Sunday Riley’s New Sunscreen Isn’t Like Anything I’ve Tried Before

Karina Hoshikawa
·3 min read

Sunday Riley is behind some of the most beloved skin-care products in beauty: the famed Good Genes exfoliating treatment (maskne doesn’t stand a chance against this stuff); the iconic Luna retinol oil; the C.E.O vitamin-C-packed brightening cream to end all brightening creams. And today, a new product has joined the brand’s cult-favorite ranks: Light Hearted, Sunday Riley’s first-ever sunscreen. Over the past few years, beautifully formulated SPFs have been enjoying a massive resurgence — coupled with a growing awareness of the importance of sun protection, the product has become a far cry from something you begrudgingly rub on at the beach. At the heart of Sunday Riley’s newest launch is a decadent lotion you’ll genuinely love applying. Below, join my deep-dive into the new drop as I slather on the SPF 30 formula packed with zinc oxide, octisalate, turmeric, and lutein.

Sunday Riley Light Hearted Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen, $35

The Feel

One of the many perks of my job is getting early-access to products — and sometimes, hush-hush drops will arrive in unmarked lab sample tubes. (It may not be IG-friendly, but I love feeling like I’m in on a secret.) You couldn’t tell from the plain exterior, but the lotion inside was velvety AF — and pink! (This is from botanical ingredients.) However, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it blended in seamlessly on my olive skin with no trace of a dreaded white cast. It was also super hydrating without feeling greasy at all. As someone with an oily complexion, I sometimes struggle with finding sunscreens that won’t break me out. After a week of testing it in various conditions — out and about with my dog, on the (socially distanced) ski slopes in Vermont — it had yet to cause any problems. It absorbed readily, left a fresh-faced finish, and even wore well under makeup. There was no noticeable fragrance either, and it didn’t irritate my sensitive skin.

The Ingredients

Unlike other formulas that either use mineral (aka physical) ingredients (like zinc or titanium oxide) or chemical actives like oxybenzone and above zone, Light Hearted harnesses both; zinc oxide and octisalate (another chemical ingredient) to provide SPF 30 protection. For added skincare benefits, Sunday Riley snuck in ingredients like turmeric and lutein for antioxidant and blue light protection. I can’t say for sure whether it improved the appearance of my bare face in any noticeable way, but I’d be curious to see if anything changes on that front with continued use. For $35, it’s a step up from drugstore stuff, but one of the more affordable products in the Sunday Riley lineup, making it an accessible, practical option for someone wanting to try the brand. (And if you don’t already have your sunscreen game on lock, fix that stat!).

Final Thoughts

When my expectation for any new sunscreen involves a shiny forehead and 2-3 new pimples, I’m nothing short of blown away (honestly) to find a new formula I actually love. It’s perfect for adding a bit of much-needed hydration, making it perfect for most skin types. It may not replace my lightweight go-to SPF lotion (especially as we approach summer), but it’s still a solid everyday option for anyone with bougie taste in sunscreen. *Raises hand*

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