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The best SPF sunscreens to protect your skin
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The best SPF sunscreens to protect your skin

Choosing one of the best SPF sunscreens is simply a must for this summer. Why? Because skin experts agree: we should be wearing sunscreen every day. This is not a vanity issue, it’s a health one: UV rays from the sun fall on our skin all year round and over time cause serious damage that can lead to skin cancer. Thankfully, SPF sunscreens offer the best UV protection, and there’s plenty of new and lush ways they can be used.

Nowadays, there are plenty of sunscreen brands and different types of SPFs for all occasions. We rounded up the best sunscreen as well as the best products for after-sun care. Additionally, we also present you 2 brands for special use (like lip balms).

Our choice of the best SPF Sunscreens

 

Charlotte Tilbury Refillable Charlotte's Magic Cream Moisturizer, 50 ml - best SPF sunscreens

Charlotte Tilbury Refillable Charlotte's Magic Cream Moisturizer, 50 ml

Charlotte Tilbury's flagship product originated more than two decades ago as a truly backstage miracle at fashion shows, being able to transform the look of dull, stressed and tired models to an instantly rehydrated, fresh appearance. Charlotte and her own, self-mixed ‘magic moisturizer’ became a successful secret weapon for models and staple at fashion shows. This is probably the most famous product in our list of the best SPF sunscreens.

Twenty years and a much-improved formula later (by adding a new ingredient: Bio-Nymph Peptide Complex), Charlotte Tilbury Refillable Charlotte's Magic Cream Moisturizer is the best solution for improving hydration and elasticity and reducing the appearance of wrinkles on your skin. Its Camellia and Rosehip oil provide youthfulness to your skin.

The beautiful refillable signature glass jar will also be an amazing eye-catcher on your vanity.

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SPF Sunscreen Guide Skincare - ESOP Protective Facial Lotion SPF 25

AESOP Protective Facial Lotion SPF 25

A more lightweight option, this lotion uses green tea, panthenol and tocopherol to offer fast-absorbing protection. It leaves the skin feeling moisturized and protected, while that typical (often unpleasant) smell of SPF is replaced by an alluring herby scent. It’s suited to most skin types, and for those skin colours that need a slightly lower level of SPF coverage.

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best SPF sunscreens Guide Skincare - Dr Dennis Gross Dark Spot Sun Defense SPF 50

Dr Dennis Gross Dark Spot Sun Defense SPF 50

Including vitamin C and E, and melatonin, this product protects from the sun and also helps minimize and prevent the appearance of hyperpigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles. On a day-to-day basis, this formula will combat direct damage from UV rays and toxins, while its combination of antioxidants fights the cumulative damage caused by free radicals. Apply it as the final step in your morning skincare routine.

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Susanne Kaufmann Body Broad Spectrum Protection Sunscreen SPF 25 - SPF Sunscreen Guide Skincare

Susanne Kaufmann Body Broad Spectrum Protection Sunscreen SPF 25

This water-resistant, light yet powerful broad-spectrum protection SPF is full of antioxidants and also protects against free radicals. Suitable for every skin type (even for children), this herbal blend will save your skin from damage while promoting its natural regenerative and reparative qualities to ensure long-lasting radiance.

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best SPF sunscreens Guide Skincare - Dr. Barbara Sturm Sun Drops SPF 50

Dr. Barbara Sturm Sun Drops SPF 50

This serum can be added to your moisturizer or applied individually. A chemical SPF with casein extract, vitamin E, hyaluronic acid and beta-glucan that protects and regenerates skin, this smooth and lightweight solution works wonderfully on sensitive skin. For days with prolonged sun exposure, be sure to reapply regularly.

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Soleil Toujours Clean Conscious Antioxidant Sunscreen Mist SPF 30, 88 ml

Soleil Toujours Clean Conscious Antioxidant Sunscreen Mist SPF 30, 88 ml

The 70% organic Soleil Toujours Clean Conscious Antioxidant Sunscreen Mist SPF 30 formula that is free from harmful chemicals is not only perfectly safe for your skin, but also for the environment and coral reefs (guaranteed free from Oxybenzone and Octinoxate, which makes it the only organic clear sunscreen formula that achieves that). It has broad-spectrum SPF 30 protection that shields you from both UVA and UVB rays. The formula is water-resistant for 80 minutes.

The Soleil Toujours Clean Conscious Antioxidant Sunscreen Mist formula's primary ingredient is EcoSunComplex®. This is a Soleil Toujours trademark mixture of red algae, vitamin C ester, vitamin E and bisabolol. It's known for reducing UV-induced skin damage, boosting SPF, increasing skin smoothness and preventing loss of firmness.

