The SPF category has gotten quite the makeover in recent years. Debatably one of the most important and essential products in skincare, sunscreen has evolved from a mundane necessity to an outlet for innovation for skincare brands. Gone are the thick, coconut-scented formulas of our youth—they've been replaced with newer, upgraded versions that offer high-level protection in addition to a slew of skincare benefits.
Tatcha—the beloved Japanese luxury skincare brand—is the latest to put an exciting twist on sun protection with their new launch, The Silk Sunscreen ($60). In addition to providing SPF 50 UVA/UVB coverage, the Silk Sunscreen also protects skin from pollution and blue light damage. The real selling point, however, is the product's sheer, silky finish, which can be layered both under and over makeup. In short, there’s a lot more than sun protection at play here. Ahead, learn more about Tatcha’s new SPF launching today (Mar. 1), and read our honest review.
Tatcha The Silk Sunscreen
Best For: Skin
Product Claims: Provides mineral protection against UVA/UVB rays, pollution, and blue light
Why We Love It: Creates a smooth base for makeup, can be layered over and under makeup
Tatcha has made a name for itself in the world of high-end skincare, so it’s no surprise that their latest release is driven by the pinnacle of luxury—silk. The brand has already released a myriad of products formulated with silk extract, and points to the seemingly ageless hands of Japanese silk workers as evidence for the ingredient's protective, smoothing powers. For the new Silk Sunscreen, however, Tatcha wanted to create a sun-shielding formula that not only feels soft and smooth on skin, but also works with makeup instead of against it.
To pull it off, the team tapped Daniel Martin—a celebrity makeup artist and Tatcha’s Global Director of Artistry & Education—to help with the creation. “As a makeup artist, it was important for me to help create an SPF that one can wear underneath makeup without feeling it," Martin tells Byrdie. "Because of its unique formula, the silk creates a magnet to pigments that lock them down into the skin." With their hero ingredient sorted, the next step for Martin and the Tatcha team was to find the perfect companion ingredients to go with it.
Known for their use of cutting-edge Japanese skincare ingredients, Tatcha is no stranger to creating stand-out formulas. For The Silk Sunscreen, the key players include zinc oxide, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, red algae, and of course, silk extracts. The inclusion of zinc oxide creates a mineral filter that works to block UVA/UVB rays, while skin-evening niacinamide and hyaluronic acid help nourish and smooth.
Meanwhile, red algae shields and protects skin from pollution and blue light, while the aforementioned silk extracts work to create a glass-like surface so that makeup won’t pill or smudge. “The silk extract is rich in amino acids and leaves an incredible veil on the skin, leaving it smooth, soft, and primed for makeup application,” says Martin.
When it comes to sunscreen, I’m usually not one to take the high-end, fancy route. Instead, I typically look for a cost-efficient, go-to sunscreen with a high SPF level that won’t sit heavy on my skin or clog my pores. For this reason, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Tatcha’s newest sunscreen release. Did I really need a luxury sunscreen in my skincare lineup? Well, after a few uses, I can confidently say that this sunscreen is like caviar for the skin. Not only is this formula incredibly lightweight, but it also makes my skin feel the smoothest it’s ever been.
My first time trying it, I was shocked when the sunscreen I squeezed out appeared to be tinted—I didn’t recall picking a shade, and it’s impossible to create one tinted sunscreen that fits all skin tones. However, I soon discovered that while the liquid starts as a beige-ish color, once it’s blended into the skin, it becomes completely sheer. I was left with the perfect smooth base before applying my makeup. While I most likely won’t use this as my daily sunscreen—mostly because I want to savor it—I will be using it whenever my skin needs some extra love.
Kim JH, Lee JE, Kim KH, Kang NJ. Beneficial effects of marine algae-derived carbohydrates for skin health. Mar Drugs. 2018;16(11):459.