Beauticater and self-confessed skipper of the slip, slop, slap, Lauren Kennedy, recently stepped into a brave new world of SPF after a long-standing battle with formulations giving her breakouts. She discovered a new generation of broad-spectrum facial sunscreens: they protect from UVA rays (that burn you) and UVB rays (that age you) and host a myriad of skin-benefiting ingredients to aid individual skin needs. Here’s her selection of the best of the bunch; and we concur, sunscreens have come a long way.

Beauticater and self-confessed skipper of the slip, slop, slap, Lauren Kennedy, recently stepped into a brave new world of SPF after a long-standing battle with formulations giving her breakouts. She discovered a new generation of broad-spectrum facial sunscreens: they protect from UVA rays (that burn you) and UVB rays (that age you) and host a myriad of skin-benefiting ingredients to aid individual skin needs. Here’s her selection of the best of the bunch; and we concur, sunscreens have come a long way.

IF YOU NEED A VITAMIN D BOOST

SOLAR D DAILY USE SPF 50 VITAMIN D FRIENDLY SUNSCREEN

Solar D Daily Use SPF 50 Vitamin D Friendly Sunscreen

“We often hear about the health benefits of vitamin D, and it can be confusing when we’re also told to protect ourselves against the sun (Vitamin D, of course, come from sun rays). But, this clever little formulation allows us the best of both worlds; it’s the world’s first vitamin D-friendly sunscreen. Australian owned and made, Daily Use SPF 50 Vitamin D Friendly Sunscreen, combines broad-spectrum protection with a unique formula that allows a small but sufficient amount of sunlight to reach the skin and activate the release of vitamin D. While I think the technology is quite the game-changer, I did find it was better suited as a body sunscreen than a facial one.  It had a slight sheen that is not as pleasant on the face, especially when wearing foundation over the top (it slid right off). But, it’s perfect for long days lounging poolside – just remember to reapply every few hours, especially if you’ve taken a dip.”

IF YOU HAVE SENSITIVE SKIN

CLINIQUE SUPER CITY BLOCK SPF 30+

“If you’re looking for high protection daily sunscreen that’s lightweight and oil-free Clinique’s Super City Block is the one for you. The broad-spectrum SPF 30+ spreads easily over the skin and absorbs almost immediately. I particularly loved the priming benefits of this sunscreen – a little under my foundation made for a dewy and long-lasting even-toned complexion. The light tint makes all-over and even coverage easy, while still maintaining a make-up free effect. As a lady with temperamental skin I found this sunscreen to be very gentle. In fact, I could lather it around my eye area without irritation. Definitely a new, and permanent, addition to my beauty cabinet.”

IF YOU REACT TO MOST SUNSCREENS

“If, like me, facial sunscreens set off skin-sensitivity alarm bells, try Invisible Zinc’s Facial Moisturiser SPF 30. Known as a ‘physical sunscreen’ it relies on zinc oxide to act as a shield to block UV rays from getting to your skin. Physical sunscreens work hard to deflect the sun’s rays, as opposed to absorbing them into the skin like some chemical SPFs that can cause havoc on sensitive skin. The usual downside to physical sunscreen is that the thick formulation can leave a white tint on the skin – not so cute if you’re heading out in public. Slicks of zinc are best left in the 1980s and to cricket pitches, after all. Luckily, However, Invisible Zinc’s unique formula incorporated all the good parts (sunray deflecting barrier) and left out the bad (thick, white cast and notable zinc smell). It’s perfect for a day at the beach when you need long lasting sun protection without the worry of irritated skin.”

IF YOU HAVE OILY SKIN

Dermalogica Oil Free Matte SPF 30

“Sunscreens can often feel like they’re doing more harm than good when you have oily skin. The notorious shiny sheen and greasy texture can feel like you’ve just given life-support to your breakouts. If this sounds all-too-familiar, then give Dermalogica’s Oil Free Matte SPF 30 a whirl. It’s a broad-spectrum, lightweight, ultra-sheer sunscreen that’s perfect for oily, breakout-prone skin. The quick-absorbing formula sinks in to skin immediately and leaves a soft matte finish without the powdery residue. What’s more, the oil-absorbing and anti-inflammatory ingredients keep pimples at bay and reduce their telltale redness. Depending on your skin’s oil scale, it can be worn alone or teamed with your daily moisturiser for a shine-free solution to sunscreen.”

