Review

The best SPF for face to wear every day

21 March 2022

1 / 19

The best daily sunscreens

We all know we should be wearing the best face SPF we can afford every day - yep, even on cloudy days. “UV rays are the leading cause of most signs of ageing and therefore warrant SPF protection on a daily basis,” explains Dr Emma Craythorne - consultant dermatologist for Skinceuticals. “SPFs contain active ingredients that prevent the harmful UV from reaching your skin. Remember it’s always easier - and cheaper - to prevent signs of ageing by using SPF rather than reversing them.” Thankfully the latest formulations are lighter, contain savvy skincare ingredients alongside stellar SPF protection, making them a dream to apply and use.

So if you’re on the hunt for the best face SPF - or the  best body SPF  or even  best tinted SPF  for that matter - for this summer’s heatwave, and every day, then here are the ones we’ve tried, tested and recommend.

2 / 19

1. Best face SPF for glow: Hello Sunday The One’s That A Serum SPF45, £20

With it’s pipette applicator you can be forgiven for treating this SPF as your regular face serum. It contains all the ingredients you could want from your serum - brightening vitamin C and hydrating hyaluronic acid - but happens to also have amazing broad spectrum SPF protection. It leaves all skin tones (and we really do mean that) with a gorgeous glow, so much so that if you’re having a good skin day this may be all you need to put on.

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3 / 19

2. Best face SPF for spot prone skin: Ultra Violette Clean Screen Fragrance Free SPF30, £34

Sunscreen and skin that’s prone to spots can be a tricky relationship to get right. This is because a lot of face SPFS clog pores, leading to more oil being produced and spots popping up, however this one won’t do any of that. That is thanks in part to it’s gel texture that isn’t heavy and also that it sinks into the skin rather than laying on the top. It also is fragrance free making it a great choice for sensitive and reactive skins too.

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4 / 19

3. Best face SPF for blurring imperfections: Bliss Block Star SPF30, £19.99

This genius product is a mineral sunscreen, which means it sits on top of the skin and physically blocks and reflects the sun’s rays (chemical sunscreens sink into the skin and absorb the UV rays and converts them into heat). Mineral sunscreens haven’t always had the best rep because they can be chalky and leave a white cast, but this does the complete opposite. It has a tint that blends into all skin tones and a velvety, primer like consistency, which creates a soft filter effect over the skin. It does have a slightly lower SPF factor, so it’s definitely more suited for a day where it’s not super sunny, or you know you’re going to be inside a lot but it leaves your skin looking flawless.

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5 / 19

4. Best face SPF for sport: Garnier Ambre Solaire Anti-Dark Spots & Anti-Pollution Super UV SPF50+, £8

Whether it’s an outdoor run, a hilly hike or al fresco yoga sessions in the park - one thing is for certain, SPF + sweat can often results in very stingy eyes. Not so with this one. Its been developed with sensitive skin and sensitive eyes in mind which means you can put in 110% effort with zero worry. It has a light, milky-serum type texture and the formula has hyaluronic acid, which hydrates your skin, as well as vitamin E that’s an all round great ingredient for protecting your skin.

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6 / 19

5. Best face SPF for swapping out your moisturiser for: Grown Alchemist Natural Hydrating Sunscreen SPF30, was £33 now £23.10

If you prefer a slightly thicker, creamier consistency to your products - drier skin tends to prefer something a little more unctuous - but that won’t weight it down or leave your skin looking like you’re wearing SPF, then may we introduce you to this. It’s buttery but sinks in immediately and you can feel it hydrating and moisturising your skin as it goes. It leaves a dewy effect which we loved and contains lots of lovely natural ingredients and has a vegan formula.

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7 / 19

6. Best lightweight face SPF: La Roche-Posay Anthelios Facial Ultra-Light Fluid SPF30, £18

We’re huge fans of La Roche-Posay’s skincare line and this mineral broad-spectrum high factor sun cream follows suit if you’re looking for an extra layer of defence against environmental aggressors. Super light and without leaving a white film, it sinks into the skin quickly and leaves makeup unscathed throughout the day. As a bonus, it also has a lovely subtle scent which makes application even more of a treat in the mornings.

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8 / 19

7. Best face SPF for all skin tones: Dermalogica Invisible Physical Defense SPF30, £49

This non-ashy mineral SPF won the Suncare Hero category in our 2020 Get The Gloss Beauty and Wellness Awards , praised for how lightweight and invisible it is on every skin tone and its suitability for sensitive skin. It protects against UVA, UVB and blue light and includes a mushroom complex in the ingredients that calms and soothes UV-induced irritation and redness.

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9 / 19

8. Best face SPF for blue light protection: REN Clean Skincare Clean Screen Mineral SPF30, £33

This silky mattifying mineral sunscreen includes antioxidant passion fruit extract to boost the resilience of the skin and rice starch to magnify shiny complexions. As well as providing UVA and UVB protection, it protects against HEV blue light. It's packaged in recycled plastic and is 100 per cent recyclable and while REN recognised there's no such thing as 'reef-safe' sun care, this is made with the friendliest reef ingredients to protect the planet.

