Sunscreen That Doesn’t Smell Like Sunscreen

Wearing some amount of SPF every day is a virtue. It’s also recommended by every medical professional I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. But if there’s one hurdle sunscreen must overcome in order to find a place on faces across Asia, it’s that godawful scent. Yes, some people like it, but even those people probably don’t wear enough protection on the regular (join me as I conjecture wildly!). Product developers, if you’re listening: You’ve got to make sunscreen so delectably irresistible that people can’t help but reapply it every two hours, no matter the situation.

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Luckily Tatcha and Shiseido are at least half of the way there, by my calculations. The former (which launches in August 2015, so hold tight) can sub in for your everyday moisturizer for two reasons: It feels like a traditional cream meant to actually take care of your skin beyond just protecting it from UVA/UVB rays, and it doesn’t smell like anything. There’s nothing about it that even remotely seems like sunscreen. Except the fact that it is.

What Shiseido Extra Smooth Sun Protection Lotion has going for it is that packaging—I mean, just try not use it. The texture is runnier, like your average SPF, but the smell is nowhere near what you’re used to. It’s tropical, fruity, and fancy, like it should be. The oddly specific SPF 38 is so precise that I assume it is somehow scientifically superior (atypical numbers will do that to a person). Also, did I mention the packaging? Just perfection.

A more recent, and thoroughly pleasant, discovery was Image Skincare’s Prevention+ Daily Ultimate Protection Moisturizer SPF 50. Initially recommended as a moisturizing formula that’s good for acne-prone faces, the smell is delightful and sweet. Similarly, Supergoop’s Everyday Sunscreen (a Gwyneth Paltrow-endorsed brand) smells like what you’d want a body cream to smell like—light, unobtrusive, but still nice should someone get a whiff of you downwind.

Those in the know might wondering why Coola isn’t on the list, since they’re well-known for their cucumber-scented formula. Well, rest assured, they’re here, just a little hidden. Look no further than Tommy Bahama Zephyr Face Sunscreen Lotion, powered by Coola. It’s got your cucumber in there highlighted by some sage for good measure. So good, you’re going to want to cook with it. Or not. Just remember to reapply. That’s the main takeaway here.

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