Lockdown is loosening but the sun was never locked away, so whether you’ve been sat by the window for the past 8 weeks or took advantage of our exercise allowance, you’ve likely been exposed to the sun and by now, we have all been well informed on the importance of a good sunscreen. For those of you who have been living under a (hopefully well shaded) rock, using sunscreen is a key step in preventing sun damage to the skin, protecting against photo ageing and reducing the risk of skin cancer. Regardless of skin colour or type, we all benefit from including products with SPF in our skincare routines, and whilst it is always necessary, it is even more essential in summer as the days get hotter and longer. Here, find the GRACE edit of the best SPF products to use according to your skin type.
Product: Black Girl Sunscreen SPF 30 89ml, £23, candourbeauty.com
Great For: All skin tones, dry, normal and combination skin
A chemical sunscreen moisturiser which hydrates and dries completely clear on all complexions, and also comes in a child-friendly formula. Whilst this doesn’t feel greasy on the skin, the formula contains a number of natural oils including jojoba and avocado oil that are nourishing for drier skins but may be problematic if you already have oily skin.
Product: Altruist Sunscreen SPF 50 100ml, £4.99, theskinclinic.co.uk
Great for: Albino & paler skin tones prone to sunburn, normal to dry skin
Designed with the mission of reducing global skin cancer cases, Altruist SPF is in the category of mineral sunscreens, which work by reflecting harmful sun rays from the top layer of the skin thereby blocking them from penetrating the skin at all.
It is a great choice for paler, photo-sensitive skin tones but whilst it suitable for all skin, titanium dioxide in the formulation means this will leave those of deeper complexions with a significant grey cast. It can also add an oily shine to the skin – which is probably an unfortunate side effect of its useful high water resistance, but not so useful for those with oily skin. Nevertheless, it’s still a good option for darker skin if you want some protection when staying indoors.
Product: Murad Oil and Pore Control Mattifier SPF45 50ml, £35, murad.co.uk
Great for: All skin tones, combination, oily and blemish-prone skin
This oil-free sunscreen has a mattifying effect which diminishes shine without leaving your face feeling dry, thanks to the inclusion of hyaluronic acid in the formula. It is a good contender if you want to keep your skin protected whilst you treat any active breakouts as it works throughout the day to reduce excess oil.
Product: Paula’s Choice Youth Extending Hydrating Fluid SPF 50 60ml, £34, paulaschoice.co.uk
Great for: All skin tones and especially hyper-pigmented skin. All skin types
A lightweight sunscreen that feels like water, contains anti-aging antioxidants and is non-comedogenic, so does not cause or exacerbate breakouts. The high sun protecting factor of this sunscreen offers more protection against UVA rays, which are able to pass through windows and are deep penetrating, reaching the dermis. This makes it an amazing sunscreen for all skin concerns, but if you are looking to prevent further darkening of age spots or hyperpigmentation marks in particular, this is the sunscreen for you.
Product: Neutrogena Hydro Boost City Shield SPF 25 59ml, £7.99 chemistconnect.com
Great for: All skin tones, All skin types
Another lightweight chemical sun lotion, but with a slightly thicker water-gel consistency that makes it versatile enough to be used on skin types from dry through to oily. It offers pollution protection, an oil free formula and hydrating hyaluronic acid, which draws water into the skin – a great defence against the transepidermal moisture loss that can occur on very hot summer days.
Product: La Roche-Posay Anthelios Anti-Shine Sun Protection Invisible SPF50+ Face Mist 75ml, £10.50 lookfantastic.com
Great for: All Skin tones, all skin types, particularly sensitive skin
Last but certainly not least, a convenient spray-on sunscreen formulated with the brand’s signature thermal water, which helps to calm skin conditions and sun-irritated skin. We love this because of its travel-friendly size and the fact it allows you to reapply every 2 hours (as per dermatologist’s recommendation) with relative ease, leaving no white cast.
Words by Tracy Achonwa