Clé de Peau Beauté
The Best Sunscreens to Wear All Year Round
The feeling of sun on your skin can do wonders for your mood, so it’s no surprise we spend the majority of the year waiting for the sun to come out. As we all know though, sun exposure can lead to UV damage, and this can result in unwanted pigmentation, damaged skin cells and more. As such, wearing suncare with a high SPF is essential all year round (yep, even when it's cloudy). And with the right SPF – think lightweight, non-greasy and no white cast in sight – you can bolster your skin's protection. Swot up on your sunscreen knowledge for every day, not just a holiday.
What Is SPF?
First things first though, what does SPF stand for? And what do you need to look out for on the bottle? Experts say the protection factor (SPF 30 for example) as well as UVB+UVA and PA markers are indicators of a good SPF. The protection factor highlights the level of protection against the sun, while UVB+UVA and PA showcases the protection against the damage caused by environmental factors such as blue light and air pollution. You might also be wondering what’s the difference between SPF 30 and SPF 50? The British Skin Foundation recommends using an SPF higher than 30, and if you have a fair complexion, that rises to SPF 50. Properly applied, SPF 50 can block 98 per cent of all rays. Finally, you may also want to know how much SPF you should apply and how often? As SPF is measured by its concentration levels, you need to apply the correct amount in order to receive the correct level of protection. We recommend using two teaspoonfuls for your face and neck, and six for your body. For maximum protection, always remember to apply your SPF every two hours (this is where SPF mists come in handy to re-apply, even over make-up).
Ki Ult Lght Daily Aqua Gl 30Ml 19$49
The SPF 50 UV Protecting Fluid (50ml)$141
Facial Sun Care SPF 50+ (40ml)$221
Invisible Physical Defence SPF 30 (50ml)$73
Restoring Perfection Spf 50$279
Soleil Superiéur SPF50 Sunscreen (85g)$141Now $127
Daily Protection Formula Spf50 (50Ml)$43
What the Experts Want You to Know
“Wear Sunscreen”, Baz Lurmann’s 1999 chart-topping song was no one hit wonder: 24 years on the sentiment is as important as ever. “Everyone should wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen regardless of age, gender or skin type. Just because you don’t burn doesn’t mean you’re not receiving UV damage from ageing UVA rays, which are the same strength all year round and can penetrate through windows. Your collagen actually starts to break down after just 10 minutes of being outside, even on a cloudy day,” says Dr Howard Murad, dermatologist and founder of Murad.
You will be able to tell whether a sunscreen is physical (also known as mineral) or chemical by looking at the inkey list on the back of the packaging. Physical sunscreen creates a barrier to deflect UV rays, and Dr Maryam Zamani recommends it for sensitive skins and children. “Physical SPFs include ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium oxide – they can appear white and be thicker in texture.” Chemical, on the other hand, “are absorbed into the skin and scatter UV radiation. These sunscreens are thinner and require less product to protect skin, however they can clog pores and cause more irritation so best avoided by acneic skin types. These formulations include oxybenzone, oxtinoxate, and avobenzone.”
“Darker skin tones are just as susceptible to the hazards of sun damage, such as hyperpigmentation and free radical damage,” says Dr Murad. Medical and cosmetic doctor Dr Ewoma Ukeleghe has some top tips: “For skin of colour, a key thing is making sure that your sunscreen doesn't leave an ashy cast. We can't be tolerating that any longer! Beware of physical sunscreens that contain a high concentration of metals such as zinc oxide, which typically give the product a white cast on application.” Double check the inkey list if you’re unsure.
“SPF in make-up doesn't count,” says Dr Ewoma; it simply won’t give you enough protection. A dedicated sunscreen is needed. "Look at SPF in make-up as an extra layer of protection, not the full deal,” suggests Dr Murad. When applying a sunscreen, Dr Ewoma's “general rule of thumb is a 20 pence amount for colder months and 50 pence amount for warmer months – for the head and neck. The fairer the complexion, the more diligent you should be with the amount you apply.” And don’t forget often neglected areas: “the upper and lower eyelids, lips and hairline on the face and also toes, feet, underarms, and back of the neck are all all commonly missed places,” says Dr Zamani. Plus, you can use UV protection for hair, particularly good for coloured locks.
Now, Choose Your SPF
Knowledge in check, it’s time to pick the right sunscreen(s) for your needs. And you’ve come to the right place – as we’ve cherry picked the best of the best for you. From La Mer’s SPF-infused foundation that feels super lightweight in hot conditions (just remember to wear a layer of sunscreen as well) and Sisley’s ultra-hydrating lotion (thank you, shea butter) to Paula’s Choice's skin-sensitive protector, we’re confident you’ll find a sunscreen that you’ll adore.
Best SPF for Eczema
Finding an eczema-friendly SPF means looking for a product that is both gentle and effective – and Chantecaille’s Ultra Sun Protection Sunscreen SPF 45 Primer is exactly that. It’s infused with pure botanical ingredients including cherry blossom, lemon balm and white tea extract to calm inflammation and soothe irritated skin.
