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Last week I posted the first part of my SPF series, talking all things UVA and UVB, what you should look out for when buying sun protection, and how often you should apply it throughout the day. That quickly became one of the most viewed posts I’ve shared so far, and I’ve had quite a few messages from people saying they found it super helpful, and asking me what SPF products I’d recommend. So, this time I wanted to share some my favourite sunscreen products that I keep coming back to.
When I was choosing which products to include in this edit, I wanted to cover all bases, and ended up with a selection of SPFs that I alternate between depending on what I have planned for the day. Because although I typically use the same 1 or 2 sunscreen products near enough every day, I will sometimes substitute one for another, depending on where I’m going, what I’m doing, and what I think my skin needs. Sometimes it’s also about convenience, and I find that if I’m out in town all day, for example, I don’t want to be lathering myself with a thick cream (and probably staining my clothes in the process) every couple of hours.
So although I’m going to categorise the products I’ve chosen based on lifestyle factors, that really is just a guide, and you can choose which ones you use based on what works for you. All of the products in this post are dedicated SPFs – I know a lot of people use moisturisers or make-up with SPF included, but I always think it’s better to use a dedicated SPF product as well; especially since you’re not going to be reapplying your moisturiser or foundation every 2 hours.
Anyway, I hope you find this helpful. Do let me know your favourite sun-care products, and comment below if you have any questions and I’ll do my best to answer.
Everyday: Lancaster Sun Beauty Velvet Tanning Milk
As you can probably tell, I have the fairest skin possible – my brother got the ginger hair, but I got the ginger skin – and when I was a kid I used to burn all the time when we went abroad. I’d go from white to lobster to peeling and back to white again; it wasn’t a good look. But about 5 years ago, I started using Lancaster’s Velvet Tanning Milk and I’ve not had a sunburn since.
Of course, a part of that comes from the fact that I also wear protection every day now (you can see how much is gone from my current bottle in the picture below), but there are a few reasons why Lancaster is the brand I always come back to. First of all, it’s broad spectrum coverage, with UVA, UVB and Infrared (IR) protection, so you’re fully protected against all rays. FYI IR rays make up around 90% of the spectrum, and research is constantly finding they could be more harmful than UVA and UVB). It’s also a really thick – and I want to say comprehensive – solution, and one of those lotions where you really know whether you’ve applied enough or not – if you know what I mean…
I think sometimes with sunscreen there’s the danger of thinking you’ve applied enough or you miss an area because you’re using a clear/thin solution that you can’t necessarily feel. I did it once with another lotion and burned terribly, because I was convinced I’d applied it to one side of my body when I hadn’t. But with the Lancaster, a little goes a long way, and that’s not to say you can use less, but it does mean that as a “base coat” – and I use it every morning before I head out – you know that you’re covered.
Another reason I love the Lancaster range is the formulation of the face SPFs. Not only do they come in handy 50ml tubes that are great for carrying around all day, but they’re also super hydrating, and in the summer I often apply the lotion right after serum, in place of my usual moisturiser. I find too many layers just makes me sweat way too much in the heat, so the fact that this formula is also hydrating is an added benefit.
On the go: Eucerin Sensitive Protect & Pigment Control
I always carry SPF in my bag with me wherever I go, and the Eucerin Sensitive Protect is one of my favourites for topping up when I’m out and about. The product is a transparent, dry touch formula and comes in a 200ml bottle – the same size and shape as an everyday deodorant – so it’s ideal for carrying around and spraying every couple of hours to ensure you’re protected.
I’m usually not a fan of transparent sun creams, however they are ideal for quick, regular top ups when you’re on the go. But I do tend to go for the highest level of protection, just because I always feel like you can’t properly gauge how much product you’re using when you’re spraying a mist. So although I wouldn’t use this particular sunscreen for a full body application at the beach, for example, it’s ideal for day-to-day use and keeping on top of things.
I also wanted to mention Eucerin’s Pigment Control cream, which has become my go-to during particularly hot days, or if I know I’m going to be out in the sun for long periods of time. It’s a light fluid that’s easily absorbed into the skin, but it offers SPF 50+ protection, and is great if you want the reassurance that you can stay out comfortably without burning.
In the city: EVY Daily UV Face Mousse
Anti-pollution is set to be one of the biggest up-and-coming trends in the skincare market, and is already making an impression with the rise in popularity of vitamin C products (amongst others). And as pollution levels increase in cities in particular, we’re starting to see more of the negative effects it has on our skin. Researchers are now putting similar amounts of effort into finding new anti-pollution technologies as they did SPF in the past, and this formula from EVY is one of the best all-rounders.
Not only does it offer broad spectrum coverage against UVA and UVB, it’s also enriched with vitamin C and vitamin E, and contains hyaluronic acid – one of my essential skincare ingredients – so it’s also incredibly moisturising. Of course, there is an argument that you could reap similar benefits from ingredients already on your grooming shelf, but it comes back to wanting to cut back on skincare layers during the warmer months, and this formula does the trick perfectly.
Holiday: Incognito Skin Suncream and Insect Repellent
If you’re anything like me, sunburn is rivalled only by one other threat when going on vacation – bites. It’s probably the white wine sweating out of my pores that attracts so many insects in warmer climates, but I constantly wake up with new additions, like a game of connect the dots. So, I’ll do anything to avoid adding to the collection, and this lotion from Incognito is one of my favourites to use.
As well as UVA and UVB protection, it also contains PMD, which is the active ingredient in most insect repellents, forming a barrier to keep bites at bay. I like to apply this after showering and before heading out, just to make sure I’m getting in there with protection at all times. The full range also contains shampoos, shower gels and sprays, which you can also use on top of a normal SPF. However, when you’re packing to go away and want to take as little as possible, this is a great option to keep baggage weight down.
Let me know in the comments below if you have any SPF related questions, or want to know any more about the products I’ve talked about, and I’ll try my best to answer for you. And if you found that helpful, remember to like and subscribe to keep up to date with all the latest content.