ELLE (Australia) - - Beauty -

While mod­ern skin­care has evolved to mir­ror our multi-task­ing lives, sun­screens have tra­di­tion­ally stayed in their lane, fo­cus­ing on do­ing one thing well: pro­tect­ing skin from UV rays. But a new gen­er­a­tion of for­mu­las is of­fer­ing more than just SPF. “A few years ago, we saw the growth of al­pha­bet creams like BB and CC creams, which pro­vide count­less skin­care ben­e­fits, and now we’re see­ing some of those trends in the sun­screen cat­e­gory,” says Amy Chung, a beauty in­dus­try an­a­lyst.

Now, more and more SPF for­mu­las are laced with skin-lov­ing in­gre­di­ents, from sooth­ing aloe in We Are Feel Good Inc’s Co­conut Sun­screen Lo­tion SPF 50+, to O Cosmedic’s Min­eral Pro SPF 30+ which con­tains resver­a­trol, a so­phis­ti­cated an­tiox­i­dant usu­ally re­served for high-end serums and crèmes.

One of the trick­i­est things to get right is the tex­ture – of­ten chalky and sticky, it can put off even the most com­mit­ted user. “The big­gest hur­dle is aes­thet­ics,” says Naomi Furgiuele, who worked on R&D at John­son & John­son. “They don’t want it white or smelly,” she says, cit­ing feed­back from a sun­screen study the com­pany con­ducted be­fore de­vel­op­ing their Neu­tro­gena Hy­dro Boost Wa­ter Gel Sun­screen SPF 50, a su­per-light­weight for­mula packed with hyaluronic acid, which couldn’t feel more dif­fer­ent from the sun­screens of the past.

Even if we’re suc­cess­fully dodg­ing the rays out­side, we’re still soak­ing up blue light from our screens, which is be­lieved to ac­cel­er­ate age­ing and dam­age skin. Known as high-en­ergy vis­i­ble light (HEV), it’s some­thing skin­care brands have al­ready started to ad­dress. This cur­rent is­sue of screen time echoes what der­ma­tol­o­gists have been preach­ing for years: pro­tect­ing our skin is a full-time job. And now, thanks to these new cut­ting-edge for­mu­las, there are no ex­cuses for skip­ping ap­pli­ca­tion.

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