Home » 26 Best Face Sunscreens 2024 UK; we tried and tested the best recommended SPF

26 Best Face Sunscreens 2024 UK; we tried and tested the best recommended SPF

APPLYING sunscreen to protect your skin from the ravages of the sun’s rage is crucial – without it you risk premature ageing and even skin cancer.

The best face sunscreens are those that protect against UVA and UVB rays, that don’t clog your pores, don’t leave a white residue and that sink in fully, without the dreaded stickiness.

Summer is just around the corner, so now’s a prime time to restock your SPF stash with all the latest launches. However, SPF creams are not just for holidays — you should be slathering SPF on your face all year round to keep wrinkles, dark spots and pigmentation at bay, and protect your skin from more serious damage.

The good news is, in 2024 there’s a whole host of dreamy-face SPFs out there. Yes, it is possible to find an SPF that won’t bring you out in spots, cause a white cast or leave your skin feeling greasy. In fact, most of the best face sunscreens are now lightweight and formulated to work with your makeup and skincare (and some even go on top of your makeup).

So without further ado, we’ve rounded up the best facial sunscreens that you’ll want to wear whatever the weather.

Best face sunscreens at a glance:

La Roche-Posay Anthelios UVMune 400 Invisible Fluid SPF50+ Sun Cream

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La Roche Posay’s Anthelios is the perfect all-rounderCredit: Natalie Chui
  • La Roche-Posay Anthelios UVMune 400 Invisible Fluid SPF50+ Sun Cream, £20 from Boots – buy here

Pros: High sun protection, moisturising, can be used on face and body

Cons: Not vegan

Rating: 5/5

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If you ever suffered from acne as a teenager or adult then you’ll know cult French pharmacy brand La Roche-Posay. But did you know it has its own SPF50+ broad-spectrum sun cream?

If not, this is one to add to your basket. Unsurprisingly, as with so many of its products, this sun cream is of high quality: it’s lightweight and non-greasy, protecting against your standard UVA and UVB rays as well as long UVA rays for extra security.

No need to worry about the longevity of this one because it’s water, sweat and sand resistant and won’t bring you up in spots. And it comes in the perfect size to carry around in your handbag so you can top up throughout the day.

SPF: 50, Finish: Sheer, Protection: UVA and UVB

Glow Hub Defend Yourself SPF30

Glow Hub's Defend Yourself gives a glowing finish.

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Glow Hub’s Defend Yourself gives a glowing finish.Credit: Isabel Deibe
  • Glow Hub Defend Yourself SPF30, £12 from ASOS – buy here

Pros: skincare ingredients, glowy finish, lightweight, UVA and UVB protection, no white cast, non-greasy, fragrance-free

Cons: None

Rating: 5/5

This SPF is our go-to for day-to-day use, whether we’re working from home, meeting mates for coffee or commuting into the city for a long day in the office. The thing that sets this SPF apart from the rest is that it protects you against UVA and UVB rays but also acts as a powerful serum and leaves you with a glow — all for just £12.

I like to wear a serum packed with antioxidants and Vitamin E to protect against free radicals and pollution and hydrate my skin throughout the day, but this SPF contains both of these things. We liked wearing this SPF over regular moisturiser, before applying makeup (it layers nicely under makeup). On no-makeup days, reapply this every few hours throughout the day.

While SPF50 is ideal, dermatologists agree that an SPF of 30 is plenty.

SPF: 30, Finish: Glowy, Protection: UVA and UVB


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Bioré UV Aqua Water Essence Sunscreen SPF50

Biore UV is moisturising for dry skin.

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Biore UV is moisturising for dry skin.Credit: Isabel Deibe
  • Bioré UV Aqua Water Essence Sunscreen SPF50, £15.99 from Superdrug – buy here

Pros: SPF 50, doesn’t pill, absorbs fast, UVA and UVB protection, oil-free, lightweight, doesn’t clog pores, no white cast, contains moisturising ingredients

Cons: None

Rating: 5/5

You might know Bioré from its bestselling blackhead-removing pore strips. but it’s actually the number one SPF brand in Japan. With that in mind, we had high hopes for this watery SPF. It’s oil-free, which means it shouldn’t clog your pores or feel greasy on the surface of your skin. It also claims to be lightweight and hydrating (thanks to the added hyaluronic acid), and we agree with all of these claims. After testing this SPF for a week on oily skin, there were no new breakouts — which is a problem often caused by most SPFs.

The cream looks like a regular sun cream, it’s white and looks slightly thicker than your average moisturiser. However, it absorbed into the skin and the texture felt more watery. This SPF behaves like a regular hydrating moisturiser, and the finish is sheer, leaving no white cast.

One of our pet peeves about facial SPF is the way it disturbs makeup application. However, this one is a pleasure to use under makeup — it didn’t pill or change the appearance of base makeup or affect how long it lasts. Plus, it’s affordable and has a sun protection factor of 50.

SPF: 50, Finish: Sheer, Protection: UVA and UVB

SUQQU Protecting Day Cream SPF50+

SUQQU is perfect under make-up.

