Trying to find the best sunscreen for your face in UK shops, is like trying to find that perfect black little dress. To find the one that suits, you sometimes have to try them all.
Which, isn’t a bad thing, Right?
Dare I say it, Little black dresses all look the same…
I’m kidding, we know that isn’t true. The difference is in the details!
This is exactly the same with sun creams.
Sun creams generally might all be white creams, but their ingredients and compounds are very different.
But the difference between spending so much time searching for the best little black dress isn’t going to protect your skin from sun damage.
Let’s spend as much time looking and choosing our sun sunscreen protection as we do the details between all the black dresses.
In previous blog post’s, we explained how Sunscreens work and how best to apply sunscreen to your face.
So, in this post, we want to help you choose the best sunscreen from the ones which are both readily available on the high-street and ones which you can only buy from a professional skin care clinic like ours.
Well, we know the sun’s UV rays damage the skin which leads to ageing of the skin, skin pigmentation, acne scars, blemishes and causes skin cancer. There are countless studies, such as the International Agency for Research on Cancer, that have stated:
“UV radiation from the sun damages the DNA in our skin cells, which can lead to the development of cancer and that Sunburn is a sign of DNA damage caused by too much UV”.
Wearing sunscreen is a major essential step to help reduce the risk of these problems and maintain healthier skin.
The issue we all face is that there are so many different brands on the shelves, so, how to choose the right one?
As a professional skin care clinic headed up by Dr Dhesi, we highly recommend that you choose a sunscreen that you are going to use every day.
The risk of skin damage from the sun even happens on cloudy days, which in the UK is most of the time, and whether your skin is sensitive, oily or acne-prone, with the right guidance and professional advice, there is always a perfect sunscreen product for you.
Let’s look at some of the ones which are available and hopefully this will help you choose the right one.
Well-known brand on the UK high-street. Nivea is great value for money. It contains triazines and triazones which are compounds that help absorb the UV energy to prevent it from penetrating the skin.
The best product from the Nivea range that is good for everyday use is their anti-ageing Face Sun Cream SPF 30. It is an option if you wear makeup throughout the day because it gives physical blockage.
The Nivea anti-aging Face Sun Cream SPF 30 combines the triazines and triazones with antioxidants which are substances that work interactively inside and outside of the body’s cells, protecting cell membranes from damage.
This is a perfect combination because as the skin damage is happening and the UVA rays are penetrating into the skin’s thicker layer, the antioxidants that you will have on your skin help your skin to rebuild the elastin fibres. So, it is a mix of protection combining with repair at the same time.
Whilst we are talking about antioxidants, Heliocare is a name that is worth mentioning. The Advanced XF Gel SPF 50 is a good sunblock. It is not really a gel, it is more like cream, and it is very light. This sunscreen combines the triazines with new patented, high-level antioxidant, which is made of fern plant that is called fern block. It comes in a tinted version, as well – the Colour Gel Cream SPF 50. There are two versatile tints available, so it will be great if it suits you, especially if you have a face that is prone to redness, because this sunscreen helps removes it.
Also, there are Heliocare Sun Protection Pills that are gluten-free, vegetarian-friendly and have no dyes. You can take the pill before going in the Sun. If you are exposed to Sun through the day, you may take the pill two to three times during the day. It contains pomegranate and vitamin C. The Heliocare Sun Protection Pills strengthen the immune response. It is one of the best dietary supplement tablets known to provide protection against photoaging.
Sekkisei – Sun Protect Essence Gel SPF 50+ PA++++ is a sunscreen that is produced in Japan, but available in the UK. It is an essence gel which contains triazines, it has SPF 50, and it is a broad-spectrum. It is light and has quite a matte finish. It is a good choice if you are not a fan of heavy creams since it is light sunscreen.
La Roche Posay
There are several different products from this brand name that is great for acne-prone skin type. These include:
La Roche Posay – Anthelios XL Dry Touch Gel-Cream SPF 50
The Anthelios XL Dry Touch Gel-Cream SPF 50 is a great matte finish if you have oily skin. It also comes in a heavier version – the Anthelios XL Comfort Cream SPF 50 that’s designed for dry, sensitive skin. You can wear this under makeup or reapply over makeup throughout the day.
