• Anastasia Pentias

TBN: Sun Protection Edition Part 2- Best Sunscreens/SPF Products

Hopefully you had the chance to read the previous article on all the latest sun facts, but in case you missed it, you can find it here.

This post rounds things up by suggesting specific SPF products to cover different preferences. Please keep in mind that these are all products I have personally tested thoroughly. I am acne prone and have never broken out with these. I exercise outdoors and have tested them in prolonged, direct sunlight while on a heavy retinol regime. Not the slightest rosy colour with these; they are reliable, hard workers that will see you through any circumstance, from everyday life to the holidays. While there are many superb high-end sunscreens out there from brands that I love, like Neostrata, SPFs are to be applied in large quantities to actually work. I am not willing to spend too much money on a product that I will go through in a week of heavy use. There are excellent budget options out there, a million more than the ones I propose here. Please do not feel pressured to buy something expensive: pharmacy brands excel in this category for good reason.

Sunscreens fall into two general categories: Physical sunscreens sit on top of the skin and reflect UV rays, while chemical ones absorb UV rays and turn them into heat which is then released back out through the skin. I am not insistent on 'natural', 'organic' or 'clean' skincare. Trying to understand the differences between the two during my research, I read very robust arguments in defence of both sides. Since both are deemed safe even by Cancer Societies, my bottom line is the following: search for one you like on your skin. That means you'll like it enough to apply it every day, as you should, and stay protected. If you insist on the 'natural' route, you might end up with a chalky, pasty product that you will not like nor use daily. The ones below are all either chemical or a mix of physical and chemical, which means they are lighter on the skin and not as white or thick.

1. Dr. Sam's Flawless Daily Sunscreen

My favourite sunscreen ever, this is a new product that resembles skincare more than an SPF. It even contains 5% Niacinamide to keep your skin clear and tight. For full details on how to use, read my full review here

2) Avène B-PROTECT SPF 50+

This is another new product I love. When you apply it it's white but when when you work it in your skin, it disappears and colour-corrects your complexion in the process. That means you can wear it on its own if you don't like the full-on foundation look every day. I wear it under foundation and it's great as a primer.

3) Avène Tinted Fluid SPF 50+

This is has a slight flesh tint and I like it just a tiny bit more than the B+ above. However, I suspect it might not look as lovely on every skin tone. You should test it out first to see the colour match. I easily wear this on its own, it gives me the coverage I need for summer skin. Excellent suff indeed.

4) La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL

This is my holy grail for the beach. It's SO light but SO effective, you can swim with this at mid-day with no problems whatsoever. It's newly reformulated to not sting your eyes if you're in the water. I don't love it for the city, as it leans a little oily, but for dry skin it might be worth considering. It also comes in a tinted version that I have not tried because I don't care about colour or coverage on the beach.

5) Vichy Idéal Soleil SPF 50

This spray is the one thing you should carry in your purse, apart from your home keys. When you move in direct sunlight, you should reapply your SPF every two hours, but when you're wearing makeup, you probably don't opt for safety against style (I certainly know I don't). If several hours have passed since I applied my morning SPF, I give my face a thorough spray and I am completely covered. My makeup stays intact and I am protected from the sun. I should note that this has a glowy finish on the skin.

6) La Roche-Posay Anthelios Invisible Face Mist SPF 50

This is my favourite mist to refresh SPF over heavy makeup because it mattifies the skin, while the Vichy one gives you a glow. I have lost count of how many tiimes I have bought this, it's genius.

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