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SUQQU is perfect under make-up.Credit: Isabel Deibe
  • SUQQU Protecting Day Cream SPF50+, £48 from Cult Beauty – buy here 

Pros: Lightweight, SPF50, UVA and UVB protection, added skincare ingredients, glowy finish

Cons: Expensive

Rating: 5/5

There’s no denying it, SUQQU’s SPF is pricey at nearly £50 for 30ml. However, we’d argue that it’s one of the best SPFs ever to wear under makeup in place of a primer. It’s silky and astoundingly lightweight, making it feel like you have nothing on your skin at all.

Plus, it contains bilberry, olive leaf extract, green tea and horsetail plant extract to moisturise your skin and leave you glowing. We’d wear this as a step in my makeup routine even if it didn’t contain sun protection, that’s how pretty it is on the skin.

You wouldn’t expect a product from a luxury beauty brand that predominantly sells makeup to be as functional as it is aesthetically pleasing (look at that stunning packaging). But, it is. It has SPF 50 and will protect you against UVA and UVB rays.

Because it’s expensive, reserve this SPF for fancy days out when you need makeup to look flawless.

SPF: 50, Finish: Satin, Protection: UVA and UVB

ATHLETIA Skin Protection UV gel SPF30 and SPF50

Athletia Skin Protection UV Gel creates the perfect base for makeup.

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Athletia Skin Protection UV Gel creates the perfect base for makeup.Credit: Isabel Deibe
  • ATHLETIA Skin Protection UV gel SPF30, £33 from Selfridges – buy here

Pros: SPF 30 or 50, UVA and UVB protection, lightweight gel texture, non-greasy, hydrates skin, eco-conscious, reef-friendly

Cons: None

Rating: 5/5

Big fan of SUQQU’s facial SPF? Say hello to ATHLETIA, SUQQU’s Japanese sister brand. These two SPFs have the same formula but different levels of UVA and UVB sun protection, so it’s up to you which one you choose.

We tried both and were impressed with how quickly the lightweight gel sunk into our skin. And, we loved the pretty satin finish it left on our skin, which he found made an excellent base for makeup.

When an SPF claims to be hydrating, this can often be a red flag for people with oily skin. But, this SPF genuinely is moisturising rather than greasy or tacky. It contains hydrating ingredients like Athletia Energetic Complex (Ashitaba, Shiso, Rice extracts), uji green tea extracts and liquorice root extract to quench thirsty skin.

It also feels cool and soothing on the skin and has a refreshing smell (thanks to the added lemon, rosemary, grapefruit and cedarwood fragrance).

You’re not harming the environment either, since it is coral reef safe and the packaging is recyclable and eco-conscious.

SPF: 30 or 50, Finish: Satin, Protection: UVA and UVB

Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench SPF30

Peter Thomas Roth's Water Drench is good for dryer skin types.

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Peter Thomas Roth’s Water Drench is good for dryer skin types.Credit: Isabel Deibe
  • Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench SPF30, £55 from Harvey Nichols – buy here

Pros: UVA and UVB protection, non-greasy, super hydrating, reduces signs of ageing, absorbs within seconds

Cons: SPF30 not SPF50

Rating: 5/5

Here at The Sun, we’re huge fans of the Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench range, so we were thrilled to hear the news about this new addition. The brand’s Water Drench SPF30 doesn’t have the same bouncy gel-like consistency as its moisturiser, mask and eye cream, but it has the same weightless texture and invisible finish.

Besides shielding your skin against UVA and UVB rays, this SPF has a 30% complex of hyaluronic acid. In other words, it hydrates and plumps the skin intensely and prevents water loss while being exposed to the sun.

That’s not the only skin-loving ingredient it contains, either. Teaming up with hydrating hyaluronic acid, the product incorporates Pentavitin to deliver up to 72 hours of hydration to your skin. Yes, even after you’ve washed off your makeup for the day. It’s a miracle ingredient.

On top of that, the ingredients list boasts 5% SunBoost ATB (proprietary ratio of antioxidants, anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory agents that can act as an SPF booster) to boost sun protection, and ceramide and ProHyal+ to reduce signs of ageing (e.g. fine lines and wrinkles).

And as for the finish, you won’t even notice you’ve got SPF on. It looks more like a dewy primer and makes for an excellent makeup base before concealer or foundation. All in all, this SPF is an absolute dream.

SPF: 30; Finish: Dewy, Protection: UVA and UVB

Evolve Organic Beauty Climate Defence Facial Cream SPF30

Organic ingredients make up the Climate Defence Facial Cream.

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Organic ingredients make up the Climate Defence Facial Cream.Credit: Isabel Deibe
  • Evolve Organic Beauty Climate Defence Facial Cream SPF30, £29 from Evolve Organic Beauty – buy here

Pros: UVA and UVB protection, non-greasy, super hydrating, reef-friendly

Cons: SPF30 not SPF50, takes a while to sink in

Rating: 4/5

This is one of the richer and creamier sun lotions in the roundup meaning it takes a little longer to massage into the skin, but don’t let that put you off.

