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Broad Spectrum SPF Goes Mainstream


After years of increasing popularity around the world, Korean Beauty, or K Beauty, went truly viral with the rise of 10-step beauty routines and the “glass skin” trend. A key component of both of those regimens? Lightweight, broad spectrum protection that should be a key part of every morning routine.

This was also the year that the conversation around reef-safe sunscreen went mainstream. After a paper was published raising concern for potential harm of two sunscreen ingredients—oxybenzone and octinoxate—on coral bleaching and underwater ecosystems, Hawaii banned sunscreens containing those ingredients.

Dermatologists started to publicize the importance of sun protection for people with darker skin tones, who are often diagnosed with skin cancer later and have a lower rate of survival, and doctors started to emphasize the need for sunscreens designed to blend into non-white skin, as a “white cast” left by many lines can be a huge deterrent to regular application.


In response to increased demand, a handful of new SPF lines, both mineral and chemical, were launched in a range of skin tones and formulas. The medical community continues to raise awareness around identifying skin conditions on darker skin tones, as many medical textbooks and examples overlook how warning signs present across demographics.