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Today we're talking everyday sunscreens under £20! These are the formulas that offer lightweight protection and will work underneath any makeup you want to wear. Let's get into it...
First up is the Garnier Ambre Solaire Super UV Invisible Face Serum SPF 50+ | £14 | demo. This is a lightweight, serum-sunscreen with a fluid, lotion-like texture, plus the compact packaging makes it hand luggage friendly. This formula melts into the skin, doesn't leave a cast and has a moisturising finish with added ingredients like ceramides to help boost the skin barrier. I recommend this for normal to dry skin types. It's fragrance free and utilises modern chemical filters to create something cosmetically elegant that's also less likely to irritate the skin. It doesn't pill with my other skincare or my makeup and it works really nicely for my skin, offering a summer-friendly SPF 50+ broad spectrum level of protection.
I also really rate Hello Sunday's the One That's a Serum SPF 45* | £20 | demo | which not only works under makeup but actually enhances the look like a primer, so you're killing two birds with one stone! This still contains a very good level of coverage, being a broad-spectrum SPF 45 with visible light protection and it comes in a serum dropper. Don't be tempted to mix this into anything; that can compromise the SPF level, but also: you really don't need to! There's no white cast, it has a light texture that absorbs readily and gives the skin a shine-free glow. Again, we have the filters in this product, so you're getting a next-generation sunscreen at a purse-friendly price.
Next is a newer addition to my lineup, the Bioré UV Aqua Water Essence Sunscreen SPF 30* | £14.99 | demo. This works as a moisturiser-sunscreen hybrid and it has a watery base, meaning it melts down from a lotion very effortlessly for a hydrating finish. This is only SPF 30 (though there's an SPF 50 version available) however it's broad spectrum and will work for days when you're only getting incidental sun here in the UK, such as on a more overcast day at the office, and can act as your every-single-day sunscreen during non-summer months. It's nothing too shiny and I do think this is a formula even those with oily skin can enjoy if they skip the moisturiser. It's formulated with hyaluronic acid to draw moisture into the skin and it dries down completely sheer with minimal effort (so you're not sat there rubbing it in for ages). It works well under makeup, though this one does contain some fragrance, so try one of the other formulas in this post if that's not your thing.
An established favourite of mine that I recently repurchased is the Thank You Farmer Sun Project Water Cream SPF 50+ PA+++ | £20 | demo. This actually has quite a similar texture to the Aqua Rich formula but definitely has more of a dewy finish, so if you're dry skinned and you're looking for something to give luminosity under makeup. This contains a high level of broad spectrum protection, it sits perfectly under my makeup and doesn't irritate my eyes or skin. It's a Korean formula which melts in effortlessly and elegantly without leaving any sort of cast and it contains some really nice added ingredients like soothing cica and aloe, hyaluronic acid to boost moisture levels in the skin and it doesn't contain some of the ingredients that are used to speed up a sunscreen's 'dry down' (they can be a little drying for some people).
An oldie with a new twist that still remains one of my top picks is the La Roche-Posay Anthelios UVMUNE 400 Invisible Fluid SPF 50+* | £19.90 | demo. This is like a fluid sunscreen milk but it contains a very high level of broad spectrum protection (with added long-wave UVA protection added in last year to update the formula). It melts right in, it has no cast, it's not at all shiny and it's suitable for almost all skin types. It's also sweat and sand resistant, making it perfect for exercising and beach days. The light texture also makes it an easy option for under makeup or on days when you're only getting incidental sun.
I really don't think the Glow Hub Sun Silk Face Cream SPF 30* | £12 | demo | gets enough hype! Granted, it's an SPF 30 so during the summer this is more for a day when I'm heading out to the office, but it's still a wonderfully-easy product to incorporate into your routine. If you're oily: you can use this as a one-step moisturiser and sunscreen, if you're normal you can probably get away with this application method for the summer and if you're dry, you might prefer to use a light moisturiser underneath. This has a light lotion texture that still feels moisturising but disappears into my skin with very little work. It's nice under makeup and doesn't pill up and it just feels like a nice, cosmetically moisturiser, making it something you can reach for with no added fuss.
A holiday go-to for me because it works as well for a beach day as it does for a makeup night is the Bondi Sands Fragrance Free Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+ | £7.99 | demo. This is a creamy-lotion with a moisturising texture, which I recommend for dry skin types (oily skin might be a little overwhelmed, particularly when reapplying it throughout the day). It contains an Aussie-approved broad spectrum SPF 50+ and this one is water-resistant for up to 4 hours of sweating, exercising and so on. I often find that water resistant sunscreens don't work under makeup and pill up, making a total mess. However, not this one! It works as well for an afternoon wandering around a city wearing makeup as it does for a hike. It doesn't leave a cast, it doesn't irritate my eyes and it's a very simple formula that should work for most people.
Have you tried any of these formulas? Are there any you'd add to my list?