to their luxurious formulas, Glow Recipe is all about making skincare an indulgent experience. So when they decided to develop a sunscreen (potentially the most useful, but least spa-like product out there), the brand took their time perfecting the product. "Our Watermelon Glow Niacinamide SPF 50 was a true labor of love. Over the past three years, we tested over 50 iterations until we created the SPF of our dreams with every item on our wish list formulated into one sunscreen," Sarah Lee, co-founder and co-CEO of Glow Recipe, tells Byrdie.
At last, the brand's first-ever SPF is finally here. Launching today (Feb. 22), the new Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Sunscreen SPF 50 ($34) is the latest addition to the brand's watermelon family, which is already a longtime fave among Glow Recipe customers. Known for its powerful vitamins and brightening properties, watermelon extract is one of the brand's go-to ingredients for good reason. In this formula, the powerhouse ingredient takes the chore of applying sunscreen and transforms it into an enjoyable last step of your skincare routine.
"Our Watermelon Glow Niacinamide SPF 50 is the sunscreen you’ll actually want to wear as it’s packed with good-for-skin ingredients," Christine Chang, co-founder and co-CEO of Glow Recipe, explains. "It truly is the hybrid skincare-sunscreen all-in-one product that you’ll want to end your daily skincare routine with!"
Ahead, learn more about Glow Recipe's new SPF, and read our honest reviews.
Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Sunscreen SPF 50
Best For: All skin types
Key Ingredients: Watermelon extract, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, aloe
Why We Love It: Non-greasy, lightweight formula, broad spectrum protection, and a dewy finish
The Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Sunscreen SPF 50 was made to meet the needs of Glow Recipe's dewy skin-loving customers. And for them, a greasy, heavy sunscreen would never work. "When we asked our community what they wanted in an SPF, they asked us to create it in our watermelon family for the signature sensorial experience they love," Chang says.
This mission—of meeting and exceeding their customers' expectations—continued to inspire product development. The end result? A sunscreen that feels great going on and actually looks good once it's applied (aka no white cast or chalkiness to be found).
"The texture is lightweight, easily blendable and provides our signature dewy glow—without greasiness—upon application," Chang says. "And we were able to achieve a pleasant sensorial experience with 100% naturally derived fragrance and without synthetic fragrance or essential oils. It really is the SPF that you’ll actually want to wear!"
When the brand first started experimenting with the new SPF, the team began formulating a chemical sunscreen simultaneously with a mineral-based sunscreen formula. "[We] soon realized that we wanted to create a hybrid formula that provided the best of both worlds protection," Lee tells us. "Chemical sunscreens are lightweight and easily absorbed, while mineral sunscreens on the other hand are great for sensitive skin types as they tend to be gentler, especially for acne-prone skin." By combining both, Glow Recipe created a hybrid formula that actually achieved SPF 59 during FDA testing.
Though "SPF is the most important step of your skincare routine," per Chang (and pretty much everyone else), protecting your skin from sun damage wasn't the brand's only goal. Glow Recipe wanted the new product to address the rest of your skin's needs, as well.
To accomplish this, the brand packed the formula with ingredients like Glow Recipe's signature antioxidant-rich watermelon, along with texture-evening niacinamide and soothing aloe vera. The addition of hyaluronic acid makes it ultra hydrating and plumping to boot.
Hannah Kerns, beauty news writer
Sunscreen gets a bad (and oftentimes deserved) rep for being too thick and impossible to rub in. And although I'm willing to brave almost anything for good sun protection, I'm always on the lookout for options that are more pleasant to apply. And Glow Recipe's new SPF definitely fits the bill. Lightweight and blendable, the texture of this sunscreen feels more like a gentle moisturizer than a hardworking SPF.
Beyond the smooth application, this sunscreen also proved to be a great match for my acne-prone skin. It didn't leave any greasy residue or clog my pores. It actually seemed to do the opposite. When I used this SPF, my skin looked more even-toned—an effect I thought I could only achieve with a tinted option. So far, this sunscreen has been a really great last step in my morning skincare routine.
Hallie Gould, editorial director
One of the brand's most anticipated products to date—Glow Recipe die-hards have been asking for sunscreen since launch—took years to develop. And it shows. A hybrid chemical and mineral formula, this "skinscreen" uses the best of both worlds to offer effective UVA/UVB protection and a comfortable, glowy finish. It's a pleasure to apply, looks great under makeup, and has Glow Recipe's signature watermelon scent (while also dosing your skin with niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and aloe).
Aimee Simeon, senior editor
I’m a huge fan of Glow Recipe’s watermelon range, so when I got wind of an SPF addition to the category I was excited. When I twisted open the chic pink tube, I was even more excited that the SPF formula had the refreshing watermelon fragrance I love. I applied two healthy drops to each side of my face and blended away. No white cast, no stickiness, and moisturized, supple skin were my results, and I was extremely pleased. It’s already in my medicine cabinet next to my favorite formulas.