The lowdown on every day facial SPF

Experts from La Roche-Posay & Garnier reveal all

Ah, sunscreen. We know it’s super important to protect our bodies from the sun’s rays, but so few of us wear an SPF on our faces every day (guilty as charged). Sharing their expert advice about all things SPF are Dr Justine Kluk, Consultant Dermatologist for Garnier, and Becky Clark, part of La Roche-Posay’s Education & Training Team. We’ll be talking about the different types of SPF and how you can include sun protection in your daily routine.

And if that wasn’t enough, we’ve also rounded up a crop of daily SPFs specially designed for faces – and boy, are we eager to try them all.

Tell us about UVA & UVB rays…

“Ultraviolet A (UVA) contributes to skin cancer risk and is recognised as the age-accelerating ray because it’s always present,” says Becky. “It’s also known as the allergy ray and can stimulate allergic reactions within the skin. Ultraviolet B (UVB) is a short wavelength that varies in strength throughout the year (peaking in the summer), and can also burn and age the skin.”

Why is it important to wear facial SPF every day & not just when the sun's out?

“Even on cloudy or overcast days, I would still recommend applying sunscreen daily to exposed areas, such as the face, as UV rays can still pass through cloud and reach the Earth’s surface causing damage to our skin," Dr Justine says. “UVB levels are lower in winter, so the risk of sunburn, tanning and skin cancer is lower, while UVA rays – which contribute to skin ageing, dark spots and skin cancer – are relatively constant throughout the year.”

Is there a minimum SPF level that people should wear?

“No SPF offers 100 percent protection, but the higher the factor, the better. I would always advise using SPF30 at a minimum,” Dr Justine tell us. 


What's the difference between mineral & chemical sunscreens? 

“Physical sunscreens – sometimes called mineral sunscreens – have fine particles of minerals that sit on the surface of the skin to reflect UV radiation,” says Becky. “Physical UV filters (like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) can work alongside chemical filters to create non-irritating sunscreens in light formulas with very high SPFs. Chemical sunscreens contain active sun filters that absorb UV light to prevent sun damage, providing highly effective protection with a lightweight, non-sticky feel that’s ideal for daily wear.” 


Do you have enough protection by having SPF in your daily face moisturiser?

“SPF in your moisturiser is tested the same way as SPF in sunscreen, so an SPF30 moisturiser should provide an SPF of 30,” says Dr Justine. “The main issue is that these formulas are less likely to be rub-resistant and water-resistant, so they may not offer the same level of protection. Using a separate dedicated sunscreen is better for longer, more deliberate UV exposure, like spending your lunch hour outside.” 


What's the best way to include SPF if you're a make-up wearer?

“I’d advise make-up wearers to use SPF as the last step in their skincare routine and the first in their make-up routine,” Becky tells us. “If you’re wearing make-up, an SPF in a mist form is great because you can easily apply it on top without affecting your make-up. SPF formulas with a tint are perfect for people who like a more natural look.”

Your new routine loading…

Ready to embrace the benefits of SPF? Keep your face safe from AM to PM with our top picks.

Fenty Skin Hydra Vizor Invisible Moisturizer SPF30

Light as air

Tackle dehydration, discolouration, and dark spots with this sunscreen-moisturiser combo. The lightweight texture is make-up friendly and invisible on your skin. It’s the two-in-one you need – trust us.

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Shiseido Expert Sun Protector Face & Body Lotion SPF50+ 150ml

Powerful protection

Smoothing onto skin and absorbing in seconds, this formula is the definition of a sunscreen-skincare love affair. With a weightless texture, the moisturising SPF cream works against sweat, water and heat to maintain a barrier between UV rays and your skin.

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Drunk Elephant Umbra Tinte Physical Daily Defense SPF30 60ml

Glow all the way

With a hint of tint for a gorgeous glow, this daily sunscreen delivers UVA and UVB protection with SPF30. Fragrance, silicone and essential oil-free, apply to your face, neck and chest every day. The non-sticky formula is free of any unwanted residue, too – result!

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Liz Earle Environmental Defence Cream Mineral SPF25 50ml

Luminous-looking skin

Made with light-reflecting pigments and shea butter, this lightweight cream helps protect against pollution, UV rays and blue light. And with its priming properties, you’re all set with a smoother-feeling face for the day ahead.

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Rodial Vit C SPF30 Moisturizer 40ml

Hydration station

With a vitamin C enriched formula to help reduce the appearance of fine lines (hooray), Rodial’s lightweight sunscreen protects against daily sun damage with SPF30. You can look forward to all-day dewiness thanks to its hydrating formula.

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Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler + Elasticity Anti-Ageing Face Day Cream with Hyaluronic Acid SPF30 50ml

Firm and fresh

Delivering skincare benefits by the bucketload – including reducing the appearance of those pesky deep wrinkles – this day cream contains SPF30 and a UVA filter for added protection. Oh, and did we mention it helps to improve skin’s elasticity too? We can’t get enough.

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La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 Aquagel SPF30

Hydrated ever after

Packing UVA and UVB protection, this fresh, glowy gel is non-greasy, fast-absorbing and invisible on the skin. And if that wasn’t enough, its non-comedogenic formula means that you can wear it every day without it blocking your pores!

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La Roche-Posay Age Correct Anthelios SPF50

Soothe your skin

Wave bye-bye to the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines and dark spots with La Roche-Posay’s daily sunscreen. Protecting against harmful UVA and UVB rays with a hyaluronic acid-rich formula, it’s perfect for those of us with sensitive skin.

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Olay Regenerist Whip Light Moisturiser With SPF30 50ml

Plump up the volume

That sticky feeling? Not here. Olay’s light-as-air daily cream has a powerhouse of ingredients like niacinamide for radiant-looking, hydrated skin. The SPF30 formula transforms from cream to liquid as you apply it – magic.

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Garnier Ambre Solaire Sensitive Hydrating Face Sun Cream Mist SPF50 75ml

A mist-have

Transparent on skin with its ultra-light texture, this refreshing sunscreen has a non-greasy, fast-absorbing formula that’s perfect for a day at the beach (or a day in your back garden). And with long-lasting hydration, you can protect your skin without drying it out. How’s that for amazing?

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Ambre Solaire Super UV Anti Dark Spots & Anti Pollution Face Fluid SPF50+ 40ml

Daily protection

With ingredient favourites like hyaluronic acid and vitamin E, Ambre Solaire’s weightless texture is absorbed instantly, without the tell-tale greasiness of sunscreen. Perfect for everyday use, it also helps prevent dark spots caused by the sun – a skin win if you ask us.

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No7 Protect & Perfect Intense ADVANCED Facial Suncare SPF50+ 50ml

Help support your skin

Hard-working but budget-friendly, this daily sunscreen gives you unbeatable 5-star UVA protection while tackling the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Great for wearing under or over make-up, the non-greasy formula helps to improve the look of dark spots, too. Is that cheering we hear?

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Go on, get out there and protect your skin all year round with your new daily SPF.