When I met with Divya Gugnani, cofounder and CEO of Wander Beauty, recently to get the scoop on the brand’s latest launch (it debuts today), I was thrilled to hear it was sunscreen. After all, it is the most important skin-care step and an essential for the jetsetter or girl on the go, which are the brand’s target customers. I was also thrilled to hear it wasn’t just any ol’ sunscreen: Pack Up & Glow Priming Mineral SPF 40 ($36) has so many impressive attributes. “We worked on this for three years to create something truly unique and different that doesn’t exist in the market,” says Gugnani. “Sunscreen is the number-one product request we get, so I’m excited we can finally deliver.”
First, there’s no white cast, which, for a mineral-based SPF 40, is a success in and of itself. “The formula has a peach-colored tint, which allows it to blend into even the deepest, darkest of skin,” Gugnani explains. Though this is not a novel concept—some of my favorite sunscreens are the peachy-tinted ones—it’s a smart move. It also has a satin finish that grips to the skin, making it the perfect base for makeup application. And in true Wander fashion, it leaves behind a natural-looking glow, but it’s not greasy.
The SPF also contains a host of skin-care ingredients that offer blue light protection in addition to the broad-spectrum UV shield, as well as plant-derived squalane and hyaluronic acid to protect against moisture loss. “Another unique thing is that we included antioxidant-rich vitamin D, instead of vitamin C,” says Gugnani, noting that the reason is that the brand’s research showed vitamin C is most often unstable and basically ineffective when used in sunscreens. “Most people are deficient in vitamin D, and you can get it dermally with this.” There’s also no synthetic fragrance, and soothing bisabolol and allantoin, which were important to Gugnani, who has a history of eczema and wanted to make sure this could be used by those with “the most sensitive of sensitive skin.”
Perhaps the most exciting element is that Pack Up & Glow purportedly reduces free-radical generation (free radicals are the bad molecules produced by sun exposure that cause signs of aging) by a whopping 245 percent more than other mineral sunscreens that use a traditional zinc oxide coating. “We developed a proprietary novel coating and encapsulation for our zinc that allows us to use a much lower concentration of non-nano zinc combined with titanium dioxide, but provide higher SPF protection,” says Gugnani. And lastly, on the sustainably front, Wander designed the product tube and outer carton to be 100-percent recyclable. Bravo!