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  • 10 Best Facial Sunscreens UK 2023 1
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  • 10 Best Facial Sunscreens UK 2023 4
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10 Best Facial Sunscreens UK 2023

UV damage is the number one cause of premature ageing, fine lines and wrinkles. No matter your skin colour or type, whether your skin tans or burns easily, a good SPF 30 or 50 facial sunscreen is still your best friend, and should be as much a part of your beauty regime as your favourite cleanser.


When picking a sunscreen, you'll need to consider your skin type along with various other details such as formula. We've made the whole process easier by putting together a foolproof guide and a ranking of our top 10 favourites, including mineral and zinc oxide-based options from Clinique, oil-free picks for oily skin from Neutrogena, as well as non-comedogenic options for acne prone skin from Amazon and Boots.

Last updated 06/02/2023
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Table of Contents

How to Choose a Facial Sunscreen in the UK

Key Points to Consider
  1. Go for a Sunscreen That Protects Against Both UVA and UVB Rays
  2. Use SPF 25+ Sunscreen for Daily Wear and SPF 50+ for Sunnier Days
  3. Oily, Acne Prone Skin Should Opt for Oil Free and Non-comedogenic
  4. Search for Mineral Sunscreen for a Chemical-free Alternative
  5. Look for Mattifying Facial Sunscreens to Avoid Greasiness
1

Always Opt For a Facial Sunscreen That Protects Against Both UVA and UVB Rays

Always Opt For a Facial Sunscreen That Protects Against Both UVA and UVB Rays

UV radiation is part of the natural energy produced by the sun. To safeguard against the risk of skin cancers, choose a facial sunscreen which blocks both UVA rays (radiation linked to skin ageing), and UVB rays (burns the skin as they penetrate the epidermis). Sunscreens that cover both will be labelled as broad spectrum. If yours does not offer this protection, throw it away and find one that does!

2

Choose a Factor 25+ Sunscreen for Daily Use, or Factor 50+ to Protect Skin on Sunny Days and on Holidays

Choose a Factor 25+ Sunscreen for Daily Use, or Factor 50+ to Protect Skin on Sunny Days and on Holidays

The NHS recommends using a sunscreen with a factor of 30 or above, as research has shown that those with lower ratings (such as factor 15) are not as effective when applied in the thin layer we tend to favour. If you insist on using such a low SPF, be sure to apply two layers to begin with, and continue to reapply several times throughout the day. 


When it comes to very pale skin that tends to burn, using a sun block of factor 50+ is a no-brainer, but if you have black or brown skin this does not mean you're free to skip the protection. Skin cancer and ageing do not discriminate, and the sun can do just as much damage to people of colour, so a high SPF is equally as important. 

3

Facial Sunscreen Lotions Are Great for Moisturising Dry Skin, but Pick an Oil-Free, Non-comedogenic Sunscreen if You Have Oily or Acne Prone Skin

Facial Sunscreen Lotions Are Great for Moisturising Dry Skin, but Pick an Oil-Free, Non-comedogenic Sunscreen if You Have Oily or Acne Prone Skin
  • Creams: If your skin tends to be dry, a regular facial sun cream should work perfectly well. Creams have a thick consistency and are naturally nourishing, usually containing oils and butters which replenish moisture in thirsty skin while protecting it from harmful UV rays.


  • Lotions and fluids: These are lighter and more easily absorbed, so they work well on oilier skin, and also those with darker skin who'd prefer a sunscreen that dries invisibly with no white streaks. Look out for one that's oil-free or non-comedogenic if you specifically want to avoid the pore-blocking, greasy film some products can leave.


  • Gel: A gel is a good call if you want something lightweight that vanishes into the skin but still packs a hydrating punch. Gel-creams are best for combination skins that crave moisture but need a fast-absorbing sunscreen to avoid oily patches. 
4

Look For a Mineral Sunscreen With Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide if You Would Prefer to Use a Chemical-Free Alternative

Look For a Mineral Sunscreen With Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide if You Would Prefer to Use a Chemical-Free Alternative

Another buzzword you may notice when shopping for sunscreen is 'mineral'. In straightforward terms, this refers to a sun block which uses minerals rather than chemicals to protect your skin, namely zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. 


