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The Gloss Report: 12 of the best SPF moisturisers

May 1st 2014 / Katie Robertson Google+ Katie Robertson / 0 comment


Daily sun protection is an important part of any beauty regime, but finding the right product for your skin type is crucial. Read our verdict on the latest moisturising SPF formulas

We know that British summers aren’t exactly scorchers, but even on the coolest of overcast days, UV rays travel through the clouds and reflect off sand, water, and even concrete. Clouds and pollution don't filter out UV rays and can give us a false sense of protection. This "invisible sun" can cause unexpected sunburn and skin damage.

So, with that in mind and ahead of Sun Awareness Week beginning this Monday, the Glossy Posse has tested out 12 SPF moisturisers to integrate into your everyday skincare routine.

Sisley Broad Spectrum Sun Cream SPF 30


Price £97

Buy online

Feedback "I love Sisley skincare in general - it is a brand that takes skin very seriously indeed with products that feel a proper luxury. The suncream is no exception. Containing organic UVA and UVB filters, this lovely cream appears white in the tube (it also comes in slightly coloured shades - Natural , Golden and Amber) but disappears on contact with the skin, so you're not left with a greyish tinge that some suncreams leave behind. I have very pale skin and I have never ever burnt with this suncream, and what's more it leaves skin slightly mattified, so when you exercise or go in the sun, you don't shine like a sweaty beacon."

Reviewer ST

Score 10/10

SkinCeuticals Ultra Facial Defense SPF 50


Price £30

Buy online

Feedback "I was a little nervous about this gloss report - I have quite sensitive skin and I've heard a few horror stories of reactions to high SPF products in the past. After a quick patch test I dared to take it for a test drive. The product is smooth, easy to apply and fragrance free. While it’s a little on the expensive side, it gives good coverage and a small amount goes a long way. I went for a jog and even after 10km I didn’t feel any stickiness and it didn't result in any clogged pores. I’m happy to have found a good high factor sun cream for sensitive skin - worth the investment."

Reviewer TD

Score 9/10

Chanel UV Essentiel Complete Sunscreen UV Protection Anti-Pollution Broad Spectrum SPF 30


Price £41

Buy online

Feedback "Having been born with pale/see-through skin, having good quality SPF products has always been essential for me.

This moisturiser smells as delicious and delectable as an eau de parfum and is fresh, light and easily absorbed. If fact, my makeup glided on even more smoothly and left a plumper, healthier looking glow on my face. Post-workout I definitely didn’t look as fresh as a daisy but there was certainly no sign of the slimy slippage that often comes from SPF products. Yes, it’s quite pricey but just a little drop of this magic moisturiser goes a really long way so it definitely worth the cost."

Reviewer KR

Score 9/10

Pharmaclinix Sun Blockex SPF 50


Price £39.99

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Feedback "This really is unlike any SPF moisturiser I've ever tried. Not only does a tiny amount go a very long away, there isn't the slightest hint of greasiness, sticky residue or the usual tell-tale sign of an SPF; that awful white sheen. Offering maximum sun protection as well as anti-ageing benefits, it's also incredibly nourishing and hydrating yet is suitable for all skin types, plus it makes for a fantastic base for makeup. What more could you ask for?"

Reviewer KB

Score 10/10

Ole Henriksen Protect The Truth™ SPF 50+


Price £31

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Feedback "Light yet potent, I was impressed that this powerful sunscreen mimicked an efficient, non-greasy moisturiser. Often with high SPF products I’ve experienced either a white film of product that takes a good half hour to sink in or a slightly slimy finish, but this oil-free lotion absorbed with ease while nourishing dry patches. Packed with vitamins and antioxidants, this lotion goes further than your average sun cream by protecting skin from environmental aggressors as well as UV damage and premature ageing. The slightly hefty price tag is also likely down to the cream’s unique ‘Solar Active Complex™’- heat and light activated marine enzymes and fruit extracts that apparently strengthen the skin’s barrier and help it to heal. I had no way of testing this, but the thought that this product was going beyond the call of duty to safeguard my skin was comforting. The only downside was that it smelled a little bit ‘garden centre’, but then SPFs aren’t renowned for their fragrant qualities."

Reviewer AH

Score 8/10

Dermalogica Super Sensitive Shield SPF 30 Ultra-Calming


Price £39

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Feedback "This weightless formula is specially made to cater to those ladies with sensitive skin - like myself. I’ve long been a fan of Dermalogica’s skincare products, especially their face cleanser, so it came as no surprise that their SPF 30 moisturising suncream was just as effective. It’s chemical and artificial fragrance-free, yet still smells absolutely amazing. (No lingering coconut scent here.) It’s hydrating and sheer, which is crucial for me, because even a moderately heavy cream will cause spots to break out on my face almost immediately. Plus, since I am rather pale, an SPF 30 is a must for any sun cream in my makeup bag.

"The only downside? It does come in a rather small bottle, but you also don’t need to lather much on in the morning, so it should still last for a while."

Reviewer KA

Score 8/10

Clarins HydraQuench Cream SPF 15


Price £35

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Feedback "I love the HydraQuench range from Clarins and often use the cream gel moisturiser for its super lightweight but deeply moisturising and hydrating formula. However, the only downside is that it doesn’t include an SPF, so I thought the SPF cream version would be just as fab as the rest of the range.

