Wearing SPF is one of the best and easiest ways to protect the skin’s appearance, health, and ageing. It is essential to prevent wrinkles, sunspots, acne, scars and skin cancer. Regular use of sunscreen can also help prevent sunburn, skin cancer and premature ageing.
Choosing the best sunscreen for your face and body is one of the basic requirements of good skincare. It protects the skin from UV rays and prevents signs of ageing and a variety of other skin problems.
The reality is that most people do not wear as much sunscreen as they should – and a high SPF can help compensate for this. For daily use, choose a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Sunscreen with an SPF of 30 prevents the formation of new dark spots, while a combination of glycolic acid, vitamin C and retinol treats existing discolouration.
SPF stands for sun protection factor and is a measure of how well a sunscreen protects from UVB rays. It measures how well it protects the skin from harmful UV rays. Manufacturers calculate the SPF based on how long it takes to treat sunburn with sunscreen compared to skin without.
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How do I chose an SPF cream?
Popular brands such as Cerave, Paula Choice and Neutrogena make some of the more sought out SPF face creams. They appeal to those looking for a 2-in-1 product to help them improve their morning skincare routine and can be purchased from readers “favourite” retailers such as Boots, Superdrug, Lookfantastic, SpaceNK and Amazon.
The active ingredients in sunscreens work by creating UV filters that keep harmful UV rays from penetrating the skin. There are two types of sunscreens – mineral sunscreens and chemical sunscreens.
Mineral sunscreens are naturally white and thick, making them stand out from darker skin tones. Due to their thick consistency, they can cause a white cast on the skin, which tends to be unwanted.
For those with darker skin tones, a chemical SPF would be better as it won’t leave any white cast.
SPF in moisturizer or on top of it?
While you may feel compelled to wear sunscreen with your face moisturiser, SPF with layered products doesn’t hurt. According to dermatologists, if your face moisturizer is equipped with a broad-spectrum protection factor of 30 or more, you may not need an additional layer of conventional sunscreen.
For example, Paula’s Choice Resist Youth-Extending Daily Hydrating Fluid SPF50 protects you from UV-A and UV-B rays and is more effective than sunscreens with the same factors. By protecting your skin with a day moisturizer with an SPF of 30 or higher, you can keep your skin beautiful and healthy. A face moisturiser with SPF helps to moisturise the skin and provides sun protection from harsh sun rays.
Top 5 SPF creams
These are my top 5 favourite SPF creams. I’ll sort them by price low to high!
Garnier designed this lotion to shield your skin while you enjoy the sunshine and they made it feel as light as possible. It’s my go-to.
This cruelty-free sun cream offers high SPF action, formulated to protect against the harmful effects of UVA/UVB rays and the environmental aggressors that cause skin damage. It protects the skin from sun-induced dark spots while vitamin E and hyaluronic acid replenish the skin with hydration.
It leaves absolutely no residue and no white cast. I normally apply it after my moisturizer and I can reapply a few times.
Most chemical facial SPFs burn my eyes so I always try any new mineral sunscreens that come out. The Inkey List SPF 30 caught my attention because, even though it’s a mineral formula, it’s claimed that it leaves no white cast on darker skin and mineral SPFs are notorious for this. This SPF is formulated with 22% Zinc Oxide- which is usually known for leaving a ‘chalky’ sort of look and offers broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection.
I was pleasantly surprised it did not leave any white cast same as the REN skincare one. It absorbs quickly and it’s developed with layering in mind, meaning it won’t cake when applied beneath other cosmetic products. Perfect as a makeup base and it’s non-comedogenic.
This physical mineral SPF has a silicone-free formula composed of naturally-derived ingredients, that gives broad-spectrum UVA/UVB and blue light defence. It’s absorbed fast without leaving a sticky residue or white cast.
Great for darker skin that wants a physical sunscreen.
Contains 22% non-nano, naturally-sourced Zinc Oxide, the cream forms a non-comedogenic shield that stops the sun’s harmful rays and environmental pollutants without irritating. If your skin is quite sensitive this is the one for you with soothing rice extract and yellow Passionfruit seed extract to calm red skin.
It leaves your skin nice and matte and works as a good base for makeup. The SPF also aligns with Ren’s values – it’s vegan, cruelty-free and it arrives in a recyclable tube crafted from recycled one-type plastic.
The Ultrasun Tinted Anti-Pigmentation SPF50+ Face Lotion helps combat premature ageing and visible sun damage. The broad spectrum face SPF provides high-level protection by blocking UVA, UVB, and Infrared A rays, hence reducing their harmful effects on the skin. The face lotion is specially formulated to help prevent the formation of dark spots, pigmentation, and uneven skin tone.
Its main ingredient is Ectoin which is a rare natural enzyme that protects the skin from the effects of UVA-induced skin ageing. It is supposed to reduce the appearance of existing pigmentation in just 14 days.
One of my favourite brands is SkinCeuticals with their advanced science-based skincare. They produce a few amazing SPF creams with a high UVA/UVB broad-spectrum SPF 50.
Formulated with cutting-edge UV filters, this SPF moisturizer is lightweight and easily absorbed. It helps to prevent UV induced collagen breakdown, UV induced hyperpigmentation and other signs of premature ageing caused by harsh rays.
We all know that the sun can damage your skin, so take responsibility and protect your face with sunscreen. It is important to protect your skin every day, so use a full-day cream with a broad-spectrum sunscreen SPF 30 or higher.
Whether you are looking for the best natural sunscreen, the best sunscreen for children and babies or a tinted sunscreen with the perfect SPF for your face, there is an option for you.