Let’s face it; sunscreen is boring on a good day, and greasy and filmy on a day you’d like to forget. Since we’re tasked with applying it regularly, it feels like a chore rather than a luxury. As the number of melanoma cases continue to rise nationwide, it wouldn’t be too far off-base to say sunscreen needs some help with its image.
That’s where gels come in. They’re hip! They’re fun! They’re new! And if I know anything, we’ll be seeing many more gel sunscreens in the near future.
To settle the icky matter of greasy skin after sunscreen application, gels dry quickly with a matte-to-satin finish. The elegant formula in Cover FX’s Clear Cover doesn’t pill under makeup, which is very considerate, and Julep’s No Excuses feels smooth — like an airy cloud — on skin.
Gel sunscreens are able to harness clear, bouncy formulas because they are chemical-based. This means that they protect you by absorbing the sun’s rays so that our skin will not — unlike chalky mineral sunscreens, which serve as a liquid shield against the sun. (And while we’re on the subject of chemical sunscreens, they certainly won’t kill you, but they might not work well with very sensitive skin.)
The formulas are accented with silicones to engineer their gel-like feel. They won’t clog your pores, if you’re wondering (silicones have long-been cleared from pimple-inducing infamy), and their mattifying effect actually works best with oily, acne-prone skin.
For a body sunscreen I have to recommend Bull Frog’s Quik Gel, which is as cheap as it is cooling on skin. Speaking of cooling, when I began to research gel sunscreens I noticed that a vast array were sold in India. Could it be because gels feel so refreshing on hot summer skin? I give it one calendar year until gel sunscreens become the hallmarks of summer on this side of the world.