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Protect yourself on the daily with our top sunscreens for your face

Protect yourself on the daily with our top sunscreens for your face
Protect your skin from the sun with these daily mineral and synthetic formulas, from SPF 15 to SPF 50, available at Boots, 美体小铺, SkinCeuticals and more

Ask any dermatologist or skin expert and they’ll tell you that sunscreen is the single most important product to use each and every day.

“Sunscreen can be your best defence against premature ageing and is seen by the medical industry as a preventative tool against developing skin cancer induced by the sun,” says Dr Howard Murad, a dermatologist and founder of Murad Skincare. “Sun damage caused by UV radiation is directly responsible for environmental premature ageing of the skin.”

There are two main types of UV rays: UVA is responsible for ageing skin and can penetrate clouds and windows, while UVB rays are the ones that burn skin.

当然, there’s no denying that, in times gone by, many sunscreen formulas weren’t exactly created for daily application. They were thick, 白色的, gloopy liquids that didn’t blend well, certainly didn’t sit well underneath 化妆品 and were often responsible for acne breakouts.

But things have changed a lot in the last few years. As well as often being formulated with a host of skincare benefiting substances or for specific skin types, many sunscreens are now more lightweight than ever and generally easy to slot into a daily routine.

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While many sunscreens solely concentrate on UVB protection, which is indicated by the SPF (sun protection factor) 数字, it’s important to look for products that also protect against UVA rays. For UK products this is indicated by a star rating, while in the EU you’ll find the word “UVA” in a circle and in the US you’ll find the term “broad spectrum”.

简而言之, there is no excuse to not be wearing sunscreen every day, so if you haven’t yet found your holy-grail formula, keep reading to discover a selection of our favourites.

我们如何测试

These SPFs have all been used by our tester multiple times; for some, we’ve used multiple tubes over the years, while the others were a part of our routine for at least a week. For each, we took into consideration texture, how easy it was to blend into the skin, whether it left any sort of white cast and how make-up sat on top (和, more importantly, whether it impacted the longevity or appearance of make-up throughout the day).

The best sunscreens for your face for 2022 是:

  • 整体最佳 – La Roche-Posay anthelios UVMune00 invisible fluid SPF 50: £14.40, Lookfantastic.com
  • Best for an even skin tone – Vichy capital soleil UV-age daily SPF50: £15.75, 最好的面膜
  • Best over make-up – Ultrasun UV face and scalp mist SPF50: 18 英镑, Spacenk.com
  • Best lightweight formula – Thank You Farmer sun project light sun essence SPF50: 24 英镑, Cultbeauty.co.uk
  • Best for affordability – Garnier ambre solaire anti-dark spots and anti-pollution super UV protection fluid SPF50+: £8, 最好的面膜
  • Best for hydration – Medik8 advanced day total protect SPF30: £57, Medik8.com
  • Best mineral formula – Murad city skin age defense broad spectrum SPF50: 62 英镑, Murad.co.uk
  • Best under make-up – Mac Cosmetics prep + prime face protect lotion SPF50: £28, Maccosmetics.co.uk
  • Best for brightening skin – SkinCeuticals advanced brightening UV defense SPF50: 45 英镑, Skinceuticals.co.uk
  • Best cruelty-free formula – The Body Shop skin defence multi-protection lotion SPF 50+: 18 英镑, Thebodyshop.co.uk
  • Best for invisibility – Supergoop! unseen screen SPF30: 15 英镑, Cultbeauty.co.uk

La Roche-Posay anthelios UVMune 400 invisible fluid SPF 50

最好的: 全面的

评分: 9/10

如果有疑虑, you can always rely on La Roche-Posay to keep you safe in the sun. The newest addition to its extensive range of sunscreens, Anthelios UVMune 400, might sound like a robot, but it’s actually an incredibly advanced product. The brand has created a new filter (called Mexoryl 400, which has been 10 years in the making and has 25 patents) that is specially designed to protect skin from the most harmful long UVA rays that, as research shows, can penetrate deep into the dermis, damaging collagen and causing pigmentation. The runny, water-like formula disappears into skin almost instantly and leaves a slightly dewy sheen (which we quite liked), but we would suggest leaving a good few minutes before applying anything on top, as it did feel slightly tacky for a short amount of time. But for such incredible protection, that’s a small price to pay.

