17 best sunscreens for face with broad spectrum protection | plmubl.com

17 best sunscreens for face with broad spectrum protection

As a skincare obsessive, I will never stop waxing lyrical about the importance of sunscreens for face in the long term. Any dermatologist will tell you that applying SPF should be a non-negotiable step in anyone’s skincare routine, regardless of your skin type.

The tricky part is that you can’t actually notice the consequences of prolonged sun exposure right away (except for the occasional sun burn), especially since skin concerns like loss of elasticity and hyperpigmentation aren’t immediately noticeable.

Dr Christine Hall, GMC-registered general practitioner in medical aesthetics told me that 90% of visible skin ageing comes from the sun and its UV rays. “The best anti-aging advice I can give to anyone is to use SPF even single day, all year around,” she explained.PLAY/PAUSE BUTTON

“It needs to be a dedicated SPF that is broad spectrum and has a minimum protection factor of SPF30 or SPF50 is ideal.”

So whether you prefer your sunscreen in form of sticks, sprays, tinted formulas or even powder (yes, that’s a thing too), trust me when I tell you that applying and re-applying an SPF on a daily basis will prove well worth your time. If you’re already using one, bravo. If not, it’s never too late to start.

Enter, your definitive guide to the very best sunscreens for face – including broad-spectrum chemical, mineral and hybrid iterations – that the GLAMOUR editors can’t get enough of.

SKIP TO: Why do I need to wear sunscreen every single day? | Can I use a body SPF on my face? | What kind of ingredients should I look for in a sunscreen? | Which sunscreen won’t leave a white cast? | Is SPF 30 or SPF 50 better for your face? | What is the best face SPF? | How we tested.


Best sunscreens for face and face SPFs of 2024:

  1. Best Face Sunscreen Overall: Medik8 Advanced Day Ultimate Protect Age-Defying Moisturiser with SPF 50+
  2. Best Face SPF, The Runner-Up: La Roche-Posay Anthelios UVmune 400 Oil Control Fluid SPF50+
  3. Best Priming Face SPF: Beauty Base Protect SPF50 All-in-One Moisturising Primer
  4. Best Face Sunscreen For Oily Skin: Ultra Violette Supreme Screen Hydrating Facial Sunscreen SPF50+

Medik8 Advanced Day Ultimate Protect Age-Defying Moisturiser with SPF 50+

£59 AT MEDIK8

£59 £47.20 AT AMAZON

La Roche-Posay Anthelios UVmune 400 Oil Control Fluid SPF50+

£20 £16 AT LOOKFANTASTIC

£20 AT CULT BEAUTY

Ultra Violette Supreme Screen Hydrating Facial Skinscreen SPF 50+

£34 £30.60 AT SEPHORA

Sculpted By Aimee Sun Mist SPF 50 Spray

£19 AT SCULPTED BY AIMEE


Scroll for GLAMOUR’s full edit of the best sunscreens for face to wear all year round…

Medik8 Advanced Day Ultimate Protect Age-Defying Moisturiser with SPF 50+

£59 AT MEDIK8

£59 £47.20 AT AMAZON

Image may contain Face Head Person Cosmetics and Adult

Best chemical face SPF

SPF level: 50+.
Chemical or mineral: Chemical.
Consistency: Lightweight moisturiser.

Why we love it: Advanced Day Ultimate is Medik8’s highest protection SPF 50+ PA++++ sunscreen, formulated with next-generation DNA repair enzymes and their most advanced 360° environmental shield to date. But not only does this broad-spectrum sunscreen shield your skin from the sun to prevent sun-induced premature signs of skin ageing, but it’s also infused with nourishing squalane and hydrating multi-weight hyaluronic acid to deliver daily moisture to the complexion. The texture is lightweight and silky, makeup applies atop it like a dream and your complexion is left glowing. Apply it in the morning, after cleansing, application of a vitamin C serum and your trusty moisturiser.

WATCHGirls Aloud serve us a whole lotta history, fashion fails and beauty wins

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After more from Medik8? Read our full Medik8 review.