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10 / 19

9. Best face SPF for under makeup: Fenty Skin Hydra Vizor Invisible Moisturizer SPF 30, £34 for 50ml

This watermelon-scented SPF is a joy to use. It has an ultralight gel texture that sinks in immediately and feels more like a moisturiser than an SPF. As with all Fenty products, inclusivity has been truly considered and this has been formulated to work on all skin tones so it leaves no white cast and doesn't create a flashback in photos - making it perfect for day, night and wherever you're going. It also leaves the most gorgeous sheen on the skin so that when you apply make-up over the top it creates the perfect glowing-from-within effect. And who doesn't want that?!

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11 / 19

10. Best all-rounder face SPF: The Body Shop Skin Defence Multi-Protection Lotion SPF 50+ PA+, £18

This new and improved version of the Skin Defence is a chemical suncreen inside a moisturiser that protects again UVA and UVB rays as well as pollution, providing indoor and outdoor protection. Wondering about all those plus signs? Us too. PA+ is a rating system from Japan indicating how much UVA protection is offered (the more + the better). This is a great all-round product for protection against a variety of aggressors,  not just UV light.

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12 / 19

11. Best face SPF for oily skin: Vichy Ideal Soleil Mattifying Face Dry Touch SPF30, £16.50

While this broad spectrum chemical sun cream is specifically formulated to help meet the needs of those with oily to combination skin, you’d be hard pushed to find a person who wouldn’t appreciate its lightweight, dry-touch texture. Offering all the high performing benefits of a super SPF but with a soft, dry, no-shine and water resistant finish, it also smells dreamy too. (Added note - if you’re looking to wear makeup on top, give this cream roughly 10 minutes to soak into the skin properly first - otherwise it could affect the texture of your foundation).
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13 / 19

12. Best face SPF for mature skin: Elizabeth Arden Prevage City Smart Hydrating Shield SPF50, £45.60

This mineral SPF has a trio of powers, safeguarding the skin against UV rays, pollution and visible signs of ageing. It creates a barrier (or shield) to help stop pollution from penetrating and damaging the skin, plus it gives a universal tint to make skin look radiant.

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14 / 19

13. Best face SPF for skin brightening: Murad City Skin Age Defense Broad Spectrum SPF50 PA ++++, £59.90

This subtly peach-tinted mineral SPF is a high-performing all-rounder, offering protection from UVA and UVB rays, infrared radiation, pollution and blue light from devices. Fighting against these keeps the complexion looking youthful and includes vitamin C to visibly brightens skin. It sinks in effortlessly leaving zero greasiness and a perfect base for makeup.

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15 / 19

14. Best face SPF for hydration: Beauty Pie Super Healthy Skin Ultralight UVA/UVB SPF25, members £11.26, typical price £35

This chemical SPF combines moisturiser, SPF and primer in one invisible protective layer that sinks in right away. As well as UVA and UVB protection is has hyaluronic acid in for hydration, liquorice extract to reduce redness and betaine which also increased hydration.
Not a member of Beauty Pie? Use code GTGSENTME to get £10 off Beauty Pie annual membership when you sign up.

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16 / 19

15. Best face SPF for a matte finish: Paula’s Choice Resist Youth-Extending Daily Hydrating Fluid SPF50, £28

A great pick for oily skin types in particular, this lightweight broad spectrum chemical SPF leaves the shine-prone hydrated and protected in equal measure. Loved by beauty oracle Sali Hughes, this  provides a soft matte finish, absorbs quickly for a smooth finish plus the inclusion of plant-based antioxidants in its formula helps provide an effective line of defence against other sources of environmental damage too.

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17 / 19

16. Best face SPF for anti-pollution: Clinique City Block Sheer SPF25, £20 for 40ml

This broad spectrum mineral SPF is ideal for daily wear. It has a velvety soft texture which leaves skin feeling pillowy and protected; you can feel it on your skin, but only in the same way you might feel a rich moisturiser - it’s incredibly nourishing. It also has a very sheer tint which means if you don’t need full coverage you can go without foundation, though if you do, it still works well as a radiant primer. There’s only one shade so this will probably only suit fairer skins despite the fact it blends into a very sheer base, which is a shame - especially as it’s also perfect for sensitive types due to its mineral-only sunscreen filters. With benefits for both oily and dry skin types, it’s a crowd-pleaser.
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18 / 19

17. Best tinted face SPF: Bioderma Photoderm MAX Aquafluide (Light Tint) SPF50+, £14.50 for 40ml

Those with oily skin types will be particularly fond of this dry-touch broad-spectrum chemical sunscreen formulated with three powders to give a non-drying mattifying finish. Its silky water-like fluid slips over shiny T-zones seamlessly, leaving skin protected but not weighed down for the ideal daily overcoat for the rest of your skincare. Plus, it's ever-so-slightly tinted for a radiant finish.

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19 / 19

18. Best face SPF for handbags: Sun Bum Original SPF30 Sunscreen Face Stick, £11.99

The definition of swipe and go, this is the easiest application of an SPF we've tried. It's a chemical SPF and provides UVA and UVB protection and includes vitamin E to protect against free radicals and aloe lotion to calm sensitive skin. It ticks all the conscious boxes, reef-friendly, vegan, cruelty-free, family-friendly and is water-resistant up to 80 minutes and smells like summer. Great for handbags and kids and when you want to swipe SPF without using your fingers.

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