Looking for an anti-ageing product? Start. Right. Here. Indeed, we’re often asked by really young women what anti-ageing products they should be using and we simply reply: ‘Daily sunscreen.’ Previously, we used to counsel that it was pointless to wear SPF in winter – but recent research into the blue light emitted by the screens of our devices seems to indicate that UV-protective moisturisers can help safeguard skin against the effects of blue rays, too. So we’ve revised our thinking.
Meanwhile, either the incredibly high-scoring Jurlique and the Alpha H, with their SPF50, could potentially offer sun protection for your face and neck on a beach holiday. But don’t be lulled into a false sense of security; in reality, weirdly (and even we struggle to understand the maths), SPF30 offers only a teensy bit more protection than an SPF30. Hats and parasols are still the way to go, when the sun’s strong.
GOLD AWARD Jurlique UV Defence Lotion SPF50
Wow! From the Aussie naturals name, this earned one of the highest scores EVER notched up for a product in all of Beauty Bible’s history – a quite staggering 9.60/10 marks, across our 10 testers. That’s a reflection of how well this tube of non-sticky, oil-free lightweight emulsion sinks into skin, infusing it with botanicals including chamomile, marshmallow, calendula and Echinacea. It shields against UVA and UVB aggressors (it has a PA++++ rating, which is as high as it gets), while acting as the perfect primer for make-up; they recommend applying 20 minutes before going outdoors (and don’t forget the décolletage); with its SPF50 you could certainly use this in place of a dedicated facial suncare product, on holiday. (The lavender and citrus scent was a winner, too.)
OUR TESTERS' COMMENTS:
'Loved this – very luxurious, easy to apply and gave excellent protection. Sank in easily and I liked the clean, super-luxe fragrance. I used it in the sun without make up on top and the finish is matte. I’d buy it’ • ‘A joy to use. I loved the subtle lavender smell. I often have problems with high SPF products smelling very strong or very sickly but this was very pleasant. It was a good moisturiser; when first applied it looks quite shiny on the skin but after five minutes or so it ‘settles’ and becomes more matte, providing a very good base for foundation’ • ‘I had foolishly (and as a keen Beauty bible reader I should really know better!) applied this to the face but not the neck. With such good weather this summer I began to notice my face was much paler and my neck had gone brown. Without me really realising, I proved that this product had given very good protection in a hot summer where I was outside more than usual’ • ‘I wore this daily. I really like the idea of a more natural SPF product to use on my face and it has become a new favourite that I will definitely buy’ • ‘I really do love this sun cream. I used it on top of my normal moisturiser and it settled into a matte finish quickly. I absolutely did not get shiny when I used it – the first time I’ve used an SPF for my face that didn't make it shiny turning to greasy! I had no sun damage either in the heatwave at home or in the Med; I also tested it on my boys, one of who suffers with eczema and reacts to many sun creams. This caused no problem whatsoever, and even they enjoyed using it and they loved the fragrance too!’ • ‘My skin always felt fresh and moisturised after applying the lotion, it never felt dry or tight. It left my face looking glowing and well moisturised. I would always wait a couple of minutes before applying make up and this went on well. I never had any sunburn on my face despite being outside on some pretty intensely hot/sunny days. I always reapplied after two hours. I absolutely love this product; it smells divine and unlike most sun protection I have tried it sinks into my skin like a moisturiser, leaving no white streaks or patches.’
£27 for 50ml – click to buy
SILVER AWARD Temple Spa Life Defence SPF25 Protecting Moisturiser
In its slim tube, this broad-spectrum moisturiser offers SPF25 protection against both burning and ageing rays (UVB and UVA). It can be used as a daily moisturiser year-round – or, Temple Spa recommend, layered ‘over the top of your usual moisturiser.’ (Which of course means you can go on using your favourite day or anti-ageing cream even in summer.) It includes an extract from rocket, which is a potent antioxidant, together with vitamin E and skin-plumping hyaluronic acid.
