Every spring Sephora launches their Sun Safety Kit, a curated selection of sunscreens packaged in a cute bag to help you play safe in the sun. Just like previous years, every bag purchased supports the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (Sephora donates $25 per bag sold- not bad when the entire bag retails for $39).
FYI – this set is now sold out.
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This set comes packaged in a fun orange, yellow, and pink zippered makeup pouch with a paper sleeve over it the has the ingredients for all of the sunscreens found inside. The bag is roomy, and the pattern reminds me of candy but in a groovy kind of way.
Every Sephora order comes with your choice of 2 free samples, and if your order is over $25 you typically can add a free GWP coupon too.
The Breakdown – What’s Inside This Limited Edition Box From Sephora
Biossance Squalane + Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 PA +++, 20 mL - Estimated Value $13.60 (buy the 50 mL version for $34)
This mineral sunscreen by Biossance is alright, but it’s not something I love. It’s made with sugar cane-derived squalene and does absorb into my skin, but it has a slightly thicker texture that leaves a bit of a dewy finish. I don’t think there’s any white cast left on my face after sufficient rubbing, but I don’t think those with a deeper complexion would be so lucky.
CAY SKIN Isle Glow Face Lotion SPF 45, 10 mL - Estimated Value $7.55 (buy the 45 mL version for $34)
This sunscreen was actually one of the keys to me discovering my chemical sunscreen allergy, which is a shame because it has a pearlescent finish that left my skin with a soft glow and it absorbed easily into skin with no white cast. Cay Skin is actually a skincare brand from model Winnie Harlow, and I like that this sunscreen also includes some good-for-your-skin ingredients like niacinamide, plant botanicals, and sea moss.
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare All-Physical Lightweight Wrinkle Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30, 30 mL - Estimated Value $25.20 (buy the 50 mL version for $42)
This sunscreen from Dr. Dennis Gross is a favorite of mine; I’ve gone through two full-size tubes and multiple travel-sized ones as well. I can always count on it to protect my skin, and as a fair-skinned girl who burns easily that isn’t something I take for granted! This is a 100% mineral sunscreen trade with 16% non-nano zinc oxide, so it protects against UVA and UVB rays while also working to limit the effects of blue light rays (HEV). The formula also has some nice skincare ingredients like lingonberry and sea buckthorn extract, and these botanicals work as antioxidants to help prevent skin damage. This sunscreen absorbs really well into my skin with no white cast, and it does a great job at protecting my fair skin—I brought this tube with me on a birthday trip to Vegas two summers ago where we kayaked the Colorado River, and this was the sunscreen I used on my face and arms to keep myself sunburn-free.
Dr. Jart+ Cicapair™ Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment SPF 30, 10 mL - Estimated Value $14 (buy the 15 mL version for $21)
Believe it or not, I was not always good at applying sunscreen. It was actually this product from Dr. Jart in a Sephora Sun Safety Kit from five or so years ago that actually got me in the habit of applying sunscreen every day, so I will always have a fond spot in my heart for this product (and will always have a jar of it handy). I do now prefer to use this as a redness color corrector on top of a different sunscreen rather than as a standalone sunscreen just because I want to make sure I am applying enough for full sun protection, but I love how this evens out my complexion; when I apply this, I follow up with a setting powder, and then I call it a day. I appreciate that the sunscreen filters in this treatment are titanium dioxide and zinc oxide- it’s perfect for my sensitive skin (along with the Centella Asiatica in the formula), and the color correcting pigment inside it means no white cast.
First Aid Beauty Mineral Sunscreen Zinc Oxide Broad Spectrum SPF 30, 50 mL - Retail Value $28
I love that the Sun Safety Kits always include a few full-size sunscreens! This one is a mineral sunscreen which makes me happy, but it is a tinted formula. It applies well and feels nice on my skin, but the tint is a little dark for my fair complexion. I can make it work if I wear it under makeup, but I wouldn't reach for this if I was going to be wearing sunscreen only.
Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Sunscreen™ SPF 50, 10 mL - Estimated Value $7 (buy the 50 mL version for $35)
I love Glow Recipe, but I don’t love this sunscreen. It has a noticeable fruity watermelon smell that some people may find fun and others will find irritating, and it does absorb quickly into my skin. This was too irritating for my allergies for me to wear it long, but I have seen quite a few complaints about pilling when using this sunscreen, too.
HUM Nutrition Here Comes The Sun, 3 ct - (buy the jar of 30 for $12)
It's super important for your body to have vitamin D levels that are within normal range. A lot of your vitamin D absorption comes from being outside in the sun, and not getting enough of it can cause adverse symptoms on both your physical and mental health (vitamin D actually helps with keeping a strong immune system, bone strength, and regulating your moods!). I actually have chronically low vitamin D levels and have to consistently take a vitamin D supplement, so I am happy to see this sample of three soft gels. I don't think you'll notice any measurable difference after taking these, but if you already use these or a similar supplement this pouch is handy to have for the next time you travel. Each soft gel is 2,000 IU, which is on the more mild end of supplement strengths (I take a 5,000 IU supplement daily per my physician's recommendation).
innisfree Daily UV Defense Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 36, 10 mL - Estimated Value $3.20 (buy the 50 mL version for $16)
K-Beauty brands just seem to be a few steps ahead of Western brands when it comes to their ability to produce a high-quality sunscreen at an accessible price point (and they've been doing it for years!). The full-size version of this sunscreen is only $16, and it's formulated with Centella and green tea along with chemical filters avobenzone, homosalate, and octisalate. It absorbed quickly into my skin and left behind no white cast, and it has a refreshing scent that I found pleasant rather than bothersome. I wouldn’t reach for the full size for me personally, but I would definitely recommend it to friends looking for an affordable sunscreen who don’t have allergy issues with chemical filters the way I do.
Josie Maran Get Even Sun Milk SPF 33, 15 mL - Retail Value $17
This mineral sunscreen from Josie Maran has a milky texture the way the name would imply, and a slight scent that interestingly reminded me of cereal. It was really easy to apply and it didn't feel like it was just sitting on my face, but I noticed later in the middle of the day when I was at work when I rubbed my face it was pilling and balling up. I hadn't applied anything on top of this, so I'm not sure if this sunscreen didn't like my moisturizer or if it's just destined to not get along with my skin.
Kiehl's Since 1851 Ultra Facial Cream SPF 30, 50 mL - Retail Value $38
If you struggle to use sunscreen every day and have dry skin, this Kiehl’s product may be the one that gets you in the habit since it's a moisturizer and SPF 30 in one. I found it to be hydrating without being too heavy, which is important considering you want to make sure you're applying the proper amount to get full SPF protection. Those with oily skin probably won't love this, but overall it's a really solid sunscreen—and I love that the cost of this entire set is only $1 more than the retail price of this full-size sunscreen.
Murad Essential-C™ Day Moisture Broad Spectrum SPF 30 PA+++, 23 mL - Estimated Value $31.28 (buy the 50 mL version for $68)
This is another moisturizer and sunscreen combo similar to the Kiehl's, only this has a much more lightweight formula- my friends with oily skin (or just anyone who likes a lightweight formula for their moisturizer) should be happy with this. Along with SPF 30 (don't use this sparingly- make sure you apply enough to get the full sun protection), this has vitamin C to give your skin a boost of antioxidants. Antioxidants are great in your morning routine because they work in tandem with your sunscreen to fight off free radical damage while your sunscreen is fighting off UVA/UVB rays. I think this will be a well-liked product, and I like that the sample is a little bigger than standard.
