Glowing sunscreens have been on the rise in social media.

And no wonder, some of them can give you the perfect sun-kissed look while you’re actively avoiding the sun!

I love glow sunscreens as a base under my foundation, it gives me a subtle shine from within and a healthy glow with no effort.

However, not all glowy sunscreens are created equal.

There are some out there that can give you the Tin Man look, and others that can make you too orange. Others still are a fragrance bomb from the 80’s.

So I’ve tested a few to find what works for me, and I’m here to share the best ones with you.

Whether you have dry or oily skin, prefer chemical or mineral sunscreen, or are on a budget, I’ve got you covered if you’re looking for the best glowy face sunscreen for yourself.

In the following sections you’ll find information on:

  • What’s a glow sunscreen and how to apply it so you’re not looking like a glowing sun yourself;
  • The top 9 glow sunscreens on the market that I’ve managed to find;
  • Some popular suggestions that you’ll find around the web, that I personally think are not good. And I spill the tea on why you should avoid them.

Let’s go!

What is glow sunscreen?

You may be wondering, what’s so special about glow sunscreens and why would you even use one?

In short, face sunscreens with glow are not your boring flat-white sunblock that protects your face.

These products have the additional benefit of illuminating your skin, giving it a radiant finish, and making it look healthy and sunkissed. They can fake the result of a great beach vacation.

They have SPF rating but are not meant to be your main UV-ray protector, though.

The key ingredients that deliver the glowy effect are usually mica, titanium dioxide, iron oxides, tin oxide, shimmer particles, and silica.

How to properly use a glowy sunscreen for best results

Now, I’ve seen a lot of confusion around the web surrounding these glowing sunscreens.

People seem unable to comprehend exactly how to use sunscreen with glow particles not in an overbearing way.

So let me shed some light.

Glowing sunscreen works best on top of another SPF product or under makeup to give that boost of radiance.

If you wear this type of sunscreen on its own, it can end up making you look ridiculous. This is because you need to apply a generous amount of product to get adequate sun protection.

That’s why it’s best to use a base SPF suitable for your skin type, and then lightly cover that with your glowy sunscreen of choice to get that juicy look.

Luckily, since you’ll be using this type of product in sparse amounts, it’ll last you way longer, so the investment is definitely worth it.

I would use it when out and about or for events such as graduation parties or weddings when I want my skin to look its best.

9 of the best glowing face sunscreens for this year

So, without further ado, here are the top 9 glowy sunscreen solutions I’d recommend trying.

Top choice: Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Sunscreen SPF 50

glowy sunscreen for face by Glow Recipe

Glow Recipe is one of my guilty pleasures and this was the first product that I knew I would be including in this article.

I bought the Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Sunscreen SPF 50 when it first launched in 2022 and have been using it ever since.

It’s a hybrid sunscreen with mineral and chemical filters. It’s available in a bottle of 1.7 oz or 50 ml at a price of around $35. That’s in the medium range of pricing for such a product but the fact that a single bottle lasts me the entire summer is what justifies the purchase for me.

It’s my favorite of all from this list (even though there are several ones that come close).

Let me share why.


  • The filters used here are homosalate (8.5%), octisalate (5%), octocrylene (8.5%), and zinc oxide (12.1%);
  • It minimizes hyperpigmentation and sun spots, brightens the skin, and reduces the appearance of pores with the help of niacinamide;
  • It has several soothing ingredients like aloe vera, copper gluconate, and zinc gluconate, and several great moisturizing ingredients which make it very calming and healing;
  • The niacinamide and zinc gluconate also help to regulate sebum – highly appreciated in summer!
  • It has water resistance for up to 80 minutes.

What we like:

  • This one is safe to use on its own, you don’t need to shy away from it and can slap it generously on your entire face.
  • It gives an illuminizing effect without the dewiness, which, as a person prone to oiliness, I love. It provides a light sheen that stays put throughout the day.
  • Works exceptionally well under foundation – it doesn’t pill and it feels weightless once it settles on your skin. No pore clogging, no heavy feeling.
  • Not too intense in terms of the amount of glow, but it certainly makes a difference. I am a fan of a natural look, so this one is right up my street.
  • It has a light consistency with an emulsion-like texture and an amazing user experience, in my opinion. No wonder, all Glow Recipe products are like that.
  • It doesn’t leave behind a white cast, although it may seem like it will when you first apply it. It quickly settles on the skin and leaves a seamless glow.
  • Dries down to a nice matt finish, leaving no greasy and sticky residue so you could comfortably wear it with no makeup on, too. It’s pure love, I tell you.

