‘USE sunscreen every day’ is the ultimate skincare commandment. Dermatologists and beauty buffs alike agree that protecting your face from harmful UV rays – while simultaneously preventing wrinkles – should be a priority for everyone.
“Skin is the body’s first line of defence from everyday external aggressors which damage your skin such as UV rays,” says Prof Christian Aldridge, consultant dermatologist for LifeJacket Skin Protection.
“The damage from these can have cosmetic, physical and long-term health consequences. At best, it can age your skin and cause you discomfort but at worst, can give you a skin disease you really don’t want.”
That’s why daily protection of your skin is critical, particularly on those areas that are exposed to the sun regularly, such as your face. But in spite of all the warnings we receive, the message isn’t getting through to everyone.
A new survey from LifeJacket and Melanoma UK found that 10% of respondents rarely use SPF, while one in 20 says they never use it.
To make it more likely you’ll stick to a daily habit, finding a product you love can be a huge help – attempting to rub a thick, chalky cream into your skin is not the answer.
The good news is, facial sunblocks have come a long way, and there’s a whole new batch of lightweight but effective lotions, serums and gels that are a delight to use.
“To adequately protect your face, I recommend 5ml (about a teaspoon) of SPF of at least 30 every day,” says Aldridge.
“Especially during the months of April to September, to ensure long-term skin protection. Application should be repeated if outside for long periods or undertaking exercising in the light.”
Here’s our pick of the best face sunscreens for everyday use…
1. Garnier Ambre Solaire SPF 50+ Super UV Invisible Face Serum Boots
A more fluid texture than any existing Garnier sunblock, Super UV Invisible Face Serum is designed for even the most sensitive skin types. The vegan factor 50 serum sinks in quickly, meaning it’s suited to men with facial hair or for wearing under make-up.
2. Sun Bum Glow 30 Moisturising Sunscreen Face Lotion, Cult Beauty
The latest addition to the Sun Bum family, this SPF30 lotion comes with a generous dose of glow-boosting kakadu plum extract, which reportedly contains on average 100 times more vitamin C than an orange.
3. The Inkey List Polyglutamic Acid Dewy Sunscreen, LookFantastic
Fast becoming a must-have among ‘skintellectuals’, this light fluid is formulated with a trio of ultra-hydrating ingredients: polyglutamic acid, squalane and glycerin.
Designed to prevent any white cast (no matter how dark your skin tone), this dewy-finish fluid is what you need if you’re after the trendy ‘glazed donut’ skin look.
4. Coco & Eve Daily Water Gel SPF50+ Sunscreen
The first suncare range from self-tan specialist Coco & Eve does not disappoint.
With hyaluronic acid to moisturise, the factor 50+ Daily Water Gel is as lightweight as it sounds, and the fragrance-free formula is suited to sensitive and oily skin types alike.
5. Skin Proud Serious Shade Lightweight Hydrating SPF 50+ Skin Serum
Intended to provide a smooth base for make-up with no white cast, Skin Proud’s first sunscreen comes with extra benefits: ceramides to protect the skin barrier and cherry extract for a vitamin C boost.
6. Eucerin Sun Face Hydro Protect Ultra-Light Fluid SPF 50+, Boots
The newest face sunblock in Eucerin’s high-tech line-up not only protects against UVA and UVB rays, it boosts skin repair with glycyrrhetinic acid, and the non-greasy fluid is fast-absorbing.
7. Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Vitamin C Mineral SPF30
If you prefer a mineral suncreen that provides a physical barrier on the skin (as opposed to chemical, where it works below the surface), Ole Henriksen’s Banana Bright is an excellent option. The zinc oxide-based formula also contains vitamin C to increase skin luminosity over time and banana powder-inspired pigments to add instant brightness.
8. Suqqu Protecting Day Cream SPF50+, Cult Beauty
This innovative daily moisturiser from Japanese skinbrand Suqqu offers factor 50 protection, botanical extracts and a glowy, light-reflecting finish that’s perfect on its own or under make-up.
9. Chanel UV Essentiel
The newly reformulated UV Essentiel provides SPF50 protection alongside a duo of skin-strengthening extracts – blue ginger and Tahitian gardenia – to guard against pollution and premature ageing.
10. LifeJacket Daily Protection Moisturiser
A great all-rounder, LifeJacket’s fragrance-free face cream provides factor 30 protection and hydrates with glycerin.
11. Hello Sunday The Illuminating One Glow Primer SPF50
Defending skin against UVA, UVB, blue light and pollution, this highly protective primer is formulated with light-illuminating particles to enhance your complexion.