Aside from ‘which SPF is for me?’, the other most frequently-asked sun protection question I receive is ‘which SPF will I actually want to wear?’. Even though it seems like a no-brainer shield your skin from damage-inducing UV rays, for many daily sun protection is still, well… a chore. SPF has a little bit of a PR problem.
It’s easy to see why when you consider how a lot of us are used to staying protected in the sun. Think about the sun lotions you were slathered with as a child; that rich and greasy stuff left you looking bright white all over, no matter how hard you tried to rub it in. It’s a tired image, though, because sun protection has come such a long way. It’s had to keep up with the demanding skincare needs of those who wear SPF on a daily basis, thanks in part to the rise of peels, AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) and retinol usage. Today, men and women require something that provides high protection, is easy and quick to apply, and doesn’t feel heavy or sticky; something that seamlessly slots into their skincare regime.
To suit, there’s a new school of products that meet all of this criteria and more. Meet the discreet, comfortable and user-friendly facial SPFs that you’ll actually want to wear…
#1 The All-Rounder
Perfect for: Both face and body
The Solar Protective Water from Vichy’s Ideal Soleil line is a complete revelation for those who dread applying sun protection. It truly feels like you’re spritzing water onto your skin, with zero residue and an invisible finish. It’s the ‘wettest’ of the three spray-on SPFs included in this round-up, but it by no means saturates the skin; the diffusion system ensures that application is delivered in a fine mist that is readily absorbed in mere seconds. An added infusion of every hydration craver’s favourite ingredient, hyaluronic acid, keeps everything feeling plump and soft.
To use the Ideal Soleil Solar Protective Water as a facial SPF, you need to spray it onto your hands first and then apply it to the skin, so it’s perhaps a better match for those who are going makeup-free (there are other products below that may be a better match for makeup wearers!). You’re free to spritz it straight on everywhere else on the body, though – it’s particularly good for keeping exposed areas like your decollete, hands, feet and arms well defended, but it’s just as good when used as your main, all-over sun protection.
#2 The Shine-Free Saviour
Perfect for: The face
With its SPF of 50+, La Roche-Posay Anthelios Anti-Shine Invisible Fresh Mist Spray has the highest protection of any facial SPF mist on our list. The ultra-fresh, shine-free spray is the perfect sunny day solution for those who want minimal interference from their sun protection; it can be used on bare skin or on top of makeup to achieve a brilliant shield. The powdery finish of the Anthelios Anti-Shine Invisible Fresh Mist Spray is perfect for those with normal, combination and oily skin types, but those with very dry skin might find it a little lacking in the moisture department. That being said, it’ll work harmoniously with most skin types.
The slim, 75ml size of the can is perfect for travel and has an aerosol application method that creates a large, fine mist that protects skin in seconds. Its powdery finish also makes it brilliant for setting your makeup and ensuring it doesn’t slide in the sun!
#3 The Tall Drink of Water
Perfect for: The face
If you’ve got very dry skin, like I have (I can’t even wear powder without my skin feeling like sandpaper!), then this quenching facial SPF mist from Bioderma will be your saviour. The Hydrabio Eau de Soin Anti-UV Mist SPF30 is part of the super-hydrating Hydrabio line, which is a brilliant collection for those who need a little bit of extra help in the moisture department. This hybrid product offers antioxidant, UV and moisturising protection in one step, spraying onto the complexion in a fresh and invisible mist that makes skin feel so content. And there’s good news for sensitive skin, too – it has excellent tolerance, so expect zero itchiness and discomfort.
Mist this handbag-sized facial SPF on at any time of day, onto bare skin or over makeup (makeup can even be touched up after spraying). It’s such an effortless way to slot protection into your daily routine – it’s a city dweller’s essential. Tip: some people have reported that the spray mechanism can become clogged over time – if you pop the spray off and run it under warm water, it should clear it right up!