The Best Facial Suncare & SPF Explained

We all know we should be protecting our face from the sun year-round, but especially so in the summer. I always make sure to use a higher factor in the sunnier months, and also focus more on dedicated sunscreens, rather than relying on the SPF of my foundation or moisturiser. With summer approaching (it’s meant to have arrived… but the weather in the UK this week says otherwise!) today I thought I would share two of my current favourites with you all.

It can be hard to find non-greasy textures that remain moisturising while still being easily absorbed into the skin, but these both have beautiful textures that do just that. If you’re looking to try a new facial sunscreen I would thoroughly recommend trying one of them.

Firstly to clear up a few things when it comes to labelling of sun protection products… We all know that the higher the SPF value you have, the longer you are protected from the sun, but this number only relates to UVB rays (which cause sun burn and skin cancer). The UVA rating can be confusing as there are a few different systems for measuring the level of protection. In the UK, some of our products measure it in stars (1 star being the lowest, 5 stars the highest) but it can also be indicated by the wording ‘Broad Spectrum’ although that doesn’t give you much of an indication on the level of protection you are being offered. To confuse things a little more, both of the below products actually use the Asian UVA system of ‘PA’: PA+ being the lowest level of protection and PA++++ the highest (although some say PA+++ is the highest, one of these products actually has PA++++ – can’t be a bad thing but it sure is confusing!)

Protection factors aside, both of the below have incredibly high protection so have you covered on all bases. First up is the Kiehl’s Ultra Light Daily UV Defence with SPF 50 PA+++. This feels just like a moisturiser on the skin. Rich and moisturising, yet formulated without oil, it isn’t too greasy so makes a great base for makeup too (although I would wait a few minutes between applying this and your base to make sure it’s fully absorbed). It’s not the most affordable, at £35, but it’s well worth it in my opinion and you get 60ml so it’ll last you a decent amount of time. This is a brilliant all-rounder and I use this day to day, and on holiday. This would be brilliant for drier skins. (Available here, or at Kiehl’s counters)

The high street alternative to this (it’s very similar in performance and longevity) is The Body Shop’s Skin Defence Multi-Protection Essence SPF 50 PA++++. This comes in a little lighter on the wallet, at £16 for 100 ml, which still seems quite expensive for a high street alternative, but I am of the opinion that you should never scrimp when it comes to sun cream as it usually means a compromise in your level of protection. The texture is slightly thinner (as the name ‘essence’ would suggest) but it feels amazing on the skin. It’s instantly absorbed, making it hard to believe it’s a suncream at all, especially one with such high protection as they are normally a little slower to absorb and heavier in texture. It leaves your skin feeling incredibly smooth and has a nice, almost matte finish, but doesn’t feel drying or chalky whatsoever. Again, this one makes a lovely base for makeup too and I think it would be a great choice for most skin types, but especially so for those on the normal to greasy spectrum. (available here or in The Body Shop stores)

Having tried and tested a long line of facial sunscreens, these are my current favourites – what’s yours?