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Today we're talking serum sunscreens! To clear up any confusion, sunscreen serums should be applied as the final step in your skincare routine, like any other SPF product. The name instead refers to the texture and feel of the product on the skin. These are some of the most elegant formulas I've tried and they're great for everyday and under makeup. Let's dive into my favourite products in this category...

Let's start with the start of this love affair: the Hello Sunday the One That's a Serum SPF 50 PA++++ | £23 | demo. Honestly, this would be a perfect product, save for two things: I wish the bottle was bigger for the creeping-up price, and they need to get a better dropper component because this is a little fussy when it comes to picking up a full application of product! That aside, I can forgive it because the formula is just that great. Personally, I save this for days when I need a high level of broad-spectrum (and visible light) protection but I'm wearing makeup; like for a day at a beer garden. It's just such a wonderful skin prep product for makeup, and then you add in that it contains SPF 50 and it ticks all the boxes! It's a light lotion sunscreen formulated with elegant, primarily next-generation filters that don't irritate my eyes. It melts in, it doesn't pill up and it has a hydrating, glow-y finish that's not greasy or shiny. Ok, if you're oily, you might not get on with this but it leaves my dry skin soft, silky, smooth and ready for a fresh base. If you're looking for a daily sunscreen to wear under makeup: this is just great!

I also really like the Alpha-H Dawn to Dusk SPF 50+ Serum* | £36.99 | demo. If you can't be bothered with a faffy dropper: try this instead. This formula combines some of the more old-school filters with some of the newer, more elegant options on the market, so it might not suit those who are sensitive to traditional sunscreens (personally, whilst this doesn't typically irritate my eyes, I did work up a bit of a sweat with this on the other day and it did aggravate them a little). This is again a lighter lotion that doesn't pill up with my other skincare or makeup and sits perfect underneath my complexion routine. It actually sets down a little more than some of the other products in this post, so it's hydrating but it doesn't have as much of an obvious 'glow' to it. For this reason, if you're intrigued by these sorts of sunscreens but you want to keep the shine at bay: I recommend this formula.

Next, we have the glowiest of them all: the Ultra Violette Queen Screen Luminising SPF 50+ Serum Sunscreen* | £38 | demo. This is a super-light sunscreen with one of the more water-light textures in this post. It has a microsheen running through it so the particles can catch the light and impart even more glow. Whilst I would wear most of the products in this post on their own, I do find this look a bit much without makeup! And at £38 a pop, I don't really want to waste this on days that aren't about it enhancing my makeup look. This is an Australian-made sunscreen, which is really the gold standard territory when it comes to testing. The formula contains broad spectrum SPF 50+ and is infused with antioxidants to help protect the skin from free radical damage. This is an elegant, modern formula that doesn't irritate my skin or eyes, though it does have a rose fragrance so if you're sensitive to that; it's probably not for you. If you're currently buying a sunscreen and a luminous primer; do yourself a favour and consider combining the two next time with a product like this. Makeup applies perfectly over it and with the sheen it gives, you just get a lovely backlit glow.

I now actually have a mineral option in this category: Hello Sunday's the Mineral One Lightweight Serum SPF 50 | £25 | demo. This honestly feel so much like the original One That's a Serum, but it's formulated with all-mineral filters. I was really pleasantly surprised that I could do a proper application of this without getting any sort of cast (though I can obviously only speak for my own skin tone). Although mineral sunscreens are great for those with sensitive skin, they do have a bit of a reputation for being white and chalky, but not this one! It's lotion-like, elegant and doesn't pill. Much like its chemical sunscreen sibling, it works really nicely under makeup and I think it has to be my favourite mineral sunscreens. It's one of the few mineral sunscreens I reach for and don't really think about it being mineral, because it works just as well as any other, which I think is the true test! It has a hydrating finish that's nothing too shiny, so I think a lot of people are going to enjoy this one...

Last - but not least - we have the Garnier Ambre Solaire Super UV Invisible Serum SPF 50+ | £14 | demo. This is a budget-friendly all-rounder! This is a little different, as it's less of an emulsion than the other products in this post, and it's more of a traditional milk-lotion that comes out through a pump. By the same token, it's the least 'shiny' of the bunch, if that's a concern for you. The fact it has more of a 'set down' makes it better in certain circumstances than other products in this post too; I can wear this under makeup without it pilling, but it also doesn't run as much as some of the others in this post so I can wear it on its own even when I'm exercising without it getting in my eyes (though it's not marketed as water-resistant). It contains a mixture of more established and more advanced sunscreen filters and provides broad-spectrum protection, plus the added benefits of ceramides and antioxidants. If you want an ultra-light sunscreen to do it all at under £15: this is perfect.

Have you tried any of these sunscreens? Are there any other serum-textured SPFs you recommend I try?

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Read more posts from this series here!


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