A few extra seconds of massaging is worth it to reap the benefits of all the added moisturising ingredients in this SPF. Containing lingonberry stem cells to protect against the damaging effects of sun radiation and free radicals, prickly pear cactus extract to hydrate and soothe, and hyaluronic acid to firm, plump, and hydrate, this SPF will improve the appearance and feel of your skin instantly and in the long term with continued use.

It’s also a little different from a lot of the other SPFs in the list because it’s zinc oxide based, meaning it is a mineral or physical sunscreen that works by deflecting the UV rays away from the skin rather than absorbing them like chemical SPFs. Typically, mineral sunscreens are thought to be more environmentally friendly because they are usually reef-friendly like this one.

We have oily skin so we popped ours on directly after cleansing, toning and applying a light serum, skipping our regular moisturiser, and feeling super hydrated all day long. Even if you’ve got dry skin, this cream is so hydrating that you may not even need to use a moisturiser, but it’s possible to layer up underneath if needs be.

SPF: 30; Finish: Dewy, Protection: UVA and UVB

Coola Refreshing Water Cream Sunscreen SPF50

Light and soothing, the Coola Refreshing Water Cream will provide sun protection.

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Light and soothing, the Coola Refreshing Water Cream will provide sun protection.Credit: Isabel Deibe
  • Coola Refreshing Water Cream Sunscreen SPF50, £45 from Cult Beauty – buy here

Pros: UVA and UVB protection, non-greasy, blue light and pollution protection, super hydrating ingredients, reef-friendly, recyclable packaging, vegan and gluten free, hygienic packaging

Cons: None

Rating: 5/5

This SPF is the ultimate skincare and sun protection product in one. It has SPF50 to protect you against UVA and UVB and is powered by the brand’s plant-derived BlueScreen Digital De-Stress technology, which protects against blue light, infrared light and pollution.

It doesn’t just contain a few skincare ingredients to avoid drying out your skin, either. It’s intensely hydrating and we’d wear this product if it had sun protection in it or not. Infused with hyaluronic acid and coconut water, the cream leaves your skin looking dewy, fresh nourished and feeling super soft.

Unlike a lot of SPF moisturisers, it isn’t greasy, sticky or oily, and it absorbs within seconds and with very little effort. To top it all off, it’s vegan-friendly, and cruelty-free, the ingredients are 70%+ certified organic, and it’s free from synthetic fragrance.

The dispenser means you don’t have to dip your fingers into the pot too, which makes the process much more hygienic whether you’re applying at home or on the go. It does tick every single box.

SPF: 50, Finish: Dewy, Protection: UVA and UVB

Coola Day SPF30+ Night Eye Cream Duo

The Coola Night Eye Cream protects the sensitive under-eye area.

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The Coola Night Eye Cream protects the sensitive under-eye area.Credit: Isabel Deibe
  • Coola Day SPF30+ Night Eye Cream Duo, £45 from SpaceNK – buy here

Pros: UVA and UVB protection, 24-hour protection, blue light and pollution protection, recyclable packaging, vegan-friendly, comes with application spatula, 

Cons: None

Rating: 5/5

Who said sun protection was only for the daytime? This clever eye cream duo will give you 24-hour protection from UVA, UVB, blue light, pollution, and fatigue. Using vitamin C and SPF30, the day cream will help to reduce the look of dark circles and fine lines, and slow down skin ageing. The night cream is infused with resveratrol, which is an antioxidant, is anti-inflammatory and will help to increase firmness and elasticity. The application spatula feels cooling on the skin too, which helps to wake us up in the morning and calm down puffy and tired eyes at night.

Coola eye cream

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Coola eye cream

The day cream feels like a regular eye cream but the night cream is thicker and more like a balm or a mask, which makes it a real treat to use before bed.

We’ve been using this product for the last few days and are already noticing a change in our under eyes. There’s a reduction in dark circles, fine lines appear to be minimised and overall we just look a little more awake. Bravo, Coola.

The only problem we had was remembering which was which, but once you’ve got it in your head that the peach is for the day and the purple for the night, this product is flawless.

SPF: 30, Finish: Dewy, Protection: UVA and UVB

Coola Classic Sunscreen Stick SPF in Tropical Coconut

The Coola Classic Sunscreen Stick makes it easy to top up throughout the day.

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The Coola Classic Sunscreen Stick makes it easy to top up throughout the day.Credit: Isabel Deibe
  • Coola Classic Sunscreen Stick SPF in Tropical Coconut, £20.01 from Amazon – buy here

Pros: UVA and UVB protection, recyclable packaging, vegan-friendly, portable size, lightweight, invisible finish, full of antioxidants, natural coconut scent

Cons: None

Rating: 5/5

For the days when you’re rushing through a list of errands and don’t have an SPF cream to hand, this is your saviour. From now on, we’ll be keeping this SPF30 sunscreen stick on us 24/7 for rapid top-ups.  It’s roughly palm-sized, will take up almost no space in your handbag, it is invisible, feather-weight and leaves you with no white cast, so there are no excuses when it comes to reapplication.

It has an SPF of 30, protects you against UVA and UVB rays, fights against free radicals, and gives your skin a healthy dose of antioxidants to nourish and hydrate your skin.

