I remember when spray-on sunscreens really became a thing. I have memories of being at the neighborhood pool, watching all my friend’s moms gracefully apply a mist of invisible sun protection to their arms and legs—no white residue, no massive break in playground time in order to rub it all in. It took a matter of seconds to be shielded from a potential burn—the red, blotchy soreness, the skin peeling that inevitably follows. All the while, I was over at our family pool campsite, still trying to apply and distribute the traditionally messier stuff all over my freckled nose.
It took a little longer for my mom to jump on the spray-on SPF trend (TBH, we all still pretty much prefer lotion), but eventually, I got to experience the luxury that was a mist.
Since then, and thanks to the career path I decided to follow, I’ve experienced SPF in its many forms. You've got the solid, conveniently packaged sticks you can swipe on your nose and lips. You’ve got your sprays (perfection for when you’re by yourself at the beach and can’t reach behind your back—the struggle), and your traditional lotions and creams.
I thought that was pretty much it, until I was introduced to a sunscreen oil this past weekend and pretty much freaked out.
When I saw the bottle of Supergoop!’s Sun-Defying Sunscreen Oil SPF 50 ($34; sephora.com), I was a little nervous.
I know it was totally not the same, but I had visions of beach-goers from my youth slapping on tanning oil on a 95 degree day. Reminder, Victoria (and anyone else who has those early ‘90s memories), this is not the same thing.
This was, in fact, a sun protection product in the form of an easy-to-apply, ultra-hydrating oil. Um, with an SPF 50!!!
It seemed a little weird, but I’m adventurous, so I tested it out on a particularly brutal day (we’re talking crazy high temps).
Well, first matter of success was that I didn’t get a sunburn! This product sprays out like your traditional spray sunscreen, but because it’s a oil, it has a slightly heavier consistency. The first thing I noticed was how silky it felt in my hands and how easy it was to rub into my arms and legs—just like I’d apply a body oil after getting out of the shower. I was surprised to find that it absorbed rather quickly (sometimes it takes a while for oils) and smelled lovely. If you’re sensitive to the traditional sunscreen scent, you’ll dig this. Trust.
Made with argan and meadowfoam seed oil, it also left my bod feeling exceptionally moisturized, without a dry spot in sight.
My first testing scenario was at the beach—surf lessons and all–and I left without any burns. Wondering if it was just a weird fluke, I decided to try it out during a sunbathing session (I also wore a hat, don’t you worry) on a New York rooftop during another heinous summer day. Once again, total success.
Will I drop my traditional lotion for an oil? Def not for my face, but I’ll gladly work it into my rotation. In my opinion, you can really never have enough SPF in your beach bag.