The 18 Most Innovative Sunscreens Of 2022

Just in time for summer, we’re rounding up the best new creams, lotions, sticks, and more for face and body.
Written by Meg Storm
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The 18 Most Innovative Sunscreens Of 2022Jakob Owens/Unsplash

Sun care and skincare should be synonymous at this point. But, if you need a reminder on why protecting your skin from damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays every single day – no matter the weather or season – is a must, we’re here to help.

For starters, unprotected sun exposure puts you at an increased risk of developing skin cancer, which is the most common form of cancer in the United States. It is also the most preventable. Additionally, the damage from said exposure leads to premature signs of aging (i.e. fine lines, hyperpigmentation, laxity, etc.) and undoes the benefits of many of the in-office treatments and at-home skincare you spend your time and money on. Aside from limiting your time in the sun (and avoiding indoor tanning beds at all costs), the next best prevention and protection is sunscreen.

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends wearing a broad spectrum sunscreen with a minimum sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 on a daily basis. ‘Broad spectrum’ means the formula protects against both UVA and UVB rays – the former causes sun damage, while the latter leads to sunburns. When applying sunscreen as part of a larger beauty routine, put it on after your final skincare step but before any makeup. For lasting protection, it needs to be reapplied every two hours (or sooner, if swimming or sweating). Learn more in our expert guide to applying sunscreen.

Now that we’ve got that covered, it’s time to find your perfect formula for face and body. Below, we’ve rounded up the most innovative sunscreen launches of 2022 to get you through summer and beyond. Today’s sunscreens are lightweight, easy to apply, and packed with added benefits. Plus, every product on this list is broad spectrum and SPF 30 or higher. Happy shopping!

For Brightening: Wander Beauty Pack Up & Glow Priming SPF 40


This multi-hyphenate promises to simplify your skincare, sun care, and makeup routines. The mineral formula features a uniquely encapsulated non-nano zinc oxide that boosts the UVA- and UVB-blocking benefits without adding extra weight or ashiness. Instead, it’s ultra-light with a flattering peach tone that instantly brightens the complexion. Vitamin D and green tea extract offer antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, while plant-derived squalane and hyaluronic acid lock-in moisture. Wear alone or under makeup – it creates a perfect canvas. $36,

For Sensitive Skin: Saint Jane Luxury Sun Ritual Pore Smoothing SPF 30


Inspired by the resilience of flower petals against harsh UV rays and other environmental stressors, this sheer smoothing and soothing formula marries zinc oxide with a bouquet-worthy blend of blooms. Jasmine detoxifies and soothes reactive skin; antioxidant-rich hibiscus boosts collagen production; desert rose acts as both an emollient and humectant to moisturize; and green tea from the camellia sinensis plant visibly calms the complexion. The florals work together to minimize pores, reduce redness, and improve texture. $38,

For Multitasking: Clark’s Botanicals Invisible Hero SPF 30


A true triple threat, this trusty tube can take the place of your sunscreen, moisturizer, and primer. The 100 percent mineral formula is about as transparent as a physical sunscreen can be and also boasts blue light protection thanks to sunflower extract. Meanwhile, hydrating hyaluronic acid and micronized red algae instantly plump, and pore-perfecting niacinamide joins forces with redness-reducing arnica to smooth and soothe the skin before makeup. $75,

For a Tint: IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Nude Glow with SPF 40


Part makeup, part skincare, part sun care, this latest take on the brand's beloved CC cream is all about preventatively, correctively, and protectively tending to the complexion. The patent-pending Brightening Glow Serum complex features niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, green tea extract, and SPF 40 to improve skin tone and texture and protect against damaging UV rays. Available in 22 shades, the medium-coverage skin tint also offers all the color-correcting benefits you expect from a CC cream with a glow-inducing finish. $42,

For Minimalists: Taos AER SPF 30 Broad Spectrum Mineral Sunscreen


Whether you are taking a hike, heading to the beach, or running errands around town, this face and body mineral sunscreen will hold up to whatever you have planned. The non-nano zinc oxide formula features a cocktail of desert plant oils and botanicals to nourish and blend evenly into the skin. Lightweight with a matte finish, there will be no greasy or sticky limbs in sight – though you will no doubt enjoy the subtle-yet-sophisticated sage, cedarwood, bergamot, and vetiver scent. $38,

For Acne-Prone Skin: Banish The Defender SPF 50


Designed for and tested on acne-prone and sensitive skin, this mineral sunscreen features an organic aloe vera leaf juice that allows it to blend easily and absorb instantly. The non-greasy formula also includes soothing vegetable glycerin, collagen-boosting palmitoyl peptides, and antioxidants in the form of vitamin E and passionflower. $49,

For a Refresh: Naked Sundays SPF 50+ Hydrating Glow Mist Top Up


The Aussie brand arrived stateside just in time for summer, and this multitasking mist has quickly earned a spot in our sun care routines. The ultra-fine, colorless, and broad spectrum spray is packed with hydrating hyaluronic acid and antioxidant-rich kakadu plum and watermelon extract to plump and brighten. Spritz all day to reapply your sunscreen, refresh your makeup, and revive your complexion in one simple, hands-free step. $28,

