Skin-saving revolution: Cutting-edge formulas inform the best new sunscreens for ultimate protection

Meet a new generation of sun protection, combining cutting-edge sunscreens infused with anti-aging benefits and effortlessly light textures, crafted to align with the evolving tastes of today’s skincare-savvy consumers.

With summer in full swing, it’s time to double down on safe sun practices, and that includes upping your SPF game. In Canada alone, more than 80,000 cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year, with more than 5,000 of these being melanoma, the deadliest form. Alarmingly, melanoma is the third most common cancer among Canadian women aged 15 to 29. As these statistics highlight, diligent sun protection is crucial. 

Thankfully, sunscreen options have evolved significantly from the thick, greasy formulas of the past. Modern innovations have, and continue to make SPF products lighter, more multi-faceted, and easier and more enjoyable to use, transforming the often daily “chore” of sun protection into the beauty ritual it has always aspired to be.

Current formulations are designed with advanced skin-loving, anti-aging ingredients that cater to diverse skin types and tones. This evolution in sun care reflects a broader shift in consumer awareness and demand for products that not only protect but also enhance skin health. Leading brands and emerging innovators alike are creating formulations that seamlessly integrate into daily skincare routines, offering broad-spectrum protection without compromising on texture, formulation or finish. 

Multi-functional Formulations

It is no secret that sunscreen consumers want it all when it comes to their daily SPF. Products that put in overtime, whether that means fighting free radicals with antioxidant ingredients, protecting skin from environmental factors and infrared light, or doubling as a primer or sheer foundation- these latest formulas are anything but old school. 

Makeup Base & Primer

KOSAS DreamBeam Silicone Mineral Sunscreen SPF 40 Packed with peptides and ceramides, this mineral formulation visibly plumps, smoothes and helps improve skin suppleness. Ingredients hyaluronic acid and allantoin, hydrate and soothes skin providing the perfect, glowy base for makeup application.

Photo courtesy of Kosas

IT Cosmetics Hello Sunshine This skincare-powered daily sunscreen blends seamlessly under makeup while fighting against UVA/UVB rays and environmental pollution to prevent sun damage, sun spots, dark spots, hyperpigmentation along with signs of photoaging.

IT Cosmetics Hello Sunshine

Courtesy of brand.

Charlotte Tilbury Invisible UV Flawless Primer A hydrating, SPF 50 primer that protects against sun and urban pollution while smoothing, blurring and perfecting your skin. Enriched with CityStem™, Collalift® 18, hyaluronic acid and Magic 8 Matrix of Oils, it primes your complexion for flawless, air-brushed makeup application.


Photo courtesy of Charlotte Tilbury

Anti-aging Benefits

Vichy CAPITAL SOLEIL UV+AGE DAILY SPF 60 This broad spectrum SPF 60 is enriched with 5 per cent Niacinamide and packed with collagen-building Peptides. This ultra-lightweight, invisible lotion protects the skin against harmful UVA and UVB rays while preventing and correcting the appearance of dark spots and wrinkles. Using multi-patented Netlock technology, this tech-forward formulation is also enriched with potent anti-aging dermatological actives such as peptides, niacinamide and probiotic fractions.

Dermalogica Dynamic Skin Recovery SPF 50 This unique 3-in-1 daily moisturizer visibly firms, hydrates and protects with Broad Spectrum SPF50. A dynamic polypeptide blend helps improve the appearance of photoaged skin, while white tea provides antioxidant protection against the sun and environmental free radicals. 

CeraVe Skin Renewing Day Cream SPF 30 This SPF 30 is a non-comedogenic anti-aging moisturizer with encapsulated Retinol that is gradually released to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles without irritation. It also contains three essential ceramides, hyaluronic acid and squalane to help restore the skin barrier, retain hydration and help soothe the skin.

Application Method

Another welcome innovation in the space is upgraded formulas with multiple application methods. So if you’re a tried and true “spray” addict, you get the application method that best works for your lifestyle and preference, while not having to sacrifice the latest innovative formulations. Whether you prefer a stick, spray or a more traditional cream, the application method really doesn’t matter as long as you are committed to using your SPF daily. 

Spray SPF

Sprays have long been loved for their ease of application, but just be sure not to miss spots if the weather is windy, even if you are rubbing it in. With much lighter and finer misting technology than previous generations, there are even fine sprays specifically for face and “over makeup” re-application.

Kate Somerville UncompliKated SPF 50 Soft Focus Makeup Setting Spray This ultra-fine mist SPF 50 delivers broad spectrum protection that can be applied under or on top of makeup for seamless reapplication throughout the day. Hyaluronic acid provides lightweight hydration while light-diffusing silicone powder blurs and softens the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen Spray SPF 45 This non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores) and oxybenzone-free formula goes on sheer and super lightweight, all while providing effective broad-spectrum protection against sun’s aging UVA and burning UVB rays.

Stick Formula

Gone are the days of zinc stick streaked cheeks. The newest releases are jam-packed with hydrating and protective ingredients and technology, making on-the-go coverage and re-application a snap. 

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Balm This broad spectrum SPF 45 hydrating balm is rated PA+++, to shield against UVA/UVB rays while helping to even tone & prevent hyperpigmentation. The sheer, non-comedogenic formula leaves skin with a dewy glow that is never greasy. 

Shiseido Clear Sunscreen Stick This clear, SPF 50+ sunscreen stick creates an invisible, lightweight protective veil over skin. With Shiseido’s SynchroShield™ technology, the clear barrier is actually strengthened by heat and water. Genius! 

Cream Formula

Shiseido – Urban Environment Vita Clear The latest innovation from Shiseido’s best-selling Urban Environment daily UV collection – this lightweight, invisible sunscreen protects against UV rays while brightening with vitamin C. The formula also smooths pores and reduces shine making it a standout, even under makeup.

Vita-Clear Sunscreen SPF 42

SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50 This UV Defense SPF 50 is a weightless sunscreen fluid combining 100% mineral filters with translucent color spheres for effective, broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection and a tinted, radiant finish. This mineral sunscreen also contains artemia salina, a plankton extract known to increase skin’s resistance to UV and heat-induced stress.

skinceutical Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50

For more, also read Editor’s Pick: The Top Sunscreens for Head to Toe Protection.

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