The Best SPF’s for Everyday, Beach & Under Makeup

It feels kind of funny writing a SPF post when the calendar has just clicked over Autumn in Australia. But that’s just non-sensical as I wear SPF pretty much everyday of my life. Very rarely will I rely on the token SPF 15 that is included in some moisturisers, foundations or primers. I say rarely, as if it’s the dead of winter or I’m not leaving the house at all then I might, but otherwise I will always apply one before heading out for the day. I have a few on the go for different reasons so I thought I’d share the SPF’s that work best for me.

Facial SPF's - My Top Picks

Facial SPF’s – My Top Picks

Shiseido Extra Smooth Sun Protection Cream For Face 30+ I think this is maybe my second or third tube of this sunscreen. I like this as an everyday/outdoor activites SPF. It is broad spectrum 30+ and water resistant for 40 mins, so it will perform if you need a quick dip! When applied it dissolves into the skin nicely and I can wear this under makeup and it rarely interferes with my foundation. There are a couple I prefer under makeup (below) but this will do job just fine also. It does smell of SPF, but not obnoxiously so and I don’t find there to be a white cast, it really sinks into the skin well and gives you quite a smoothed (hence the name) look to the face. I also like that I can easily get a hold of this one in department stores. Best for normal to dry skin types.

Active ingredients are Zinc Oxide Octyl Methoxycinnamate & Titanium Dioxide.

Tatcha Silken Pore Pefecting Sunscreen SPF 35 between this and the Radical below are my go-to’s for underneath makeup. This sunscreen essentially acts as a primer and it is the least ‘sunscreen’ feeling of the lot. Scented beautifully, the texture is a thickish cream and it sinks into my skin easily like a moisturiser and really does it’s job of creating a smoothed and pore perfected surface. Broad spectrum and protects against both UVA and UVB. Makeup over top is no issue at all and I don’t find it greasy in the least. Not cheap, but if you are after a daily SPF to wear under makeup this is a top choice. You can also get in a travel size to try here. I’d say this would be fine for any skin type, but if you are quite oily you may find you prefer to skip a moisturiser underneath.

Active Ingredients are Zinc Oxide 15%, Octisalate 5%

Clarins Sunscreen Control Cream For Face 50+ My choice for beach or summer days spent outdoors. This is the most ‘traditional’ sunscreen of the bunch, and though the scent is fresh and not SPF-like, it does give that SPF kind of ‘glow’ (you know what I mean) to my face after application but not really a white-cast. It isn’t greasy so I would recommend to any skin-type. I rarely use this under makeup, so I can’t really say how it performs as the most makeup I would use with it would be a little tinted moisturiser. Again it gives protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Again, I’d recommend for any skin type, but as the packaging states that it moisturises you may wish to skip a moisturiser underneath.

Active Ingredients are Homosalate 10%, Oxybenzone 6%,Octylsalicylate 5%, Butyl Methoxydibenzoymethan (Avobenzone) 3%, Octocrylene 2.7%

Radical Skin Perfecting Screen SPF 30 Protecting against UVA and UVB in a non-chemical broad spectrum formula this one is another winner for everyday use under makeup. Far more fluid than the rest of the SPF’s above you really need to shake the tube well before applying. It is designed to be applied after your moisturiser and like the Tatcha above it will act like a makeup primer blurring lines and pores. It’s a very close call between the Tatcha & Radical as I love them both, but if I were to differentiate between the two, I’d say that if your skin leans more dry/normal go with the Tatcha as it feels a little more moistursing and if you are normal-oily try the Radical.

Active Ingredients are Zinc Oxide 7.75%, Titanium Dioxide 5.87%

Mecca Cosmetica To Save Face SPF 30 Facial Sunscreen A chemical sunscreen alternative for under makeup. I usually prefer a physical sunscreen day to day but I had heard great things about the Mecca SPF (also available in a SPF50 version) it also protects against both UVA/UVB. Another very un-SPF like formula (are you noticing a trend here? Gone are the days of the thick white-cast inducing formulas) it is not drying at all on the skin and again plays well with foundation. For all skin types.

Active Ingredients are Octocrylene 5%, Phenylbenzimidazole Sulfonic Acid 2%, Oxybenzone 1.5%, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane 1%

Shiseido Urban Environment Oil-Free UV Protector SPF 42 I picked this up originally in the USA and have repurchased a few times when my skin was more on the combination side of things and it was my go-to everyday SPF for a long time. I don’t reach for it so often now as my skin is really quite on the normal/dry side, but when my skin was oilier and it was summer this SPF was awesome at providing me with a more matte skin base to work with. It is a very fluid consistency and requires a good shake up before dispensing. Best for oily/combo skin.

Active Ingredients are Zinc Oxide 12.5%, Octinoxate 4.9%, Octocrylene 3.0%

I have to give an honourable mention to the Alpha H Protection Plus Daily SPF 50 – I don’t have this at the moment, but it is another fabulous high protection SPF that also works as your moisturiser (more for oilier skins, I used to still apply moisturiser under it though). It is a creamier consistency and worked well both under makeup or without. My skin was not left greasy or white-casted.

Talking about wearing daily SPF to some friends lately (some do, some don’t – hopefully I have convinced some to use daily!) and a couple have commented that they do not use SPF as it causes them breakouts. Perhaps the formula they are using does not agree with their skin, or they are not taking the time to thouroughly remove at the end of the day (IMPORTANT – if you are not wearing makeup, but wearing SPF – please do take the time to double cleanse your skin!) but I feel it’s well worth trying a few out and if one type is giving you grief, try another with different active ingredients. SPF is so important to your skin as well as your health as we age, especially when living in such a sun-drenched country like Australia. There are so many SPF’s around at all budgets so there really is no excuse! Protect your skin! I certainly don’t want skin cancers as I age, but equally I also don’t want age-spots, pigmentation and more wrinkles than need be, so if I can’t convince you on not wanting skin cancer – I’ll appeal to your vanity!

Before I forget – little tip – whenever I am applying my sunscreen I always apply a little to the back of my hands. They’re one of the first body parts to show sun damage and besides…. do we really want to prematurely age our hands?

What are your favourite SPF’s? Do you even use SPF on a daily basis?

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