PETER THOMAS ROTH Water Drench® Broad Spectrum SPF 45 Hyaluronic Cloud Moisturizer, 5 mL - Estimated Value $5.75 (buy the 20 mL version for $23)
I am a big fan of Peter Thomas Roth products, and this used to be my favorite sunscreen once upon a time. Like the Murad and Kiehl's, it's a sunscreen and moisturizer in one, and this strikes the perfect balance of being hydrating without being too heavy. It does give my skin a slightly dewy/radiant finish, but I didn't mind it (and it's nothing a little setting powder couldn't handle if it bothered you). Plus, compared to the other two, I love that this has SPF 45 instead of SPF 30.
Saint Jane Beauty Luxury Sun Ritual Pore Smoothing SPF 30, 25 mL - Estimated Value $19 (buy the 50 mL version for $38)
I think this was my favorite product discovery in the set- it has such a nice formula for a mineral sunscreen! You do have to give it a good shake before you use it, otherwise the ingredients can separate, but the formula has a slight tint to it that isn't noticeable on my fair skin when I apply it. The texture is kind of like the Supergroup! Unseen formula, only not as heavy (it actually feels like my skin absorbs it rather than sitting on top of my skin). It absorbs in easily and has a lovely finish- I love that this sample is a generous size, and I was stoked when I woke up this morning, checked my Ipsy account, and saw that I had this exact sunscreen as a choice item for my Ipsy Icon box!
Summer Fridays ShadeDrops Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Mineral Milk Sunscreen, 5 mL - Estimated Value $3.60 (buy the 50 mL version for $36)
I am a Summer Fridays gal, but I hadn't tried their sunscreen yet. I thought it was really nice! The milky formula was super lightweight and had the barest hint of tint, and it was really easy to apply and rub in. I didn't have any issues with pilling with this sunscreen the way I did with the Josie Maran Sun Milk, and I had no irritation while using it either.
Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40, 15 mL - Estimated Value $16.50 (buy the 20 mL version for $22)
If you’ve been into subscription boxes for a while, chances are good that you’ve already tried this classic sunscreen from Supergoop! If you’ve never tried it but are a fan of the OG Smashbox Photofinish primer, you’re going to like the way this sunscreen feels on your skin. This is unfortunately a sunscreen I don’t reach for for my face anymore due to my allergies, but I used to use it in the summer underneath my foundation as a sunscreen pulling double duty as a primer. I still will put this sunscreen to use, too- since this is one of the easiest sunscreens to apply that are out there, I’ll use It on my hands and arms where I don’t suffer the same effects as I do when I apply it to my face (if you really like this sunscreen for that purpose, they actually just released an unseen body sunscreen, too.
Value – Was This Box Worth It?
The Cost: $39
- Biossance: $13.60
- Cay Skin: $7.55
- Dr. Dennis Gross: $25.20
- Dr. Jart+: $14
- First Aid Beauty: $28
- Glow Recipe: $7
- Innisfree: $3.20
- Josie Maran: $17
- Kiehl's: $38
- Murad: $31.28
- Peter Thomas Roth: $5.75
- Saint Jane Beauty: $19
- Summer Fridays: $2.60
- Supergoop!: $16.50
- Hum Nutrition: $1.20
This set promises a $235 value, and my math adds up to $229.88 for everything.
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I don't think anyone can deny that Sephora knows how to curate a good set, but their Sun Safety Kits are always elevated to a new level. Along with donating money to charity (Sephora has promised a minimum donation amount of $700,000 from the sale of these sets), this set contained 14 different sunscreen samples- including two that were full size! I like that the set was a good mix of chemical and mineral formulas, and I also like that there was a variety of relatively new launches compared to some OG classics- and none of them are samples that are about to expire. Value-wise this is about $5 and change shy of the promised $235 value, but I still absolutely feel like I got my $39 worth in this set. I look forward to the Sun Safety kits every year, and that's a tradition that will continue into 2024.
Other Things You Should Know
Can you still get this box if you order today? No, this set is now sold out.
What do you think of the Sephora Favorites: Sun Safety Set? What's your favorite sunscreen?
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