Ultra Violette Supreme Screen Hydrating Facial Skinscreen SPF 50+

£34 £30.60 AT SEPHORA

Image may contain Adult Person Cosmetics Face Head Can and Tin

Best hydrating sunscreen for face

SPF level: SPF 50.
Chemical or mineral: Chemical.
Consistency: Lightweight cream.

Why we love it: It’s hardly a coincidence that this Aussie brand is behind some of the best sun protection products on the market. This sunscreen in particular is one of their most popular sun creams, in part thanks to its incredibly hydrating formula. Designed to give you that glowy, dewy and luminous complexion, this formula is suitable for all skin types, completely non-comedogenic and offers an impressive level of SPF50 protection. A win.

Save when you shop for the best sunscreens for face using these Sephora discount codes.

Sculpted By Aimee Sun Mist SPF 50 Spray

£19 AT SCULPTED BY AIMEE

Tester Denise Primbet Skin type dry amp sensitive.

Best face SPF mist

SPF level: SPF 50.
Chemical or mineral: Chemical.
Consistency: Lotion.

Why we love it: At GLAMOUR, we looove a product that can help us reduce steps in our skincare routine. This innovative sunscreen mist from Sculpted by Aimee protects your skin from broad-spectrum rays while also hydrating your skin, while offering you a chance to easily top it up throughout the day without ruining your makeup.

Supergoop! Glowscreen SPF30

£32 AT SEPHORA

£35 AT SPACE NK

Image may contain Cosmetics Adult and Person

Best sunscreen with a shimmery tint

SPF level: SPF 30.
Chemical or mineral: Chemical.
Consistency: Creamy.

Why we love it: If you’re after a healthy-looking complexion with a dewy finish, you must check out the Glowscreen by Supergoop. Offering an optimal level of SPF30 protection, this sunscreen is ideal for dry and combination skin types, thanks to the included skin-loving ingredients and an extra-nourishing feel.

Tatcha The Silk Sunscreen SPF 50

£65 AT SPACE NK

Image may contain Adult Person Cosmetics Face and Head

Best face SPF for a more even skin tone

SPF level: SPF 50.
Chemical or mineral: Mineral.
Consistency: Lightweight cream.

Why we love it: Looking to protect your skin from sun damage and other environmental aggressors while also evening out your skin tone? Tatcha’s got you covered. This mineral sun cream uses a gentle, reef-safe formula made with zinc oxide to protect and hydrate your complexion. Suitable for all skin types.

Coco & Eve Daily Watergel SPF 50+

£23 £18.40 AT LOOKFANTASTIC

£23 AT SPACE NK

Image may contain Bottle Lotion Person Teen Face and Head

Best water-based face SPF

SPF level: SPF 50.
Chemical or mineral: Chemical.
Consistency: Water-based gel-cream.

Why we love it: With a formula that boasts hyaluronic acid, aloe vera and vitamin E, this moisturising water-based face SPF has the silkiest texture of all the products on this list. Not only does it deliver a healthy boost of hydration, but it also leaves your skin feeling nice and radiant.

GLAMOUR-approved: “I find hunting for face sunscreen one of the hardest beauty tasks: it needs to protect my skin from UVA and UVB rays with factor 50, needs to sit nicely underneath my makeup and needs to feel lightweight. Amongst many other criteria. And Coco & Eve’s new Water Gel SPF delivers. It’s mostly thanks to the water-gel formula which absorbs quickly, doesn’t leave marks on the skin and feels lightweight when applied between a daily moisturiser and your makeup. I love the packaging, love the fact that it’s fragrance-free and love the fact that it has anti-inflammatory, cell growth and wound healing properties to soothe aggravated skin.” – Sophie Cockett, GLAMOUR’s European Commerce Editor.

Medik8 Advanced Day Total Protect Age-Defying Moisturiser SPF30

£57 AT MEDIK8

Best sunscreen for face SPF30

SPF level: SPF 30.
Chemical or mineral: Chemical.
Consistency: Lightweight cream.