Its special ingredient is a green tea (Camellia Sinensis) leaf extract, which provides efficient protection against oxidative stress.

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Grown Alchemist Natural Hydrating Sunscreen SPF 30 - SPF Sunscreen Guide Skincare

Grown Alchemist Natural Hydrating Sunscreen SPF 30

A good one for those who prefer all-natural ingredients, this sunscreen has a lightweight vegan formulation with natural Zinc Oxide minerals to block broad-spectrum UVs completely. Its soothing rosehip oil will eliminate imperfections for soft and supple skin, while a mixture of hyaluronan molecules provides deep hydration beneath the skin surface.

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Decree Day Shield SPF 30 Spray

Decree Day Shield SPF 30 Spray

Decree Day Shield SPF 30 Spray combines a titanium dioxide UV filter with zinc and botanical antioxidants to offer you daily protection against pollutants, harmful UV rays and blue light from your computer screen. Furthermore, its collagen-protecting peptides will keep your skin firm and elastic. You can rely on its fine mist to refresh you throughout the day without smudging your makeup.

A hint of rose water adds a hydrating boost with a refreshing delicate and subtle fragrance. The bottle is perfect for when you’re on the move and the 75ml size provides the perfect fit for your handbag.

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Ren Clean Skincare Clean Screen Mineral SPF 30

Ren Clean Skincare Clean Screen Mineral SPF 30

This is another all-natural, vegan option, this time from Ren Clean Skincare, which offers broad-spectrum UVA/B ray protection, blue light protection, and a silicone-free formulation. The brand put six years of research into finding the most effective and environmentally-friendly SPF, and it certainly shows. This no-shine, mattifying formula is sure to make both you and the planet very happy.

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Paula's Choice Resist Skin Restoring Moisturizer SPF 50

Paula's Choice Resist Skin Restoring Moisturizer SPF 50

This impeccable moisturizer for dry skin comes with SPF 50. This way, Paula's Choice Resist Skin Restoring Moisturizer SPF 50 is protecting you both from sun damage and ageing skin. Its carefully chosen anti-aging formula boasts tone-improving ingredients like:
liquorice, a medicinal root that contains glabridin, a powerful UV-fighting ingredient
niacinamide, a B3 vitamin variety, which improves the skin’s defences against dehydration.
– shea butter, which has a high concentration of fatty acids, a perfect cosmetic ingredient for softening skin.

With Paula's Choice Resist Skin Restoring Moisturizer SPF 50 you will achieve more luminous and younger skin.

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Malin + Goetz SPF 30 Sunscreen - High Protection

Malin + Goetz SPF 30 Sunscreen – High Protection

Malin + Goetz's SPF 30 sunscreen is great for all skin types, but especially sensitive skin will love the water-resistant cream. By using a broad-spectrum mineral-rich and residue-free formula, it's able to protect you not only from harmful UVA and UVB rays but also from environmental aggressors by providing a physical block on your skin that works great under makeup.

Malin+Goetz’s formulas are known for their many benefits, with ingredients that help to brighten and replenish your skin while protecting it against all urban skin stressors.

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Sarah Chapman Skin Insurance SPF 50 Invisible

Sarah Chapman Skin Insurance SPF 50 Invisible

This pioneering next-generation formula is ideal for all skin tones. Thanks to its transparent appearance it can be used beneath makeup. It boasts the trademark Sarah Chapman DNA-repair technology (multivitamin and bioactive complexes are being combined to mimic vital vitamin D and essential skin minerals) and skin-enhancing optical diffusers (optical blurring technology and light-scattering powders to subtly reduce the appearance of imperfections), providing advanced protection from thermal, infrared, and UV.

This SPF is proven to restore the natural and healthy look and glow of your skin, and boost radiance. It also reduces uneven pigmentation. The formula is fragranced with a subtle hint of rose, hyacinth, and jasmine essential oils.

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Positively Conscious The Grey Daily Face Protect SPF 50

Positively Conscious The Grey Daily Face Protect SPF 50

The SPF 50 Positively Conscious non-shiny lightweight formula is easily absorbed by the skin and protects it with its stabilized broad-spectrum sunscreen filters. The key ingredient is peptides that nourish the skin. It's consciously made with at least 50% recycled materials. This sunscreen is fragrance-free and can be used by all skin types.

The Grey collection goes way beyond and offers complete care for your skin, covering your morning and evening routine.

