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MY SUNSCREEN WARDROBE

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I get quite a lot of questions about what is the 'best' sunscreen and, honestly: it depends on the situation! Today I'm sharing with you my favourite broad-spectrum, high-protection sunscreens for various situations so you can navigate what's on the market...

For when it gets hot and sweaty...

As a summer option or for when you're exercising or if you just enjoy going out on hikes in exposed sunlight: you need something light, that's going to absorb quickly and that's amazing in terms of water resistance so you can sweat like crazy and it won't start running all over the place. My personal pick is the La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra-Light Invisible Fluid SPF 50+ | £18 | (the Evy Sunscreen Mousse SPF 50 | £25 | full review | is also great if you want something that works for the body too). This won't leave a white cast, doesn't feel greasy and is minimal fuss to apply and reapply throughout the day, as you should be really diligent about if you're exposed at the beach or up a hill! It's been tested extensively on its SPF rating but also in terms of how durable it is on the skin.

The one that's basically a makeup primer...

For me, as a dry-skinned person, I want my everyday sunscreen that I'm wearing under makeup, to the office, out to lunch and so on to be hydrating, silky, light and not pill. During the summer I can definitely use the Ultra Violette Supreme Screen Hydrating Facial Sunscreen SPF 50+ | £34 | full review | as my sunscreen and moisturiser in one too (Hello Sunday also have some great, slightly-cheaper options, including ones more suitable for oily skin - I reviewed them here). This has a slight peachy tint to it and feels so moisturising on my skin and gives a beautiful glow under makeup. I also just love how my complexion products apply over the top of it and how my skin looks when I use this sunscreen.

For when you have to re-apply over makeup...

I get asked all the time how to re-apply sunscreen over makeup and my personal favourite method is to use a mist. I'm personally not going to apply enough powder all over my dry skin to get much coverage, I'm not going to faff around getting a damp beauty blender to try to dab a liquid formula on over makeup without disrupting it when I'm out and about having fun, so this is the remaining option. Is it perfect? No, but it's really a top-up for me: I have my base sunscreen on and if I have a proper mist (as opposed to a really wet pump spray) I can use it quite liberally over makeup and it takes a few seconds, so I'll actually do it! Plus, it's SPF 50, which helps if all of the mist doesn't quite get to your skin. These are for days when I'm at a pub garden, walking around a Mediterranean city for the day or something like that! I'm out and about getting some sun exposure but it's kind of incidental, because if I'm on the beach or hiking somewhere, I'm not wearing makeup! I personally love the Ultrasun UV Face & Scalp Mist SPF 50 | £18 | full review | for this because it's so ultra-fine and doesn't change the look of my makeup. Kate Somerville also does something similar (I reviewed it here) which is great, particularly if you want to reduce surface shine throughout the day, I just tend to reach for the Ultrasun because it's a handbag-friendly size. I don't know why Kate Somerville don't bring out a mini!

The multi-tasking bargain you can slather on liberally...

This is the sort of sunscreen that does a little bit of everything and is great for travelling. This is what I'd get if you're on a budget; yeah, the Ultra Violette is beautiful on the skin, but if £34 is a bit pricey for you, you're not going to apply enough and you're not going to get the SPF 50+. For this product, you want something that works nicely over makeup, has a degree of water-resistance and you can reach for it equally if you're out for lunch or going for a run. The Garnier Ambre Solaire Super UV Anti-Dryness Protection Cream SPF 50+ | £6 | full review | is another that can replace your moisturiser and covers off all the bases. The £6 price-point means you'll never be worried about applying it liberally and it will work for whatever kind of day you have planned. This is a little smaller, which is why I usually pack it when I'm away, but if you're going on a longer trip or just want this to be your every single day product, you do get more in the Bondi Sands Fragrance-Free Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+* | £6.99 | full review.

The one for autumn / winter...

I personally think that SPF 30 and hybrid moisturisers are fine on the low UV index days we get here in the UK during the autumn / winter and even for days when you're working from home (if there's not a giant window right in front of you) and maybe you're only going to nip to the corner shop at lunchtime. It's a personal choice, but if you find SPF 30 more comfortable, I'm inclined to say: apply enough in the morning and you're likely to be fine if it's the dead of winter. I'm only speaking for northern Europe, obviously, but we get such limited daylight during the winter months that sunscreen isn't something I'm going to worry myself over; we have to be selective about where we expend our energy and for me, I just have bigger fish to fry than sunscreen on the 20th of December, when I genuinely feel like if I do something like go to the cinema during the day, I've basically lost all of the daylight hours! The one I'll be using this year (despite the name - I would never wear SPF 30 the beach...) is the Everyday Humans Resting Beach Face Sunscreen Serum SPF 30 | £22 | mini-review. It's super-light and feels like nothing on the skin, and I think that's kind of what you need to get people to wear sunscreen even in the dead of winter. If you want a moisturiser-hybrid: I really like the added benefits included in the Medik8 Advanced Day Total Protect SPF 30* | £55.

The mineral one, for when your skin is freaking out...

A lot of chemical filters can be quite irritating when your skin is sensitive or compromised, but it's still important to use sunscreen. Under these circumstances, a mineral formula is your best bet and - because they use zinc oxide - you're getting some anti-inflammatory benefits. My current go-to is the EltaMd UV Elements Broad-Spectrum SPF 44 | $36.50 (this only comes in the one tint so for the full review and more mineral sunscreen recommendations, take a look at my dedicated post here.) This is lightweight, gentle and doesn't leave a white cast on my skin with the tint it has.

What's in your sunscreen wardrobe?


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