We all know we should use SPF. We all know it should be part of our daily skincare routine. But we also know that there are a whole host of obstacles from excess-shine to lack of time getting in our way. Personally, I have great intentions with SPF but usually forget until after I’ve applied my make-up. And faced with the concept of undoing all my contouring work and doing it all again, versus telling myself that ‘just this once’ it won’t hurt to skip…?. It’s a daily battle.
According to skincare expert Caroline Hirons, the best SPF formula is simply the one you’ll actually use. And thankfully, there are ample options out there. Here’s how to navigate which is right for you
The time saver – Probably the most efficient method of application I’ve found is the aerosol. Point, press, shimmy the bottle around your chosen area. Coola Classic Face Sunscreen Mist has Plant Protection® complex, with naturally effective antioxidant-rich ingredients like Buriti Oil and Prickly Pear extract. Excitingly, despite the high protection, the mist is entirely non-greasy and absorbs instantly. Similarly, Sculpted by Aimee Sun Mist SPF 50 PA+++ can be used either under or over make-up, acting like an invisible UV shield.
The liquid-free – Sometimes, carting around an extra liquid just isn’t an option. I’m mainly thinking of minimalist, hand-luggage-only type travelers. Bioderma Photoderm Stick SPF50+ contains high-level filters, yet is non-sticky, super lightweight, and goes on clear. Added vitamin E protects against oxidative stress, and it’s proven to hydrate for up to 8 hours.
To use over make-up – This one is a game-changer for me. Coola make-up setting spray SPF30 is an invisible mist packed with hydrating and softening botanicals, antioxidants, AND cucumber and aloe extracts to cool and soothe. Stick it in the fridge and thank me later.
To eliminate shine – Clear, velvety textures can double as a mattifying primer. Murad Invisiblur SPF30 goes on entirely transparent and seamlessly melts into skin. A complex of shitake mushroom and mucor miehei peptides helps to encourage collagen production, improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for a flawless finish. Naked Sundays Clear Glow Radiant Sun Serum spf50 adds squalane to strengthen the skin by preventing water loss and repairing the skins’ barrier, plus jojoba for extra hydration.
To add tint – Layering is tricky on super-hot days, so a really good tinted spf is essential. Eliminating steps gets me out the door slightly closer to something vaguely resembling on-time, too. Chantecaille Just Skin has the most impressively buildable coverage I’ve found, whilst still being incredibly lightweight and hydrating. IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream is similarly epic,, infused with infused with hydrolyzed collagen, peptides, niacinamide & hyaluronic acid for an instantly flawless finish.
Doubles as a day-cream – Traditionally, day creams with spf tend to lurk around the factor 15-35 mark. Largely because upping the factor wreaked havoc with the texture. Thick, hard to absorb formulas. Dr Paw Paw SPF 50 PA++++ Day Cream is a secret power-house of hydration, thanks to 8 different-sized hyaluronic acid molecules, which absorb into all five layers of skin. Their signature PAPAYALURONIC(™) nourishes and soothes, whilst vitamin E softens and nourishes to strengthen skin’s barrier function.
Fights against blue light damage – Just to make things harder, blue light is another form of damaging light, and not one that is often protected-against by sunscreens. Medik8 Advanced Day Ultimate Protect SPF50+ protects against the full spectrum – UVA/UVB rays, blue light, infrared light, glycation and pollution, whilst next-generation DNA repair enzymes work to support the skin’s natural repair mechanisms after UV exposure.
For sensitive skin – Because they typically contain chemicals, SPFs can be hella irritating for sensitive skin. The other option is a zinc sunscreen, which naturally reflects and scatters UV radiation. Traditionally, zinc SPFs have been a bit cakey and difficult to rub in, but Synergie’s Uber Zinc applies like a dream and helps regulate oil production. The added green tea and lycopene-rich hydrolysed tomato skin also boosts anti-oxidant properties, helping fight against environmental irritants. Even more lightweight is Dr Brandt Liquid Sun Shield Daily Sunscreen SPF50, which uses Non-nano zinc oxide for broad spectrum protection against UBA & UVB, pollution, and blue light.
For eyes – Often overlooked because traditional sun creams can be irritating too close to the eye, the delicate skin surrounding eyes is often one of the first to show signs of aging. Which makes spf eeeevvven more crucial. RéVive Sensitif Eye Cream SPF 30 is an eye cream with benefits. Caffeine brightens and energizes, prebiotics balance skin’s microbiome, and signature Bio-Renewal Protein helps diminish signs of ageing. And in other news, the metal applicator is excellent for de-puffing and waking tired eyes in the morning.