Image Credit: Utu Skincare
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If you’re anything like us, you live and die by SPF. Wearing sunscreen everyday is a must for every girlie in the outdoors, whether it’s intentional (tanning) or not (apparently airplane windows can get ya too.) Still, sunscreen can start to feel gross. For one, we go through a lot of plastic bottles. For another, despite knowing how necessary it is, it feels like a conterproductive skincare product when it has sweated down your face and given you a massive zit. Enter a newcomer on the scene, Utu Skincare, which promises plastic-free, reef-safe, and effective SPF products meant for any activity you do under the sun.
The brand launched recently with a commitment to make clean skincare without any of the gross stuff: no chemical UV filters, parabens, PEGS, phthalates, silicone, petrolatum, synthetic fragrance, sulfates, phosphates, synthetic fragrance or formaldehyde. (We totally copied that from the website because well, it’s a mouthful! And not anything we’d want touching our skin.)
There’s an easy enough rule we’ve adopted when it comes to skincare that’s been helpful and effective: don’t put anything on your face that you wouldn’t eat. It’s because your skin literally absorbs it. So if you wouldn’t eat parabens, maybe don’t use ‘em in your sunscreen? Meanwhile, the main component in Utu Skincare that makes it so effective in broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection is its non-nano zinc oxide, which is recognized as “the most effective and safest broad spectrum sunscreen filter.” Its mineral non-nano particles are too big to be absorbed by the skin
And now for the tough part: will we actually use Utu Skincare? I don’t know about y’all, but as a professional shopping writer, the oversaturation of the beauty and skincare market gets a little exhausting. The amount of skincare flooding the shelves (and my pores) is overstimulating. I’m a “lazy girl skincare” lover, meaning that I need a one-stop shop.
Plus, I travel a lot, and the thought of shoving in seven different serums and creams into my backpack when I’m taking a puddle jumper flight that only allows for ten pounds in my backpack…well, needless to say, the overcomplication of skincare nowadays hasn’t been my favorite. So I love that Utu Skincare is simply available in SPF 30 and SPF 50, with only a few hero products in its powerful lineup. Each SPF is available in either a stick or a tube, in gorgeous burnt-orange 100-percent-recyclable aluminum packaging I’d love to show off beside my beach bag. What’s even better? this skincare goes the extra mile with hydrating, brightening and soothing qualities so I can continue to be lazy (but covered) wherever I go.
Another reason we love Utu Skincare? Its founder, Richard Welsh, is on a mission to expand access to the outdoors. Welch is an LGBTQ+ business owner and member of Founded Outdoors, an active community of entrepreneurs dedicated to breaking down barriers in the outdoors industry.
Introducing Utu Skincare’s Products:
- Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Moisturizing Sunscreen, 75 ML — $44
- Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Moisturizing Sunscreen, 3 x 20 ML — $42
- Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Moisturizing Sunscreen, 20 ML — $16
- Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Moisturizing Sunscreen Stick — $38
Ultimately, your Utu origin story boils down to whether you want the tubes or the stick. If you’re opting for SPF 30, you’re getting the tube—available in three convenient sizes and price points to suit your needs. Often, as a Floridian and a Hawai’i resident, I reach for SPF 30 when slathering on my everyday sunscreen. When I lay out at the beach and want a golden (but protected) tan, this is also what I go for.
Utu Skincare’s formula has hyaluronic acid, squalane and sea buckthorn “for advanced hydration” and astaxanthin and aloe “to soothe and brighten all skin.” If you’re a skincare lover, you likely already know hyaluronic acid makes my skin feel like a baby’s. I love that this is a part of their sunscreen formula, making good on the brand’s “sunscreen and skincare” combo promise. It blends so well that you could also use this as a makeup primer or similar when you’re off into the bright light.
While you’re going to want the 75 ML tube in your repertoire, the brand sells smaller sizes for your travel convenience. Purchase in a set of three to save. (Oh, and across all products, you can also “subscribe and save” to snag a few extra bucks.)
All are unscented, and water resistant for up to 40 minutes.
Personally, a skincare stick is my absolute favorite. And while my brain’s primed for summer travels, a solid is an excellent idea because you can actually get this through airport security without checking a bag. I’d never have to worry about a white bottle of sunscreen leaking through my beach bag ever again. Better yet, this formula’s water resistant for up to 80 minutes, making it a prime contender for your next surf SPF.
Unlike the other product, this Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen Stick is lightly tinted, evening out your skin tone so you don’t have to worry about yesterday’s sunburn. It’s balmier than their other option, giving you that “glazed donut” vibe you may love from this year’s roster of beauty trends. It’s crafted with hydrating organic jojoba and coconut oils and soothing vitamin E and sesame seed oil for a major glow.
Better yet, you can buy refills at a slightly discounted price, aligning with Utu Skincare’s promise for sustainable production.