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Why we love it: The perfect daily cream (it has an invisible finish on the skin and no white-cast) this lightweight face SPF not only protects against sun damage, pollution and blue light, but it works to prevent the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Key ingredients? Think: antioxidant theobroma cacao seed extract which mitigates the negative effects of blue light emitted from the sun, Carnosine – a multi-tasking dipeptide which protects from both glycation and infrared light – and moringa extract which provides an exceptional anti-pollution defence.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios UVmune 400 Oil Control Fluid SPF50+

£20 £16 AT LOOKFANTASTIC

£20 AT CULT BEAUTY

Best fluid face sun cream for acne-prone skin

SPF level: SPF 50.
Chemical or mineral: Chemical
Consistency: Lightweight fluid.

Why we love it: If you suffer from acne or breakouts and you find wearing face SPFs to simply make matters worse, make a beeline for this bestseller product from La Roche-Posay. This ‘invisible fluid’ has been specially formulated for those with oily skin and mops up excess sebum for a mattifying effect, all while still offering a super light feel and SPF50+ protection against the sun’s rays.

We’ve got LookFantastic discount codes to use before you buy the best face SPFs.

L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Clinical Vitamin C UV Fluid SPF 50+ Moisturiser

£19.99 £10 AT LOOKFANTASTIC

£19.99 AT BOOTS

Best brightening face SPF for hyperpigmentation

SPF level: SPF 50+.
Chemical or mineral: Chemical.
Consistency: Lightweight milk.

Why we love it: Dermatologists recommend you apply a vitamin C serum underneath your sunscreen as the added layer of antioxidants boost its protection and help to brighten blemishes as well as patches of existing sun damage. Now the clever folks at L’Oreal have made that extra step in the morning redundant by incorporating this powerhouse active, alongside hydrating hyaluronic acid, into one fast-absorbing formula. Genius.

Kiehl’s Ultra Light Daily UV Defense SPF 50

£33.50 £30.15 AT LOOKFANTASTIC

£33.50 £26.80 AT BOOTS

Best face SPF that doesn’t leave a white cast

SPF level: SPF 50.
Chemical or mineral: Chemical.
Consistency: Lightweight cream.

Why we love it: This lotion SPF doubles up as both an excellent daily moisturiser and a hard-working sun protector. It’s great if you suffer from skin sensitivity because it’s oil-free and fragrance-free. Plus, if you’ve got dark skin, you’ll be glad to hear that it doesn’t leave any chalky residue.

Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF30

£17.50 AT CULT BEAUTY

£15 AT SEPHORA

Best face SPF to wear under makeup

SPF level: SPF 30.
Chemical or mineral: Chemical.
Consistency: Cream.

Why we love it: A face SPF that’s formulated with reef-safe, environmentally-friendly ingredients that protect your skin and don’t clog pores? It sounds too good to be true, but we promise you it’s not. This water-resistant face SPF contains red algae, meadowfoam seed and shea butter to keep your skin hydrated, protected from the sun and breakout-free. Hands down, one of the best face sun lotions around.

Save when you shop for the best face SPF with these Cult Beauty discount codes.

The INKEY List Polyglutamic Acid Dewy Sunscreen SPF30

£15 £10.50 AT LOOKFANTASTIC

£14.99 £10.50 AT AMAZON

Best daily face SPF

SPF level: SPF 30.
Chemical or mineral: Chemical.
Consistency: Lightweight cream.

Why we love it: This lightweight, non-pilling sunscreen with Polyglutamic Acid gives you a protected, primed, and dewy base, ideal for whether you’re planning to wear makeup or not. Plus, thanks to the included blends of skin-loving ingredients, this handy face SPF will also look after your skin all day. Wins all around.

CeraVe AM Facial Moisturising Lotion SPF30

£16.50 £13.20 AT LOOKFANTASTIC

£16.50 £10.45 AT AMAZON

Best moisturiser with SPF

SPF level: SPF 30.
Chemical or mineral: Chemical.
Consistency: Lightweight lotion.

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Why we love it: Looking for an affordable drugstore sunscreen that can protect you against any incoming sun damage without breaking the bank? This moisturising lotion from CeraVe is widely available at most pharmacies and provides up to 24 hours of hydration – perfectly convenient for those of us with normal to dry skin. It also comes with a non-greasy and non-comedogenic formula powered by hyaluronic acid, niacinamide and ceramides.

