No amount of serums and facials will do more for your face than a daily sunscreen. UV damage is the number one cause of premature ageing, fine lines and wrinkles. Whether you're black or white, tan easily or tend to burn, a good factor 30 or 50 facial sunscreen is still your best friend, and should be as much a part of your beauty regime as your favourite cleanser.
When picking a sunscreen, you'll need to consider your skin type along with various other details such as forumla. We've made the whole process easier by putting together a foolproof guide and a ranking of our top 10 favourites, including mineral and zinc oxide-based options from Clinique and oil-free picks from Neutrogena. So you're sure to find a lightweight, absorbent, and effective facial sunscreen, stress-free!
With just a little thought you can easily work out which type of facial sunscreen is best for you. The guide below is filled with our suggestions for how to narrow down exactly what you need from your facial sun protection. Read on to find a simple strategy for selecting your perfect product!
According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, UV radiation is 'part of the natural energy produced by the sun.' In order to safeguard you against the risk of skin cancers, it is vital to choose a facial sunscreen which blocks out both UVA rays (the radiation linked to an ageing effect on the skin), and UVB rays (which cause burning of the skin as they penetrate the epidermis).
Sunscreens that cover both will be labelled as broad spectrum. If yours does not offer this protection, throw it away and find one that does!
The NHS recommends using a sunscreen with a factor of 30 or above, as research has shown that those with lower ratings (such as factor 15) are not as effective when applied in the thin layer we tend to favour. If you insist on using such a low SPF, be sure to apply two layers to begin with, and continue to reapply several times throughout the day.
When it comes to very pale skin that tends to burn, using a sun block of factor 50+ is a no-brainer, but if you have black or brown skin this does not mean you're free to skip the protection. Skin cancer and ageing do not discriminate, and the sun can do just as much damage to people of colour, so a high SPF is equally as important.
If your skin tends to be dry, a regular facial sun cream should work perfectly well. Creams have a thick consistency and are naturally nourishing, usually containing oils and butters which replenish moisture in thirsty skin.
Lotions and fluids are lighter and more easily absorbed, so work well on oilier skin, and also those with darker skin who'd prefer a sunscreen that dries invisibly with no white streaks. Look out for one that's oil-free or non-comedogenic if you specifically want to avoid the pore-blocking, greasy film some products can leave.
Finally, a gel is a good call if you want something lightweight that vanishes into the skin but still packs a hydrating punch. Gel-creams are best for combination skins that crave moisture but need a fast-absorbing sunscreen to avoid oily patches.
Another buzzword you may notice when shopping for sunscreen is 'mineral'. In straightforward terms, this refers to a sun block which uses minerals rather than chemicals to protect your skin, namely zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
Because they work by adding a protective layer on top of your skin rather than absorbing into it (and potentially entering the bloodstream), many people feel safer using them, as well as the fact that the chemicals used in other sunscreens can pose a bigger threat to our environment.
Mineral sunscreens - also known as 'physical' sunscreens because they literally form a barrier between the sun's damaging rays and your delicate facial skin - are available from many top beauty brands, often at competitive prices.
A top tip for really anyone using a facial sunscreen is to choose a matte option. The process of applying yet another layer of product to your face can sometimes add unwanted shine, which products formulated this way can help you avoid.
Sun protection is essential, even in winter, and if you're put off by the sheen some sunscreens create on your face, you're much less likely to use one. And that simply won't do! Seek out a matte variety, so you can slather the stuff over your T-zone, cheeks and neck and barely notice its presence, rather revelling in the fact you're covered with invisible protection!
So now let's move on and have a look at the facial sunscreens we've chosen from the plethora available to buy online. We've selected a broad range, from top cosmetics brands and organic options, so why not browse our picks and experiment with a couple of the sunscreens here.
La Roche Posay
Jason Natural Cosmetics
Anthelios Anti-Shine Sun Cream Gel
Dry Touch Face Sun Care Cream
Clear Face Breakout Free Oil-Free Sunscreen
Anti-Ageing Sun Protection
Capital Soleil Dry Touch
City Skin Age Defence Broad Spectrum
Super Soin Facial Sun Cream
Mineral Sunscreen Fluid for Face
Daily Defence Shield Sunscreen
Enjoy the Sun Without the Shine
Get a Matte Finish With Plant-Based Ingredients
Best Pick for Breakout-Prone Skin
Professional Protection for Sensitive Skin
A Mattifying Formula for Zero Shine
Boost Your Glow With Vitamin C
Silky-Smooth Sun Block Cream
A Natural Option That Shouldn't Clog Pores
Super Gentle, Oil-Free Protection
Shield Your Skin From UV Rays, Pollution and HEV Light
|Formula||Gel-cream||Cream||Oil-free lotion||Gel||Oil-free cream||Cream||Cream||Oil-free cream||Oil-free fluid||Cream|
With your face (literally) covered, you may be wondering how to go about finding the best sun protection for the rest of your body. Have a browse of our related guides – we've even included an option for tanning lotions, so you can fake that much-coveted golden glow without any risk of sun damage!
We all know SPF is vital to protect and reduce excessive ageing of our skin, it's just the reality of bringing a facial sunscreen into our beauty regime that's sometimes hard. By using our simple guide to buying sun protection for the face, you should be able to nab a product that will really work for you and become the star product of your bathroom cabinet. Here comes the sun!
Author: Annie Hopkins
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