At this time of year, people start asking me for facial sunscreen recommendations, frequently with the enthusiasm one might convey for an impending smear test. We grudgingly accept it’s in our interests to protect skin from UVA and UVB (think A for Ageing, B for Burning), but the additional step and often greasy, thick texture of sunblock dissuades many. I take the view that those who aren’t spending extended periods outdoors would be better off with a day cream with added sun protection, killing two birds with one lighter, more agreeably textured moisturiser. One can always ramp up to a dedicated block in the summer, for long days on beaches and in beer gardens.
Having worn a different protective moisturiser every day for weeks, my runaway victor is Merumaya Youth Preservation Moisturiser. It’s pricey at £37 for 30ml and the protection – SPF20 – is only just over the threshold of acceptability, but the texture is near perfect (luxurious but ungreasy, smooth and stable under foundation) and the airless pump packaging is ideal for travel and storage. The light cream contains lots of water-retaining (ergo skin-hydrating) hyaluronic acid as well as multiple antioxidants and broad-spectrum sunscreens, and unlike every other I tried, didn’t sting or blur when wandering into my eyes.
My remaining recommendations require a separate eye cream, but still proved exceptionally good. I love Facial Moisturising Lotion SPF25 (£12, 52ml) from new brand CeraVe (look alongside the likes of E45 and Eucerin in chemists). This has a travel tube and a surprisingly elegant texture for its price and category. It contains good things like niacinamide for spots, though this means it’s not much cop over vitamin C serum, so choose your layers accordingly. Vitamin C serum devotees (like me) should opt for something like Murad Essential-C Day Moisturise SPF30, £59.50 (50ml), a silky, ungreasy, glow-giving cream that behaves impeccably under makeup. La Roche-Posay proved great, too, with two equally good versions of Hydraphase UV Intense day cream – Riche, for dry skins and Light for everyone else, both £17 for 50ml. Five reasons to be more cheerful about the pressing need to protect. I’ll accept no further excuses.
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