Because of its small size, we’d recommend using this only on your face. It’s not advised that you use this on top of makeup, but we’ve been using it on days where we’re wearing exclusively lip and eye makeup and it works a treat. Oh, and it has the dreamiest tropical coconut scent that makes reapplication almost addictive. Just remember to reapply every two hours.

SPF: 30, Finish: Invisible, Protection: UVA and UVB

Coola Classic Face Mist SPF50

Refresh your skin with the Coola Classic Face Mist

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Refresh your skin with the Coola Classic Face MistCredit: Isabel Deibe
  • Coola Classic Face Mist SPF50, £32 from Space NK – buy here

Pros: UVA and UVB protection, SPF50, apply over or under makeup, recyclable packaging, vegan-friendly, portable size, lightweight, invisible finish, full of antioxidants

Cons: None

Rating: 5/5

SPF face mists that you can reapply over makeup are a relatively new and rare thing, so this one from Coola is a pretty big deal. We’ve been applying our SPF as normal in the mornings and relying on this mist to top up our sun protection throughout the day, and it’s made our lives so much easier.

The reality is, that a lot of us want to wear makeup daily, and we often forgo SPF touch-ups in favour of keeping our foundation and concealer on. This product allows us to prioritise both maintaining a perfectly painted face and protecting our skin against UVA and UVB rays.

Even better, we found this mist to wake up our slowly fading makeup and make our complexions look a little dewier and brighter. This is probably down to the fact that the process of applying it cools you down and makes you feel less sweaty, and the formula contains hydrating and skin-boosting ingredients like Buriti Oil and Prickly Pear extract. So, this product is another permanent resident of our handbag this summer.

SPF: 30, Finish: Invisible, Protection: UVA and UVB

Clinique Moisture Surge SPF25 Sheer Hydrator

Oily skin types will enjoy the Clinique Moisture Surge.

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Oily skin types will enjoy the Clinique Moisture Surge.Credit: Isabel Deibe
  • Clinique Moisture Surge SPF25 Sheer Hydrator, £35.20 from Look Fantastic – buy here

Pros: UVA and UVB protection, hydrating, good under make-up

Cons: SPF25, expensive

Rating: 4/5

Clinique’s Moisture Surge is one of the brand’s most popular products. And just when you thought it couldn’t get better, this version of the product just happens to have an SPF of 25 to protect you against UVA and UVB rays while you soak up the product’s powerfully hydrating ingredients.

Where the OG has a weightless gel-cream texture, this one feels a little heavier and cloud-like, and the only difference in terms of the key skincare ingredients is the lack of vitamins C and E (which you can add into your regime through serums, anyway).

Containing an aloe bioferment and a HA Complex, you’ll notice that this moisturiser does plump your skin and give it a healthy glow. It also uses provitamin D to protect your skin’s barrier function from environmental damage. Essentially, it’s a recipe for healthy, hydrated skin.

While many dermatologists recommend that you wear an SPF of 30 or more, everybody has got to start somewhere. And actually, SPF25 blocks 96% of UVB rays, which is only 1% less than SPF30.

In both cases, you’ll need to reapply at a minimum every two hours anyway. We’ve been using this as our regular moisturiser and SPF combined as the last step of our skincare regime, applying our makeup, and then topping up our SPF with an SPF mist throughout the day.

SPF: 25, Finish: Invisible, Protection: UVA and UVB

Ultrasun SPF50+ Tinted Face Sun Cream

The Ultrasun SPF 50 cream provides coverage from the sun and covers blemishes.

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The Ultrasun SPF 50 cream provides coverage from the sun and covers blemishes.Credit: Isabel Deibe
  • Ultrasun SPF50+ Tinted Face Sun Cream, £26 from M&S – buy here

Pros: SPF 50, tinted, UVA and UVB protection, oil-free, lightweight, non-greasy, hydrates skin, protects against UVA and UVB

Cons: None

Rating: 5/5

If you’re looking for a product that contains your sun protection, skincare and makeup (well, sort of), go for this one. It’ll protect you against UVA, UVB and infrared radiation while hydrating your skin and reducing the appearance of lines, wrinkles and pores. It is a tinted sun cream too, which means it has a warm colour rather than the bright white colour of regular sun cream.

We found this SPF to be lightweight and non-greasy and made skin look soft and smooth. The tint didn’t act as a replacement for foundation or concealer and it didn’t add enough colour for us to ditch bronzer, but it did give a pretty glow. Overall, it was enjoyable to use and we’d reach for it all year long.

SPF: 50, Finish: Glowy, Protection: UVA and UVB

Trinny London BFF Cream Skin Perfector SPF30

Trinny London's BFF cream bridges skincare and makeup with SPF30 protection.

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Trinny London’s BFF cream bridges skincare and makeup with SPF30 protection.Credit: Isabel Deibe
  • Trinny London BFF Cream Skin Perfector SPF30, £39.00 from Trinny London – buy here

Pros: SPF 30, tinted, UVA and UVB protection, lightweight, non-greasy, blends easily, contains antioxidants, no white cast

Cons: None

Rating: 5/5

I’m a huge fan of Trinny London’s BFF Cream Skin Perfector SPF30 because it’s so much more than an SPF product. Every time I wear it, I feel as if I need less makeup and I almost always get compliments on my skin.

