While it’s arguably the single-most-important step in a skincare routine (all year round but especially throughout summer), not all facial sunscreens are created equally. From chalky residues to greasy textures, the wrong facial sunscreen can wreak havoc on your skin. Basically the opposite of what you’re trying to do with your diligently applied SPF.
Thanks to updated textures and ingredients lists with a more skin-friendly focus, facial sunscreens can now protect from harmful UV rays while providing skin with a host of benefits. Whether that’s an antioxidant-packed boost to protect your skin against free radical damage or dedicated hydrating ingredients to combat the summer elements.
To help you find the best sunscreen for your face, we’ve compiled a list of hard-working moisturisers, tints and creams that will go the distance.
Bondi Sands SPF 50+ Face Sunscreen Lotion
Australian made, reef-friendly and boasting a dose of Vitamin E: one sunscreen we’re highly recommending is from Bondi Sands. While they’re known for their cult tanning products, the Aussie brand has you covered for SPF too. We’re particularly into their fragrance-free face sunscreen which boasts an SPF 50+. Bondi Sands actually recently switched over to making sun care that is only SPF 50+, so if you’re looking for a high SPF, be sure to check out the rest of the range.
SPF 50+ Face Sunscreen, $14.95 at Bondi Sands.
Grown Alchemist Natural Hydrating Sunscreen
This next-gen SPF from Grown Alchemist uses an ultra-sheer form of zinc oxide to deliver you broad-spectrum high-level protection from damaging UVA and UVB and infrared A (IR) rays. This sunscreen will be ideal for drier skin types especially, thanks to the omega-rich rosehip seed oil in the formula.
Natural Hydrating Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF-30, $59.00 from Grown Alchemist.
We Are Feel Good Inc Signature Sunscreen SPF 50+
We’ve sung the praises of Australian suncare makers We Are Feel Good Inc before, but important things bear repeating! These SPFs are good for you and the planet and they’ve been carefully formulated to be reef-friendly as well as paraben, oxybenzone, octinoxate and PABA free. As well as what’s inside (vitamin e and aloe vera) the folks at We Are Feel Good Inc also encourage mindfulness about their packaging. Make sure you’re recycling the bottles and lids through their dedicated recycling program—which might just win you a year’s supply of their excellent sunscreen.
We Are Feel Good Inc Signature Sunscreen SPF 50+, $27.95 from We Are Feed Good Inc.
Ethical Zinc Daily Wear Light Sunscreen SPF 50+
Hopefully we’re not the ones breaking this to you, but the SPF in your foundation or setting powder is very unlikely to actually be protecting your face from the sun! (Think about it, is anyone using the full amount you’d need to actually get the SPF rating on the bottle? With a base product like foundation, it’s unlikely.) Thankfully, Ethical Zinc’s lightweight mineral facial sunscreen was designed with makeup-wearers in mind. As well as a non-greasy finish, the formula is also acne-friendly, vegan-friendly and made with 100% solar power right here in Australia.
Ethical Zinc SPF50+ Daily Wear Light Sunscreen, $19.99 from Ethical Zinc.
Dr. Barbara Sturm Sun Drops SPF 50
This German-made elixir is the sun-veil of our dreams. Sturm is the mastermind behind the vampire facial, so it’s no surprise that celebrities like Victoria Beckham covet this product. The light-textured sunscreen serum features an active complex of cassia extract, vitamin E and beta-glucan that creates a “liquid sun umbrella” for your skin and leaves it feeling soft and hydrated–a must-have addition to your handbag.
Dr. Barbara Sturm Sun Drops SPF 50, $142.99 at Net-a-Porter
Ren Clean Skincare Clean Screen Mineral Mattifying SPF 30
Say hello to unclogged pores and silky smooth skin with this vegan, cruelty- and silicone-free facial sunscreen. The easily-absorbed formula is derived from natural ingredients that won’t clog your pores or irritate your skin and is lightweight enough to layer under foundation for the perfect primer.
Ren Clean Skincare Clean Screen Mineral Mattifying SPF 30 Face Sunscreen, $66.35 at Net-a-Porter
Josh Rosebrook Nutrient Day Cream SPF 30
The celebrity hair and skin genius has worked his magic yet again to create a barely-there tinted moisturiser and broad spectrum facial sunscreen that will become your go-to solution. Brightening minerals and herbal synergies transform and repair the skin and conceal blemishes in a light-as-air formula. It’s a yes from us!
Josh Rosebrook Nutrient Day Cream SPF 30 Tinted, $165 at Organic Beauty Co.
Skin Juice Sun Juice Tinted Moisturising SPF 15 CC Cream
Superfoods for your skin? Say no more. This CC cream provides lightweight coverage and works to rejuvenate and boost that skin’s natural protection against the sun. We love the subtle sun-kissed look that this tint provides.
Skin Juice Sun Juice Tinted Moisturising SPF 15 CC Cream, $49 from Onda Beauty
de Mamiel Exhale Daily Hydrating Nectar SPF 30
This illuminating serum offers a radiant sheen that nourishes, shields and boosts your complexion. The botanical complex is packed with antioxidants and hand-blended in the UK for a precision like no other.
de Mamiel Exhale Daily Hydrating Nectar SPF 30, $175 at Onda Beauty
Ella Baché Great SPF50+ FaceSaver Lotion
Shea butter, vitamin E, green tea and antioxidant grape seed extracts combine in this lightweight facial sunscreen that works to deeply nourish your skin and provide a protective barrier against harmful rays. The pastel packaging makes this cream a fun and ‘grammable addition to your beach tote.
Ella Baché Great SPF50+ FaceSaver Lotion, $49 at Ella Baché
Lead image via Instagram @shanigrimmond.