La Roche Posay – Anthelios SX SPF 15
This sunscreen has different ingredients than the previous one. This one contains an organic component called Mexoryl SX which is used to filter out UVA rays. Since it has a broad-spectrum SPF 15, it is more recommended for daily use and not at the peak of the summer. The Mexoryl SX is a relatively new filter that is approved by the FDA. It is effective against the UVA and UVB rays that contribute to skin ageing. This sunscreen should be your last routine in the morning. It provides the perfect combination of a daily moisturiser with sunscreen.
La Roche Posay – Anhelios 50 Mineral Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid
This sunscreen is 100% mineral, based on 6% of Titanium dioxide and 5% Zinc oxide. The texture is nice, and blends in really lightweight. Also, contains vitamin E.
La Roche-Posay Anthelios dermo-kids SPF 60
It is a gentle sunscreen lotion that contains the well-known Celox formulation. It is mainly used for kids, but adults can also use it. It is recommended if you have sensitive skin. It’s a water-resistant sunscreen, which is also fragrance and paraben free. It offers broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection. This sunscreen contains Avobenzone, which is a synthetic active sunscreen ingredient that protects the entire range of UVA rays.
Intellishade Broad Spectrum SPF 45 is a great sunscreen that has octinoxate, octisalate, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide in it. The Octinoxare is a chemical sunscreen agent that is protecting the skin from UVB exposure by absorbing the sun’s rays. It is kind of a BB cream slash primer, and this is the main reason why many people love it.
The EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 is a great choice for women that have acne prone skin. This sunscreen calms sensitivity and irritation. It comes in both clear and tinted clear types. The EltaMD UV Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 46 is an oil-free, fragrance-free and paraben-free. Also, it contains 5% Niacinamide, which is a water-soluble form of Vitamin B3 that improves circulation in the skin, reducing the appearance of wrinkles. Also, it contains Zinc Oxide 9.0% and Octinoxate 7.5% (mineral+chemical hybrid) which is a chemical UV filter. So, it is a hybrid product, and it’s one that is recommended product by dermatologists. This product is designed for sensitive and acne prone skin type. It doesn’t only protect your skin from harmful sun damage but also revitalises it. This sunscreen spreads easily on your skin; it is lightweight and almost not noticeable. The texture feels comfortable on your skin, and it also works underneath your makeup. This might be your go-to sunscreen when you want to layer something light and easy underneath your makeup.
Vanicream Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30
This sunscreen is highly recommended for clients that have allergies. Many people may have allergies to sunscreens, and Vanicream is excellent in these cases. It has titanium dioxide and zinc oxide in it. It is non-comedogenic, and it is oil-free. The Zinc Oxide is a physical sunscreen agent that protects skin from UVA and UVB exposure by deflecting the sun’s rays. It is one of the nicest sunscreens for people that have allergies, and also provides broad-spectrum protection.
NeoStrata Sheer Physical Protection SPF 50 PA++++
This is a mineral sunscreen. With an SPF of 50, it has excellent broad-spectrum coverage and protection against UVA and UVB rays. This is a clinic product. It also provides antioxidant protection and anti-ageing defence. It is suitable for all skin types. It contains titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, antioxidants like vitamin E, green tea extract to maintain the skin’s collagen. It is light weighted and moisturises the skin. This works extremely well as a primer and is another go-to sunscreen when you want something light and easy underneath your makeup.
Obagi Sun Shield – Broad Spectrum SPF 50
This product comes in both warm and cool tints. Obagi Sun Shield contains titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, homosalate and octinoxate that provide broad-spectrum protection. It is a great clinic product, and it doesn’t leave a tint on your skin, which means no white residue on your skin. With an SPF of 50, it gives a high broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection and protects against infrared rays.