Because they work by adding a protective layer on top of your skin rather than absorbing into it (and potentially entering the bloodstream), many people feel safer using them, as well as the fact that the chemicals used in other sunscreens can pose a threat to our environment.


Mineral sunscreens - also known as 'physical' sunscreens because they literally form a barrier between the sun's damaging rays and your delicate facial skin - are available from many top beauty brands, often at competitive prices.


Discover more mineral sunscreens here!

5

To Avoid an Oily Sheen, Seek Out Facial Sunscreens With a Matte Finish

To Avoid an Oily Sheen, Seek Out Facial Sunscreens With a Matte Finish

A top tip for really anyone using a facial sunscreen is to choose a matte option. The process of applying yet another layer of product to your face can sometimes add unwanted shine, which products formulated this way can help you avoid. 


Sun protection is essential, even in winter, and if you're put off by the sheen some sunscreens create on your face, you're much less likely to use one. And that simply won't do! Seek out a matte variety, so you can slather the stuff over your T-zone, cheeks and neck and barely notice its presence, rather revelling in the fact you're covered with invisible protection!


Looking to catch a tan during the colder months? Explore our favourite gradual tanning lotions and best winter sunscreens.

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10 Best Facial Sunscreens in the UK

This ranking has been compiled by the writing team at mybest UK via careful evaluation of the points made in the buying guide and thorough research of each product and comparing multiple verified customer reviews across the EC sites used.
Popularity
Products
Image
Click to purchase
Key features
1

La Roche Posay

Anthelios Anti-Shine Sun Cream GelSPF 50+

La Roche Posay Anthelios Anti-Shine Sun Cream Gel 1枚目

Quick Absorbing, Fragrance-Free Gel With 50+ UVA and UVB Protection

2

Clarins

Plant-Based Facial Sunscreen With a Matte Finish SPF 50+

Clarins Plant-Based Facial Sunscreen With a Matte Finish  1枚目

Get a Matte Finish With Plant-Based Ingredients

3

Aesop

Protective Facial LotionSPF 25

Aesop Protective Facial Lotion 1枚目

Lightweight Antioxidant Daily Facial Sunscreen With a Matte Feel

4

Ultrasun

Anti-Ageing Sun ProtectionSPF 30

Ultrasun Anti-Ageing Sun Protection 1枚目

Hypoallergenic Mineral Sunscreen Gel That Moisturises and Protects

5

Vichy

Capital Soleil Dry TouchSPF 50

Vichy Capital Soleil Dry Touch 1枚目

A Mattifying Formula for Oily Skin

6

Murad

City Skin Age Defence Broad SpectrumSPF 50

Murad City Skin Age Defence Broad Spectrum 1枚目

Broad Spectrum Anti-ageing Facial Sunscreen With Vitamin C

7

Sisley

Super Soin Facial Sun CreamSPF 50+

Sisley Super Soin Facial Sun Cream 1枚目

Non-comedogenic Facial Suncream That Won’t Leave a White Cast

8

Neutrogena

Clear Face Breakout Free Oil-Free SunscreenSPF 55

Neutrogena Clear Face Breakout Free Oil-Free Sunscreen 1枚目

Oil-Free Facial Sunscreen for Acne Prone Skin

9

Clinique

Mineral Sunscreen Fluid for FaceSPF 50

Clinique Mineral Sunscreen Fluid for Face 1枚目

Gentle, Oil-Free Protection for Sensitive Skin

10

Elemis

Daily Defence Shield SunscreenSPF 30

Elemis Daily Defence Shield Sunscreen 1枚目

Shield Your Skin From UV Rays, Pollution and HEV Light

If you don't see the product you're looking for, you can request that it be listed.
No.1

La Roche PosayAnthelios Anti-Shine Sun Cream GelSPF 50+

Anthelios Anti-Shine Sun Cream Gel Image 1
Source:boots.com
Reference price
£14.40
Reference price
£14.40

Quick Absorbing, Fragrance-Free Gel With 50+ UVA and UVB Protection

This magnificent product is a boon for anyone who wants to slather their skin in a light, protective layer without an excessive build-up of oil, which can be off-putting if you're just getting into the habit of applying daily facial sunscreen. 


