• Top 10 Best Facial Sunscreens in the UK 2021 1
  • Top 10 Best Facial Sunscreens in the UK 2021 2
  • Top 10 Best Facial Sunscreens in the UK 2021 3
  • Top 10 Best Facial Sunscreens in the UK 2021 4
  • Top 10 Best Facial Sunscreens in the UK 2021 5

Top 10 Best Facial Sunscreens in the UK 2021

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!

  • Last updated: 22-02-2021
  • 1,111 views
Table of Contents

How to Choose a Facial Sunscreen in the UK - Buying Guide

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!

Check Your Sunscreen Protects Against Both UVA and UVB Rays

Check Your Sunscreen Protects Against Both UVA and UVB Rays

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!

Factor it in: Think About the Level of Protection You'll Need According to Your Skin Type & Environment

Factor it in: Think About the Level of Protection You'll Need According to Your Skin Type & Environment

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. 

Cream, Lotion, Fluid, Gel or a Combination - Different Textures Suit Different Skin Types

Cream, Lotion, Fluid, Gel or a Combination - Different Textures Suit Different Skin Types

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. 

Mineral or Physical Sunscreens Use Zinc and Titanium to Create A Protective Barrier

Mineral or Physical Sunscreens Use Zinc and Titanium to Create A Protective Barrier

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. 

Matte Sunscreens Absorb Beautifully and Avoid Shine

Matte Sunscreens Absorb Beautifully and Avoid Shine

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!

Top 10 Best Facial Sunscreens in the UK

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. 

10
Volume40ml
Formula Cream
SPF30
MineralNo
MatteNo
9

CliniqueMineral Sunscreen Fluid for Face

SPF 50

£22.00

Volume30ml
Formula Oil-free fluid
SPF50
MineralYes
MatteNo
8

Jason Natural CosmeticsFacial Sunblock

SPF 20

£11.99

Volume128g
Formula Oil-free cream
SPF20
MineralNo
MatteNo
7
Volume40ml
Formula Cream
SPF50+
MineralNo
MatteNo
6

MuradCity Skin Age Defence Broad Spectrum

SPF 50

£60.00

Volume50ml
FormulaCream
SPF50
MineralYes
MatteNo
5

VichyCapital Soleil Dry Touch

SPF 50

£16.50

Volume50ml
Formula Oil-free cream
SPF50
MineralYes
MatteYes
4
Volume50ml
Formula Gel
SPF30
MineralYes
MatteNo
3

NeutrogenaClear Face Breakout Free Oil-Free Sunscreen

SPF 55

£13.83

Volume89ml
Formula Oil-free lotion
SPF55
MineralNo
MatteYes
2
Volume30ml
Formula Cream
SPF50+
MineralYes
MatteYes
1

La Roche PosayAnthelios Anti-Shine Sun Cream Gel

SPF 50+

£17.50

Volume50ml
Formula Gel-cream
SPF50+
MineralNo
MatteYes

Compare the Best Facial Sunscreens

Image
1
La Roche Posay Anthelios Anti-Shine Sun Cream Gel 1

La Roche Posay

2
Clarins Dry Touch Face Sun Care Cream 1

Clarins

3
Neutrogena Clear Face Breakout Free Oil-Free Sunscreen 1

Neutrogena

4
Ultrasun Anti-Ageing Sun Protection 1

Ultrasun

5
Vichy Capital Soleil Dry Touch 1

Vichy

6
Murad City Skin Age Defence Broad Spectrum 1

Murad

7
Sisley Super Soin Facial Sun Cream 1

Sisley

8
Jason Natural Cosmetics Facial Sunblock 1

Jason Natural Cosmetics

9
Clinique Mineral Sunscreen Fluid for Face 1

Clinique

10
Elemis Daily Defence Shield Sunscreen 1

Elemis

Name

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

Facial Sunblock

Mineral Sunscreen Fluid for Face

Daily Defence Shield Sunscreen

Features

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

Price£17.50£20.00£13.83£18.00£16.50£60.00£132.00£11.99£22.00£41.90
Volume50ml30ml89ml50ml50ml50ml40ml128g30ml40ml
Formula Gel-creamCreamOil-free lotionGelOil-free creamCreamCreamOil-free creamOil-free fluidCream
SPF50+50+5530505050+205030
MineralNoYesNoYesYesYesNoNoYesNo
MatteYesYesYesNoYesNoNoNoNoNo
Link

More Ways to Stay Safe in the Sun

More Ways to Stay Safe in the Sun

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!

Summary

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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