A good friend, whose overuse of harsh skincare in the 90s led to unremitting sensitive skin thereafter, recently told me she had discovered the impossible: an affordable facial sunscreen that didn’t cause her to break out in red, itchy blotches and behaved itself under makeup.
Her evangelical endorsement led me to take Eucerin Sun Fluid SPF30 (£20, 50ml) for a spin around Hove Park, and I concur – it’s a corker. Unlike most sunscreens in the – shall we say – more austere section of Boots (where the white-bottled urea and paraffin preparations live), this has a light, elegant texture that leaves neither a white cast nor the sensation of having been basted like turkey roll.
Foundation lays happily over the top, without increased fear of sliding off, changing colour or becoming greasy. There is an SPF50 version, too, but I wasn’t so mad on the texture; and it’s worth considering that the difference between 30 and 50 in this context is relatively small (30 allows around 3.3% of UV through, while 50 allows 2%).
People with sensitive skin, melasma or rosacea frequently find that they are best off with a mineral sunscreen as opposed to a chemical one. As ever, Avène is here for them. This low-key French brand offers some of the best sensitive skincare, and its Mineral Fluid SPF50+ (£17.50, 40ml), is typically dependable. It’s water-resistant – ideal if you are sporty or menopausal and prone to overheating – and not shiny, though it does, on darker skins, leave a little whiteness.
Hands down, my favourite mineral sunscreens – for white, olive, brown and black skins – are by Skinceuticals. I know I’ve mentioned this on a hundred previous occasions but the brand remains unsurpassed in non-greasy, non-drying, skintone-faithful face protection. Its hydrating Ultra Facial Defense SPF50 (30ml), is a significant investment at £37, but I doubt you will be disappointed.
Many are deterred from properly protecting their skin because they find sunscreens, especially mineral ones, uncomfortably heavy or greasy to wear. I’ve already raved about Ren’s new Clean Screen Mineral SPF30 mattifying sunscreen (£30, 50ml), which is a pleasure if your sensitive complexion is on the oilier side. It’s plenty moisturising to wear alone (I’m dry-skinned, and even I never do both day cream and sunblock), and, because it contains no silicone, provides a smooth and stable base for makeup. It’s packaged in recycled plastic, too. Sensitivity not your problem? More SPF columns coming soon.
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