Melē No Shade Sunscreen Oil Is the 2022 Allure Best of Beauty-Winning Sunscreen Our Editors Adore

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Melē’s sunscreen oil was made for melanin-rich skin to enjoy without the white cast that is typically associated with SPFs of yesteryear, but that doesn’t mean that it’s solely for deeper skin tones. Nearly every Allure staffer (such as my olive-toned self) appreciates this barely-there formulation for its glowy, dew-enhancing finish. It’s personally one of my go-to’s for guarding my skin against the sun’s harmful elements while giving my usually-dull complexion a much-needed glow-up. It also gets brownie points for its fast-drying, no-residue finish, so I never have to wait longer than 30 seconds to start applying makeup. Seriously, who wouldn’t love a facial oil that doesn’t have an oily feel? 

Though most brands infuse their sunscreens with other skin-nourishing bells and whistles, Melē keeps things simple with its ingredient list and sticks to nothing else but UV-guarding actives avobenzone and octinoxate, along with ingredient binders like caprylic triglyceride. These chemical-based sunscreen filters are actually the reason why this formula is as transparent as glass. “Chemical sunscreens are composed mostly of compounds that absorb UV rays, so less make it through to the skin.” says board-certified dermatologist James Y Wang, MD of Los Angeles-based Metropolis Dermatology.  

Though Dr. Wang says that both chemical and physical sunscreens block a portion of the sun’s UV rays from damaging the skin, the former tend to be sheerer on the skin since physical sunscreens act as, well, a physical barrier — like a shield. However, chemical sunscreens must be applied 15 minutes before sun exposure in order for the chemical reaction to properly take place on the skin, so keep that in mind before basking in the sun with this pick. 

Something else to keep in mind: Dr. Wang says since this is an oil, it technically can clog your pores, so stick to the AAD-recommended amount of one ounce (or, a shot glass’s worth) of sunscreen for your entire body. “Sunscreen oils should be applied more lightly to prevent clogging of pores and breakouts,” he says. 

When it comes to my face, I implement the viral “two-finger” rule for applying this sunscreen, which I have been using as the last step in my morning skin-care routine since it nabbed its first Best of Beauty Award in 2021. I’ve been using this method to apply this sunscreen for over a year (it’s my go-to when I’m not testing other sun-protection products), and so far I’ve had no product-related breakouts in sight, so do what you will with that information.

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