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Best face SPF: 7 beauty editor-approved formulas to wear all year long

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We round up the best SPF to wear inside and under make-up. They’re non-greasy, non-ashy and won’t break you out.

Let me start by apologising to anybody who’s ever clicked on my author tag, to anybody who’s ever spoken to me in real life, and to anybody who’s ever asked me for skincare advice. I’m sorry for only ever talking and writing about SPF.

I know it’s all I ever harp on about, but if there’s one thing I’ve learnt in my seven years as a beauty journalist it’s that it’s imperative for every person in the world to wear at least factor 30 every single day

In fact, it’s essentially become my life’s mission to make sure that happens. I want it to be my legacy; the thing that I’m known for when I’m no longer here. Can you tell I’m passionate about it? But when 90% of skin ageing is caused by UVA and UVB rays, it’s for good reason.

It’s worth adding that the SPF in your moisturiser or foundation isn’t enough – you need a separate product, and I’ve also recently learnt it’s been proven that wearing sunscreen can actually help improve existing wrinkles, pigmentation and texture. 

That said, I’m so aware that SPF is one of those divisive topics. Some think they’re better than it (you’re not), others think they don’t need to wear it in the UK (you absolutely do, all year round) some believe it’s too thick, white, greasy or oily and it breaks them out in spots (not if you choose the right formula). 

It’s also imperative that you still wear it when you’re not outside. Believe it or not, UVA rays can penetrate both clouds and windows, so even while we’re all following government guidelines and staying in as much as possible, it’s essential that you still protect your skin as much as possible. 

Don’t despair though because SPF has come a long way in the last few years. Formulas are so much better and more invisible than ever before, which means they’re much nicer to use and they sit well under make-up.

Trust me, though, I get it: finding the perfect product that works for you and your skin type can be difficult. So, in a bid to make things slightly easier, I’ve rounded up the best sunscreens that I’ve used (and finished) in the last few months. Just in case you’re interested, I apply sunscreen every morning as the last step in my skincare routine, after cleansing and vitamin C and before either primer or foundation. 

None of the products that I’ve mentioned below have caused me to breakout or left my skin oily, instead they’re virtually undetectable once rubbed in and actually are a real pleasure to use. Because yes, I would go as far as saying that I enjoy putting SPF on. Sorry.

So please: make me happy, do the right thing. Pick one, treat yourself, protect your skin and let me know how you get on.

The best face SPFs to wear under make-up

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Lucy Partington

Lucy Partington is Stylist’s beauty editor. She’s obsessed with all things skincare, collecting eyeshadow palettes that she’ll probably never use, and is constantly on the hunt for the ultimate glowy foundation.

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