Summer Skin Care

The New Skinceuticals Chemical Sunscreen Is the Answer to All of Your White Cast Woes, No Matter Your Skin Type or Tone

Saanya Ali

Photo: Getty Images/Jamie Grill
Finding the perfect sunscreen isn't easy, but when it comes to caring for your skin, it's maybe the most important task. With so many choices on the market and boxes that it needs to check, it's hard to know which sunscreen will actually keep your skin protected from the harsh summer rays without leaving behind an annoying white cast, won't feel oily under your makeup, and won't irritate your skin. Enter: SkinCeuticals Daily Brightening UV Defense Sunscreen SPF 30 ($54).

SkinCeuticals has been a dermatologist favorite brand since it was founded in the '90s for good reason. "Born from decades of skin cancer research that led to pivotal breakthroughs in antioxidants, SkinCeuticals high potency formulas are concentrated in pure actives and proven to penetrate optimally into skin," touts the beauty-editor favorite brand. Essentially, the company makes science backed skin care more accessible. SkinCeuticals new chemical sunscreen formula from the brand is no exception. Made for normal, oily, dry, and combination skin types, the product is lightweight, has chemical UV filters for ultimate protection against immediate sunburns and long-lasting sun damage, and best of all, it's invisible. Tick, tick, tick to every one of the boxes.

The chemical UV filters in the product are what make it so effective and, frankly, swoon-worthy. According to New York City board-certified dermatologist Hadley King, MD, in contrast to mineral sunscreens, which shield your skin from the sun so that it's physically guarded. “Chemical sunscreens are made up of chemicals that are absorbed into the skin, where they can absorb the UV rays and create a chemical reaction that changes the UV rays into heat and the heat is then released from the skin,” she says. This is because they contain actives like avobenzone, octinoxate, octocrylene, or homosalate. Too much UV exposure can result in everything from freckles, to skin discoloration, hyperpigmentation, fine lines, perma-redness, age spots, and even melasma. As it turns out, over ninety percent of the signs of aging actually come from the sun’s rays.

Along with the chemical UV filters, the product is also the ultimate multitasker. SkinCeuticals Daily Brightening UV Defense Sunscreen SPF 30 is formulated with 1 percent tranexamic acid which helps reduce stubborn signs of pigmentation and works to even your complexion, as well as 2 percent niacinamide and 7 percent glycerin for optimal hydration. According to clinical trials conducted by the brand, "skin was 17 percent more even in tone, and 57 percent more hydrated" after use.

Finally, since, yes, aesthetics and ease of use do matter, this pump-bottle sunscreen garners some bonus points in that department as well. As a South Asian American woman with brown, combination skin, finding a formula that actually does as it promises and fully blends in without leaving behind a residue that, when combined with sweat, pills and rubs off my face in gross clumps, has taken years of trial and error. Finding one that does that and doesn't result in a white cast mask on my skin, has been even harder. Because the formula is so featherlight that it feels almost like a gel, it absorbs quickly, actually feels like it's hydrating your skin, and, while it doesn't feel mattifying, it also doesn't look or feel greasy. Additionally, because dermatologists recommend waiting 15 minutes after applying a chemical sunscreen before going out in the sun, because this product sinks in so quickly, you can set get that timer going right away. Having tried hundreds of sunscreens over the years, the search is finally over. Time to go to the beach and feel confidently protected.

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