Happy National Sunscreen Day! (plus 3 new facial SPF formulas you should try)

There is little debate about the importance and benefits of sunscreen. Using broad spectrum SPF every day is the only sure way to fight the inevitable aging process and reverse the damaging effects of environmental aggressors on our skin. Luckily, the category has evolved remarkably over the years. Innovative and elegant, most daily sunscreens are traceless and incredibly user-friendly. There is no longer the worry of the dreaded white cast or oil slick residue after application and most, barely have a scent. If you happen to be looking for that holy grail of sunscreens, three recent beauty industry launches have seriously impressed me of late.

REN Clean Screen Mattifying Sunscreen SPF 30

If you prefer physical blockers, the new REN formula contains 22% non-nano Zinc Oxide. It’s a force of a formula but fear not, you won’t experience any heavy, mask-like feeling when you use this latest innovation. Those with fair skin tones will find it traceless. My own tone tends toward medium and will sometimes exhibit a subtle matte halo finish, which doesn’t bother me (blend it in carefully around the hairline — and don’t forget the eyebrows). On days on which I want to appear more ‘just back from vacation’, I apply my Omorovicza tint over it.

Sun protection is the ultimate goal of Clean Screen, but the formula also highlights soothing and nourishing ingredients such as Aloe Vera, Passion Fruit Extract, and Cranberry Seed Oil. Think of it as a lightweight moisturizer with major SPF benefits. That happens to be mattifying, which is what my combination skin very much appreciates on hot summer days. If you haven’t heard: REN is now part of the Loop initiative – you have to give the brand props for their audacious goal. They aim to be 100% no waste by 2020. P.S. this sunscreen smells GREAT. $36 sephora.com

Dermalogica Prisma Protect SPF 30

Full disclosure: I already have a favorite dermalogica sunscreen and it’s the absolutely phenomenal Solar Defense Booster SPF 50.  But… if you’re looking for a *moisturizer* with sunscreen that has skin brightening perks, the latest addition is worth a try. Prisma Protect utilizes a futuristic sounding concept described by the brand as ‘intelligent drone activated by visible light to boost the skin’s natural luminosity.’ I got lost at ‘drone’ but I’m not going to question a product that makes my skin glow.

The new moisturizer is rich, creamy, and perfectly spreadable. It doesn’t pill nor streak — it doesn’t even feel like sunscreen. If you’re particular about UV blockers, those used in the formula are chemical, which means they absorb the rays rather than bouncing them away. The formula is also infused with matcha, which boosts antioxidant protection. The faint aroma you may associate with ‘that sunscreen scent’ dissipates quickly. $65 sephora.com

100% Pure Green Tea SPF 30

For those seeking the cleanest, greenest, most eco-friendly skincare formula available, you have got to try the latest sunscreen from the cruelty-free brand 100% Pure. For openers, the new Green Tea SPF 30 is made in Australia where the best sunscreens originate. (Think about it: is anyone as exposed to the elements as those Down Under?) Second and most importantly, this broad-spectrum magic is reef safe! Because the health of the environment is as important as that of our skin.

The great news for fans of Zinc Oxide is that the generously sized tube contains 21% of this active ingredient. Be sure to shake the tube before each application since natural products can separate (totally normal and to be expected). In addition to delivering superb UVA and UVB protection, the latest 100% Pure launch provides skincare benefits thanks to a blend of nourishing plant extracts such as Green Tea, Cucumber, Avocado, and Rosehip Seed Oil. Sadly, it smells neither fruity nor herbal – expect the typical scent of a sunscreen when you apply it, but it doesn’t linger. $32 100percentpure.com

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