MODELCO DAILY FACE MATTIFYING SUNSCREEN AND LIP BALM SPF 50+

“ModelCo has conveniently combined an SPF 50+ broad-spectrum facial sunscreen with an equally high protection lip balm. Oh, and it is encased in one very summer, on-point hot pink and orange tube. The strawberry flavoured lip balm is hidden in the lid of the sunscreen, with a bonus compact mirror for easy application. It’s easy to forget about lip protection, but this nifty contraption means I now have no excused for dry, cracked and weather worn lips. But, to the task at hand: the sunscreen’s formula is lightweight, glides on skin smoothly, blends easily and leaves no greasy residue. It’s subtly tinted and gave me a healthy sun-kissed glow without disrupting the pigment of my foundation. It’s also enriched with vitamin E to soften and hydrate your skin while you’re in the sun.”

IF YOU NEED A LITTLE HYDRATION WITH YOUR SUN PROTECTION

Mecca to Save Face SPF 30+ Facial Sunscreen

MECCA TO SAVE FACE SPF 30+ FACIAL SUNSCREEN

“This is currently a number one best seller at Mecca and for good reason. The broad-spectrum formula is lightweight, fast absorbing, non-greasy, white residue-free. It doesn’t have that SPF scent that many sunscreens do and instead smells fresh, light and clean. Containing hyaluronic acid, pomegranate extract and vitamin E it provides the right amount of hydration while doubling as a primer, making it a perfect makeup base. Definitely one to lather on this summer for flawlessly protected skin.”

ALPHA H DAILY ESSENTIAL MOISTURISER SPF 30+

This hard working facial sunscreen combines broad-spectrum sun protection, hydration and wrinkle prevention – definitely ticks all my skin-concern boxes. Think of this as your entire daily beauty routine in one; moisturiser with SPF 30+ sun protection and anti-ageing components to boot. The four hours water (and sweat) resistance is perfect for beach babes and outdoor sport lovers. I loved the weightless, non-greasy feel and the quick absorption- a total time saver in the morning. It left my skin feeling soft and smooth and worked as a great base for my makeup. I am a big fan of the pump dispenser, too. It kept application hygienic and ensured I got the right amount of sunscreen without wasting a drop.”

IF YOU’RE AN OUTDOORSY TYPE

Ultraceuticals SunActive SPF 50+ Face Cream

ULTRACEUTICALS SUNACTIVE SPF 50+ FACE CREAM

“I must confess, I’ve been a long-time devotee to Ultraceuticals, so I did go into this one with a little bias. To my great relief, the SunActive SPF 50+ Face Cream did the brand justice. I loved how easily it glided on and blended into my skin – super fast absorption, lightweight, gentle and four hours water resistant. It left my skin dewy and hydrated but not oily. The ingredients’ high antioxidant levels also protected my skin from the free radical damage the sun is infamous for. If my word hasn’t won you over yet, the sunscreen was also voted the number one facial sunscreen in the InStyle Best Beauty Buys 2015 awards.”

IF YOU’RE CONCERNED ABOUT WRINKLES AND AGE SPOTS

Clarins Sunscreen Control Cream for Face SPF 50+

CLARINS SUNSCREEN CONTROL CREAM FOR FACE SPF 50+

Sunscreen Control Cream for Face SPF 50+ is the brand’s response to an increasing number of customers wanting very high protection sun care for their face.  They also went a step further: the broad-spectrum sunscreen not only protects skin from the sun but also promises to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and sun-induced age spots. This is thanks to the inclusion of Phyto-Sunactyl – a combination of senna, pea, plane tree, olive tree and baobab extracts. It was lightweight and soaked in immediately, leaving my skin feeling nourished and hydrated. It agreed with my sensitive skin and left me with a healthy glow – not oily, not sticky and no white residue.”

Review by Lauren Kennedy

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