Vichy capital soleil UV-age daily SPF50

最好的: For an even skin tone

评分: 9/10

Hydrating but never greasy, this lightweight milky formula blends in perfectly without leaving a trace. It doesn’t leave skin looking or feeling oily, and make-up can be applied almost immediately on top without pilling. The formula is enriched with a blend of hardworking active ingredients, including the brand’s multi-patented netlock technology, which it says works to form an invisible layer on skin to ensure it is as protective as it can be. It also contains vitamin E, an antioxidant designed to protect the skin barrier, and a peptide complex and niacinamide to target uneven skin tone. Despite being thin in texture, it still feels nourishing.

Ultrasun UV face and scalp mist SPF50

最好的: Over make-up

评分: 9/10

Dermatologists will tell you that, ideally, we should be topping up our daily sunscreen every few hours to maximise the protection it provides. While it’s not necessary every single day of the year, it’s a good habit to get into if you can, especially during the hotter summer months in the UK and abroad. 但, short of removing any make-up you wear and then reapplying it again, it’s a pretty impossible ask. That’s where these clever, traceless spray-on products come in. Specifically formulated to apply over make-up, they shouldn’t be used as the only form of sunscreen but as a top-up throughout the day, and they are great. This one by Ultrasun is lightweight, non-greasy, quick-drying and truly transparent. It absorbs fast and is touch dry within a few seconds – and if you ask our tester, no handbag should be without it.

Thank You Farmer sun project light sun essence SPF50

最好的: Lightweight formula

评分: 9.5/10

Thank You Farmer is a brand we were introduced to last year, but it turns out there is a cult following for its sunscreen formulas. Despite being spoken about less than its counterpart – sun project water sun cream – we would say that this one, light sun essence, is better. It’s incredibly lightweight, absorbs instantly into skin without any residue, and there’s no need to wait at all before applying make-up. It’s a real underrated hero, and since the brand hails from Korea, you know it’s really going to deliver. The formula contains soy lipids to support the skin’s barrier, lotus water to calm and comfort skin and an ingredient called phyto-oligo, which the brand says helps cool skin and lock in hydration.

Garnier ambre solaire anti-dark spots and anti-pollution super UV protection fluid SPF50+

最好的: For affordability

评分: 9.5/10

When you consider the price of this, you can’t go far wrong. It’s infused with hyaluronic acid, and it’s super hydrating but also incredibly lightweight – the texture is near water-thin – and it absorbs and blends into skin like an absolute dream. It has the full approval of the multiple dermatologists we spoke to and doesn’t interfere with make-up at all. It leaves skin with a slightly dewy finish but doesn’t feel at all sticky or leave any trace of residue. In all honesty, it’s hard to believe that this sunscreen has such an affordable price point because it’s definitely on par with some of the more expensive formulas we have tried – and there’s a very good reason why we’ve used multiple bottles of this stuff. You really can’t go far wrong with it.

Medik8 advanced day total protect SPF30

最好的: For hydration

评分: 9/10

This may fall on the more expensive end of the spectrum, but believe us when we say it’s worth every penny – and not just because this is the product that made our tester realise that wearing sunscreen every day didn’t have to be a chore. It has the texture of a moisturiser with all the protection of an excellent, broad-spectrum sunscreen, combined with added skincare benefits. It’s truly invisible on the skin and acts as a brilliant make-up primer, plus it claims to defend against both pollution and infrared damage. Medik8 is also a brand that crops up in our routine time and time again and, 其结果, it is one we trust implicitly.

Murad city skin age defense broad spectrum SPF50

最好的: Mineral formula

评分: 9/10

Mineral sunscreens gave sunscreen as a whole a bad reputation – they are the formulas that are traditionally thick, white and gloopy. But Murad has managed to create a truly exquisite formula that’s invisible on skin – absolutely no chalky residue – and isn’t at all heavy or pore-clogging. It gives a seriously healthy glow, doesn’t feel greasy and absorbs almost instantly while also making for the perfect base for make-up. It’s a truly revolutionary formula, and despite being fairly expensive, it’s definitely worth every single penny. It also claims to provide protection against blue light emitted from digital devices.

