When Nécessaire hit the market in 2018, my body-care routine got an immediate upgrade. The chic, minimalist packaging, the textures, the scents—it all works. Now, after some very careful consideration and years of research, the brand is launching its first SPF—The Sunscreen SPF 30 PA+++—and I’m a fan, my husband is a fan, and I even felt comfortable enough applying it on my baby one day when I accidentally left her “baby sunscreen” at home. Here’s why.
My Skin Type:
Combination. I’m drier in the cold-weather months and oilier in the warm-weather ones thanks to the high humidity on the East Coast.
First let me start by saying I am a sunscreen devotee. I don’t leave the house without it on my skin, and most days I also wear it while indoors too because we know UVA rays (the ones that contribute to hyperpigmentation, skin cancer and skin aging) come in through windows—blue light is also a culprit. But I’m not just slopping any ol’ SPF on my skin. I’ve tried and tested just about everything on the U.S. market (and many international formulas too), and I’m picky about my protection. What I love so much about this new one is that it feels like I’m wearing a hydrating face cream rather than sunscreen, which is thanks to the addition of hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, squalane, laminaria saccharina (an algae extract) and glycerin.
Though it’s not entirely free of a white cast because it is zinc-based (and a high percentage at that—20 percent), I would not have guessed it contained that much because it rubs in really well. I have lighter skin, but this blends in seamlessly after a little massaging, which I don’t mind because massaging increases blood flow and increased blood flow equals a nice glow. The brand did formulate with an advanced zinc dispersion technology to minimize the white cast, and it shows.
Another perk is that it’s formulated for both the face and body (the shea butter in it makes is spread easily over larger areas like the back and legs), and it hasn’t made me break out anywhere after weeks of use head to toe. It’s good for all skin types, like all Nécessaire products, even sensitive, acne-prone and eczema-prone. And, as I mentioned above, I also used it on my 8-month-old’s legs and feet one day when the sun was blaring and I had accidentally left her baby-safe sunscreen at home. It was so smooth on her skin and she had zero irritation.
20-percent zinc oxide, 1 percent laminaria saccharina, hyaluronic acid, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, vitamin E and bisabolol
What It’s Free From:
Parabens, phthalates, sulfates, silicones, synthetic fragrances, and PEGs
How to Use It:
I love the airless pump, but before you try it, note that a lot comes out when you push down a full pump. If you’re only applying on your face, push it down halfway to release half a pump’s worth instead. If you accidentally get too much, don’t forget the backs of your hands, your neck and your ears. For a full-body application, the brand recommends using at least five pumps, and more if you need it.
Nécessaire also recommends spreading the lotion evenly onto your skin and then pressing it in gently to avoid pilling, rather than rubbing it in like you would a traditional sunscreen. However, I went to town rubbing it in on my face and body and never experienced this issue, so I think it depends on how it plays with whatever products you’re layering underneath. For me this time of year, it’s typically a vitamin C serum/moisturizer.
If I have to find one downside for those who live a more active lifestyle, it’s that the formula isn’t sweat- or water-resistant, so it’s not one you should choose for your morning run or afternoon swim.
What It Feels Like:
A super creamy lotion
What It Smells Like:
Nothing. It’s fragrance-free, which I very much appreciate, though there is a place for the beach vacation–scented products in my routine too.
The Bottom Line:
This is a sunscreen I will be reaching for year-round, and I’ve already emailed the brand to request a bigger size!
Price/Where to Buy:
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