Best SPF 50
EviDenS de BeautéShop Now
EviDenS de Beauté takes heed of the saying ‘prevention is better than cure’ with its high-protection primer, The Total Shield SPF 50 PA++++ Anti-Pollution. This wonder creates a veil over your skincare treatments, and its non-greasy gel texture offers the optimum defence against UV rays and environmental aggressors to prevent any fine lines.
Best Hydrating SPF
Sisley’s Sunleÿa Age Minimising Global Suncare SPF 30 is packed with essential oils and butters such as sage oil, marjoram oil and shea butter to keep your skin hydrated. It’s easier than you might think for your skin to dry out in both hot and cold weather. Thankfully, this SPF from Sisley is formulated with a special UVA and UVB filtering technology that absorbs the sun’s harmful rays, so your skin doesn’t have to.
Best SPF Foundation
La MerShop Now
Although you’ll still need to wear an SPF underneath your foundation, having an extra dose of sun protection infused in your make-up is a great bonus. La Mer’s The Soft Fluid Longwear Foundation is formulated with SPF 50 and offers a luminous finish. Even better, the weightless formula of this foundation is specially designed to stay in place when worn in humid environments.
Best SPF for Oily Skin
Look to oil-free sunscreens that won’t add to your oil levels. REN’s Clean Screen Mineral SPF 30 is mineral-based, chemical-free and is formulated with antioxidants to reduce inflammation and soothe your skin. The all-natural formula contains oil-absorbing rice to stop unwanted excess shine throughout the day.
Best SPF for Sensitive Skin
Paula’s ChoiceShop Now
Skin sensitivity is on the rise, and it’s so important to use an SPF that strengthens, calms and balances your skin’s barrier. Try Paula’s Choice Clear Ultra-Light Daily Hydrating Fluid for size. The non-greasy texture won’t clog your pores, plus calming antioxidants like vitamin E work to reduce visible signs of stress on your skin.
Best Mineral SPF
As mineral sunscreen acts as a physical barrier between your skin and the sun, it must be applied after moisturiser. This SPF 50 from Clinique is a great choice because its 100% mineral base glides onto your skin and absorbs quickly, while its oil-free formula feels featherlight once applied.
Best SPF for Rosacea
Dr Dennis GrossShop Now
Dr Dennis Gross’ new All-Physical Lightweight Wrinkle Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30 is made using a clear form of zinc oxide, so it blends well without leaving any residue. Whatever your skin tone, the lightweight formula is rich in nourishing and calming sea buckthorn to ensure your skin feels hydrated and soft.
Best SPF for Dry Skin
If your skin is prone to dryness, you need to look for an SPF that locks in moisture, as sun-exposed skin can eventually cause your skin to lose natural moisture and essential oils. The fast-absorbing Murad Age-Balancing Moisture SPF 30 is infused with shea butter, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil and avocado oil to deeply quench parched skin.
Best SPF for Acne-Prone Skin
Know that there are lots of formulas that work to soothe and protect skin. Look to oil-free, non-comodogenic and fragrance-free formulas which won’t clog your pores, such as Biossance’s Squalane Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen. It’s lightweight, non-greasy, and sheer, and is full of clean, hydrating ingredients such as water lilly and squalane.
Best Hand Cream with SPF
Clé de Peau BeautéShop Now
Try Clé de Peau Beauté’s Hand Cream, it’s formulated with SPF 18 and has a rich texture that hydrates and repairs the skin on your hands. It’s also infused with the brand’s patented Illuminating Complex – brightening ingredients that will even your skin tone and soothe any concerns caused by prolonged sun exposure.
Best Lightweight SPF
Ultra VioletteShop Now
The sunscreen that doesn’t even feel as though it’s on your face – Ultra Violette’s Queen Screen Lightweight Sunscreen. The star? Kakadu plum. This special ingredient hydrates, brightens and shields skin against free radicals – molecules that break down collagen levels and cause unwanted blemishes, fine lines and hyperpigmentation.
Best Eye Cream with SPF
Pay extra attention to the skin around your eyes – they are highly-sensitive due to incredibly thin skin. It’s a good idea to look for antioxidant-packed formulas, such as RéVive’s Sensitif Eye Cream. It's filled with ginger root, a naturally strong antiseptic that kills bacteria and stimulates blood circulation to depuff skin.
Best Waterproof SPF
If your holiday home away from home is the swimming pool, having a water-resistant SPF in your travel beauty bag is essential. Water reflects ultraviolet rays, which increases the chances of UV rays reaching your skin. Decorté’s Sun Shelter is specially formulated to resist water and perspiration.
Best SPF for Under Make-Up
La PrairieShop Now
Even if your make-up contains SPF, you should always apply sunscreen beforehand, because as your foundation rubs off throughout the day, it can leave your skin exposed. La Prairie’s Cellular Swift UV Protection Veil is formulated with SPF 50 and is specifically designed to work as a thin, protective veil that sits under your daily moisturiser.
Treating Sun Exposure
Sun exposure does happen, and this can leave your skin feeling tender, inflamed, and irritated. All is not lost, according to Abi Cleeve, MD at Ultrasun UK, “the key is to look for hydrating actives that can relieve and cool the skin quickly. Aloe vera can be useful but also stronger and more hard-working solutions like aquarich, SOD and hydrogen (as a succulent based gel) to soothe skin.”