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. Here's to healthy, happy skin all summer long.
Scalp & Hair Sunscreen
Have you ever been sunburnt on your scalp? It's not pleasant. That's what this product aims to prevent. It's an 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.
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, salt water and the sun. To reap all of these benefits, simply spritz it over your hair and scalp before heading out into 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'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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 it's micro-fine pearl pigments, which reflect light for a glowy finish.
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.
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.
Yes, SPF-infused eyeshadows are a reality. While they might seem like marketing fodder, they're not. In fact, they're extremely useful. Many people forget to apply sunscreen to their eye area, which leaves it vulnerable to sun damage and all of its nasty consequences.
This cream eyeshadow is available in a small range of neutral shades that come in both matte and shimmer finishes. It's crease- and sweat-proof and safe for sensitive skin and contact-wearers.
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.
Sunscreen 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).
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's soothes, smoothes, and brightens the skin, too.
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 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.