Its anti-shine effect leaves you safe in the knowledge that your skin is fully protected, but with a matte look that won't interfere with your makeup regime or leave your nose and cheeks feeling oily. It works all day, smells neutral, and is non-comedogenic and suitable for sensitive skin – it's our winner!

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No.2

ClarinsPlant-Based Facial Sunscreen With a Matte Finish SPF 50+

Reference price
£20.00

Get a Matte Finish With Plant-Based Ingredients

Fight plastic pollution while benefiting from the glorious effects of plant-based ingredients, and keep your skin safe from damaging UVA and UVB rays by using this feather-light fluid every morning. This comfortable formula protects your skin without leaving any unwanted streaks


Arguably the most appealing quality of this sunscreen is that it gives a gorgeous matte finish, rather than leaving skin with a shiny film. Plant extracts and intense filters make this a product which protects and soothes in equal measure. 

No.3

AesopProtective Facial LotionSPF 25

Protective Facial Lotion Image 1
Source:amazon.co.uk
Reference price
£47.79
Reference price
£47.79

Lightweight Antioxidant Daily Facial Sunscreen With a Matte Feel

This Aesop Protective Facial Lotion SPF25 has a formula that will quickly absorb into the skin and doesn't irritate it. Good for most skin types, its broad spectrum formula protects you from both UVA and UVB rays, as well as its harmful effects on the skin.


At the same time, natural antioxidants such as green tea and tocopherol help the skin fight against harmful stressors that cause premature ageing. Added panthenol also boosts hydration. This sunscreen will leave a lightweight, matte feeling on the skin.

No.4

UltrasunAnti-Ageing Sun ProtectionSPF 30

Reference price
£17.60

Hypoallergenic Mineral Sunscreen Gel That Moisturises and Protects

Blending sun protection with antioxidants and hypoallergenic ingredients to protect and hydrate even sensitive skin, this gel also improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles across your face, neck and décolletage. 


Produced in Switzerland, this effective sunscreen uses advanced research and technology to create a fabulous feeling on your skin, while blocking both UVA and UVB rays. Just apply a couple of pumps over your skin around thirty minutes before sun exposure, or use it as your daily moisturiser!

No.5

VichyCapital Soleil Dry TouchSPF 50

Reference price
£16.50

A Mattifying Formula for Oily Skin

Capital Soleil Dry Touch SPF 50 helps protect the skin against the harmful effects of the sun, giving a soft, dry, zero shine, water-resistant finish. The formulation includes a wide spectrum filter system and photostable UVA-UVB based Mexoryl, protecting you against UV rays. 


Aimed at combination/oily skin, this sunscreen will give a mattifying look, and works great under make-up. Enriched with Vichy mineralizing thermal water, this formula is suitable for sensitive skin and is hypoallergenic. 

No.6

MuradCity Skin Age Defence Broad SpectrumSPF 50

Reference price
£60.00

Broad Spectrum Anti-ageing Facial Sunscreen With Vitamin C

Using high levels of vitamin C, this luxury mineral-based sunscreen is a glow-boosting, standout pick that absorbs effortlessly and keeps you well-protected without leaving skin overwhelmed. 


It cleverly builds a barrier between your skin and 5 of the daily factors which can lead to sun damage – UVA and UVB rays, pollution, blue light from devices and infrared radiation. Argan oil and comfrey are also added, which improve the texture of your skin and reduce the size of your pores. 

