Skin-Care Tips

The New Sunscreens That Leave Your Complexion As Glowy As a Highlighter

Rachel Lapidos

Graphic: Well+Good Creative

Traditionally, sunscreen has been the last beauty product on Earth that you would describe as “glowy” (butt paste, yes; highlighting, uhhh no). This isn’t the case anymore, however, because there’s a new generation of SPF products that function as sunscreen-highlighter hybrids to give you coverage with added radiance.

“The glowy, dewy finish achieved by using sunscreen is a perfect example of how skin care is permeating the makeup world these days,” says Sébastien Tardif, celebrity makeup artist and co-founder for Veil Cosmetics. “Instead of using a plain face plus shimmering lotion, you might as well get sun protection in the mix and multi-task.”

With a swipe of these new sunscreens, instead of seeing no trace of the product once it’s absorbed, your skin is left with a subtle sheen, which can actually help you hit all of the points on your face when you’re applying it. “Sunscreens can leave a glowy finish with ingredients that reflect light, or by having a good base of hydrating ingredients to improve the quality of the skin while they protect it,” says Rachel Nazarian, MD, a board-certified dermatologist. Radiance-boosting ingredients include hydrating and anti-inflammatory ones like niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin B5, she says. Mica, an ingredient that reflects light, can add to the effect, too.

No matter whether you prefer to use chemical or physical filters, you can get in on the trend, too. “Many of the products that offer a luminescent appearance have both physical and chemical blockers,” says Dr. Nazarian, noting that formulations of physical blockers—which, in the past, have typically left a white cast after applying—have improved dramatically over the years. Keep scrolling for the sunscreens that bottle up the light at sunrise and let you wear it all day long.

Supergoop! Glowscreen Sunscreen SPF 40, $36

Photo: Supergoop!

The Glow Screen has quickly become a beauty editor staple: Once applied, your complexion looks hydrated and has a pearlescent finish, in addition to being protected with SPF 40. It’s ultra-light, and can even add a boost of glow underneath your foundation (if you choose to wear one over it).

Cerave Hydrating Sunscreen Sheer Tint, $15

Photo: Cerave

The new mineral-based sunscreen from Cerave makes your skin look like it was just moisturized. It’s packed with niacinamide, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid to hydrate to leave skin looking happy… and protected.

Coppertone Glow with Shimmer SPF 50, $9

Photo: Coppertone

For under 10 bucks, you can snag this drugstore SPF with an otherworldly glow that makes your skin appear sun-kissed and shimmery. It goes on sheer, but adds a hint of luminescence to skin, without feeling sticky or thick.

Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Face Shield Glow, $39

Photo: Colorescience

This full-spectrum, mineral-based sunscreen infuses your skin with antioxidants for protection from free radical damage, niacinamide and vitamin E for a healthy skin barrier… and just a hint of ever-so-subtle shimmer.

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