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Sunscreen isn't what it used to be, and trust us, that's a good thing. We no longer have to pay a price for sun protection. We don't have to put up with greasy lotions, chalky residue, and sullen, gray complexions like we did in the past. No, today's SPF products are effective, lightweight, and barely detectable on the skin. What's more is that they come in almost every form imaginable, from sprays and mists to oils, highlighters, eyeshadows, and beyond. It's official: the new wave of sunscreen is here, and it's about time.
Keep scrolling to see 18 sunscreen products that go beyond the standard lotion and spray delivery method to revolutionize the way you protect your skin. From SPF-infused eyeshadows to sunscreen drops and highlighter hybrids, these are the most innovative SPF products on the market.
Supergoop! Poof 100% Mineral Part and Scalp Powder SPF 45
Have you ever been sunburnt on your scalp? It's not pleasant. That's what this product aims to prevent. It's a 100% mineral sunscreen powder (SPF 45) that you spray onto your scalp, just like dry shampoo, and it keeps any exposed skin protected from harmful UVA and UVB rays. It also absorbs excess oil (so it really is just like a dry shampoo) and volumizes the hair while it's at it. This is one of the only hair products you need to tote to the beach with you.
Coola Organic Scalp & Hair Mist SPF 30
Here's another scalp-protecting product from Coola. This one protects the scalp and hair from heat, UV rays, and color fading with an antioxidant-rich SPF 30 formula that includes chemical sunscreen blockers as well as pro-vitamin B5 and monoi oil. It's vegan, cruelty-free, and 70% organic.
This Phyto spray protects the hair and scalp from damaging sun rays thanks to built-in UV filters and sunflower extracts. These ingredients also create a shield to prevent moisture loss from chlorine, saltwater, and the sun. To reap all of these benefits, simply spritz it over your hair and scalp before heading out into the sun.
SACHAJUAN Hair In The Sun
This UV-filtering product is a mix between a hair masque and a styling cream. It protects your hair, and your hair color, from damaging sun rays, while algae-based minerals and proteins smooth and strengthen each strand.
Coola Full Spectrum 360 Sun Silk Drops
Coola's organic sunscreen protects against UVA and UVB light, as well as HEV (or high energy visible) light. That means it protects the skin from sun damage and electronic light damage. Each morning, add a few drops into your palm, press your hands together, and apply onto the face and neck in upward strokes. It's quick and easy, and your future self will thank you for it.
Dr. Barbara Sturm Sun Drops
Dr. Barbara Sturm has created one of team Byrdie's favorite skincare lines. Her namesake Sun Drops are lightweight, hydrating, and provide SPF 50. Use the dropper to deposit a few drops of the lightweight liquid into your palms and press them into the skin. Or, add a few droplets into your favorite moisturizer or foundation.
Tarte Tarteguard Mineral Powder Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30
Here's the problem with traditional SPF. You apply it in the morning and then you apply your makeup. Once your makeup is on, you don't want to re-apply a wet sunscreen, because it will mess up your makeup. The solution is to use a powdered SPF that you can brush on over the top of your makeup. It's brilliant, right? This one from Tarte offers full-spectrum SPF 30 UVA and UVB protection.
Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush-On Shield SPF 50
This brush-on powder SPF from Colorescience is something of a cult favorite. It provides protection from UVA and UVB light, pollution, blue light, and infrared radiation, all at once.
Paula's Choice On-the-Go-Shielding Powder SPF 30
This brush-on powder SPF from Paula's Choice is formulated with vitamin A, E, and C, as well as ceramides, and zinc oxide, so it treats the skin while protecting it with SPF 30.
ILIA Beauty Flow-Thru Radiant Translucent Powder SPF 20
Natural cosmetics brand Ilia also has a brush-on SPF powder, which is cruelty-free and vegan. What makes this one stand apart from the rest is its micro-fine pearl pigments, which reflect light for a glowy finish.
Supergoop! Glow Stick Sunscreen SPF 50
Imagine a facial oil, a highlighter, and a sunscreen all-in-one. That's exactly what this glow-boosting product is. It hydrates the skin with a combination of moisturizing oils, it protects the skin with SPF 50, and it imparts a shimmer-free dewiness wherever it's applied. Seriously, swipe it over your cheekbones before heading out in the sun to achieve the dewiness of your dreams.
Petiue SPF HIghlighter
If you prefer your highlighter to be less oily, and more shimmery, try this sunscreen-highlighter hybrid product. Swipe it on the high points of your face (including your cheekbones, brow bones, and cupid's bow) for extra radiance and SPF 45 sun protection. We like its subtle peppermint scent, which is especially refreshing on meltingly hot summer days.
Supergoop! Shimmershade Illuminating Cream Eyeshadow SPF 30
Another SPF-infused eyeshadow comes courtesy of Supergoop!. This cream eyeshadow comes packaged in a travel-friendly pot and is easy to apply using only your fingers. It awakens the eye area with a sheer wash of color and an illuminating shimmer finish. Thanks to rose, Roman chamomile, jasmine, and sunflower extracts, it also provides the delicate eye area with antioxidant benefits.
Kate Somerville UncompliKated SPF 50 Soft Focus Makeup Setting Spray
An easy way to add an extra layer of sun protection after applying your skincare and makeup products is to finish up with a spritz of an SPF setting spray. This one from Kate Somerville offers SPF 50, as well as a soft-focus matte finish (which makes it perfect for people with oily skin).
Soleil Toujours Organic Set + Protect Micro Mist SPF 30
This setting mist from Soleil Toujours offers SPF 30 as well. It's formulated with aloe vera, vitamin C, vitamin E, and green tea, so it soothes, smoothes, and brightens the skin, too.
Kaplan MD Perfect Pout Lipstick SPF 30
Dr. Kaplan is a dermatologist who practices out of Beverly Hills. His namesake skincare line is full of noteworthy products, and this SPF lipstick is one of them. Apply one layer for a semi-sheer wash of color or multiple layers for an opaque finish. We like how it feels so creamy and hydrating on the lips, while keeping them protected from the sun.
EltaMD UV Lip Balm Broad-Spectrum SPF 31
EltaMD is one of our favorite sun care brands, thanks to its lightweight, non-greasy products. We like this hydrating SPF 31 lip balm. Unlike so many others on the market, this one is completely water-resistant.
Next up, see the one sunscreen that received a perfect score from Consumer Reports for the fifth year in a row.
What to Look for in an Innovative SPF Product
When shopping for an SPF product, look at what it claims to protect against. Generally, sunscreens will give you UVB protection but not every sunscreen will protect you against UVA rays. To ensure that you're protected from UVA rays, look for SPF products that are labeled broad-spectrum. This means that they have a variety of sunscreen filters to cover a broad range of UV rays.
You'll want your SPF level to be between 30 and 50. This is generally what is recommended by dermatologists as they're more effective than SPF 15.