"Although I only used a very small amount, it did feel rather heavy and slightly greasy after application. This is definitely a product more suited for those with drier skin - I prefer something a lot more lightweight and felt like this was clogging up my pores. I’ll always be a Clarins fan but maybe this time it’s just not quite the right formula for me."

Reviewer SM

Score 6/10

Estee Lauder Day Wear Advanced Multi-Protection Anti-Oxidant Crème SPF 15


Price £40

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Feedback "Estee Lauder know how to do skincare. I love this moisturising cream: it covers all the necessary skincare requirements from antioxidants to long-lasting hydration and I love that it also has SPF included. This lightweight cream has a luxuriously smooth texture that deeply hydrates and moisturises the skin without clogging it up and making it feel heavy. It doesn’t leave the skin feeling greasy and provides an excellent base for makeup. It sinks into the skin beautifully, leaving it feeling refreshed, smooth and radiant for the day ahead. The fresh cucumber scent makes it feel like a true pampering experience."

Reviewer SM

Score 10/10

Omorovicza Complexion Corrector SPF 20


Price £82

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Feedback "I’m really bad at protecting myself against the sun. Unless I’m on holiday, I always forget to apply SPF, and when I am on holiday, I slap it on as quickly as possible so that I can get into the water.

"This miracle Omorovicza Complexion Corrector claims that it is a moisturiser, sunscreen and primer in one. This sounded promising as the only way that I would ever remember to get some SPF into my routine is if it were through a multitasking product. After applying it, it sat on my skin for a few minutes before sinking it. When it did, my skin felt softer and after time, it began to look brighter and more even. This silicone-free product also provides a good base for my makeup. It provides a subtle radiance, which peeked out from under my BB cream, making me look healthier. All in all, this product does what it claims and I have no doubt that I’ll always remember to protect myself against UV rays come this summer."

Reviewer HI

Score 9/10

This Works In Transit Skin Defence SPF 30


Price £29

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Feedback “Me and sun creams do not have the best history; I realised a few years too late that strongly perfumed chemical sunscreens were the reason my skin flared up every time I dared go in the sunshine (not simply prickly heat as I’d always believed) and so I am very picky when it comes to choosing my SPF. Now, I tend to go for those with a physical SPF ingredient such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide as they are more suitable for my sensitive skin. That’s why I was so surprised that This Works markets this as a gentle formula for sensitive types; a fluid-like lotion, it is a chemical sunscreen, though while it also contains ‘parfum’ the brand is free from synthetic nasties so it's a bit of a balance between the two, hence why I gave it a go.

"The scent is very subtle, the kind you'd expect from a good day cream - a relief, as I would hate to smell of sun cream all day in the office. It’s also incredibly hydrating; a mixture of hyaluronic acid (the best plumping ingredient around), calming vitamin E and various seed oils and botanicals means the skin drinks it in. There’s no stickiness, no white marks that chemical suncreams often leave, and it’s broad spectrum so the SPF 30 will protect from both UVA and UVB. Impressive. However, after two days of use I did react to it - mildly, but still, it confirmed what I already knew: chemical sun creams are not a good idea for sensitive skin. I'm conflicted as I love the formula and the feel of it on my skin, and if you can whack anything on without so much as a bit of redness you'll love it too. My main bugbear is that the labelling should change to reflect that it's suitable for stronger skin."

Reviewer JJ

Score 7/10

Zelens Daily Defence Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30


Price £55

Buy online Available later on this month from

Feedback "I was really impressed by this particular sunscreen, in particular because of its texture and broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection. It was moisturising without being too greasy and absorbed quickly leaving my shiny T-zone relatively unscathed. Although it looks a rather unsettling shade of stark white when you first squeeze it out of the tube, rest assured that as soon as you rub it in, it blends in pretty instantaneously.

"Best for dry and combination skin types in my opinion, it smelt great (that clean, classically-scented face cream fragrance), plus it felt incredibly comfortable and nourishing on my dry, dull-looking skin: a definite must-have to top up my skincare stash this summer…and beyond too."

Reviewer AM

Score 9/10

Lancer Sheer Fluid Sunscreen SPF 30


Price £30.24

Buy online

Feedback Lancer is a name that has popped up several times on my beauty radar this month. Apparently it’s the only skincare regime that Victoria Beckham swears by. Well, if it’s good enough for Posh Spice… This is the first time in ages that I’ve used a facial SPF, usually I just assume that the SPF in my tinted moisturiser will do the trick, as every time I try putting sun cream on my face I end up with a horrendous high-shine finish. This couldn’t be more different. It’s like a luxury moisturiser - a light, nourishing formula that sinks in immediately and leaves a lovely glowy finish. You wouldn’t know you were wearing it, which is exactly how a good beauty product should be.

"My only hesitation is with the price - for an everyday product it’s a little on the expensive side and more than I’ve ever spent on sun creams in the past. Having said that, I suppose quality doesn’t come cheap."

Reviewer LO

Score 9.5/10

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