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The Best New Invisible Sunscreens For Makeup-Loving Gals

Streaky, heavy, chalky sunscreens that leave a white residue behind hardly create the best canvas for a selfie-worthy makeup look. And, while you may be using a tinted moisturizer or foundation with SPF protection, you can’t count on this to be your sole haven from UV rays — after all, doctors recommend that sunblock be re-applied every two hours in order to avoid sun damage. So what’s a makeup-loving girl to do during the summer months, when the sun’s rays are all the more potent? Below, you’ll discover three completely invisible, colorless, lightweight sunscreens that are specifically designed to be worn under or over makeup and that can be reapplied without your masterful beauty look being compromised. Yes, girls, it’s a summer makeup miracle!



Supergoop! Defense Refresh Setting Mist SPF 50, $28. Available at Sephora.com

To keep skin 100% safe from UV damage, dermatologists advise that we reapply sunscreen every two hours. Abiding by this skincare maxim, however, can prove challenging when you’re wearing concealer, foundation, sculpting powders, bronzer, blush, and eye shadow. After all, how do you smooth on a creamy sunscreen (which, to add insult to injury, is likely to go on white) without smearing your makeup and your face winding up looking as distorted as that of the weeping woman in Picasso’s “Femme En Pleurs” portrait? The answer: you don’t. Instead, you bypass the cream and serum SPF formulations in favor of a new brand of liquid spray-on sunscreens that refresh the skin, set makeup, and create an invisible shield against the sun’s harmful rays — all without disturbing your beauty look.

The Supergoop! Defense Refresh Setting Mist SPF 50 can be spritzed atop makeup every two hours (just like the doctor ordered) and, in addition to providing broad spectrum protection through a combination of chemical sunscreens (avobenzone, homosalate, octinoxate, and octisalate), it will reduce shine via light-diffusing silica silylate particles that scatter light and yield a matter finish, refresh your makeup thanks to invigorating peppermint and spearmint oil, and soothe any inflammation through the antioxidant-rich rosemary in the formula.



Coola Makeup Setting Spray SPF 30, $36. Available at Sephora.com

Like the Supergoop! Setting Mist, the Coola Makeup Setting Spray is designed to be sprayed atop the skin every two hours, its nozzle gently propelling a burst of colorless liquid onto the visage. Both SPF-rich makeup setting sprays contain the same chemical sunscreens — avobenzone, homosalate, octinoxate, and octisalate — but at slightly different concentrations and both effectively refresh makeup, soothe and hydrate the skin, and impart a matte finish upon the complexion.

Still, there are some marked differences between the two. For starters, the Coola Makeup Setting Spray is formulated with over 70% certified organic ingredients, including aloe leaf extract and cucumber extract, which help to provide an instant burst of refreshment the moment the liquid mist is dispersed atop the skin (a light tingling sensation also accompanies the cooling sensation). Orange water, meanwhile, works as a natural toner, helping to absorb any excess oil so your complexion will be free of any unwanted shine. Hyaluronic acid, meanwhile, binds moisture to the skin so that your visage will feel comfortable, enlarged pores will appear smaller, and fine lines and wrinkles will be plumped and smoothed.

As someone with dry skin, I really appreciate that the Coola spray incorporates hyaluronic acid, which is such a powerful humectant but is weightless on the skin. And I do find that, while the Supergoop mist is a bit more gentle, this one delivers more efficiently in the hydration department. My one complaint about this product is that it has a rather pungent, alcohol-heavy smell that takes a few minutes to fully dissipate. When you mist your face, you might be a bit overwhelmed by the strong odor but it’s a temporary evil since, once the product dries, your skin will feel revitalized and your makeup will enjoy new life.



Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 30, $65. Available at Sephora.com

Though it can, of course, be used on days when you forgo wearing makeup, the new Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield is a life-saver as a primer, since it soothes and moisturizes the skin (thanks to  barley, sunflower, and cucumber extracts), tackles visible aging signs (the result of mushroom peptides that boost collagen and elastin production), and “blurs” any red patches, enlarged pores, dark spots, or acne breakouts with the help of a soft-focus complex. Because it goes on completely clear (hallelujah!), this multi-tasking sunscreen won’t interfere with any makeup you subsequently apply but, instead, will help to create a smooth and even canvas.

On off-duty days when you take a more minimalist approach to makeup, try blending 1-2 drops of the Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield with your favorite tinted moisturizer or CC cream — this will allow you to obtain the light and natural-looking coverage you seek while also enjoying a matte finish (the Invisiblur leaves the complexion matte rather than shiny) and further concealing any problem areas.

I’m so in love with this product, I even reach for it first when I’m wearing nothing on my skin at all (aside from a non-tinted moisturizer, that is!) because I adore that it goes on clear and stays clear. That, in and of itself, is revolutionary, but when you add the antioxidant-rich formula, the moisturizing and anti-aging benefits, and the skin-perfecting abilities, the Invisiblur Perfecting Shield’s status ascends even further, rising from groundbreaking to legendary.

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