The cream is white when you pump it out, but as soon as you start blending it into your skin you’ll notice that it has a subtle tint. SPFs with tints can often be tricky to blend and will leave dodgy streaks where the product stops, but this one sinks in effortlessly and blends perfectly with your skin tone. It doesn’t just provide a little bit of coverage, it also tones down redness and adds a glow (thanks to the added antioxidants)

This summer, I’ll be using about two pumps all over, heading straight out with a bare face and touching up throughout the day.

SPF: 30, Finish: Sheer coverage and glowy, Protection: UVA and UVB

COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream SPF50

COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun is very moisturising.

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COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun is very moisturising.Credit: Isabel Deibe
  • COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream SPF50, £22 from Renude buy here or £17.60 from Look Fantastic buy here

Pros: SPF 50 PA+++, UVA and UVB protection, creamy and hydrating, sinks in quickly, contains aloe vera, no white cast

Cons: None

Rating: 5/5

South Korean beauty brand CosRX started as a small indie brand in 2013 but is now hugely popular on the K Beauty scene and beyond for its simple packaging and use of unique ingredients like snail mucin.

This SPF contains aloe vera, which has cooling and anti-inflammatory properties to soothe sunburn and reduce the appearance of blemishes and wrinkles. The first time I used this SPF, I had two huge spots on my chin that were sore, and I found that this SPF took down some of the redness and irritation immediately.

The texture of the cream is like a regular moisturiser and I’ve found this cream to be one of the most hydrating SPFs on the market. I like to skip my regular day moisturiser and pop this straight on after cleansing, using a face mist and applying my favourite lightweight serums.

This sun cream left my fair, normal (and slightly oily) skin with a dewy and healthy glow and absolutely no white cast, but the finish and colour will vary depending on your skin type and complexion.

Most importantly, it has UVA and UVB protection with a sun protection factor of 50 PA+++. Translation? It offers you pretty much the highest protection possible.

SPF: 50, Finish: Dewy, Protection: UVA and UVB

Thank You Farmer Sun Project Water Sun Cream SPF 50

Thank You Farmer's sun screen is ideal for high sun protection.

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Thank You Farmer’s sun screen is ideal for high sun protection.Credit: Isabel Deibe
  • Thank You Farmer Sun Project Water Sun Cream SPF 50, £20 from Cult Beauty – buy here

Pros: SPF 50+, UVA and UVB protection, lightweight, sinks in quickly, hydrating hyaluronic acid, mistletoe extract stimulates cellular turnover

Cons: None

Rating: 5/5

Korean skincare brands know how to make an excellent SPF, that’s for sure. Thank You Farmer is a Korean brand that uses natural, farm-grown ingredients to boost skin health, fight against environmental stresses and delay ageing over time.

Out of every face SPF I’ve tried, this one is the most skin-like. It’s aptly named ‘water’ sun cream because it’s so fluid, and lightweight and sinks into the skin effortlessly.

It’s not just protecting you against the sun (with factor 50, by the way), though. This cream also contains high levels of hyaluronic acid to plump your skin and leave you with a dewy glow instantly. Because of this addition, I always skip my hyaluronic acid serum and apply this SPF either alone or with another lightweight serum or moisturiser. I love that it gives you a slightly dewy finish, but not so much that you feel greasy or your makeup slips off.

As well as hydrating ingredients, the SPF also uses mistletoe extract to stimulate cellular turnover. In short, this means it encourages your skin to repair and renew after being exposed to the sun and oxidative stress. This is also useful if you have a few stubborn breakouts, like me.

SPF: 50, Finish: Dewy, Protection: UVA and UVB

SVR Laboratorie Dermatologique Sun Secure Blur Soft-Focus Mousse SPF50+

Give your skin a glow with the Sun Secure Blur SPF.

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Give your skin a glow with the Sun Secure Blur SPF.Credit: Isabel Deibe
  • Sun Secure Blur Soft-Focus Mousse SPF50+, £18 from Look Fantastic – buy here

Pros: SPF 50, UVA and UVB protection, lightweight, blurring mousse texture, apricot scent

Cons: None

Rating: 5/5

SVR Laboratorie Dermatologique is a French pharmacy brand that prides itself on making products that are gentle enough for even the most sensitive or problematic skin. The products are created by pharmacists and prescribed by doctors, so you know you’re getting something super safe and effective with this SPF.

The standout feature of this product is that it has a magical mousse texture. The last time I put something with a mousse texture on my face was back in secondary school when Maybelline’s Dream Matte Mousse foundation was all the rage, so I was a little sceptical about this product, to begin with. However, I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome. I tried this SPF on a day when my skin was irritated and breaking out and found that the blurring mousse helped to smooth over my spots and take down any redness. Plus, it worked as an excellent primer for makeup because it’s water, sweat and rub-resistant so gripped onto my concealer all day long. Its summery apricot scent makes it enjoyable to use, too.

