I'd better write this post quickly before our burst of British summer subsides! I just wanted to share with you a couple of recently discovered sunscreens that I am really impressed with, which are the Boots No7 Anti-Dark Spot Facial Sun Protection SPF 30 (also comes in SPF 15 and SPF 50) and the Soleil Beauty Hydrating Light Milk SPF 15 (also comes in SPF 30) from simple ol' Tesco.
Both of these sunscreens tick every box on my sunscreen wishlist which is composed of: 5-star UVA protection, non-greasy, non-sticky, non pore-blocking and good value.
Most importantly though, I need sunscreens which are a pleasure, not a chore to apply - otherwise I get lazy about applying them (especially for everyday, non-holiday purposes)... and these two products fit the bill nicely.
Boots No7 Anti-Dark Spot Facial Sun Protection
This tube of facial sunscreen costs £10.50 for 50ml but there are always Boots deals going on to get it a bit cheaper (e.g. currently 3 for 2). Boots say that this easily-absorbed, no-shine lotion helps to reduce the signs of ageing with a dual action sun filter which not only reflects UV light but also acts as a powerful antioxidant against damaging free radicals. It also has skin-brightening properties which helps improve the appearance of skin tone and prevents dark spots and hyper-pigmentation.
More cosmetically, this sunscreen is designed to be moisturising and slightly light-reflecting to add radiance and soften the appearance of fine lines. And it's non comedogenic yay.
I bought this a few weeks ago for my trip to New York where I knew I'd be out walking a lot, but I've been using it generously this weekend too. I'm usually quite bad with facial sunscreen - I often just rely on the SPF in my daily moisturiser even in very hot weather just because I'd never found my perfect facial SPF before. However, I find this Boots No7 lotion so pleasant to apply and easily-absorbed that I can even apply it over my usual Clarins Hydraquench moisturiser without feeling like a greaseball. I love the fact that it has the maximum 5-star UVA protection too (as do all Boots own-brand sunscreens).
I also like the glow it gives the skin when it's applied. I'm not usually one for light-reflecting skin care products because they generally just make me look super shiny. But the light-reflecting effect of this sunscreen is gorgeous... there's no shimmer or sparkle... just a soft, candle-lit glow.
The full ingredients of No7 Anti-Dark Spot Facial Sun Protection SPF 30 are:
Aqua, C12-15 alkyl benzoate, Octocrylene, Butylene glycol, Isotridecyl salicylate, Butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane, Polyglyceryl-3 methylglucose distearate, C18-36 acid glycol ester, Dimethicone, Butyrospermum parkii butter, Bis-ethylhexyloxyphenol methoxyphenyl triazine, Cetyl alcohol, Titanium dioxide, Phenoxyethanol, Sorbitan stearate, Actinidia chinensis water, Polysorbate 20, Diethylhexyl butamido triazone, Mica, Tocopheryl acetate, Parfum, Acrylates/vinyl isodecanoate crosspolymer, Vitis vinifera seed oil, Sodium ascorbyl phosphate, Alcohol, Sucrose cocoate, Glycerin, Xanthan gum, Dimethyl oxazolidine, Potassium hydroxide, Agarum cribosum extract, Dipropylene glycol, Tetrasodium EDTA, Panax ginseng extract, Sophora angustifolia extract, Manganese dioxide, Ascorbic acid, Methylparaben, Aminomethyl propanol, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben, CI 77891.
This No7 facial sun protection also comes in SPF 15 and SPF 50. While I am using it over my normal moisturiser, it could also be used on its own in place of moisturiser if your skin isn't as dry as mine.
Soleil Beauty Hydrating Light Milk SPF 15
Now this stuff was a real find. I bought my first bottles of it last summer from my local Tesco. It drew my attention not just because of the price (it always seems to be at least half price at around £2.50 for 200ml), but also because it has 5-star UVA protection and because there is a little note on the bottle which says: "Developed by leading Australian Suncare Laboratories".
If anyone knows how to make good sunscreen, it's the Australians, right?
Similar to the Boots facial sunscreen, this Soleil Beauty sunscreen claims to be an anti-ageing complex with anti-oxidants to help neutralise free radicals, improve skin radiance and protect skin from signs of premature skin ageing such as brown spots and wrinkles.
Anyway, last summer I trundled home with three bottles of this. And it's the best sunscreen I've ever used! It's so light and easily absorbed that I can use it just as if it was my normal body lotion. And it leaves my skin noticeably silky soft and touchable. Thus I'm much more inclined to apply it even if I'm not going to be in the sun for long. There's no strong smell either... so I don't feel weird wearing it when I'm not on holiday.
The best thing about this sunscreen is the price. At £2.50 for a 200ml bottle, there's really no excuse not to stock up on it. It confuses me when branded sunscreens are so expensive. If we all followed the 1-2 hour reapplication instructions, each person would go through a bottle of sunscreen every couple of days... which works out pretty expensive if it's £10-£12 a pop.
Tesco also sell Soleil Beauty in SPF 30 which comes in a spray bottle rather than flip-top lotion bottle. When you look at the ingredients, the SPF 15 and SPF 30 are pretty much identical formulations, but I prefer the flip-top container... I find spray bottles are better on holiday when there's more flesh to cover.
I love this sunscreen so much that I made my sister buy a couple of bottles today. She's now a convert.
The full ingredients of Soleil Beauty Hydrating Light Milk SPF 15 are:
Aqua, Isopropyl Palmitate, Cocoglycerides, Cera Alba, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Cetyl Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, PEG-15 Cocoamine, Octocrylene, Phenoxyethanol, PEG-40 Stearate, Methylparaben, Acrylates/C10-30, Alkyl Acrylate, Crosspolymer, Parfum, Triethanolamine, Propylparaben, Ethylparaben, Disodium EDTA, Creatine, BHT, Niacinamide, Sodium Starch Octenylsuccinate, Maltodextrin, Calcium Pantothenate, Thioctic Acid, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Epilobium Angustifolium Extract, Pyridoxine HCI, Tocopheryl Acetate, Silica, Sodium Metabisulfite.