Mac prep and prime face protect lotion SPF50

最好的: Under make-up

评分: 9/10

A recent discovery for our tester, if ever there was going to be a perfectly formulated sunscreen to apply underneath make-up, Mac was going to make it. Packed with antioxidants, it’s a beautiful texture that absorbs into skin straight away and feels nourishing and comfortable without being heavy, greasy or oily. It claims to create a soft-focus effect when applied beneath make-up, and while we didn’t necessarily notice that, it did sit well underneath foundation and acted as a great primer. The formula is non-comedogenic, and it’s generally a joy to use – we only wish that it came in a bigger-sized tube, although this 30ml bottle is great for travelling.

SkinCeuticals advanced brightening UV defense SPF50

最好的: For brightening skin

评分: 8.5/10

If you’re looking to target uneven skin tone, sun spots or hyperpigmentation and would ideally like a double whammy of a product, consider this the sunscreen to invest in. Alongside SPF50, this feather-light, easily absorbed formula contains tranexamic acid, an incredible ingredient that helps brighten dark spots and improve the appearance of pigmentation by slowing down the production of melanin. It also has 2 per cent niacinamide, an underrated ingredient that helps diminish dullness and improves uneven skin tone.

The Body Shop skin defence multi-protection lotion SPF 50+

最好的: Cruelty-free formula

评分: 8.5/10

The Body Shop’s skincare offering is seriously underrated, and alongside its cult cleansing balm sits this sunscreen, a product that ticks all of our boxes. 轻量级, virtually invisible once applied to skin and offering high protection in a non-greasy formula, it’s definitely a good choice of product. It promises two-hour moisturisation and is formulated with anti-pollution protection, 也. 加, it has red algae extract, which helps improve overall hydration, and vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant with additional brightening properties. 加, staying true to The Body Shop’s ethos, this formula is cruelty-free and uses community fair trade aloe vera sourced from Mexico.

Supergoop! unseen screen SPF30

最好的: For invisibility

评分: 8/10

Relatively new to the UK, Supergoop! is a brand worth knowing about. It specialises in sunscreen, creating formulas that make people want to wear it every day, and this one does precisely that. Truly invisible, it isn’t greasy and is non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog pores. It’s the perfect base for make-up and has a soft, velvety feel. But it’s worth noting that this won’t be suitable for everybody, as it’s quite heavy on the silicones. 然而, it is also free from alcohol, parabens and artificial fragrances.

Sunscreens for your face FAQs

Why do you need separate sunscreens for body and face?

Just as you wouldn’t use the same skincare product for your face and body, it’s best to use sunscreens that are specially formulated for your face.

Unlike your body, facial skin is exposed to environmental factors, meaning it’s also where some of your most delicate bits of skin are found – for example, the area under your eyes. Facial sunscreens are formulated to the same standards as skincare products and are designed to be comfortable to wear on your face, as well as being more lightweight and easily absorbed than sunscreens for your body. They also aren’t perfumed, and you can invest in different formulations depending on your skin type; dry, oily or combination.

Should you apply facial SPF daily?

While it’s essential to apply facial SPF when it’s sunny, it’s also recommended to apply some sun protection daily, whether that’s a dedicated sunscreen product or a moisturiser or foundation with SPF. UVA rays can still penetrate despite clouds or even window glass, so it’s best to help protect your skin against any possible rays.

判决: Sunscreen for your face

全面的, there are so many incredible sunscreen formulas out there nowadays. There really is something for everybody; it’s just a case of sifting through them and working out what’s best for you. Murad has truly delivered with its formula, but if you want something a bit more affordable, La Roche-Posay’s offering is a real feat, 和 Garnier’s water-like liquid makes for the perfect entry point into sunscreen, proving that a good product doesn’t have to break the bank (or break you out in spots).

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