OUR TESTERS' COMMENTS:
'I absolutely loved this product. I would have expected it to be a lot thicker considering it had an SPF of 25 but it was beautifully light. Didn't sit on top of my skin but absorbed quickly, made my skin look dewy and was a great base for my foundation. My make up went on smoothly and lasted all day too. Have used this constantly and especially throughout this hot spell it has protected me perfectly. The pump dispenser is great at controlling the amount. Very impressed’ • ‘This is suitable for sensitive skin. Other face-specific sun creams cause spots on my chin, but I was delighted that my skin remained clear, even in 40+-degree heat on holiday. I like the light clean fragrance. It gives skin a very slightly dewy appearance, healthy and glowing. I found it best to use this with a mineral powder foundation rather than liquid as it lasted longer. I wore it in the 40-degree heat of Dubai and my face bronzed gradually, with no burning at all, even on my nose! I’m buying more’ • ‘Well it works! We’ve had a notably hot start to the English summer, seeing sizzling temperatures. Thankfully, I’m prepared with Life Defence. It’s a great little moisturiser, which packs a punch for sun defence. It says to apply it directly over clean skin or over your daily moisturiser. My preference is to apply on top of a moisturiser. My skin looks healthy and dewy and I'm secure in the knowledge that my face is protected when I step outside. I could not fault Life Defence. It delivered’ • ‘This is very effective. I tried this both on its own and over another moisturiser, as indicated on the instructions. It worked very well both ways. My skin felt hydrated but looked matte with no shine and my face didn't feel hot or sticky at all, which is unusual in my experience of using facial SPFs. I found it extremely effective both as a sunscreen and a moisturiser. A great product, which is suitable for all skin types. If there is an ideal moisturiser this would be a strong contender!’ • ‘I absolutely LOVE this product. It's a fabulous moisturiser, which left my skin really soft and glowing. Make up sits really nicely on top. I have tanned without burning and no breakouts, which is unusual for my face when I apply an SPF. I didn't have a single blemish, sore spot, dry spot or any kind of spot. I used this on a short break and my skin was the best it has ever been on holiday. I came home with a healthy glow. Definitely a great discovery. Would I buy this? YES!!!’
£38 for 50ml - click to buy
BRONZE AWARD Alpha H Protection Plus Daily SPF50
Alpha-H is another Australian brand (they truly understand suncare, Down Under) – and again, this is powerful enough to use on holiday as well as for everyday protection and as a make-up primer. Ultra-lightweight and non-chalky, it again offers good UVA and UVB protection, and is readily absorbed, matte finish, yet nourishing. Although Alpha-H is a range we’d definitely describe as ‘high-tech’, they harness some botanicals here – pycnogenol, to guard against photo-ageing, along with mango seed butter, vitamin E and honeycome extract. The lid flips to dispense the product.
OUR TESTERS' COMMENTS:
'This is great value for money: 3 in 1 moisturiser, primer and SPF protection, which it lasted all summer, I have used it every day and twice a day while on holidays. This will be a staple product for me going forward. My skin felt silky smooth and looked dewy and moisturising. I could go with or without foundation. We have had an unusually hot summer and I have not one sign of sunburn on my face. I love this product, which has been my go to all summer’ • ‘This is a bit like a tinted moisturiser. It sat comfortably on my skin, giving a dewy finish. Make up went on fine after, with no pilling or rolling. It promises high protection, which I think it delivered although I don't burn easily’ • ‘This light creamy product is very easy to spread and a very effective moisturiser, leaving a dewy finish, as well as protecting it from the sun. I never burned and it was very hot in Greece this year. I would highly recommend this product’ • ‘Application was easy: one pump was enough and it just melted into my skin like velvet, giving a lovely matte finish. It’s very hydrating and fantastic that it's a high SPF, as it's the sun that ages you. I will certainly buy it again’ • ‘A new favourite. I am very impressed. I used it in the heat wave and my face tanned without any dryness or hint of redness or peeling. So it has given me sun protection, as it claims, while also moisturising my skin’ • ‘This definitely gives added hydration – it’s very moisturising and I like that its slightly tinted. It gives a nice moisturised look to skin and even out the tone slightly.’
£36.95 for 50ml – click to buy