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As a writer with more than a decade of experience in the beauty industry, the most important tip I've received about SPF is to use a product you like — otherwise, you're less likely to use it. And while I understand sunscreen is a necessary step in fighting the signs of aging and UV-related skin damage, liking it hasn’t been easy. I’ve often experienced off-putting side effects, among them chalkiness, irritation and a dreadful white cast. My goal of finding sunscreen I like has been especially complicated since my skin type is extremely dry.
SKIP AHEAD Other SPF oils to consider
Plagued by the days of slathering on drying, impossible-to-blend, foul-smelling sunscreens, I had begun to accept my fate: My parched skin would have to toughen up in the name of UV protection and a youthful complexion. That is, until I received and tried Supergoop!’s Daily Dose SPF 40 Oil, a sunscreen oil that, according to the brand, shields against harmful UV rays, combats dryness and strengthens your skin's moisture barrier.
The product comes housed in a charming bottle with a dropper applicator that makes it easy to dispense the right amount of product. Convenient packaging aside, the hydrating formula is what turned the product into a staple of my routine. It's made with a trio of dry skin-friendly ingredients, according to the brand: hyaluronic acid to attract water, squalene to seal it in and ceramides to help the skin retain it. (Dermatologists touted all of these ingredients in our guide to moisturizers for dry skin.) According to the brand, these ingredients fuse together to provide hydration upon initial application and beyond — and I can confirm my skin still feels moisturized several hours after application. Though the oil was designed with dry skin in mind, it should also work for those with normal to combination skin types and who tend to experience dryness and flakiness in the colder months when temperatures dip, Supergoop! says.
The oil is a chemical sunscreen (versus a mineral one that relies on zinc oxide and titanium dioxide for protection). Because of this and in my experience, it doesn't leave behind a white cast, sit on top of the skin or produce a greasy residue. It's important to note that the American Academy of Dermatology recommends you use a mineral sunscreen if your skin is oily or acne-prone, as chemical sunscreens can be troublesome for this skin type. That being said, my sensitive skin has never had a reaction or experienced any irritating side effects at the hands of this oil.
To use it, I like to massage one whole dropper’s worth of product (roughly six to eight drops) onto my face and neck every day as part of my morning skin care routine. Because it glides on so evenly, I'm also a fan of applying it in the evening before I apply my makeup. It instantly nixes any dry patches on my face (which typically show up around my nose area), making for smoother foundation application and an overall more radiant complexion. Perhaps one of my favorite features of the SPF oil is that it is extremely lightweight and quickly melts right in. It gives my skin a plumper feel and a dewier look — without the stickiness or odor that most sunscreens come with.
Unlike most facial sunscreens, I consider this product a hydrator first, SPF second. It's that moisturizing. And that's how I know I've discovered a winning product — when it not only does what it intends to do (protect my skin from the sun) but also offers benefits that extend beyond. Supergoop! has expertly taken everything I knew (and loathed) about traditional sunscreens and created a product that I no longer leave the house without.
Other SPF oils to consider
Here are some other sunscreen oils that may work for various skin types.
Like the Supergoop! SPF Oil, this option from Sun Bum promises to hydrate the skin as it protects, according to the brand. It's made with coconut oil, which was previously found to be a skin hydrator in NBC News Better’s explainer on the ingredient, and features a spray mist applicator, which can be helpful when it comes to reapplying SPF on top of makeup.
Beyond providing broad-spectrum SPF 50, these sun drops feature cassia extract, vitamin E and beta-glucan, which, according to the brand, help shield against oxidative damage and make for a sensitive skin-friendly formula.