Dermatologists and skincare experts have always stressed the need to wear sunscreen all year round. If you haven’t always heed this advice, now that we’re entering summer months, it’s even more essential to start protecting your skin against the sun’s harmful rays.
Thankfully the days of heavy, pore-clogging sunscreens are a thing of the past. SPF moisturisers today tend to be lightweight and skincare lead. It gives high protection against UVA/UVB rays but also has powerful skincare ingredients so we get the best of both worlds.
SPF face moisturisers get better with each passing year and this summer, we’ve tried and tested the SPF creams that give broad spectrum protection, have skincare benefits and help your makeup look even better. All the while not weighing down skin, clogging pores and causing breakouts.
Each SPF face cream on this list has been tested for weight, texture, ability to blend into skin without leaving residue or white cast and also for its skincare benefits. We looked at whether it’s hydrating, brightening, clears skin of breakouts and blemishes or does it prime skin for a flawless makeup look.
Jurlique UV Defence SPF50 High Protection Lotion PA++++
With over 30 5 star reviews, this lightweight SPF 50 face cream is obviously loved by many. It made our list because of it is multi-functional. It not only protects skin from harmful UVA/UVB rays, it’s also rich in antioxidant botanicals like Marshmallow root extract to help skin fight back against other environmental aggressors like pollution which is especially rampant for those who live in London.
While thick in texture, we found this SPF lotion to be light once blended into skin and incredibly moisturising. It can easily replace your normal face moisturiser.
It leaves no white caste and has a satin finish which makes applying foundation and even BB Creams easy.
REN Clean Screen Mineral SPF 30 Mattifying Face Sunscreen
REN is known for its clean beauty credentials and this mineral SPF moisturiser is no different. It contains 22% non-nano zinc to protect, rice starch to help stop shine, and passionfruit seed extract to help defend against free radical damage.
The formula is lightweight and provides broad spectrum, high SPF protection to stop UVA/UVB damage and reduce the visible signs of ageing.
It also helps to reduce the appearance of discolouration and age spots and even out complexion.
We found it makes a perfect base for all day, shine-free makeup as it mattifies and primes skin.
SkinCeuticals Advanced Brightening UV Defense SPF50
SkinCeuticals is known for its ingredients led products and this Brightening UV Defense SPF50 is no different. It’s enriched with Tranexamic Acid and Niacinamide to ensure skin remains radiant while protecting against UV rays.
It’s liquid in texture but not runny and is quite easy to apply. It doesn’t leave a residue either.
Thanks to its potent ingredients, it can function as a serum or sit comfortably after applying a moisturiser. Either way, it’s light enough to make adding makeup on top not feel heavy. Skin still has room to breathe.
The lightweight formula provides broad spectrum, high SPF50 protection to help reduce the visible signs of ageing. This SPF 50 face cream also helps to reduce the appearance of discolouration and age spots, promoting a more even complexion.
SUQUU Protecting Day Cream SPF50
This luxurious high-tech cream seemed to have everything you’d need in a moisturiser and sunscreen combined so we were keen to give it a try.
It contains 7 beauty ingredients, including plant-derived extracts to hydrate skin and keep dryness and dullness at bay.
It’s designed to replace your normal moisturiser so it’s featherweight, and seeps into skin quite easily while leaving a faint sheen which makes skin glow when makeup is applied.
This SPF Day Cream is also one of the better smelling sunscreens we’ve come across with citrusy top notes, middle notes of rose, jasmine and a warming base of musk, sandal and cedarwood.
It’s an all round high performing sun protection cream that’s lightweight, easy to apply, and comfortable to wear.
Upcircle Beauty SPF 25 Mineral Sunscreen
This broad spectrum mineral SPFV face cream is reef safe and eco friendly in every sense.
100 percent vegan, certified cruelty-free and plastic negative with fully recyclable packaging, it gives REN a run for it’s money.
It’s formulated with non-nano zinc oxide and rich in antioxidants thanks to upcycled raspberry seed oil, aloe vera and sunflower oil. It also contains skin-soothing aloe vera to calm inflammation if you have any and quenches the moisture barrier, whilst the glycerin it contains seals in hydration.
We found this SPF face moisturiser to be lightweight, easily absorbed by skin and very hydrating. It’s essentially part moisturiser and part sunscreen that blocks 96% of UV rays.
Skin Regimen Urban Shield SPF30
This Skin Regimen SPF for face is an interesting one. It’s technically a cream but acts like a primer so it can be applied on top of a more hydrating day cream. It’s certainly light enough.
It’s enriched with antioxidant powder made up of Organic Maqui Berry, Organic Wild Indigo and Carnosine and Organic Spinach to formulated to protect the skin against UVA and UVB damage as well as environmental aggressors such as pollution.
It’s rich in texture but feels light and sinks easily into skin when applied. On skin, it has a slight shimmer and smoothens the skins’ surface for makeup application.
Botanical Effects® Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30 Sunscreen
This part moisturiser and part sunscreen by Mary Kay has been around for years but it’s still loved by many because of its weightless feel and hydration benefits.
It provides broad-spectrum sun protection from both UVA and UVB rays, uses dragon fruit extract to help fight skin-damaging free radicals as well as Aloe Vera to keep skin hydrated for up to 12 hours.
It’s clear and gel-like in texture and absorbs deeply into skin leaving it dry and mattified – a perfect surface for makeup.
Dr. Pawpaw SPF 50 PA++++ Day Cream
This vegan SPF 50 Day cream was launched earlier this year by Dr. Pawpaw with great fanfare. It contains the brand’s hero ingredient, ‘Papayaluronic’ paired with Hyaluronic Acids to hydrate and brighten skin while protecting it against UVA and UVB rays.
It’s a rich cream that requires a bit of work for it to seep into skin but once it settles, skin feels soft and looks smooth. It’s lightweight and makeup can sit on it comfortably without clogging pores or leaving a white cast.
The formula also contains Vitamin E to soften and nourish the skin to prevent cellular damage and repair the skin’s barrier.
Ultrasun Face Fluid Anti Pollution SPF50+
This Face Fluid by Ultrasun is by no means our favourite SPF 50 by the brand. That award goes to the Ultrasun Face Mist. This Face Fluid is a close second though and makes this list because it is light, liquid in texture and is absorbed completely by skin when rubbed in without leaving a white cast.
It has a very high all day protection from harmful UVA, UVB, HEVL (blue light) and Infrared-A rays, as well as urban pollution and environmental aggressors which can lead to hyper-pigmentation and UV induced skin ageing.
It can be used as a daily primer as it sits comfortably on top of a daily moisturiser without weighing down skin when foundations and other makeup products are applied on top.
Asked for his number one skincare advice for celebrity clients, London’s premier dermatologist, Dr. Haus of Haus Dermatology said to ‘never skip sunscreen’.
So there you have it, disregard this advice at your own peril. Skipping sun protection is the fastest way to age your skin not to mention get skin cancer.
The SPF face moisturisers on our list will give you broad protections not just against UVA/UVB rays but pollution and blue light from screens as well.
Even if you don’t think you’ll be in the sun all day, just stepping outside even on a cloudy day does expose you to some UVA and UVB rays so dermatologists advice you apply sunscreen 30 minutes and just before going out.
And don’t forget other areas of your body. All exposed skin should be protected including the scalp so grab a wide-brimmed hat if needed.