Although it has a slight pinky-orange colour, this SPF is untinted and should be invisible on all complexions.

In terms of the actual sun protection, it’ll protect you against UVA, UVB, blue light, and infrared and visible light, and is factor 50. You can’t ask for much more than that, right?

This is now my favourite SPF to wear on days where my skin is breaking out and irritable but I don’t want to wear lots of makeup and I still need to feel confident.

SPF: 50, Finish: Matte, Protection: UVA, UVB and blue light.

Paula’s Choice Advanced Sun Protection Daily Moisturiser SPF 50

Paula's Choice is loved by skincare addicts due to its effective formulas.

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Paula’s Choice is loved by skincare addicts due to its effective formulas.Credit: Isabel Deibe
  • Paula’s Choice Advanced Sun Protection Daily Moisturiser SPF 50, £39 £33.15 at Paula’s Choice – buy here

Pros: SPF 30, UVA and UVB protection, lightweight, non-greasy, dewy glow, hydrating, no white cast, holds your makeup in place

Cons: None

Rating: 5/5

Paula’s Choice is a brand that I love for its exfoliants and serums, so it’s no surprise that this SPF is a delight to use as well.

It works against both UVA and UVB rays, which means you’re preventing sunburn, skin cancer-related health concerns, and premature signs of ageing.

The thing that makes this SPF so unique is that it doesn’t seep into the deeper layers of your skin and causes a sensitised response or breakouts. This is because its molecules are larger than other SPFs, this cream will sit on the two layers of your skin. Clever, right?

Plus, it is non-greasy, leaves you with a dewy glow, and works as a primer alternative by allowing makeup to hold onto the skin’s surface more easily. This one really does tick all of the boxes.

SPF: 50, Finish: Dewy and glowy, Protection: UVA and UVB

Medik8 Advanced Total Project Age-Defying Moisturiser SPF30

Medik8 works to both treat and protect the skin.

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Medik8 works to both treat and protect the skin.Credit: Isabel Deibe
  • Medik8 Advanced Total Project Age-Defying Moisturiser SPF30, £57 from Medik8 – buy here

Pros: SPF 50, UVA and UVB protection, 5* UVA defence, lightweight, non-greasy, not too glowy, hydrating, no white cast, holds your makeup in place

Cons: None

Rating: 5/5

This SPF has the words ‘age-defying’ in its title for a reason. For starters, it has SPF30 and protects against both UVA and UVB rays. What makes it special then? Both UVA and UVB rays damage your skin, just in different ways. UVB has a shorter wavelength and is associated with skin burning, and UVA has a longer wavelength and is more associated with skin ageing  Some SPFs don’t protect against UVA at all, meaning they will only stop you from burning and potentially developing skin cancer, but they don’t focus as much on anti-ageing. This SPF has ultra-high 5* UVA defence, so you won’t be able to find a product that protects against UVA rays more effectively than this.

On top of the actual sun protection, the cream also has a pollution shield and anti-blue light technology. It also contains elastin, carnosine, and collagen to keep your skin looking supple and prevent fine lines, sagging and loss of elasticity.

When I first applied this product to my face, I was amazed at how quickly it sunk in. It doesn’t leave a greasy or sticky finish, either. The finish is the perfect balance between matte and dewy, and the cream is quite hydrating and smoothing so it’s great prep for makeup.

SPF: 50, Finish: Invisible, Protection: UVA and UVB

Coco & Eve Daily Water Gel SPF 50

The Coco & Eve Daily Water Gel creates a beautiful glow.

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The Coco & Eve Daily Water Gel creates a beautiful glow.Credit: Isabel Deibe
  • Coco & Eve Daily Water Gel SPF 50, £23 from Amazon – buy here 

Pros: SPF 50, UVA and UVB protection, sinks in quickly, skin-loving ingredients, sits well under makeup

Cons: None

Rating: 5/5

If you’ve heard of Coco & Eve, you’re probably familiar with the Australian brand’s Instagram-famous hair mask. But, did you know that Coco & Eve makes body care, sun care and tan now too?

The brand has one body sunscreen and one face sunscreen, and we’re officially big fans of the facial SPF. It has factor 50+ and protects against UVA and UVA rays, and on top of that, it is full of hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, aloe vera and vitamin E.

The thing we love the most about this was how easily it sinks into the skin. It’s really watery and leaves a beautiful satin finish, making it ideal skin prep for makeup. We’d happily wear this every single day, with or without makeup.

SPF: 50, Finish: Satin, Protection: UVA and UVB

Ultra Violette Preen Screen SPF 50 Reapplication Mist

Ultra Violette is perfect for reapplication on hot days.

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Ultra Violette is perfect for reapplication on hot days.Credit: Isabel Deibe
  • Ultra Violette Preen Screen SPF 50 Reapplication Mist, £32 from Space NK – buy here

Pros: Is for application over makeup, comes in a mini size, SPF 50, UVA and UVB protection, skincare ingredients

Cons: None

Rating: 5/5

Ultra Violette is a sun care brand loved by every skincare obsessive, and its brand-new SPF50 reapplication mist is a total game changer.

