Battle of the Sunscreens
It’s officially safe to say that summer is upon us, at least in the UK it finally is. We’ve had to battle through some rather shitty weather to finally get some good sunshine. As lovely as the sun is, we still need to watch out for those UV rays and make sure to wear sunscreen! It’s a key part of my morning routine to check the UV index for the day on the MET office. Although, it’s always key to note that this only covers (mostly) UVB rays (causes sunburn), meaning the UVA (causes skin aging, melanoma) rating could be higher. The NHS recommends:
- Sunscreen should be at least SPF15 sunscreen to protect against UVB (as well as UVA)
- The amount of sunscreen needed for the body of an average adult to achieve the stated sun protection factor (SPF) is around 35ml or 6 to 8 teaspoons of lotion.
- If you plan to be out in the sun long enough to risk burning, sunscreen needs to be applied twice: 30 minutes before going out & just before you go out
- Sunscreen needs to be reapplied liberally, frequently and according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This includes straight after you've been in water (even if it is "water-resistant") and after towel drying, sweating or when it may have rubbed off.
Something also worth keeping in mind is that the SPF in your makeup will not fully protect your skin from sun damage. So always make sure you don’t rely only on makeup and try to use ¼ teaspoon of sunscreen on your face to get the labelled SPF protection. I enjoy using sunscreen on my skin that ideally:
- Doesn't leave a white cast
- Works well under makeup
- SPF50+ and PA+++(+)
- Easy to apply
- Contains both chemical and physical UV filters (chemical reflects UV rays, physical absorbs)
Biore UV Perfect Milk Rose scented SPF50+ PA++++
Waterproof sunblock provides long-lasting protection against UVA and UVB rays, effectively preventing premature skin aging and sunburn to keep skin at its healthiest and most vibrant. Ultra-light formula spreads on like a dream, applying with ease and without a sticky or heavy feeling for allover protection within a few minutes of use. Apply evenly and liberally on exposed areas at least 30 minutes before sun exposure.
UV Filters: Zinc Oxide (UVA + UVB), Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate (UVB), Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate (UVA), Titanium Dioxide (UVB + UVA), Bis-ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine(UVA) White Cast: No My Experience: This very quickly became my go-to everyday sunscreen. The formula of this sunscreen creates a gorgeous silky and soft finish to my skin, it’s a pretty thin texture that makes it super easy to apply makeup over it. It doesn’t leave any sort of shine or white cast to my skin. To me, the rose scent is pretty subtle and isn’t very strong or overwhelming, I don’t think I would buy it just for the rose scent. I love how there’s a great mixture of both UVA and UVB filters and it’s always a bonus when it doesn’t break me out! Repurchase: Yes
Hada Labo UV Creamy Gel SPF50+ PA+++
Price: Discontinued. New version £8.40 at ebay.
Product Claims: (This was the best I could find)
Of light feeling "creamy gel" debuts Yet SPF50+! In the new sense gel melting away, I am familiar Sutsu skin at the moment having painted. Sun sunscreen that combines high UV cut function and moisturizing power, usability and excellent.
UV Filters: Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate (UVB), Bis-ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine(UVA), Titanium Dioxide (UVB + UVA) White Cast: No My Experience: While doing research around this product I discovered that it’s unfortunately been discontinued now and I believe Hada Labo has replaced this with the “Perfect UV gel”. Nethertheless, my experience with this product wasn’t the best. It definitely didn’t feel the best on the skin, it was too moisturizing and it almost felt too heavy on my oily skin. It didn’t work very well under makeup for me, it would ball up and I didn’t notice it acting like a makeup primer to help extend the wear either. My skin just didn’t agree with the formula and it made me break out on the many occasions that I tried to use it. Possibly this would work better on drier skin types. Repurchase: No
The Face Shop Natural Sun Eco Sebum Control Moisture Sun SPF 40 PA+++
SPF40 sunscreen also has a PA+++ rating for a more comprehensive protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Chemical filters help to block out the sun while skin-smoothing ingredients prevent oil build-up and shine.
UV Filters: Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate (UVB), Isoamyl p-Methoxycinnamate (UVB), Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane (UVA) White Cast: No My Experience: I used this a few months back when I was using AHA on my skin, this increases photosensitivity so it was important for me to wear sunscreen even though uv levels weren’t very high. This was a great sunscreen to use and I during this time I wasn’t put off by not having SPF50+. It was nicely moisturing on the skin and worked very well under makeup. I probably won’t repurchase since it’s a little bit pricier compared to Biore and Haba Labo, so I wouldn’t say it’s worth the money, especially since you’re getting less SPF! Repurchase: Possibly
La Roche-Posay Anthelios AC Anti-Shine Matte Fluid SPF 30
Price: £16 RRP (£12 at Boots) Product Claims:
Ultra-high protection in a new, more minimalistic dermatologically-tested formula: minimum chemical filters and non-comedogenic. Fluid, non-greasy, invisible texture. Suitable for oily skin with imperfections. Water resistant. With Mexoplex, Mexoryl XL and Mexoryl SX to provide high broad spectrum sun protection available the harmful effects of both UVA and UVB rays.
UV Filters: Octocrylene (UVB), Titanium Dioxide (UVB + UVA), Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane (UVA), Bis-ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine(UVA), Drometrizole Trisiloxane (UVB), Terephthalylidene Dicamphor Sulfonic Acid (UVA) White Cast: Yes My Experience: I was least impressed with this sunscreen, especially for the price. The SPF is a little too low for my liking, meaning less protection and would need to reapply more frequently. The texture isn’t great either, it’s lightweight and not oily but this made it hard to blend into the skin. It also had an annoying slight white cast to my skin and can make me look extra-pale. To add to this, when it dries, it’s more of a chalky texture rather than a matte texture, which I didn’t really like. It didn’t work very well under makeup, it would break up any foundation and make it look patchy. Repurchase: No
Swatches of Biore UV Perfect Milk Rose, Hada Labo UV Creamy Gel , The Face Shop Natural Sun Eco Sebum Control Moisture Sun, La Roche-Posay Anthelios AC Matte Fluid
All these sunscreens apply to the skin very easily and there was no type of tugging to the skin. The Face Shop sunscreen has the thickest texture and reminds me of a typical moisturiser. La Roche-Posay and Biore sunscreens have a watery texture, but I found that the La Roche-Posay doesn’t blend as well as the Biore. The Hada Labo sunscreen sits in the middle of them all but leads towards a more watery texture.
Overall, they’re all great sunscreens that may work well for different people depending on what you’re looking for. The Biore UV Perfect Milk is my winner and I’ll definitely be stocking up. What are your favourite sunscreens to use on your face?