No more excuses for not topping up your sun protection as these lightweight sprays can be used over a full face of makeup and there won’t be a smudge or smear in sight

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We all know how important it is to wear face SPF daily, but what perhaps doesn’t get talked about enough is reapplying it regularly to keep protection levels high. We’re used to doing it to our arms and legs when they’re exposed to the sun, but it gets slightly tricky when you’re wearing a full face of makeup because in reality who is going to take a full face of perfectly applied makeup to then put it all back on? This is where the best spf mists come in. These light sprays, which still pack a serious SPF protective punch, are becoming more and more popular because of how handy they are and for solving this exact conundrum.

Because, sadly, and as we all know deep down; applying SPF once in the morning, even if it is the best SPF50 out there, isn’t enough to get the protection listed on the packaging. “If you're continuously in the sun make sure you're reapplying your SPF every three to four hours,” says Dr Hiba Injibar, consultant dermatologist and founder of Dermasurge on London's Harley Street.

Ideally, SPF should go directly onto our skin, Dr Hiba tells us, but when that’s not possible how can we stay protected all day?

“If you know you’re going to be spending a day out in the sun but you’re also going to be wearing a full face of makeup, use a dedicated SPF in your routine. This might mean you need to adapt your skincare routine to accommodate this,” says makeup artist Lisa Caldognetto. This, of course, doesn’t get around the reapplication issue, but there’s no harm in having a few layers of protection.

Then it’s all about applying an SPF mist as effectively as possible without ruining your makeup. “Thankfully the latest SPF mists are so fine that they are no different to applying a setting spray and it’s rare that you’re going to run the risk of spraying one on and your makeup dripping down your face!” However, Caldognetto does have a few key application tips.

  • Use a fine SPF mist: The latest SPF mists are designed to be as fine as setting sprays, minimizing the risk of your makeup running down your face. Opt for a high-quality SPF mist for effective application without compromising your makeup.
  • Shake well before applying: Before spraying the SPF mist, make sure to shake the bottle vigorously. This step ensures that the SPF ingredients are well mixed, maximising the amount of SPF protection you receive.
  • Achieve even coverage: To ensure thorough coverage, spray the mist all over your face, neck, ears, and any other exposed areas like your scalp. Continue until the skin feels slightly saturated, guaranteeing that you haven't missed any spots.
  • Allow it to settle: After applying the SPF mist, avoid touching or rubbing it into the skin. Allow the product to settle and sink in naturally for at least a minute. This gives the SPF time to adhere and provides proper protection without disturbing the application.
  • Avoid touching the face: Refrain from touching your face or rubbing the SPF mist after it has settled. Touching your skin can disrupt the layer of protection you've just applied. If necessary, use a clean tissue to blot away any excess mist gently.
  • Perform final makeup checks: Take a moment to assess your makeup after applying the SPF mist. You may want to touch up your best cream blusher or best powder bronzer if necessary. Once you're satisfied with your appearance, you're ready to go about your day with the added sun protection.

Here’s our pick of the best SPF mists out there.

Best SPF mist for putting over makeup: Kate Somerville Uncomplikated SPF50, £34

This was the star product that makeup artist, Kat Ali used for Halle Bailey's Little Mermaid makeup look. She swears by its ability to be sprayed all over a face of makeup without affecting it in the slightest. And if a product works brilliantly in the hard conditions of a film set then you know it's going to be amazing in real life. You simply spray this ultra-fine mist all over your face for an easy way to up your sun protection. It has a mattifying effect, so if shiny summer skin is one of your bugbears - you need this. You can’t feel it on your face at all once it’s on but one thing to watch out for is getting this in your hair. It can feel crispy if sprayed onto your strands (a bit like a hairspray feel) but does easily brush out.

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Of course, it makes sense for one of the coolest SPF brands around, Ultra Violette, to create an SPF mist that offers brilliant broad-spectrum protection from the sun and leaves the skin with a gorgeous subtle glow. The consistency of this mist sounds watery when you shake it but comes out with a light veil of mist that dries instantly. It contains lots of skin caring ingredients like vitamin C and niacinamide but you're buying this because of the brilliant SPF and ease of use. 

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Best SPF mist for hot days: Coola Makeup Setting Sunscreen Spray SPF30, £39 

While this has been designed to set makeup while offering SPF protection (which it does brilliantly), the thing that made it stand out to us is that it has the most refreshing cooling effect on the skin, so you may just want to reach for it when you're feeling hot and bothered and need an SPF top-up. It absorbs quickly and doesn't smudge foundation, and uses aloe and algae extract for the hydration hit. It's vegan, cruelty-free, non-comedogenic and reef-safe.

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Best unisex SPF mist: Ultrasun UV Face and Scalp Mist SPF50, £18 

With its completely transparent formula, this is a great spray for the whole family and particularly excellent for spraying into hairlines that are particularly fair or receding! It has an aerosol and powdery consistency making it super speedy to apply with no greasy residue. And Ultrasun are so brilliant at formulating SPF you know you're in very safe hands with this one.

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Best SPF mist for sensitive skin: Garnier Ambre Solaire Over Makeup Super UV SPF50, £12

We spotted this in Dr Anita Sturnham 's extensive sun cream collection and she told us she was really impressed with it for her sensitive skin. And as a founder of her own skincare line Decree, it takes a good deal to impress her. It has almost a powdery consistency when it comes out and there's zero greasiness or stickiness so you can spray it over without any worry of your clothes getting stained.

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Best for travel: Hello Sunday The Retouch One - Face Mist, £18

 This lightweight, invisible, portable and fragrance-free pump mist exceeded expectations both for scalp and face with SPF 30 and blue light protection too. It doesn't leave any white spray marks and again, doesn't feel greasy or sticky."

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Best for oily skin: La Roche Posay Anthelios Anti-Shine Invisible SPF50+ Face Mist, £17 

We love La Roche Posay's Anthelios range, but the standard face SPF can be a little runny for on-the-go. In answer to that dilemma they've just brought out this does-it-all mist which knocks back shine, adds hydration and is invisible. We love the way it dries instantly with no stickiness and is water-resistant. If you're on the beach and have sandy hands, this is a brilliant touch-free option.

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Best for all skin tones: Bondi Sands Face SPF50+ Sunscreen Mist, £10 

If you’re a fan of the Tiktok approved Bondi Sands SPF 50+ face lotion , then you’ll love the handbag-friendly mist version even more. It still has the same texture and finish however, the quick and easy aerosol spray bottle gives it a well distributed coverage. Plus, the undetectable formula is suitable for all skin tones as it leaves no white cast. Meaning you have no excuse to top-up over makeup every few hours.

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Best SPF mist for sporty types: Supergoop! (Re)Setting Refreshing Mist SPF40, £33 

With its water and sweat-resistant formula this is a great SPF mist for anyone who is heading outdoors for a sweaty workout and doesn't want their SPF to start stinging their eyes. It has a light mist consistency which makes it easy to spray over the face, back of the neck, top of ears and anywhere else it's required!

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