As a commerce editor, it’s my job to be picky—really picky. While hundreds of product samples cross my desk every month, there are very few that leave me completely wow’d, without any complaints or critiques. Especially when it comes to skin care and makeup products, I can only think of a handful of perfectly formulated, wouldn’t-change-a-thing items that have genuinely knocked my socks off. Most are good, but only a rare few are *TikTok voice*, perfect, perfect, perfect.
I’m shortlisting Summer Friday’s new milky broad spectrum sunscreen serum to that list of perfect products, though, because it’s totally bedazzled me. ShadeDrops SPF 30 Mineral Milk Sunscreen Serum ($36) is a milky miracle for skin, and it’s now the only sunscreen serum I’ll use.
Mineral sunscreens are usually very hit or miss. Until recently, most left a white, chalky cast behind, turning into a weird purplish hue the moment skin would get wet, especially on Black and Brown tones. Despite strides in sunny innovations, it can still be really hard to find a mineral sunscreen that actually goes on invisibly, without leaving a trace of tackiness or stickiness behind.
ShadeDrops’ invisible-dewy finish immediately won my heart the moment I swiped it on. It is a mineral sunscreen, only its formulated as a silky serum that glides effortlessly over and into skin, despite its subtle, milky tint fresh out of the bottle. There’s no white cast or tacky texture in sight—in fact, my skin feels healthier and more hydrated minutes after I rubbed it on, something few SPF products rarely ever do.
This instant glow most likely comes from the bonus hydration and anti-aging ingredients in every bottle that allow it to protect and nourish in one fell swoop. Its lightweight formula is enriched with key vitamins and minerals, all of which are clean, vegan, and reef-friendly, BTW. These include a plant-derived squalane that delivers instant moisture *literally* the moment it’s squeezed out of the bottle, antioxidants that stave off pesky free radicals, and soothing chamomile that gives your skin a sigh of relief. (Especially when after a day’s worth of strong sunshine.) And it doesn’t take much—the directions call for a “nickel-sized amount,” which is more than enough to give your skin a lush, plump finish you wouldn’t even recognize as sunscreen.
According to a recent, launch-adjacent Instagram post, Summer Fridays’ ShadeDrops is one of the brand’s “highest requested products ever,” and in my humble opinion, they nailed it. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted in a sunscreen, plus more: it’s hydrating, there’s no white cast, it doesn’t pill under makeup, and it gives you an ethereal glow the second you put it on. My only complaint? I wish it came in a bigger bottle, because I want to douse myself in this stuff. Same with the hundreds of happy customers on Summer Fridays’ site, dubbing it, “By far the best new SPF,” and a, “summer must have.”
Take it from someone who is rarely blown away: I am blown away. Summer Fridays ShadeDrops are worth every penny, and if I were you, I’d throw one in every beach bag.
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