Supergoop's Unseen Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 40 Is an Invisible Winner for All Skin Tones

The lightweight formulation dries down clear on skin. 

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supergoop sunscreen review
Best of Beauty
  • Best of Beauty
  • 2018
Readers' Choice
  • Readers' Choice
  • 2020
TL;DR:
  • What It Is: An invisible, oil-free sunscreen with no scent 
  • What It Does: Protects the skin from sun damage 
  • Who It's For: Anyone who hates sunscreens that leave a white cast behind

When it comes to die-hard beauty rules, using sunscreen regularly is nonnegotiable. (Just ask any dermatologist.) And yet, despite its importance in any healthy skin-care routine, finding an SPF-packed product that doesn't feel oily or leave behind a white cast can be a challenge, especially if your skin is on the oily side and/or you have darker skin. Thankfully, for the last couple of years, numerous brands have been listening to consumers' frustrations and have tweaked some of their old formulas, and launched entirely new iterations, too.

Case in point: The Best of Beauty-winning Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 40, a clear, primer-like sunscreen with an oil-free, completely invisible, scentless, and lightweight formulation. It dries down clear, making it suitable for all skin types and complexions.

"Our consumers are so vocal about what they like and dislike about SPFs, so [Unseen] was more about putting this dream list together that, regardless of skin tone, everyone can pull this product into their routine every single day," Holly Thaggard, Supergoop's founder, tells Allure. "We knew that we could push ourselves to really deliver on that checklist of things, [including] invisible, weightless, scentless, makeup-gripping."

Similar to Supergoop's other SPF-infused products, such as the Best of Beauty-winning Forever Young Hand Cream, Unseen Sunscreen is chock full of good-for-your-skin benefits beyond all-important sun protection. Composed of red algae and hydrating meadowfoam seed oil, Unseen protects against UVA and UVB rays, as well as infrared and blue light emitted by electronic devices, like smartphones and laptops.

"We came up with this concept a few years ago," Sofia Gracia, Supergoop's director of product development, tells Allure. "Our lifestyles were changing, and we were spending more time indoors. So we had to start thinking about the whole spectrum of light, which includes blue light." Blue light, she says, is part of the full spectrum of light, which encompasses UVA and UVB, and visible light. "It contains really high energy that's similar to UVA and UVB high energy and is able to penetrate deep into our skin," says Gracia. "And what's that mean? Well, when blue-light radiation penetrates deep into your skin, it can cause a lot of damage."

This is why Supergoop's Unseen is formulated with ingredients, like red algae, to color-cancel potentially damaging blue light. "If you think about a color wheel, you have complementary colors that cancel each other," explains Gracia. "That's how the blue-light-detracting ingredients work. Red algae is good at canceling the blue-violet portion of the spectrum, without it actually imparting a red color in the formula."

Courtesy of brand
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After hearing about Unseen's impressive ingredients, we put it to the test with four different staff members, including me. The results? Beautiful, streak-free skin. Even with our varying skin tones, the cream blended seamlessly on everyone. And, though it might have just been me, Unseen gave my skin a bit of glow, which multiple people around the office complimented me on.

While clear sunscreen isn't a new idea — Glossier's Invisible Shield — this one, in particular, is a great option if you're looking for a formula that's mattifying and can be worn seamlessly under makeup.

"With primer-type textures, I find that they can be really drying, so by adding this complex that's derived from meadowfoam, we wanted to harness the benefits of the hydration and leave the skin feeling very even, but without making it greasy," says Gracia. "This is the complex that's derived from the oil, without it actually being an oil. Unseen sunscreen is still oil-free."

That said, now there's virtually no excuse to skimp on sun protection. Just remember to reapply it, or Supergoop's Defense Refresh Setting Mist, every couple of hours for maximum efficiency.

You can buy Supergoop's Unseen Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 40 for $34 at sephora.com or dermstore.com now.

The Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen Broad Spectrum is a 2020 Allure Readers' Choice Winner. See the complete list of this year's winners here.