What to have in mind:

  • There’s a hint of watermelon fragrance, which quickly fades away, leaving behind a classic sunscreen scent. Personally, I don’t mind mild fragrance in my skincare as it contributes to the user experience, but if you’re sensitive to it, you’ll not get along well with this option – check some of the other glow sunscreens below.
  • I wouldn’t recommend rubbing it on for an extensive amount of time as it can pill if you do so. It’s enough to spread it on your face, gently pat it, and leave it on to absorb. It dries down quickly and you could potentially experience slight pilling if you’re someone who applies sunscreen for longer.

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Sunscreen SPF 50 ➤ Available on Glow Recipe Website, Amazon and Feelunique

Supergoop Glow Screen SPF 40

glow sunscreen by Supergoop

The Supergoop Glow Screen SPF 40 is one of the glowing face sunscreen products that took me some time to adapt to.

It’s one of those that can give you the Tin Man look if you’re not careful.

But I managed to make it work in the end, and I’ll share with you exactly why I’m still recommending it to folks.

It’s officially marketed as a glowing sunscreen for oily skin. It comes in two sizes – 1.70 oz or 50 ml and a travel size of 0.50 oz or 15 ml, at a price of around $38 or $15 for the smaller version.

This glow sunscreen by Supergoop is a chemical sunscreen that you’re meant to use on top of another SPF, in my opinion.

In combination with foundation or applying only a small amount of the product can give you the amazing radiant look you’re after.


  • Contains a mixture of protective filters, including avobenzone (3%), octisalate (5%), octocrylene (10%).
  • It’s rich in hydrating and replenishing ingredients, like niacinamide, arginine, hyaluronic acid, phospholipids, and many, many more. Check its INCI and feast on all the goodness that’s in this product – it has one of the richest ingredient lists.
  • It also gives an extra layer of protection with antioxidants like vitamin E and ferulic acid, which will help to wipe off some of that sun damage that your skin would otherwise suck in.
  • Iron oxides & titanium dioxide act as a shield against blue UV light (I have a separate article on the topic of blue light sunscreens, which I invite you to read if you’re interested since there are many myths surrounding it).
  • Fragrance-free, alcohol-free, and essential oil-free – safe for folks with sensitive skin.
  • It comes in two shades – a light one and a medium shade. It can also be used by people with very dark skin but only underneath foundation.

What we like:

  • This is super radiant without the dewy finish, so if you’re more into a natural glow, this one is a good option.
  • Super light-weight and gel-like, feels refreshing and hydrating upon application and I’d say that it does live up to its marketing claims – my oily skin had no problems with it.
  • The fact that you can choose from two shades is something I want to see more of from brands that make sunscreen products.
  • If you have very sensitive skin, this option is one of the best on my list. The ingredients (or lack thereof of any “bad” ones) support this, the other user reviews, too, and I’ve felt no irritation when using it when my skin was sensitized due to over-exfoliation.

What to have in mind:

This product has no water resistance label on the package, which means that it can smudge on those hot, sweaty days, resulting in a patchy look. It’s best to have a compact powder on hand to touch it up.

Supergoop Glow Screen SPF 40 ➤ Available on Amazon and Dermstore

TULA Skin Care Protect + Glow Daily Sunscreen SPF 30

TULA fast glowing sunscreen

This next glowing sunscreen comes in a bottle of 1.7 oz or 50 ml for a price of around $36. You can also get it in a larger size of 3.38 oz or 100 ml for $56 which I find very handy as I can order just a single bottle that will last me for a season and even beyond.

It works great in combination with foundation or other skincare products but I wouldn’t recommend using it alone as it can be a bit too much in terms of glow and luminosity.


