Whilst we know – we absolutely know – that face SPF should be worn all-year around (especially so if you’re partial to using penetrating acids as part of your skincare routine), we seem to only remember how big of a deal it is once the first proper warm spring day appears. Which, if you live in the UK, suddenly popped up this week…
If you’re anything like us, chances are you’re suddenly panicking that whatever you used last year to stop sun damage is either a) lost or b) out of date, and you need something new and STAT. Rather than list you all the different face sun care products we’ve tried, we thought we’d investigate just which products have the best reviews online at all our favourite beauty stockists.
Hopefully you’ll find something that ticks all your boxes and keeps your skin protected and healthy in 2021 and beyond. Oh and just an FYI? Face SPF is best applied as the final step in your skincare routine (after moisturiser and before any make-up). It should be applied all over to ensure all areas of your skin are covered for maximum protection.
CULT BEAUTY – Thank You Farmer – Sun Project Water Sun Cream SPF50
This little beauty came out on top by far – with a staggering 218 reviews, most of which were five stars (other options on site had around 10-20, for comparison). Thank You Farmer is a natural South Korean brand which uses farm-grown ingredients to create simple, organic products. Their face SPF is their hero product: It’s lightweight, moisturising and contains plenty of the goodness that is Hyaluronic Acid. Dreamy.
How much? £18 for 50ml.
LOOKFANTSTIC – La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra-Light Invisible Fluid SPF50+ Sun Cream
You’ll likely be no stranger to French brand La Roche-Posay, after all, their suncare and skincare products are not only legendary but well stocked across the UK. It’s their super-light Invisble Fluid sun cream that ranks highest over on LOOKFANTASTIC. Whilst it has a watery texture, a little goes a long way and those who left reviews say it works incredibly well under make-up and leaves no sticky or oily residue.
How much? £17.50 for 50ml.
SPACE NK: Expert Sun Protector Face & Body Lotion SPF 50+ by Shiseido
A great all-rounder, SHISEIDO’s Sun Protector can be used on both the face and body, making it a practical one to throw in your handbag (or suitcase, when the world returns to normal). It costs a little more, but you also get a slightly bigger bottle. Those who love it say it that it’s their favourite because it works so well for those who burn easily and have extremely fair skin – it’s also supposed to be incredibly long-lasting, even in water and whilst participating in sports.
How much? £34 for 150ml.
JOHN LEWIS: Ultrasun SPF 30 Anti-Ageing Very Sensitive Facial Sun Cream
Ultrasun is another brand that comes up time and time again in SPF recommendations, and for good reason: it delivers incredible protection with just one application. Whilst they offer plenty of family-friendly and body sun care products, their Facial Sun Cream has ten times the amount of positive reviews at John Lewis than competitors (56 gave it give stars). It’s light, sinks into skin quickly and keeps skin safe from damage.
How much? £17 for 50ml.
BOOTS: Bondi Sands Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+
Whilst the actual front runner from Boots was the La Roche-Posay Invisible Fluid (the same as LOOKFANTASTIC), it was Bondi Sands who claimed a surprising second place. The brand is better known for their self-tanning range (which, just FYI, is bloody amazing), but their facial sunscreen racked up over 200 gleaming reviews, and it’s a true bargain at just £6.99. It’s heavier than alternative products, but incredibly moisturising.
How much? £6.99 for 75ml.
SUPERDRUG: Ambre Solaire Sensitive Face Sun Cream Mist SPF50
Coming in top on the high street was gold ol’ Ambre Solaire. Users loved their Sun Cream Mist for how easy it was to apply, how light it was on the skin, and how convenient it was for top-ups if spending a long time outdoors. We reckon it would also be super handy for kids too, and involve less of the usually wrestling.
How much? £5.99 for 75ml.
HANNAH: Paula’s Choice Essential Glow Moisturiser SPF30
I adore Paula’s Choice infamous BHA so am currently giving their facial sunscreen a go. I love that it’s light enough to sink into my skin but heavy enough that it feels like a moisturiser at the same time. It doesn’t have a heavy fragrance and is a great all-rounder without clogging my pores or leaving a sticky residue.
How much? £30 for 60ml.
GEMMA: SkinCeuticals Ultra Facial UV Defense SPF50 Sunscreen Protection 30ml
Beauty isn’t something I tend to splash the cash on, but I was lucky enough to try some of the spendier brands out there during my days working on a fashion and beauty magazine. When funds allow, SkinCeuticals is one I return to, especially for this SPF. The mineral formula makes it perfect for sensitive skin – one LookFantastic reviewer said it was great for rosacea – and the lightweight formula that sinks straight into the skin and sits well under make-up. For something that does such an important job, I’d say it’s worth every penny.
How much? £41 for 30ml
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