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After-Sun

 
Darling After-Sun Lotion

Darling After-Sun Lotion

The wonderfully named Darling soothes and softens your skin with their after-sun lotion, which includes active ingredients of chamomile, mallow, lemon balm, menthol, equisetum, and vitamin E. Its marvellous fragrance is a trademark of the brand and is produced during an ancient local tradition in Polynesia where coconut oil is blended with Tiaré flowers. This is a perfect product for those sultry summer days.

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Susanne Kaufmann After Sun Gel - SPF Sunscreen Guide Skincare

Susanne Kaufmann After Sun Gel

Just as important as protecting during sun exposure is taking care of yourself afterwards. Equipped with the soothing properties of aloe vera (the classic after-sun ingredient), this cooling and moisturizing gel provides optimal hydration, protects the skin even more, and promotes rejuvenation. For an added benefit, it also works to extend the tanning effect.

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BONUS: Recommended Lip Balms

 
LANO Lanolips Tinted Balm SPF 30 - best SPF Sunscreens

LANO Lanolips Tinted Balm SPF 30

If you want a bit of colour with your protection, LANO’s Lanolips Tinted Balm SPF is the perfect fit for you. Rich in their proprietary ‘Ultra-Medical Grade’ lanolin out of Australia and New Zealand, combined with a chemical-mineral SPF blend, this balm will not only lock your lips with moisture but will boost your natural lip colour with its sheer tint. The balm is available in four different shades.

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AESOP Protective Lip Balm SPF 30 - SPF Sunscreen Guide Skincare

AESOP Protective Lip Balm SPF 30

Tint-free and designed for on-the-go, all-year-round protection, AESOP’s lip balm is enriched with botanical oils that protect and nourish. Packed with minerals to block UVA and UVB, this product is an ideal, straightforward go-to backed by the elevated standards expected from this established skincare brand.

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All about SPF sunscreen: a guide.

 

What Is SPF?

SPF, or Sun Protection Factor, is an internationally agreed measure for the efficiency of skin protection from harmful UVB Sun rays. The SPF is a number that multiplies tenfold the minutes your skin would normally burn exposed to the midday summer sun. For example, if your skin would start to redden after 10 minutes exposed to direct sunlight, then an SPF of 20 provides you with approximately 10 X 20 = 200 minutes of protection (of course, this depends on skin type, sunlight intensity and amount of sunscreen applied).

What SPF should I use?

Most dermatologists recommend using an SPF 30 or higher. A minimum recommended is an SPF of 15. If you’re outside for a long time, use 50. If you are using something lower than 30, reapply the sunscreen regularly.

Does SPF sunscreen protect me from all sun rays?

SPF protects specifically from UVB rays (ones that cause sunburn and play a key role in developing skin cancer) but not from UVA rays (ones that cause skin ageing and wrinkles). That's why it's important to look for broad-spectrum water-resistant formulas that will protect you from both UVA and UVB rays. In a broad-spectrum formula, the UVA protection should be at least 1/3 of the UVB protection.

Which is the best SPF Sunscreen to use, chemical or mineral?

Use mineral sunscreen if you have sensitive skin. Use chemical formulas if you want more transparent coverage. Mineral formulations sit on top of the skin and deflect rays, chemical ones sink into the skin and absorb rays. Mineral formulations also feel more “natural” and are also reef- and ocean-safe. Finally, try to use water-resistant sunscreen, as these last longer.

How do I apply an SPF sunscreen?

A very important thing to know about applying and using SPF sunscreen is: make sure to let it sink in, and then reapply. A small amount (roughly the size of 2 Euro cents) for arms, legs, or face is perfect for the second application. Finally, even if you’re not going outside much these days, UVs can still penetrate through windows, and some evidence suggests blue light from computer and smartphone screens can also cause damage. No matter where the rays come from, just apply your favourite SPF sunscreen for instant protection and hydration.

The best SPF sunscreens – the bottom line.

Needless to say, skincare doesn't end with protecting your skin from harmful sun rays. We have more guides and recommendations for those of you concerned with skin health and beauty. If you are interested to know our recommended 7-Step Skin Care Routine, we've got you covered. And for men that want to learn how to build a better skin care routine, we have a detailed guide.

Back to this article's topic: whatever SPF sunscreen you choose, it's about your health and not about vanity. Our list of the best SPF sunscreens should give you a basis for a well-informed choice, and our SPF sunscreen hopefully gave you a good understanding on what you should pay attention to when choosing the right sunscreen.

 

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