  • Sunscreen filters include avobenzone (3%), homosalate (10%), and octisalate (5%);
  • Contains probiotic and prebiotic extracts that smooth out the skin and support a healthy skin barrier;
  • Pineapple and papaya extracts work for an even skin tone and further soothe the skin. There’s also raspberry fruit extract and green tea extract that also calm things down – together with the probiotics mentioned above, I’d say it’s a nice option for the folks with sensitive skin who read this article;
  • Rich in lactic acid which will gently help to exfoliate the topmost layer of your skin when using this product on a regular basis.

What we like:

  • The formula makes this sunscreen more than simply a sunblock – it’s rich in a range of powerful extracts and ingredients that make it a great overall skincare product too. That’s awesome news if your skin has been feeling too sensitive and you need to minimize your routine because this can bring some of the missed benefits back.
  • I didn’t feel any greasiness or sticky residue with this product;
  • You’ll notice a vivid glowy and dewy effect instantly after application and it’ll last throughout the day;
  • There’s no white cast with this glowy sunscreen, which is great for those of you with deeper skin tones. However, I wouldn’t recommend it to people with super dark skin;
  • The formula is non-comedogenic which is well-appreciated by acne-prone folks;
  • A toned-down version of the Supergoop sunscreen that offers a slight tint but nothing too strong.

What to have in mind:

  • The consistency can seem a bit off-putting at first. It resembles cottage cheese and doesn’t really look liquidy and creamy like most other sunblocks, You get used to it, but it’s something to know;
  • There’s a strong tropical fruit scent that can be off-putting to some people. I don’t mind it, but you might if you’re not a fan of fragrance;
  • This sunblock may not be ideal for super oily skin types with large pores as it can leave them looking too shiny and can further exaggerate the appearance of pores.

TULA Skin Care Protect + Glow Daily Sunscreen SPF 30 ➤ Available on Amazon

Heimish Artless Glow Base SPF50+ PA+++

Heimish best glowing sunscreen

Next up is the Heimish Artless Glow Base SPF50+ PA+++. This pearlescent sunblock contains both old and next-generation chemical filters which give you some superior sun protection.

It’s available in a bottle of 1.35 oz or 40 ml at a price of around $17.

I’d say it’s one of the best glowing sunscreen options for oily to normal skin if you’re looking for a balanced glow, but it’s also suitable for dry skin if you have a good moisturizer and you’re not after something extremely creamy.


  • Its pearl formula provides a tone-up effect and makes the skin radiant while refining the texture and smoothing out the appearance.
  • Powerful sun protection against UVA and UVB rays thanks to chemical filters including octinoxate, octisalate, ensulizole, octocrylene, uvinul A plus, and avobenzone.
  • Contains niacinamide which will brighten the skin with consistent use, thus contributing to building a natural glow from within. This effect is further boosted by extracts from rosa canina fruits and thyme.
  • We also see conditioning and replenishing ingredients like lecithin and adenosine.
  • Skin protective ingredients against external aggressors, like origanum majorana leaf extract and peppermint extract will give you an antioxidant boost.

What we like:

  • I love the incredibly lightweight and runny texture, it’s perhaps one of my favorites from this list of glowy sunscreen face products in terms of feel on the skin.
  • The formula is non-greasy and non-sticky.
  • The pigments don’t add any color and there’s no tint either, making this glowy sunscreen for the face suitable for any skin tone, even dark skin, and it gives a natural finish with a subtle glow.
  • If you’re a fan of a more intense glow, this one’s buildable and can give you more shine with each layer you put on.
  • The product leaves no white cast.

What to have in mind:

  • This sunscreen has fragrance at the bottom of the ingredients list, for those of you who are super sensitive.
  • No water resistance means that it won’t stay intact throughout the more sweaty days.
Heimish Artless Glow Base SPF50+ PA+++ ➤ Available on YesStyle and Stylevana

Pacifica Mineral Bronzing Face Shade Coconut Glow SPF 30

Pacifica sunscreen with glow

The Pacifica Mineral Bronzing Face Shade Coconut Glow SPF 30 is another reliable sunblock for a glowy effect. As the name suggests, this is a mineral sunscreen with 20% zinc oxide that doesn’t contain any chemical filters.

It’s available for sale in a bottle of 1.7 oz or 50 ml and costs around $16, making it quite affordable.