Lei Lani Sun Block SPF 50+ PA+++
If you have dry and sensitive skin, this sunscreen might be the right for you. This sunscreen can be used even on top of your makeup, and that is a huge plus of this sunscreen. The texture is a cream type, and you won’t feel oily or have a white cast after applying it. This sunscreen blocks both UVA and UVB rays, which is another great plus. Also, it is waterproof, so you are free to use it outdoors.
Alumier MD Moisture Matte Sunscreen SPF40
Alumier offers innovative technology with a matte finish for a flawless appearance to your skin whilst providing the highest level of protection. Alumier products can only be purchased from professional skin clinics like ours. It is suitable for normal to oily skin types. This sunscreen provides broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays. It contains zinc oxide and titanium oxide in the formula, and there are no chemical sunscreen ingredients included. Alumier MD products are also parabens and preservative free. The texture of the sunscreen is light and extremely hydrating for the skin. The excess oil is soaked up, and a beautiful matte finish is created. It comes in three shades, for a variety of skin tones. The Colour Blend Technology allows for customizable coverage. By rubbing, you are able to create a soft tint or deep tint. Definitely one for those days where you want to take a rest from makeup!
Skin&Lab Dr Vita Clinic: Fre-C Su Protector
This sunscreen is suggested for dull, dry and combination skin. It is an excellent choice for this type of skin because it has enriched Vitamin C which protects your damaged skin from the Sun, and also it takes care of whitening. For some of you, it might be an issue because it has Vitamin C in it, but you shouldn’t worry about this.
This product is tested and approved by professionals, so it is a very safe product. It is waterproof, so if you are sweating a lot or planning to go to the beach – this might be the right product.
ENCA Acne Control Sun Cream
The Enca Acne Control Sun Cream is suitable for you when you are planning to stay indoors. It is recommended for people with sensitive and acne-prone skin. It is a fact that for many women that have acne, it is tough to find the right Sun cream because a lot of Sun blocks may make you break out.
So, if you are suffering from acne, this is a great product worth trying.
It is SPF 30 and PA+++ and also blocks UVA and UVB rays. The texture of the cream is really lovely and soft, so you won’t feel sticky or shiny when you will put it on. It is moisturising, and you will feel your skin hydrated for a long time.
Elishacoy Water Drop Suncream
Another great product for oily and dehydrated skin is the Elishacoy Water Drop Suncream.
For those who are looking for a product that doesn’t leave a white cast, this is plus reason why they should give it a try. It moistures the skin, and it is mild and doesn’t stimulate your skin at all. When you apply it to your skin, you will immediately notice the formation of water drops and the cooling effect and the freshness. Also, it’s waterproof, so it lasts longer compared to the sunscreens that are not waterproof. It has SPF 30, and it’s PA+++. It is recommended for daily use.
Piz Buin Allergy Sensitive Lotion SPF30
The Piz Buin Allergy Sensitive Lotion has a unique formula designed for sun-sensitive types of skin. It offers high UVA and UVB protection. It’s light and easy absorbable on the skin. It will give long-lasting hydration and moisturisation to the skin. Another positive thing about this sunscreen it that it is water and sweat resistant.
As you can appreciate the list of available sunscreens seems almost endless, but the list above covers products that we think are excellent ‘all-rounders’ or target specific areas of skin concerns or preferences. For times when you are expecting lots of sun exposure, for example, a holiday then why not use the high street for a more budget-friendly product. But for when you want reliable and bespoke protection for those all-important areas (face, neck and back) for all year round, then why not try a more clinical product like from Alumier MD, NeoStrata or Obagi?
The most important thing to remember is that 80% of skin ageing is caused by exposure to sunlight and that a little bit of sun exposure is ok, but a lot of sun exposure will lead to accelerated skin damage and ageing. So when it comes to sun protection with sunscreen, follow the Australians, with their pioneering sun protection campaign, and Slip-on long-sleeved clothing, Slop – on that all-important sunscreen and Slap – on a hat!
To seek sun damage treatment or if you have any questions about the sunscreen products we stock and sell from Alumier MD, NeoStrata or Obagi feel free to contact me or book for a skincare consultation.