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 Tatcha The Silk Sunscreen Mineral Broad Spectrum SPF 50 PA++++ with Hyaluronic Acid and Niacinamide.
If sunscreen is not already a foundational part of your daytime skin care routine, start here. If you’re like me, an avid SPF user and borderline fanatic, then Tatcha’s newest SPF might be right up your alley. Sunscreen is one of those categories in skin care that’s been on the receiving end of massive innovation as of late. For mineral formulas especially (which block UVA/UVB rays rather than absorb and disperse through the body as heat) issues like white cast from zinc and overall blend-ability have improved, but often still leave a trace on darker skin tones, or pill and feel uncomfortable under makeup. Tatcha clearly heard the call for a more seamless, sheer finish in a mineral SPF, and happily has delivered with its newest (and second ever) sunscreen, the The Silk Sunscreen Mineral Broad Spectrum SPF 50 PA++++ with Hyaluronic Acid and Niacinamide — yes, it’s a mouthful.
If you’re not already familiar, Tatcha has long been heralded as a high-end authority on all things skin care. Its Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen is a favorite among editors, and every formula from the brand is crafted at the Tatcha Institute in Tokyo — touched by scientists with the intention of bringing “harmony from skin to soul.” The brand boasts an innovation-first ethos with a product lineup that prioritizes moisture, Japanese ingredients, and sensitive skin-friendly formulas. So, to say I was excited to experience Tatcha for the first time would be an understatement.
Keep reading to see how the brand’s newest sunscreen is offering a zero residue finish that’s lightweight to the touch, and happens to be my new favorite makeup primer.
Me + SPF Forever
I first learned to be diligent about my sun protection when I was on Accutane. Since then, I’ve stuck mostly to EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46. Although SPF is a never-skip step in my day, it’s an area I hadn’t given much thought to upgrading. I count myself lucky to have somehow been saved from bad habits like tanning beds and baby oil in high school. My mom always stressed the importance of sunscreen, especially for outdoors.
As a freelance writer working mostly out of my New York City apartment, I tend to experience less fresh air than I did as a kid in Iowa. But my SPF application has only skyrocketed since. I can chalk it up to a combination of things. First, I’ve watched makeup artists slather models in lightweight sunscreen before runway shows, and heard women I admire credit avid sunscreen usage as the secret to their glow. There’s no shortage of skin care experts like my favorite, Charolette Palermino, singing the praises of SPF. And lastly, as my skin changes — from blemishes to finer lines to rough texture — sunscreen always feels like a variable I can control for good.
Enter Tatcha Silk Sunscreen Mineral SPF 50
My expectations were sky high going into this Trial Run. Tatcha releases new products slowly — a note the rest of the industry could learn from. And what excited me the most about the product before it even arrived at my door was the brand’s promise of a radiant finish. I was totally happy with my tried and true SPF, but I’ve been seeing creators credit their glow to sunscreen usage. Practically, Tatcha’s claim is backed up by the inclusion of universally-beloved ingredients like hyaluronic acid and niacinamide, both of which are known to hydrate and visibly even skin tone. But there’s more to the formulation than meets the eye. While lots of tinted moisturizers new to the market have been relying on ingredients like these for added moisture, it’s rarer to see both added to a sunscreen formula.
10% zinc oxide and red algae extracts are included to “help protect skin from UVA/UVB rays and cocoon skin from blue light and pollution,” per the brand’s press release. Some mineral sunscreens can include zinc oxide in up to 25%, which will often leave you with that tell-tale white cast, but the minimum required in the US is 10%. Despite the lower percentage, the sun protection factor is still 50, which is great for a longer wear sunscreen (although reapplying throughout the day is still a must), and the application won’t leave you looking ghostly.
On top of that, the sunscreen’s namesake, silk extracts, support the skin barrier and act as a terrific primer. If you apply makeup on top of the sunscreen, this makes for a perfectly smooth base. Red algae extract contains high quantities of peptides and fatty acids, improving skin’s elasticity, and contributing to the product’s smooth finish.
As mentioned, the main differences between The Silk Sunscreen and Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen (Tatcha’s first sunscreen) come down to SPF level and texture. Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen offers SPF 35 PA+++, which the newer offering comes with SPF 50 PA++++. Both are mineral sunscreens, but Silken Pore Perfecting offers some chemical ingredient protection as well. Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen focuses on tightening pores for a matte and silky texture, while the new formula is all about hydrating for an even skin tone with a hydrated glow. New innovation in The Silk Sunscreen from the slight tint to a lower amount of zinc oxide (10% versus 15%) creates a sunscreen even more compatible for darker skin tones than the brand’s original offering.
Testing The Tatcha Silk Sunscreen Mineral SPF 50
On first application, I was shocked to see just how liquid-y the product was from the bottle, which is quite different compared to the brand’s first SPF, which has a more soufflé-like cream texture. Plus, as pictured, the sunscreen has a subtle tint. Once I shook the bottle and warmed the product in my hands, I used about a tablespoon on my whole face, including my neck and ears.
The formula felt seamless to apply. I used my fingers, but could imagine mixing the sunscreen with a bit of tinted moisturizer for added coverage and applying with a damp beauty blender. The Silk Sunscreen sunk into my skin immediately, the tan color blending with my own skin tone (but without the type of coverage that comes from a foundation or concealer). The tint was more to neutralize the visibility of the zinc, blending out for a sheer finish.
The glow lasted all day, contrary to some SPFs that become greasy throughout the day. Instead of sunscreen’s typical sticky feeling, the product soaked into my skin at an almost alarming rate. I’m used to working my sunscreen into my skin, but this was incredibly easy to blend. Scents can also be an issue with sunscreen, and Tatcha’s latest comes with only the lightest of chalky smells. Compared to what I’m used to, it was unnoticeable. Later in the day when I applied makeup, I was thrilled to find there was no pilling.
Is Tatcha Silk Sunscreen Mineral SPF 50 Worthwhile?
Here’s the thing: A great SPF that you love to wear might just be the best investment you can make on your face if you’re looking to protect your skin barrier and prevent fine lines. With that in mind, why not try Tatcha The Silk Sunscreen? It feels indulgent to spend $60 on sunscreen when there are so many great budget-friendly options on the market, but if a great mineral formula is important to you, this is a great place to start.
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