  • Contains titanium dioxide and zinc oxide (20%).
  • Rich in skin hydration ingredients like vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, and coconut extracts and soothing agents like bisabolol which, I would say, will please those of you looking for a more hydrating product.
  • The product has a bronzing effect that contributes to a sunkissed look – perfect come summertime!
  • Water resistance for up to 80 minutes means that this glowy sunscreen will remain intact on your skin throughout the day.
  • Since it’s alcohol-free, you won’t experience any burning or stinging with this product.

What we like:

  • There’s no white cast with this glowy sunscreen.
  • I love the price point, it’s fairly affordable for what it is and compared to other products from my list.
  • If you have a medium-to-dark skin tone you may be okay using this product without any foundation or extra makeup. You can totally skip your bronzer with this one.

What to have in mind:

  • This sunscreen has a beachy coconut scent and some additional fragrance in the formula.
  • Very tinted because of the bronzing effect – the shade could be a little too much for people with fair skin.
  • No shade variations, unfortunately.

Pacifica Mineral Bronzing Face Shade Coconut Glow SPF 30 ➤ Available on Amazon

Colorescience Total Protection Face Shield SPF 50 – Glow

Colorescience best sunscreen under makeup for mature skin

The Colorescience Total Protection Face Shield SPF 50 – Glow is another mineral sunscreen with an intense amount of glow, almost metallic-like. I wouldn’t wear it on its own but in combination with another sunscreen or foundation – it works extremely well.

It comes in a bottle of 1.8 oz or 55 ml for a price of around $45. You can find it in three different shades, which makes it suitable for different skin types.


  • Contains 12% zinc oxide;
  • Rich in niacinamide;
  • Provides a range of antioxidants, like tremella fuciformis sporocarp extract, tocopherol, and dimethylmethoxy chromanol for additional protection against the sun;
  • There are soothing ingredients in the formula – allantoin and bisabolol – which can calm irritation and soothe the skin;
  • Fragrance-, oil-, and alcohol-free – more points for those of you with sensitive skin.

What we like:

  • Has a demi-matt feeling on the face that those of you with normal and combination skin will appreciate;
  • Pearlescent pigments give you a nice glow. You can also use it as a highlighter on specific areas of your face;
  • The thin texture makes it easily spreadable for a quick application process which I love because I’m impatient;
  • Doesn’t feel sticky and greasy, but is very reflective once you put a layer on;
  • Works perfectly for people with dull skin when used as a primer;
  • Tinted, with available options to choose from;
  • Water resistance for 40 minutes.

What to have in mind:

If you’re someone with a deeper skin tone, you could notice a slight white cast with this glow sunscreen.

Colorescience Total Protection Face Shield SPF 50 – Glow ➤ Available on Amazon, Dermstore and SkinStore

Sun Bum Original Glow Sunscreen SPF 30

SunBum glowing face sunscreen

The next glow face sunscreen on my list is the Sun Bum Original Glow Sunscreen SPF 30. This is another chemical sunscreen that you can find in a bottle of 2 oz or 59 ml at a price of just under $20.

It’s a bit less intense than the Supergoop option, offering a medium amount of glow.


  • UVB and UVA II protection thanks to filters like octocrylene (10%), octisalate (5%), avobenzone (3%).
  • Extra protective and skin-brightening ingredients like plum extract and vitamin E.
  • Contains titanium dioxide & iron oxides as inactive ingredients – as mentioned, these can protect you from the negative effects of visible light.
  • Fragrance- and essential oil-free.
  • Water resistance for up to 80 minutes.

What we like:

  • Lightweight and creamy texture, easily absorbed by the skin and with a relatively fast application.
  • This is a tinted glowing sunscreen with a light golden tint and a warm undertone that is more toned down than other options on this list.
  • Gives a nice in-between final look that is neither too glowy and unnatural nor too weak to notice the difference;
  • Ideal to use under BB cream or just concealer.

What to have in mind:

  • The product is very liquidy and runny and the twist-on bottle cap can make it a bit messy to use. I always make sure to have it facing upward when removing and placing the cap back to avoid any spills.
  • The glow doesn’t sit on your skin throughout the day and tends to wear off a couple of hours later.

