The best sunscreen for your face - according to Mumsnetters
Important for protection from the damaging and aging effects of the sun, a good sunscreen is a great addition to any beauty regime. Read on for the top-rated facial SPFs, as recommended by Mumsnetters.
Things to know before buying sun screen for your face:
You need both UVA and UVB defence to be fully protected from the sun. When you look for a high SPF rating in your sun screen, you're doing a stellar job at protecting your skin from harmful UVB rays, the ones which cause sunburn. UVA rays, however, penetrate a little deeper into the skin. These are the ones which are associated with wrinkling and other aging effects, and they aren't blocked by a high SPF.
How do you know if your sun screen includes UVA protection? The best way to know your sun screen includes UVA protection alongside UVB is to look out for the term 'broad spectrum' on the label, but it can also be signified by a star rating (out of five, with five being the highest) or by the letters “UVA” inside a circle (the European standard).
Bioré UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF50+, £7
If you're after an SPF that smooths on under make-up just like your favourite primer, Bioré may be your new best friend. You can rest assured that it has full protection for both UVA and UVB rays, meaning it not only protects your skin from burning but from wrinkling and aging, too. It's lightweight, silky-smooth, and (so we've heard) won't cause breakouts – exactly what you'd want from a facial SPF.
“The Bioré one is amazing. It is totally not greasy and makes a lovely base for make-up.”
“I third Bioré! I get it from Amazon and it takes a while to arrive, but it is bloody brilliant stuff. Sinks into the skin just like water.”
“It’s wonderful. It dries matte and I’ve had zero spots when using it every day for near on two years now.”Buy now from Amazon
No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Facial Sunscreen SPF50+, £15
No7 are the absolute bread and butter of the skincare world – so it goes without saying that this facial SPF is reliable, understated and certainly won't break the bank. It has everything you need from a sunscreen with a few added extras including an anti-oxidant complex and a serum to give your skin a bit of bonus TLC.
“This. I use it as a base to make-up every day, and even without make-up it leaves a nice fresh look to my face. I've tried many over the years but this is much cheaper and better in my opinion. I normally buy a tube when Boots give out their £5 off No7 vouchers.”
“I used this last summer and on a recent holiday in a tropical country and didn't burn once.”Buy now from Boots
Heliocare Color Gelcream Light Spf50, £17
For oily skin, a cream-based sunscreen isn't always your best bet. Enter this gel-based sunscreen from Heliocare, which is suitable for all skin-types as it's moisturising without being greasy. Plus, it's tinted, meaning it will make a great substitute for foundation on hot days.
“I use Heliocare, all the products are amazing. It's so light you forget you're wearing it, plus it's so strong. I live in a tropical country and have done for 16+ years, so have road tested a few – this is the best for your face.”
“Best SPF50 ever.”
“Another vote for Heliocare, nothing else comes close!”Buy now from Amazon
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The Body Shop Skin Defence Multi-Protection Essence SPF50, £17
Designed to be used day in, day out, this little tube is filled with lots skin-nourishing extras and is somehow still lightweight and brightening. It's got protection from both UVA and UVB, is very soft and gentle for the face, and even has added Vitamin C to revitalise tired skin.
“Body Shop Skin Defence SPF50 – it's totally light and non greasy."
“It's a lightweight, milky lotion and it doesn’t leave a white chalky look. Works well on its own or under make-up.”Buy now from The Body Shop
Altruist Dermatologist Sunscreen SPF 50, two for £8
Although not specifically designed as a facial SPF, Altruist's Dermatologist Sunscreen is hypoallergenic and fragrance-free, meaning it's perfect for even the most sensitive skin. Plus, for every tube sold, Altruist will donate 10p to Under the Same Sun, a charity supporting children with albinism in Tanzania and the rest of Africa.
“Altruist sun cream is brilliant for the face. I've tried so many facial sunscreens, but have stopped looking for new ones since using this. I can even put it on my eyelids. It was made with a view to being suitable for people with albinism, so can be used everywhere.”
“It's fab as a primer over serums and under make-up. I love it, and it's great value."Buy now from Amazon
La Roche Posay Anthelios XL Tinted SPF50+, £18
Our Talk boards are full of La Roche Posay converts, mostly because their products just get the job done without fuss or fancy packaging. This no-frills approach extends to their sunscreens, meaning when you apply this facial SPF you can rest assured it will soak easily into the most sensitive of skin. Plus, it's tinted, so you won't need to pack foundation when you head on holiday.
“It's so matte you wouldn't know you've put any on. I have oily skin and it helps stop my face become shiny so early on in the day. I wear it everyday as I have melasma.”
“I used the La Roche Posay gel one on holiday last year and it was a total game changer. Not at all greasy, it just sank in and felt like I had nothing on. It didn't break me out and I didn't get burnt along my hairline like I usually do!"
“La Roche Posay Anthelios gets my vote too – it's the only one that doesn't irritate my skin and make my eyes water.”Buy now from La Roche Posay
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Ultrasun Face Anti-Pigmentation SPF50+, £25
Although this facial sunscreen sits at the pricier end of the spectrum, this little bottle should last you a long time as one application of this cream is supposed to last all day long. While we caution you to read up on the pros and cons of these 'once-a-day' suncreams for yourself (you can find out more about the drawbacks here), Mumsnetters particularly love this suncream for its anti-pigmentation ingredients and water-resistant protection.
“I use Ultrasun SPF50, the anti-pigmentation one, and find it brilliant.”Buy now from Amazon
Nip+Fab Post-glycolic Fix Moisturiser SPF30 £20
First confession: this moisturiser is SPF30 and not 50, and so may not be the best option for your holidays this year. However, it should provide plenty of protection against the
rubbish changeable British weather at home. It's designed to be used alongside Nip + Fab's ever-popular Glycolic Fix Cleansing Pads. Glycolic acid brightens skin and tackles blemishes but it also leaves your skin more vulnerable to UV rays, which means it's even more important to include a good facial SPF in your daily skincare routine. This moisturiser from Nip+Fab fills a lovely gap between your everyday moisturiser and a full-blown suncream.
“I really liked Nip+Fab's oil-free SPF moisturiser – it's matte but doesn't leave the skin tight."Buy now from Nip+Fab
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Eve Lom Daily Protection + SPF50, £70
So, before we start, this SPF is definitely pricey. However, you're likely to find all the 'nice-to-haves' you could want from a facial SPF packaged up in this aesthetically pleasing tube. As well as from protecting your skin from both UVA and UVB rays, this cream will also work all day to prevent your skin being troubled by pollutants and to reduce the appearance of lines and imperfections.
“I love this Eve Lom one. It’s £££ but lasts for ages.”Buy now from John Lewis
Etude House Sunprise Mild Airy Finish Sun Milk SPF50+, £15
A bottle of Korean multi-tasking goodness, this cream from Etude House is extra gentle and includes aloe vera to soothe and refresh your skin. It's 100% mineral-based, has a milky texture which glides over your face, and
most importantly comes in Instagram-worthy packaging which will look fab on your dressing table.
“This is totally non-greasy. Literally no shine at all."Buy now from Amazon
Prices correct at time of publication. Mumsnet carries some affiliate marketing links, so if you buy something through our posts, we may get a small share of the sale (more details here).