No.7

SisleySuper Soin Facial Sun CreamSPF 50+

Super Soin Facial Sun Cream Image 1
Source:johnlewis.com
Reference price
£132.00
Reference price
£132.00

Non-comedogenic Facial Suncream That Won’t Leave a White Cast

You may be put off by the high price tag, but bear with us. Sisley is a major skincare brand, trusted by consumers all over the world, and for good reason! This product is non-whitening, non-comedogenic, water-resistant, and contains a load of gorgeous plant extracts and vitamins.


And aside from doing the most important job of protecting skin against photo-ageing and sun-damage, keeping wrinkles, dark spots, and dehydration at bay, it also feels beautiful on complexions of any skin type.

No.8

NeutrogenaClear Face Breakout Free Oil-Free SunscreenSPF 55

Clear Face Breakout Free Oil-Free Sunscreen Image 1
Source:amazon.co.uk
Reference price
£26.84
Reference price
£26.84

Oil-Free Facial Sunscreen for Acne Prone Skin

This ultra-lightweight sunscreen from Neutrogena is a wonderful choice for those who suffer from acne breakouts, since it is oil-free and works to block out dangerous rays without inflaming skin or clogging pores.


With an impressive sun protection factor of 55, Neutrogena's Clear Face sunscreen blocks out dangerous UVA and UVB rays which can lead to premature ageing and - worse - cancers. Its breathable formula is both kind to skin and water-resistant, too.

No.9

CliniqueMineral Sunscreen Fluid for FaceSPF 50

Reference price
£22.00

Gentle, Oil-Free Protection for Sensitive Skin

To protect your skin with a comfy, flexible layer that isn't remotely noticeable on your complexion, pick Clinique's extra light mineral facial sunscreen. It's so gentle, you can even use it around your delicate eye area


The best thing about this product it also protects against both UVA and UVB rays and is made up of an oil-free fluid formula, so it's ultra-fine and absorbs beautifully even on greasier complexions. Although, some customers have complained about a white sheen left on their skin after using this product. 

No.10

ElemisDaily Defence Shield SunscreenSPF 30

Reference price
£36.70

Shield Your Skin From UV Rays, Pollution and HEV Light

Super-light, absorbent and fragrance-free, this practically weightless cream has effective anti-ageing properties. Dual-purpose, it works as a make-up primer and sits beautifully under or over your favourite moisturiser.


This clinically proven formula offers protection from UVA and UVB rays, pollution both outside and even at home, as well as HEV light (also known as blue light). With no added perfumes or unnecessary greasiness, it is a little on the costly side, particularly for its size, but it certainly works well.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should I Reapply Facial Sunscreen?

As a general rule, you should reapply sunscreen every two hours to keep your skin safe because a facial sunscreen is only fully effective for two hours after it's been applied. If you are sweating or swimming, you need to apply more often. Experts recommend having a bottle of sunscreen on-hand even on cloudy or wet summer days, so that you can put some on if the sun comes out.

Can I Wear Facial Sunscreen With Makeup?

Yes, it is highly recommended that you apply a layer of sunscreen and let it set before putting on makeup for adequate sun protection. Most makeup and skincare products with SPF are unreliable when it comes to sun protection, even if its applied evenly across the face. It is important to choose the right sunscreen for your skin type so it will sit comfortably under your makeup while giving you optimal protection.

Written and researched by Annie Hopkins

Top 5 Facial Sunscreens

No. 1: La Roche PosayAnthelios Anti-Shine Sun Cream GelSPF 50+

No. 2: ClarinsPlant-Based Facial Sunscreen With a Matte Finish SPF 50+

No. 3: AesopProtective Facial LotionSPF 25

No. 4: UltrasunAnti-Ageing Sun ProtectionSPF 30

No. 5: VichyCapital Soleil Dry TouchSPF 50

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The descriptions of each product are referenced from content available on manufacturer, brand, and e-commerce sites.
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