Ultrasun Face Tinted High SPF30

£28 £22.40 AT SEPHORA

£26 AT BOOTS

Best sunscreen for sensitive skin

SPF level: SPF 30.
Chemical or mineral: Both.
Consistency: Cream.

Why we love it: At GLAMOUR, we live for anything that successfully combines everything we love about makeup and skincare into one handy product. This tinted face SPF comes with an ultralight formula that’s supported by a roster of powerful antioxidants that keep your complexion in tip-top shape. Plus, it adds just a hint of long-lasting colour and coverage that’s suitable for sensitive skin and promises not to clog up your pores. Oh, and it’s vegan too.

Save when you shop for the best face SPF when you use these Sephora discount codes.

SkinCeuticals Advanced Brightening UV Defense SPF 50

£50 £40 AT LOOKFANTASTIC

£50 AT SKINCEUTICALS

Best face SPF for oily skin

SPF level: SPF 50.
Chemical or mineral: Chemical.
Consistency: Lotion.

Why we love it: This formula includes tranexamic acid and niacinamide, the ingredient of the moment, which regulates oil secretion making it very useful for oily and combination skin types. Thanks to these active ingredients, this face SPF doesn’t feature free radicals and works really hard to protect you from potential skin damage while keeping oiliness at bay and preventing and reducing discolouration.

We’ve got LookFantastic discount codes to use before you buy the best face SPFs.

Paula’s Choice Resist Anti-Aging Moisturiser SPF 50

£39 AT PAULA’S CHOICE

Best face SPF for mature skin

SPF level: SPF 50.
Chemical or mineral: Chemical.
Consistency: Cream.

Why we love it: This moisturiser is a great fit for breakout-prone skin and mature skin, thanks to its youth-boosting formula. Thanks to the included sun protection of SPF 50, this product will keep your face nice and shielded from the harmful UVA and UVB rays. Its lightweight formula also packs a punch, thanks to its soothing, plant-based antioxidants. Plus, there’s no need to worry about your skin looking too shiny as this moisturiser has a soft matte finish.

Beauty of Joseon Relief Sun Rice + Probiotics

£30 £21.29 AT AMAZON

Best K-beauty face SPF

SPF level: SPF 50.
Chemical or mineral: Chemical.
Consistency: Lightweight cream.

Why we love it: Filled to the brim with gentle yet effective ingredients like rice extract and probiotics, this K-beauty skincare product is practically a godsend to those of us with sensitive or dehydrated skin. Designed to restore your natural skin barrier to its former glory, it keeps moisture sealed in and can even make your go-to moisturiser even more effective. The best part is that it’s so lightweight, it’s an absolute pleasure when it comes to reapplying.

READ MORE

You can help donate sunscreens this summer with the help of these skincare brands

#SunPoverty is the non-profit initiative you need to know about…

BY GEORGIA RHODES


Which sunscreen won’t leave a white cast?

If you’re trying to steer clear of sunscreens that might give you a white cast, you might want to look into chemical sunscreens. Luckily, unlike old-fashioned formulas, new broad spectrum SPF 50 formulas are an absolute joy to wear for both light and darker skin tones. Unlike their mineral counterparts, they’re known to absorb quicker without leaving a white cast.


How we test the best sunscreens for face:

Most members of the GLAMOUR team have been using a particular brand of face SPF for years, and can vouch for the products’ efficacy. Our favourites have been included in the edit below. Elsewhere, we’ve featured plenty of other formulas which also come in highly recommended. Each sunscreen for face has been tested on a variety of skin tones, textures and types to put every claim through its paces. We’ve evaluated each formulation based on scent, texture, how easily the product is absorbed, how makeup sits on top and whether it leaves a cast.

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Looking for more sun care products? Once you’ve invested in a facial sunscreen lotion, check out our guide to SPF, plus the best sun creams for your body, the best SPF makeup and scalp sunburn treatments. Oh, and don’t forget about makeup primers too.

Can I use a body SPF on my face?

No, you really shouldn’t substitute an SPF that’s been expertly formulated for your face with your go-to body sun cream (however tempting that may be). According to most dermatologists, it’s almost as big of a skincare sin as using body moisturiser instead of a face moisturiser.

