The 5 best sunscreens to keep in your bag this summer

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We all know the song “Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of ’99. Wear Sunscreen”. We all have excuses for not putting it on. But sunburn is no fun and the damage from even one burn is lasting. To help you stay safe this summer, Stacey has rounded up 5 facial sunscreens to take you from sweat session to sun session and beyond…

Shiseido Sports BB Compact SPF 50+:

This compact contains sunscreen (titanium dioxide and chemical) in a form that is quite possibly better than my usual BB cream. It goes on smoothly and actually makes me look polished and glowy when I put it on. Shiseido scientists developed a special “quick dry” technology that somehow takes the sweat off my face while covering my pores and doing that special thing where my skin looks dewy and fresh – not sweaty. It’s also water resistant, and an all-day formula. Bonus? It’s in a compact which means it won’t drip into my bag, so I’m more likely to take it with me at the start of the day. That’s better than realising I need it when I’m already out!

REN Clean Screen Mineral SPF 30:

This clean formula relies on zinc oxide with no chemicals at all – a bonus if you have highly sensitive skin.  Zinc forms a physical block on the skin, reflecting light – but it’s often also the culprit of the Casper look, which made me a bit nervous. Fortunately, the REN team went one step ahead when they created this sunscreen. They’ve blended non-nano Zinc (which has some skin smoothing properties on its own) with Passionfruit extract as an antioxidant and “glow-getter”. It also has rice starch which absorbs oil, controls shine and minimises pore appearance. Result? my skin felt unbelievably soft. It goes on smoothly and with some massaging, completely disappears into my skin, leaving a soft, matte texture behind. I wore this out for a session in the heat and then out to drinks. Even better? I had several compliments and questions as to whether or not I’d had a facial!

Kiehls Ultra Light Daily UV Defense SPF 50+++:

Kiehls is a long-time favourite go-to for people who want derm-approved skincare solutions, and I was excited to try the ultralight version of the Kiehl’s sunscreen, which relies on chemical sunscreens and titanium dioxide as ray blockers. This beauty is oil-free, and absorbs lightning-fast with no telltale white glow. It also stays on beautifully all day long and could make an excellent makeup base as it has some mattifying and pore-reduction properties built into the product. It’s also got a subtle moisturiser that plumps without looking greasy. It’s designed to make your skin texture improve the more you wear it. Also? Anti-pollution features make it ideal for outdoor sweat sessions in London, where the air quality can be challenging at times. 


Garnier Ambre Solaire Sensitive Advanced SPF 50:

This is the least expensive of the brands I tested and I was pleasantly surprised at its performance. Its titanium dioxide andchemical base also has Vitamin E, something called “illuminating pearls” and hyaluronic acid, which works to moisturise the skin while protecting it. This one took just a little longer for to settle into my skin than the others I tried. But it felt and looked good through an morning of outdoor activities. Even better? It came off really easily when it came time to wash my face at night.

La Roche Posay Anthelios Anti-Shine Tinted Sunscreen 50+:

La Roche Posay is one of the premier skincare lines for summer, noted for their work on creating advanced sunscreens that incorporate soothing La Roche Posay spring water. This chemical/physical block sunscreen has a nice touch, and is designed to mattify skin, but unfortunately it does become chalkier after a sweat session than I’d like. Using this, sweat seems to gather and pool quickly on top of my skin rather than sinking in. In addition, the tint is a bit hit-or-miss when it comes to matching skin tone. The light tint I had looked a bit “ghostie” by the time the day was over. That said, it has a pleasant feel on my skin and stayed on all afternoon. 

By Stacey

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