Excitement Level 1000... We Tried Glow Recipe's SPF That Sold Out Fast!

product review

It’s fair to say that we’ve probably never been this excited to try an SPF in our lives, but you know, that’s the Glow Recipe effect. Their fruit-powered formulas never fail to hit the spot and always impress us with visible results, enjoyable-to-use formulas, and dope packaging.

We’re yet to meet a Glow Recipe product that we haven’t loved, so when we saw they were launching their new Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Sunscreen SPF50, $34, we couldn’t wait to get our hands on it. Us and everyone else it would seem – the product sold out in one week at Sephora! Thankfully, the Glow Recipe team had our backs and restocked it ASAP.

Here’s our full review on the most highly anticipated sunscreen of the decade:

What it is: A full spectrum SPF 50 sunscreen that combines both chemical and mineral filters, plus their famous watermelon extracts, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and aloe.

The formula: Super lightweight and gives skin a dewy (never greasy) glow.

What it does: Protects your skin against harmful UV rays while the addition of niacinamide helps to brighten and even skin tone while you wear it. The formula also boasts antioxidant-rich aloe to soothe skin, hydrating hyaluronic acid for that dewy finish, and of course, watermelon extract to deliver a hit of amino acids and vitamins for a brighter complexion.

The filters: A hybrid formula that contains chemical filters (Homosalate 8.5%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 8.5%), which work like a sponge to absorb harmful rays, and a mineral filter (non-nano Zinc Oxide 12.5%) to create a physical barrier to reflect, absorb and scatter UV light. It is considered a ‘reef-safe’ sunscreen as it doesn’t contain chemical filters octinoxate or oxybenzone.


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Does it leave a white cast? One of the most important factors with sunscreen – aside from protection! This formula doesn’t leave a white cast. However, as those with medium and deep skin tones will be familiar with, sunscreens containing a mineral blocker tend to take a little more working into the skin to get a full white-cast-free finish, and the same goes for this formula.

See it in action on one of our fave skinfluencers, the gorgeous Andre:

What we liked:

The finish gets a 10/10 from us. It leaves a really beautiful, healthy-looking sheen to the skin that will give you #GlassSkinGoals if you’re going makeup-free for the day.

The texture is super lightweight and is pretty easy to rub in and blend out – although that does depend on how much you apply. If you’re applying two fingers of sunscreen (the recommended amount) at once, then it can take a little more time. It doesn’t feel sticky once applied and blended out, but it is a little tacky-to-touch at first, which is normal with many sunscreens.

Like all Glow Recipe products, the scent is one of our fave things, and we love the sweet watermelon scent this has. It’s noticeable, but once applied it’s not a scent that lingers – although we wouldn’t mind if it did.

What we didn’t like: The only thing that we experienced with this product was a little pilling. Once we applied our two fingers of sunscreen, the more we blended it out, we noticed little white patches clustering up in places. We didn’t let that get the best of us; we picked off any bits and applied our makeup on top. The sunscreen made a really nice base for makeup – very important – and our makeup wore just as well as always throughout the day.

Naturally, after our first experience with a little pilling, we decided to switch up our application technique. We avoided moisturizer, so after toner, and a couple of pumps of the Glow Recipe Guava Vitamin C Dark Spot Serum (obsessed, btw), we went straight in with the SPF, as it contains moisturizing ingredients anyway. The result was perfect!

After testing out the formula on different skin tones and types in our office, the consensus was a resounding yes, but we did experience pilling more than once. So, we have some hot tips for you guys to try to make sure you can use this formula as effectively as possible.

Application tips:

  • If you love to layer your skincare like we do, consider downsizing your routine for smoother application.
  • Avoid moisturizers that contain dimethicone, as while they feel good, these often cause pilling when combined with oils or if too much is used.
  • Instead of piling on two fingers’ worth of sunscreen at once, layer it on. Start with one finger, then apply the next once the first layer has fully absorbed.
  • Glow Recipe also recommend gently patting the formula into your skin rather than rubbing.


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Our verdict: We’re not disappointed! We didn’t experience any irritation or discomfort while using it – no eye-stinging or breakouts here! The tendency for it to pill isn’t ideal, but if you do experience this, making the tweaks as we outlined above should solve that problem, as it did for us. Overall we love this formula!

Due to its slightly trickier application process, we rate it a solid 8/ 10.

Disclaimer: Every product we review has been independently selected and tested without bias by our editorial team. We never take payment to review products, although some brands allow affiliate links, so we may earn a commission if you purchase a product by clicking on one of our links.