- Value: 19/20
- Functionality: 19/20
- Ease of Use: 18/20
- Aesthetics: 20/20
- Blendability: 18/20
- TOTAL: 94/100
I've said it before, and I'll continue saying it: SPF is mandatory. But that doesn't mean it has to smell like sunscreen and leave your skin all chalky looking. At least, that's what ILIA Beauty has been setting out to prove with its Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40.
But let's start from the beginning. If you know me, you know that I'm a huge clean beauty fan—if it's not up to non-toxic standards, I typically don't put it on my skin. Once I learned how bad certain chemicals and preservatives (like parabens, sulfates and phthalates) are for us, there was no going back. And those same rules apply to sunscreen. There are actually only two active SPF ingredients approved by the FDA to be safe and effective: zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. So slathering on any old sunscreen will undo all my hard work.
I also truly love a multitasking product (but really, who doesn't?). That means most of my favorite makeup can either be used a few different ways, or also includes some skincare benefits. Which brings me to ILIA's Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40. When I first learned that it's part serum, part makeup and part zinc oxide SPF, I was immediately sold. It's made with FDA-approved SPF 40 non-nano zinc oxide that shields skin from UVA, UVB, UVC, blue light and infrared light, which makes me feel a little bit better about being behind a screen all day. As far as the other ingredients? Think complexion-perfecting hyaluronic acid, plant-based squalane and niacinamide, which help to even tone, soften fine lines and fade imperfections over time, not to mention deliver tons of hydration to my easily parched skin.
It comes in 18 shades, and the website even features a reference tool to help you to determine the right tone for your skin—I was shocked at how accurate it was when I received my skin tint in the mail. (My tone is Shela ST8, a light medium with neutral warm undertones.) The consistency is a bit thicker than I expected, given that the brand dubs it, "a clean, light-coverage, tinted mineral SPF 40 serum." But alas, it's super blendable and easy to smooth over skin with nothing but my fingers. Note: A little bit goes a very long way, so start with three or so drops and work your way up if needed. It also leaves a dewy, my-skin-but-better glow that brings life to my face, even on my fifth Zoom call of the day. My normal everyday foundation is definitely lighter weight than ILIA's (Kosas Tinted Face Oil, if you're wondering), but although it also includes skincare benefits, it doesn't include SPF or the same blue light protection.
Perhaps the thing I love most about ILIA's product? There's no complicated order of operations to follow (SPF first? Or serum? Or...?!). I just apply it directly to freshly washed skin and any imperfections are instantly blurred and my skincare and SPF are both taken care of.