The fact of the matter is, that most of us think we’re protecting our skin all day when we put our SPF lotion on our faces in the morning. However, we’re not. Your SPF is only guaranteed to protect you for around two hours, even if you’re indoors. The actual amount of time your SPF’s power will last depends on how much sun exposure you’re getting and whether or not you’re sweating. Your SPF might be effective for four to six hours if you’re working indoors and not sitting near a window, but you’ll still need to top up after that. And if you’re wearing makeup, you’re not going to want to remove your makeup to reapply. That’s where this product comes into it.

It’s a lightweight mist that you spritz gently over your skin to top up your SPF and deliver your skin with a boost of soothing and hydrating ingredients like niacinamide, Vitamin C and E, and aloe vera.

Not many SPF reapplication mists exist on the market, so this one is life-changing and we liked carrying it in our bags, making it super handy for summer.

As well as protecting our skin,  this mist freshens up makeup and gives a healthy glow when the skin is starting to look dull throughout the day. Plus, it’s ideal for super hot days when your makeup is starting to slip and slide and you need to cool down.

SPF: 50, Finish: Sheer, Protection: UVA and UVB

Clarins Mineral Sun Care Compact SPF30

This Clains Sun Care Compact can also help to set makeup.

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This Clains Sun Care Compact can also help to set makeup.Credit: Isabel Deibe
  • Clarins Mineral Sun Care Compact SPF30, £18.01 from Amazon – buy here 

Pros: tinted colour provides coverage, handy compact size, UVA and UVB protection, recycled packaging

Cons: applicator is ineffective, slightly greasy texture

Rating: 3/5

This compact SPF is unique because you pump the product out and apply it with a silicone sponge. The concept of the applicator intrigued us and we thought that it would make the process less messy, but it didn’t. We ended up blending the product in with fingers anyway, rendering the applicator pretty useless. However, the small size and sleek round shape make it easy to carry this product around with you.

The product itself has SPF 30 and is lightweight and silky. The tinted colour does provide some coverage on your skin too, giving you the same effect as a really subtle tinted moisturiser.

This isn’t one for people with really oily skin though as the finish is very dewy and you may feel a little greasy if you don’t touch it up with powder.

SPF: 30, Finish: Dewy, Protection: UVA and UVB

Clarins Mineral Sun Care Fluid SPF30

Clarins Mineral Sun Care is ideal to take on holiday.

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Clarins Mineral Sun Care is ideal to take on holiday.Credit: Isabel Deibe
  • Clarins Mineral Sun Care Fluid SPF30, £24 from Sephora – buy here 

Pros: Sweat and water-resistant, UVA and UVB protection, velvet finish, skincare ingredients

Cons: Only SPF 30, small packaging

Rating: 3/5

This is one of the thinnest SPFs you’ll find, and once it’s on you really won’t be able to tell it’s there (minus the subtle velvet finish it leaves) That doesn’t make it any less effective, though. It has factor 30 and protects against both UVA and UVB rays, all while hydrating your skin with botanical extracts like aloe vera, baobab and pea and fighting against visible signs of ageing.

This is our favourite SPF for long walks and intense workouts on hot days because it is water and sweat-resistant.  The bottle is really compact too, so it’s easy to throw into a small bum bag, carry-on or even handy gym leggings pockets.

SPF: 30, Finish: Sheer, Protection: UVA and UVB

SkinCeuticals Advanced Brightening UV Defense SPF 30 Sunscreen

The SkinCeuticals SPF is an investment for your skin.

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The SkinCeuticals SPF is an investment for your skin.Credit: Natalie Chui
  • SkinCeuticals Advanced Brightening UV Defense SPF 30 Sunscreen, £45 from Look Fantastic – buy here

Pros: Anti-ageing benefits, hydrating, no white cast, broad spectrum protection

Cons: Pricy, only SPF 30

Rating: 5/5 

Skinceuticals is known for making high-quality skincare products and its brightening SPF follows that format. Formulated specifically to prevent photo-ageing, it’s broad-spectrum, protecting against UVA and UVB rays, and uses state-of-the-art UV filters to leave skin looking bright and fresh.

It feels weightless on the skin and absorbs to a sheer finish, making it perfect for a multitude of skin tones. Plus, it helps guard the skin against collagen loss and the formation of wrinkles that come with sun exposure. Throughout the day, I was impressed that the skin felt hydrated and didn’t look greasy at all. While it’s a hefty price, mature skin types will love its skin-enhancing benefits and it can work as a primer between your skincare routine and makeup.

SPF: 30, Finish: Sheer, Protection: UVA and UVB

Skin Proud Serious Shade SPF50+ Sunscreen

This pocket-sized sunscreen provides super-high protection.

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This pocket-sized sunscreen provides super-high protection.Credit: Isabel Deibe
  • Skin Proud Serious Shade SPF50+ Sunscreen, £16.95 from Skin Proud – buy here 

Pros: sinks in easily, UVA and UVB protection, SPF50, skincare ingredients, smooth base for makeup, vegan, sustainable, cruelty-free, paraben-free

Cons: None

Rating: 5/5

Skin Proud is one of our favourite skincare brands because its products are as effective as they are affordable. So, when the brand announced its foray into sun protection, we were excited. On top of the sleek, sunny packaging, the actual product ticks every box. It has factor 50 and protects against UVA and UVB rays while brightening and soothing your skin with unique skin-loving ingredients like acerola cherry extract and spirulina.

