The Most Innovative Sunscreens You Can Buy

Thick, pore-clogging SPF is so passé.

The best new sunscreens of 2022 that make sun protection a hot beauty category.
Naked Sundays; Bloomeffects; Starface

It’s almost hard to recall the thick, goopy sunscreens of yesteryear — the heavy formulas that took 10 minutes to fully absorb into the skin, left a white cast, and caused breakouts. These days, beauty shelves are filled with SPF products that have much more than sun-protective prowess on their resume. From sunscreens that double as serums to mineral-based SPFs that are completely invisible upon application, the beauty world is rife with innovative sunscreen products.

Seriously though: If the people who grew up skipping proper sun protection and regularly dealt with sunburns because of it had access to today’s sunscreen options, they’d undoubtedly have experienced far fewer burns. And that’s because the new sunscreens that are available make applying — and reapplying — a breeze... and, dare I say, a delight.

While the sunscreen world has been evolving into a better, more covetable category in the past year or so, today’s innovations seem to showcase sun protection in its peak form. From a CBD-infused SPF cream to nourishing milks and invisible gels, keep scrolling to shop the 11 best new sunscreens of 2022 that deserve a spot on your beauty shelf (and your beach bag).

We at Bustle only include products that have been independently selected by our editors. We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.


The Radiance-Boosting Fluid

Japanese beauty brand Tatcha already made a great sunscreen — the Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen — but its newer SPF formula is just as mind-blowingly good (if not more). The Silk Sunscreen is a liquid that has a slight tint to it when you pour it from the bottle but goes on sheer, leaving behind a gorgeous radiance. And it really does contain silk — an ingredient that supports the skin barrier while offering a smooth surface for makeup. Making it even more impressive is the fact that it offers broad-spectrum SPF 50 protection, so reapplying over makeup throughout the day won’t mess up your look.


The Dewy SPF Serum

Name something that sounds more luxe than a sunscreen that contains tulips — I’ll wait. Sure, Bloomeffects’ entire beauty line is centered on the hydrating properties of tulip extract, but the brand’s Tulip Dew Vitamins & Mineral Broad-Spectrum SPF 50 sunscreen serum is particularly impressive. Upon application, the serum (which appears tinted until you rub it in) delivers full coverage sun protection without leaving a trace. Rather than a white cast, your skin is left dewy and plump thanks to tulip extract (of course) as well as hydrating niacinamide, allantoin, and glycerin.


The Acne-Friendly Sunscreen

One of peoples’ biggest complaints about traditional sunscreens is that they often clog pores — a major drawback to those who have acneic skin. Leave it to Starface, the cult-favorite skin care brand known for its simple but effective acne solutions, to solve this beauty dilemma. Meet the Clear As Day SPF 46, a totally invisible oil-free gel that offers water-resistant (!!) broad-spectrum coverage without leaving a white cast or causing breakouts. It’s super lightweight and fragrance-free, too, so it’s also great for sensitive skin types.


The SPF Milk

There’s just something so alluring about milky skin care products. Maybe it’s the tie to Cleopatra’s milk-based beauty regimen or maybe it’s because they feel so good on the skin — whatever the case, you can enjoy the luxe texture with Summer Fridays’ newest launch: the ShadeDrops Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Mineral Milk Sunscreen. It’s a super light, milky elixir that contains zinc oxide to protect the skin along with antioxidants and moisturizing squalane and urea. The end result? An invisible shield that’s gentle, nourishing, and keeps you blocked from the sun’s harmful rays.


The 3-in-1 Serum SPF

If you’re one of the countless beauty aficionadoes who’ve fallen in love with Ilia’s beloved Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 Foundation, you may have heard about the brand’s latest launch — the C Beyond Triple Serum SPF 40 Mineral Sunscreen. At first glance of the ingredients, it looks like a fabulous daytime antioxidant serum since it features 10% L-Ascorbic acid (a potent form of vitamin C) and skin-soothing niacinamide. But it’s also a mineral-based sunscreen that features non-nano zinc oxide, making it an overachieving serum that’ll erase an extra step from your morning skin care routine.


The Invisible Serum

Australia has the strictest sunscreen standards out there, so Aussie-based sun care brand Naked Sundays knows what it’s doing. Not only are the formulas effective — and tested in the intense Australian sun — but they also happen to have the best textures. Take this SPF 50 sunscreen serum as just one example within the line: It’s actually clear, which is incredible, and can take the place of your serum, moisturizer, and primer. With jojoba, squalane, and watermelon extracts (for hydration), Kakadu plum (to fight free radicals), and tomato extract (to brighten) along with its silky satin finish, it protects and nourishes your skin.


The Body Gel

Newly launched sun care brand Dune has crafted a trio (so far) of gel-based skin essentials. Besides its face sunscreen and post-sun soothing gel, The Bod Guard serves as the ultimate invisible body sunscreen. It provides broad-spectrum water-resistant SPF 30 coverage, but in actuality, it feels as if you’re just wearing a juicy body lotion. And that makes sense, considering its ultra-nourishing ingredient list: There’s glycerin for moisture, neem flower extract to soothe the skin, and hibiscus for firming, all of which leave you with a whopping 72 hours of hydration. You’ll find yourself wanting to apply it at night — it feels that lovely as a moisturizer.


The CBD-Spiked SPF

Sure, CBD has been infiltrating the beauty space for some time now — but it hasn’t reached the sunscreen shelves until now. Perricone MD’s CBD Ultra-Lightweight Calming SPF 35 Veil relies on the cannabinoid extract to calm sensitive or inflamed skin while providing sun protection. Essentially, it’s an uber-gentle SPF option that’s catered towards compromised complexions that need extra TLC — something that can be tough to find in a sunscreen. Besides CBD, it features cannabis sativa seed oil to soften the skin and rice bran extract to quell inflammation.


The Sheer SPF Drops

Another milky SPF to note is this one by French skin care brand Odacité, which delivers broad-spectrum mineral-based coverage — SPF 50 at that — as well as skin-boosting nutrients that keep your complexion protected and nourished as you wear it. There’s antioxidant-rich green tea extract, moisturizing squalane, and calming calendula and chamomile, plus niacinamide, which can help even out your skin tone with regular use. And, though it’s a white liquid, it doesn’t leave a white cast — your skin is left feeling velvety-soft once it absorbs.


The Protective Face Mist

There’s nothing more refreshing than a cucumber-spiked face mist in the summer. Well, beauty brand Habit knows this — and made that product even better by adding sun protection to the formula. With a few spritzes of the N°38 Facial Sunscreen Mist SPF 38, you get a feels-so-good dose of sunscreen and hydration (thanks to cucumber extract), but the formula also doubles as a setting spray that keeps your makeup in place. A win-win-win.


The Bronzing SPF

There’s no sunscreen stan who hasn’t heard of Supergoop!’s famous Glowscreen. The SPF truly lives up to its name as it offers a luminescent glow to your skin along with broad-spectrum sun protection. Now, however, you can opt for the product’s younger sister: the Glowscreen Sunscreen in Golden Hour, a shade that gives you an instant all-over bronze. And, as is the case with the original formula, this baby contains skin-softening hyaluronic acid, vitamin B5, and peptides, making it another must-have for your suncare regimen.