For Added Moisture: Supergoop Daily Dose Hydra-Ceramide Boost + SPF 40 Oil


Dry and dehydrated skin stands no chance against this nourishing sunscreen. In addition to offering broad spectrum SPF 40 protection, the lightweight oil features ceramides to fortify the skin barrier, hyaluronic acid to hydrate, squalane to lock in moisture, and rice germ extract to soothe the skin and combat the effects of blue light. $46,

For Blurring: Peter Thomas Roth Max Clear Invisible Priming Sunscreen SPF 45


Combine your sun care and primer steps with this blurring gel that goes on invisible (yes, really). In addition to broad spectrum UV protection, vitamin E, argan oil, bisabolol, and shea butter target uneven skin tone and texture concerns. The fast-absorbing formula dries down to a soft-focus finish, which makes it perfect for layering under makeup. $34,

For Blue Light Protection: Bloomeffects Tulip Dew Sunscreen Serum SPF 50


Featuring the brand’s proprietary Dutch Tulip Complex that is created from antioxidant- and amino acid-rich tulips harvested from the founder’s family farm in the Netherlands, this non-nano zinc oxide sunscreen protects against UVA and UVB rays and blue light. The serum texture blends easily and imparts a lit-from-within-glow, while sodium hyaluronate and a cocktail of topical vitamins – vitamin B3 (a.k.a. niacinamide), vitamin C from kakadu plum, vitamin D from shiitake mushroom, and vitamin E – join forces to hydrate and brighten the complexion. $65,

For Body: Love Sun Body Sheer Perfection Mineral Body Sunscreen SPF 50


Body sunscreens often feel like one of those necessary evils that you apply because you have to but certainly not because you want to. This 100 percent natural origin mineral formula is here to change that. Featuring non-nano zinc oxide, non-nano titanium dioxide, shea butter, jojoba esters, sunflower oil, glycerin, and vitamin E, it glides on like a body lotion and doesn't require endless rubbing in to absorb. Oh, and it smells sweetly-yet-subtly of vanilla. $28,

For Color Correction: NUDESTIX Nudescreen Daily Mineral Veil SPF 30


Available in three shades (cool, warm, and hot), this oil-free SPF 30 has a veil-like effect without any unwanted chalkiness. Packed with antioxidant-rich purple tea, green algae, and passionflower extracts, it protects against UVA, UVB, and blue light rays, in addition to moisturizing and smoothing the skin. $35,

For Touch Ups: BareRepublic Mineral Sunscreen Stick SPF 70


There is no excuse not to touch up with this travel-friendly stick that has a unique teardrop shape for both full-body and targeted application. The non-nano zinc oxide formula goes on without a trace of stickiness and also features moisturizing shea butter, antioxidant-rich raspberry seed extract, and soothing carrot seed extract. $15,

For Smoothing: Tatcha The Silk Sunscreen SPF 50


Inspired by the supple hands of Japanese silk workers, this mineral sunscreen features a silk extract that offers a weightless barrier against pollutants, allergens, and moisture loss. Alongside niacinamide and hyaluronic acid, it absorbs instantly and visibly tones, smooths, and plumps the skin. In clinical testing, over 90 percent of users saw improved skin tone and texture after two weeks of use. $60,

For The Whole Family: Babo Botanicals Daily Sheer Fluid SPF 50


This non-nano zinc oxide mineral formula is gentle enough for the entire family – though you’ll probably want to keep it for yourself. Offering UVA, UVB, and blue light protection (thanks to sweet white lupine), the silicone-free lotion has one of the lightest and most spreadable textures you’ll find from a physical sunscreen, while botanicals like organic raspberry and passionfruit seed oils offer antioxidant, moisturizing, and emollient benefits. $20,

For Correction & Protection: StriVectin Advanced Retinol Daily Repair Moisturizer SPF 30


We always talk about the need to be extra diligent with your sun protection when using vitamin A derivatives (read: retinol and retinoids), and this sunscreen doubles up those skincare steps. Gentle – and safe – enough for daily daytime use, the formula marries the protective properties of SPF and antioxidants and the soothing powers of the brand’s propriety niacinamide complex with the corrective benefits of retinol to address skin tone, texture, elasticity, and more. $99,

For Radiant Skin: Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Sunscreen SPF 50


The latest addition to the brand's beloved glow-boosting watermelon range is this hybrid chemical and mineral sunscreen formula. It smells like summer thanks to the signature fruity scent, but the watermelon also offers antioxidant protection. Hyaluronic acid adds a dose of hydration, while aloe vera calms the complexion and niacinamide helps even skin tone and texture. $34,

For City Slickers: Naturally Serious Mineral Sun Defense Moisturizer SPF 30


This tinted sunscreen-moisturizer hybrid can help streamline your skincare and makeup routine. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide offer broad spectrum mineral protection, while avocado oil, organ oil, and shea butter condition the complexion. The brand's patented Anti-Pollution Blend, meanwhile, features six antioxidants (including green tea, pomegranate, and goji berry) for additional support against environmental aggressors. $36,

All products featured are independently selected by our editors, however, AEDIT may receive a commission on items purchased through our links.

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MEG STORMis the editorial & content director at AEDIT.

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