(Trial Run)

I Tried A New Serum Sunscreen & Think I Found My New Go-To

A mineral SPF & a treatment for dark spots? Yes, please.

Courtesy of Khera Alexander
khera alexander trying the new Murad Correct & Protect Serum Broad Spectrum SPF 45

In our series Trial Run, TZR editors and writers put the buzziest new beauty products to the test and share their honest reviews. This week, our writer is testing the new Murad Correct & Protect Serum Broad Spectrum SPF 45.

Over the years, I haven’t had the best experience with sunscreens. SPF was a huge pain point of mine, and there’d be gaps of time that I wouldn’t wear any, which I absolutely cringe at the thought of now. As a Black person, my options were to go with the least terrible choice out of, quite honestly, some of the worst options anyone could be presented with. Whatever made me look less purple, ashy, or irritated my skin the least is usually what I went with. In hindsight, it makes total sense why there were times I didn’t wear SPF at all.

Today, instead of making a product work or wearing nothing, we have more choices — which is especially important for those with a skin tone that’s richer than mine. Some of the options available today include formulas that push the boundaries of a typical SPF: They’re sheer, formulated with high-performing ingredients, and sometimes, they do more than act as a sunscreen.

This is where Murad comes in, a brand known for its advanced, prestige skin care. The label just dropped the Correct & Protect Serum Broad Spectrum SPF 45, a mineral-based serum sunscreen that also doubles as an antioxidant-rich protector, correcting discoloration and helping to prevent future hyperpigmentation. There’s a lot going on with this SPF, and I mean that in a good way. Curious about the texture, feel, and how it would look on my skin, I decided to give it a shot. Keep reading for my thoughts on this product.

Murad Correct & Protect Serum Broad Spectrum SPF 45Khera Alexander

My Sunscreen Experience

I first started using sunscreen when I was about 13. This was also around the time that I became really interested in beauty, reading tons of magazines and buying products with my babysitting money. I had a mini skin care routine, but magazines educated me on the importance of sun protection, which, at the time, was completely foreign to me. I used sunscreen throughout my teens, but I wasn’t consistent — like I mentioned above, my options weren’t great.

When I started experiencing adult acne in my early 20s, my dermatologist encouraged me to get serious about wearing sunscreen everyday, especially since my treatment plan involved retinol and Accutane. Since then, I’ve become pretty vigilant about wearing SPF daily, and the EltaMD UV Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 46 is my current favorite. It doesn’t aggravate my sensitive skin, cause breakouts, have a white cast, or make my skin look and feel greasy.

A Closer Look At The Murad Sunscreen

When I first got a feel for the SPF on the back of my hand, I was pretty intrigued. It has a thin, almost watery texture that spreads easily and settles into the skin immediately. To give you a better idea, the texture is similar to that of a serum or skin tint: Lightweight and easily spreadable. This type of texture for a sunscreen was new for me — I’m used to SPFs that feel more like a lotion or have a thicker, greasier feel until absorbed. To me, this was a good sign of what would lay ahead.

The Murad Correct & Protect up close.Khera Alexander

The Murad sunscreen is formulated with 17% zinc oxide, making it a mineral sun protectant. Mineral sunscreens are commonly referred to as physical sunscreens, but either term has the same meaning when comparing it to chemical sunscreens. While both will protect your skin from the sun effectively, they perform differently.

Mineral sunscreens (usually formulated with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide) create a physical barrier between your skin and the sun, deflecting the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Chemical sunscreens actually absorb into the skin, converting the sun’s rays into heat before leaving your body. After plenty of trial and error over the years, I figured out that my skin tends to respond better to physical or hybrid sunscreens, so I was excited when I learned that Murad’s Correct & Protect was mineral-based. For about a week, I used the SPF both on its own and underneath makeup.

My skin before using the Murad SPF.Khera Alexander

Trying Murad’s Correct & Protect

When I first applied the sunscreen, the texture took some getting used to — I wasn’t sure how much product to use because it’s so thin. The SPF has a dropper for its applicator, which is necessary because the texture is quite runny — I could see myself wasting product if it was packaged differently. To be safe, I used two drops on my forehead and cheeks, added a drop to any areas that I might have missed, and slathered it on my neck as well. As soon as I used my index and middle fingers to rub the solution in, it was truly undetectable.

This SPF is so lightweight and fast-absorbing — sun protectants I’ve used in the past have made my skin feel heavy and look oily, or my skin has felt dry and tight. From the very first application, my skin felt comfortable, and if anything, I looked a bit more matte than usual.

The SPF in this serum is obviously the most important, but Murad also uses other ingredients I love. The star ingredient is beet root extract, which is used to hydrate skin and encourage vitamin D production. Next, niacinamide, which helps with skin discoloration and maintaining the skin barrier. Jojoba oil is used as a hydrator and antioxidant, and lastly, there’s squalane to replenish moisture. These ingredients not only contribute to the Correct & Protect’s nourishing feel, but they also validate Murad’s positioning of this SPF as a 2-in-1 sun protectant and hyperpigmentation serum — pretty impressive if you ask me.

My skin after using the Murad SPF.Khera Alexander

Is the Murad Correct & Protect Serum Worth Buying?

I’m not a proponent of skin care that’s inexplicably expensive — some of the most phenomenal products I use are drugstore finds — but the two items I’m willing to splurge on are serums and sunscreen. I’ll shell out more money for a serum because of its potency and ability to penetrate the deeper layers of my skin. With sunscreen, it’s simple: If my skin likes it, I’ll invest in it. Without a good SPF, the rest of my skin care routine is moot.

The fact that Murad created a serum and SPF that I enjoy using makes this 1 fl oz product worth the $68 price tag. Not only does my skin like it, but I’m able to address sun protection and hyperpigmentation simultaneously. I didn’t notice a major difference in my dark spots yet, but I haven’t used it long enough for that — some results in skin care aren’t as immediate. Regardless, I’m really happy with this product, and I think I found my new go-to sunscreen. If you’re unfamiliar with Murad, getting acquainted with this SPF serum is a fantastic place to start.

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