Charlotte Tilbury's first ever SPF just landed – and it does so much more than protect you from the sun
June 22nd 2021
Facial SPF is always at the forefront of our minds (we all know we need to wear it every day, come sun or cloud, indoors and outdoors) but we've been thinking about it all the more following Gwyneth Paltrow telling US Vogue last week t hat she only wears it on her nose and the 'areas the sun really hits'... The skincare world was rightfully losing its collective mind.
We know our readers are a sensible bunch who wear the recommended two to three fingers worth of SPF every day, so if you're looking for a new facial SPF to apply liberally every day, here are the ones we've tried, tested and recommend
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, it sinks into 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.
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. It protects against UVA, UVB and blue light and includes a mushroom complex in the ingredients which calms and soothes UV-induced irritation and redness.
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.
Approved by dermatologist Dr Justine Kluk, this watermelon-scented chemical SPF is a joy to use, sinking in with an ultralight gel texture. It feels more like a moisturiser than an SPF. As someone who is photographed constantly, Rihanna wanted the formula to have no flashback in pictures and to be non-ashy on darker skin tones, so this product took a long time to perfect. The team first created the moisturiser element which claims to improve elasticity and even skin tone (complete with niacinamide, wild watermelon, hyaluronic acid and aloe to instantly hydrate, baobab to help with long-term hydration), then tested different types of SPF to incorporate, ending on chemical SPF as this was the only type that allowed it to work well with makeup but they removed oxybenzone and octinoxate to keep it reef-safe.
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). However, this is not considered as gold standard as 'broad-spectrum SPF', according to Paula's Choice, because it only measures the protection against UVA turning the skin brown (known as PPD, persistent pigment darkening) and not everyone skin reacts the same way.
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).
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.
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.
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? Join using code GTGSENTME and get an extra £50 to spend.
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.
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.
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.
Created by aesthetic doctor Dr David Jack, a lot of in-depth skincare knowledge went into this mineral SPF. It has high-performing ingredients to back up the price tag, including hyaluronic acid and antioxidant powerhouses to safeguard the skin against free-radical damage. It's lightly tinted and smells refreshing (like a salad, if you ask us) plus you only need to apply it once for all day protection, so a little goes a long way. It's great for dry skin, soothing dry patches all the while protecting against the sun.
New Zealand brand Emma Lewisham's formulas are naturally-derived and the packaging is made from 100 per cent recycled plastic. What’s inside the tube is equally impressive. It’s a mineral sunscreen that combines SPF30 (UVA and UVB protection) with hyaluronic acid, prickly pear and kakadu plum to support the skin’s elasticity and brighten it all the while providing sun protection, now that the sun has got its hat on again. It feels fairly thick when you apply it but it soon sinks in and is non-greasy making it a good base for makeup.
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.
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