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.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios UVMUNE 400 Invisible Fluid SPF50 50ML

Sensitive skin saviour

Get that ultimate protection with a new UV filter and tackle sun-induced damage. And if that wasn’t enough, the lightweight and invisible formula is ultra-resistant against sand, water and sweat! Our prayers have been answered.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Age Correct SPF50+

Firm & hydrate

Looking to reduce the appearance of deep wrinkles and dark spots? Then look no further because this SPF has skincare benefits by the bucketload - from improving the skin’s elasticity to minimising those unwanted fine lines and pigmentation - you name it.

Soltan Once Face SPF50+ 50ml

Long-lasting protection

Those UVA rays don’t stand a chance with 8 hours of advanced protection – that’s impressive. But wait, there’s more! Soltan can even be worn under your make-up without leaving a greasy finish – ahhh at last.

Sun Bum SPF 30 Sunscreen Face Stick 13G

Glide & soothe   

Stick with Sun Bum and you won’t go wrong. This premium sunscreen face stick is enriched with vitamin E and aloe lotion - the perfect recipe for soothing sensitive skin. Apply a quick swipe across your face and you’re good to go!

Bondi Sands Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+ for Face - Fragrance Free 75ml

Hydration station

Fast absorbing and transparent on skin, this gentle sunscreen lotion provides that all important spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays. What’s more, it hydrates your skin oh-so wonderfully so you can enjoy a sun-soaked and dewy finish.

The Inkey List SPF 30 Daily Sunscreen

Spot the difference

With zinc oxide and non-comedogenic properties, wave goodbye to acne breakouts and say hello to a blendable formula that doesn’t block your pores. You can even use this as a base in your daily routine with zero pilling in sight – are we dreaming? 

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

Pollution protection

There’s a new SPF on the block and it’s part of the oldie but goldie brand, Ambre Solaire. Enriched with hyaluronic acid and vitamin E to help prevent dark spots, this sunscreen protects your skin from pollution-induced stress. It’s a skin win if you ask us.

Eucerin Sun Oil Control Face Protection Sun Cream for Oily & Blemish Prone Skin SPF 50+, 50ml

The mattifying dream

Are you prone to breakouts and excess oil? Enter: a mattifying miracle. Packed with oil-control technology and free of the tell-tale greasiness of sunscreen, this gives your skin an immediate dry finish with long-lasting anti-shine results.

Avène Very High Protection Anti-ageing SPF50+ Face Sun Cream for Sensitive Skin 50ml

Anti-ageing saviour

Perfect for everyday use, this sunscreen reinforces collagen production and is packed with unique anti-ageing properties for long-lasting and high protection against UVB and UVA rays. Smooth to touch and soothing for your skin, we can’t get enough of it.

Soap & Glory Urban Legend Antioxidant Day Cream SPF30

A sunscreen legend

Powerful antioxidants, a refreshingly lightweight texture and a non-clogging formula make the perfect cocktail for a daily sunscreen. Specially formulated with vitamin C and green tea, leave skin feeling radiant and hydrated for all-round complexion protection. That’s what we’re talking about.

Olay Regenerist Whip Light Moisturiser With SPF30 50ml

Light as air

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

L'Oreal Paris Revitalift Filler + Hyaluronic Acid Anti Ageing Anti-Wrinkle SPF 50 Replumping Day Cream 50ml

Plump it up

Who doesn’t want to keep their skin looking young? Firm, replump and get your skin to bounce back with joy with this super-hydrating day cream enriched with hyaluronic acid. Oh, and did we mention it makes your skin look fuller and younger by the day? *Adds to basket*.

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