Oily skin types can often experience breakouts or look extra shiny with certain SPFs. However, this one sinks in quickly and doesn’t leave a greasy, sticky finish. It feels more like a hydrating serum, gives skin a silky appearance and acts as a smoothing primer. We’d even say it has a blurring effect, helping to disguise some of my existing breakouts. It’s a total joy to use and feels as if you’re wearing nothing.

And, it’s cruelty-free, vegan, sustainable, and paraben free too. What more could you ask for?

SPF: 50, Finish: Silky, Protection: UVA and UVB

IMAGE Skincare Prevention+ Sun Serum SPF30 Untinted

The IMAGE Skincare Prevention is a skincare and makeup hybrid.

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The IMAGE Skincare Prevention is a skincare and makeup hybrid.Credit: Isabel Deibe
  • IMAGE Skincare Prevention+ Sun Serum SPF30 Tinted, £55 from IMAGE Skincare – buy here

Pros: SPF 50, UVA and UVB protection, lightweight, non-greasy, tinted, no white cast

Cons: Doesn’t come in other shades

Rating: 5/5

I’m a longtime user of IMAGE Skincare’s Salicylic Acid Gel Cleanser, but I’ve never tried any of the brand’s other products until now. The fact that this is an SPF serum rather than a cream meant that this product was immediately appealing to me because ‘serum’ normally implies added skin benefits — and that’s the case with this one. Outside of protecting your skin from UVA and UVB rays, it delivers ingredients like squalane, ginger root extract, vitamin C, vitamin E and chamomile to your skin to moisturise, soothe and protect your skin against free radicals and environmental aggressors that lead to visible signs of ageing.

The serum also has a warm tint to it which is ideal for adding a bit of colour and coverage to my fair skin, but I can’t say for sure how it’ll show up on darker complexions. However, the product information does claim that the serum blends in “seamlessly” to most skin tones.

All in all, I’d say this is the perfect SPF if you’re after one product that gives you your skincare, sun protection and makeup (in the form of a very subtle glowy tint) all in one.

SPF: 30, Finish: Tinted, Protection: UVA and UVB

Should I be wearing sun cream every day?

We put this question to consultant dermatologist Dr Derrick Phillips, who said: “Using SPF is something many of us do not do every day. It’s only thought of when going on holiday as the sun will be hotter and our skin is more likely to experience damage.

“However few know that UV rays affect our skin every day, even on rainy and cloudy days. Through a window at home or our car windscreen, these harmful rays damage our skin.

“UVA is present all year round. It penetrates the lower layers of our skin through to the dermis, mutating cells as they are being formed. UVA has now been seen to be a trigger and cause of skin cancer.

“UVB is present during the warmer months of the year and is responsible for sunburn and most skin cancer cases. Unlike UVA, it does not penetrate clouds or window glass.”

What should I look for when buying sunscreen?

According to Dr Phillips: “Using SPF every day is a must, however, you must wear one containing broad-spectrum sun protection, as this protects you from UVA and UVB rays.

“As well as decreasing the risk of sunburn and premature ageing, wearing an SPF decreases your risk of developing skin cancer and massively reduces your melanoma risk and any damage to your body, including pigmentation and sunspots.

“SPFs are packed with an assortment of antioxidants and hydrating ingredients to soften and care for the skin as it protects. So, while your SPF is working hard to protect against UVA and UVB rays, the antioxidants inside are also helping to defend against the free radicals and environmental aggressors that we are all exposed to daily.”

Where to buy sunscreen for faces in the UK

You can buy sunscreen for faces from a wide range of shops in the UK, from supermarkets and pharmacies to designated beauty stores including:

How much do face sunscreens cost?

The price of an SPF for your face varies from brand to brand. But generally, you’ll be able to get a decent facial sunscreen for around £15 to £40. There are more affordable options, like Glow Hub’s £12 offering. Or, you can spend nearly £50 on a face SPF like SUQQU’s. It all depends on preference and budget.

What SPF is best for faces?

Dermatologists recommend that everyone should wear at least SPF30, which allows around 3% of UVB rays into your skin.

To be extra safe, we recommend opting for SPF 50 and reapplying a few times a day.

What does SPF do for your face?

SPF stands for sun protection factor which is pretty self-explanatory.

However, not only does SPF protect from sun damage which can cause cancer, but it also helps to prevent signs of ageing like sagging, wrinkles and dark spots.

Is SPF 15 enough protection for your face?

For true protection, SPF 15 isn’t enough. Dermatologists recommend using a minimum of SPF 30 but to be extra safe, opt for SPF 50.

The difference between SPF 30 and SPF 50 isn’t as big as the numbers make it sound, but the change in the level of protection between SPF 30 and SPF 15 is significant.

How much SPF should I apply on my face?

Experts say that you should apply a teaspoon amount of SPF to your face, then reapply every two to three hours.