EltaMD UV Glow Tinted SPF 36

EltaMD glow face sunscreen

Another sunscreen for glowing skin that I can’t wait to introduce to you is the EltaMD UV Glow Tinted SPF 36.

This is a mineral sunscreen with 20% zinc oxide. It can be found in a bottle of 1.7 oz or 50 ml at a price of around $45.

It has a light to medium warm tone shade, so if you have fair skin it will be too dark for you. On the other hand, it works great if you have a self-tanner on because it can enhance and freshen up your appearance.


  • Contains several skin-loving ingredients like niacinamide, vitamin E, and ergothioneine which will give you extra long-term benefits with consistent use.
  • The hydrating ingredients like coconut extract, aloe vera, and hyaluronic acid make it so this product doesn’t feel too dry on your skin.
  • Rich in lactic acid, which is great for dry skin and improves signs of aging and elasticity.
  • Free from fragrance, essential oil, alcohol, gluten, and dye. The product is also non-comedogenic.

What we like:

  • Creamy and very moisturizing and thick in consistency. If you’re looking for glowing sunscreen for dry skin – this is a top choice as provides extra hydration.
  • Very apparent tint, meaning that you can use it as a substitute for foundation. It provides visible color and pigment and offers great coverage.
  • A subtly radiant solution that is definitely dewy; it makes the skin look nice and juicy.
  • Non-greasy formula that doesn’t sit heavy on your face.

What to have in mind:
No water resistance.

Charlotte Tilbury Invisible UV Flawless Primer SPF 50 PA++++

Charlotte Tilbury glowy sunscreen

I also want to introduce a glow sunscreen face product that’s on the more luxurious and high-end spectrum of things – the Charlotte Tilbury Invisible UV Flawless Primer SPF 50 PA++++.

This is a chemical sunscreen available in a bottle of 1 oz or 30 ml at a price of around $50.

I know that this is probably a bit too expensive for some but it does have its loyal customer base for a reason. If you’re into pampering yourself from time to time, I’d definitely recommend giving this product a try.


  • It contains chemical filters, including octinoxate, octisalate, avobenzone, and octocrylene.
  • Extra protective and skin-brightening capabilities thanks to Vitamin C and vitamin E in the formula – some of the most powerful antioxidants for summer and a must in my personal routine – they give superior protection against sun damage.
  • Nourishing and softening ingredients like camellia oil and shea butter make this product feel luxurious (similar to its price tag).
  • The formula is gel-creamy but lightweight. It gives extensive moisturizing thanks to hyaluronic acid and shea butter.
  • Fragrance- and essential oil-free.

What we like:

  • Not as runny as other glowy sunblocks from this list but is still very lightweight and gel-like. I’d say it has one of the best user experiences compared to the rest of the products I’ve reviewed so far.
  • This sunscreen has an instant hydrating and refreshing effect which I find very soothing in the scorching summer.
  • No apparent tint and no white cast, making it ideal for any skin tone – it’s very similar to Heimish in this regard.
  • Another product with a subtle and natural finish, making it a suitable option for normal to oily skin types.

What to have in mind:
No water resistance and a fat price tag – those are my only cons about it.

Charlotte Tilbury Invisible UV Flawless Primer SPF 50 PA++++ ➤ Available on Feelunique

What didn’t enter my list of best glowing sunscreens

Before wrapping up, I’d also like to mention the Coppertone glow sunscreen, which is another popular product but not part of my list.

The Coppertone Glow Protect and Tan Sunscreen does offer a lot of benefits, but there has been a lot of negative feedback from people who share that despite using it in proper amounts, they still suffer from sunburn.

I personally haven’t tried it yet, so I can’t confirm the rumors. The feedback and the fact that there are plenty of other options out there discourage me to give this a go. If you have experience with this product, please share it in the comments below!

This brings us to the end of my suggestions for high-quality glow sunscreens.

If you’ve ever tried any of the above-mentioned products and you’d like to share your stories and experiences, feel free to leave your feedback in the comments section below. I’m also here to answer any questions you may have.

Alternatively, you might be interested to see if you can safely mix sunscreen with foundation and why exactly I don’t recommend it.

Tags: sunscreen
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