Glow Recipe watermelon glow niacinamide sunscreen SPF50 review: A dewy, full-coverage sunscreen with no white cast

Available from 21 April – Join the waitlist now

Rating: 8.5/10


The first important thing to know regarding this formula is its level of coverage. If you’re not sunscreen savvy, SPF stands for “sun protection factor” and is the measurement of protection against UVB rays which are the main cause of burning. This is an SPF50, so it would typically take your skin 50 times longer to redden with this on your complexion.

One factor that many people forget to look out for when shopping for a new SPF is “broad-spectrum” coverage. This refers to a formula that provides effective protection against UVA rays that penetrate deeper into the skin and are responsible for premature aging of the skin – think lines and wrinkles, brown spots and loss of elasticity. UVA rays can penetrate through clouds and even windows, hence why it’s so important to wear a good sunscreen no matter what the weather. This one from Glow Recipe offers broad spectrum protection, so you’re fully covered.

The sunscreen filters are provided by a blend of both mineral (non-nano zinc oxide) and a combination of chemical (homosalate, octisalate and octocrylene). In line with the brand’s clean, vegan, cruelty-free and sustainable ethos, it doesn’t contain oxybenzone or octinoxate which are common sunscreen filters that are toxic to marine life and coral reefs.

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By providing what the brand says is the best of both worlds, the formulation fuses the cosmetic appeal of chemical filters in that they’re sheer, lightweight, easy to blend and absorb into the skin with mineral sunscreens’s gentleness and higher protection.

The filters are teamed with added skincare ingredients, making this a new-generation “skinscreen” rather than a sunscreen. Just as the name suggests, it is enriched with niacinamide (vitamin B3) for extra antioxidant protection, to reduce hyperpigmentation and perk-up dullness.

On top, hyaluronic acid has been added to the mix to keep skin well hydrated. Throw in some aloe to the formulation blend for more skin-protecting antioxidant protection, coupled with its soothing properties, and then, of course, there’s a sprinkling of watermelon extract for its hydrating and skin-brightening to complete the recipe.

The application

Expect the light, silky lotion that effortlessly melts into the skin, leaving it feeling comfortable, moist and as hydrated, just as promised. We expected nothing less with the added moisture-boosting skincare actives added to the formulation.

Just like the brand’s other watermelon glow products, we were seriously impressed with the naturally dewy finish this leaves on the skin – it’s neither sticky or greasy which is a big win. Its gorgeous glow will appeal to dry skin types, but it’s definitely suited to others too – those who are prone to breakouts or acne who also need an extra hit of hydration will also benefit from this formula, for example.

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Even better, unlike other mineral SPFs which leave a white cast or chalkiness on the skin, this one blends in completely, making it suitable for darker skintones.

After seen a few US users on social channels complain of “pilling” where bobble-like flakes of product appear on the skin when layering with other products, we were aware of this happening when we tried this formula. However, we can report this doesn’t happen as long as you use it as recommended. The key is to allow your moisturizer to absorb before applying and again letting the SPF dry before applying make-up. Also, pat and don’t rub in the SPF.

The result

Glow Recipe’s first sunscreen does provide a hydrating glow like no other. A godsend to anyone looking for extra hydration, as well as those looking for a glowy-not-greasy finish. We loved it so much that we didn’t want to apply our usual make-up base on top top – the fact that it inspired us to go bare-skinned is a testament to how good the finish is.

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While those with dry or dehydrated skin types will love this SPF, we know this isn’t going to suit all. Oily skin types will still find it too much, and of course, so will those who prefer mattifying products. It will, however, suit all skintones, even darker skinned users that will have stayed clear of mineral sunscreens in the past. The innovative hybrid formulation makes for a blendable, high coverage finish with no traces of a white cast.

When it comes to the bonus skincare benefits, the extra moisture-boosting actives certainly kept our complexion comfortably hydrated throughout the day. However, we’ll need to try it for longer to see how well it tackles hyperpigmentation

The verdict: Glow Recipe watermelon glow niacinamide sunscreen SPF50

In short, this new sunscreen is definitely worth the hype it received across the pond. It’s a high factor, broad-spectrum sunscreen packed with added antioxidants to protect the complexion from UV damage and premature aging. But it’s much more than just a daily necessity: it’s a joy to add to the morning skincare routine, thanks to its sheer finish that leaves skin truly glowing.

It’s nothing like SPF formulations of the past, ticking all the boxes when it comes to being a next-generation sunscreen with its gentle, irritation-free, non-greasy, non-chalky, quick-absorbing formula that works on all skintones and nearly all skin types.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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