Choosing one of the best SPF sunscreens is 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 healthy one: UV rays from the sun fall on our skin all year round and, over time, cause severe damage that can lead to skin cancer. Thankfully, SPF sunscreens offer the best UV protection, and plenty of new and lush ways 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. We also present you with two brands for particular use (like lip balms).
Our choice of the 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 renowned 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 a fantastic eye-catcher on your vanity.Shop now
AESOP Protective Facial Sunscreen 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. One of the best sunscreen for face.Shop now
Dr Dennis Gross Dark Spot Sun Defense SPF 50
Including vitamins C, E, and melatonin, this product protects from the sun and helps minimize and prevent the appearance of hyperpigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles. This formula will combat direct damage from UV rays and toxins on a day-to-day basis, while its combination of antioxidants fights the cumulative damage caused by free radicals. Apply it as the final step in your morning skincare routine. Best sunscreen for the face and one of the best sunscreen spf 50.Shop now
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. Best sunscreen, SPF 50 and the best sunscreen for everyday use.Shop now
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 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 protects against oxidative stress efficiently.Shop now
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.Shop now
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.Shop now
Ren Clean Skincare Clean Screen Mineral SPF 30
This is another all-natural, vegan option 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 will make you and the planet happy.Shop now
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 protects you 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, 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.Shop now
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.Shop now
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.Shop now
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.Shop now
Susanne Kaufmann Body Broad Spectrum Protection Sunscreen SPF 25
This water-resistant, light yet powerful broad-spectrum protection SPF contains antioxidants and 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. Best sunscreen for body and one of the best face sunscreen for sensitive skin.
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. It 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.Shop now
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.
BONUS: Recommended Lip Balms
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. Rich in their proprietary ‘Ultra-Medical Grade’ lanolin out of Australia and New Zealand, combined with a chemical-mineral SPF blend, this balm will lock your lips with moisture and boost your natural lip colour with its sheer tint. The balm is available in four different shades.Shop now
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.Shop now
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 typically burn exposed to the midday summer sun. For example, suppose your skin would start to redden after 10 minutes exposed to direct sunlight. In that case, 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 essential to look for broad-spectrum, water-resistant formulas that protect you from 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 significant thing to know about applying and using SPF sunscreen is: to 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 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 concerned with skin health and beauty. If you want to know our Best Skin Care Routine, we’ve covered you. And for men that are eager to learn the best skin care routine for men, we have a detailed guide.
Back to this article’s topic: whatever SPF sunscreen you choose, it’s about your health, not 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 deciding on the right sunscreen.