First of all, body sun creams generally tend to have a much thicker consistency compared to face sunscreens and face SPFs, so applying them to your face can block your pores and even potentially lead to unwanted breakouts.

“The skin in the face is much thinner and more delicate than the skin in other parts of the body.  Products formulated for the body tend to be stronger and thicker than those that are formulated for the face,” shares Dr Christine hall.

“The face is also an oilier area meaning that the skin on our bodies tend to be drier – hence body products will be heavier in terms of ingredients like oils and butters which would be too much for the face.  So whilst it is OK to use face products on the body, you run the risk of inflamed and greasy skin if by using body products on the face.”

Why do I need to wear sunscreen every single day?

For starters, UVB and UVA rays are known culprits behind sunburns, pigmentation, accelerated wrinkle formation and premature ageing of your skin cells. Not to mention, prolonged, consistent and unprotected exposure to the harmful UV rays doesn’t come without an increased risk of skin cancer.

Plus, some face SPFs have been expertly formulated to counteract other stressors, including pollution and the blue light emitted from screens on electronic devices. And much like other skincare products, the main difference lies with the added ingredients, which can vary depending on your skin’s needs and personal preferences.

So not only do sunscreens for face (or face SPFs) prevent long-term damage, but they also help our skin maintain its ability to produce collagen and elastin, both of which are essential when it comes to keeping you looking plumped and youthful.


What kind of ingredients should I look for in a sunscreen?

When reading the ingredients list, you may often spot components like avobenzone,
octinoxate, octocrylene, oxybenzone and homosalate (popular in chemical sunscreens), as well as hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, squalane, green tea extract, aloe vera (which is also often seen in after sun products). Otherwise, mineral sunscreens also tend to include titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which help create a protective barrier on your skin that will reflect the harmful UV rays all the while avoiding irritating sensitive skin.

With the soothing and repairing ingredients you’d typically expect in your moisturisers and facial serums, today’s face SPFs are generally long-lasting, hypoallergenic and some tinted versions are good enough to wear under – or even in lieu of – foundation. Non-comedogenic (in other words non-clogging), mineral SPFs are not just for the beach, but for every day. And so are SPF lip balms, by the way (not to be skipped).


Is SPF 30 or SPF 50 better for your face?

According to both the EWG and the Skin Cancer Foundation, SPF 30 blocks nearly 97% of UVB radiation while SPF 50 blocks about 98% and SPF 100 blocks about 99%. So technically speaking, SPF 50 is the best facial SPF… but only marginally.


What is the best face SPF?

We’ve tried and tested all the best sunscreens for face in a range of textures and protection levels – from SPF 15 to SPF 40 and above – all coming from some of the best brands in the biz, including La Roche Posay, Ultra Violette, Eucerin, Medik8 and, of course, Garnier (and yes, we’re talking about the iconic Garnier Ambre Solaire Protection Spray).

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As used by Rihanna herself (unsurprisingly – it’s part of her own brand) is the Fenty Skin Hydra Vizor Invisible Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30. Available for £34 from Boots, it’s a lightweight oil-free SPF/moisturiser-hybrid that provides a balancing dose of hydration with broad-spectrum protection. It brightens skin, reduces discolouration and dark spots and comes pink-tinted to ensure it applies invisibly on all skin tones. We’re talking zero chalkiness.

Shiseido’s Expert Sun Protector Face and Body Lotion with SPF50+ is totally dreamy. It has the ability to moisturise pores while shielding the surface of your skin. And it’s great if you’re going to be swimming, sweating or rained on, because thanks to SynchroShield™ technology, the lotion becomes even stronger when met with water, sweat, or heat from the sun, keeping your skin truly safe in every eventuality.

There’s also Dermalogica’s Pure Light SPF50 which provides hydration and a shield of SPF50 while also exfoliating your surface skin cells to diminish dark spots and brighten the skin. Or Soleil Toujours golden 100% Mineral Sunscreen Glow SPF 30 formula, which alongside eco-friendly broad spectrum mineral protection, adds a beautiful dose of glow to all skin tones.

For more shoppable beauty content from Glamour UK Commerce Writer Denise Primbet, follow her on Twitter @deniseprimbet and Instagram @deniseprimbet.

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