The Glass Guide – our selection of the best SPFs on the (sun) block

AS WE are in the middle of a heatwave, here is the Glass Guide to the best SPFs on the (sun) block. One – perhaps the best – thing you can do in terms of skin and healthcare is to always – come rain or shine – is to wear an SPF (sun protection factor) cream. Apply it half an hour before leaving the hour, dermatologists advise an table-spooned amount, and top this up every two hours. If you are going to swim, apply it again afterwards.

When buying an SPF, go for a broad spectrum (i.e. one contains protection against both UVA and UVB rays) one. As well as your face, don’t forget to cover your body or any skin exposed to the sun too – like hands, the top of your ears, back of neck and also hairline too. It’s vital not to forget these areas. The difference in SPFs can be a bit confusing, but basically, SPF30 will protect against 97 per cent of UVB rays whereas an SPF50 offers protection against 98 per cent.

An SPF should be applied after your moisturiser but before putting on any foundation. Due to the marvellous developments in dermatology and beauty, there are a fantastic range of SPFs available now.

Here is our selection.


SPF sun James Read

James Read Gradual Tan Day Tan SPF 15 Face

James Read Gradual Tan Day Tan SPF 15 Face
Being of an age where working the pale and interesting look no longer really works, I like the idea of a “gradual” tan and a product that protects you from the damage of real suntan or burn.

Containing skin plumping Hyaluronic Acid and soothing Aloe Vera, this lotion, is, as promises, non greasy and application to the face and décolletage is easy, the scent of the mild tanning element unmistakable , a Proustian moment for this former Liverpool fake tan fan.

After a month of daily application, I am getting the gentle compliments proffered to one who no longer looks ill, which is nice, and I can see a gentle glow myself. However it takes the concept of non greasy a tad too far, as the lotion dries to a tacky feel on the skin, making further make up application tricky.  So  while this is not the product to put under your slap, it’s great if you are going for the natural, healthy look.

by Michele Kirsch

James Read Gradual Tan Day Tan SPF 15 Face £22 for 50 ml


Natura Bisse DIAMOND WHITE MATTE FINISH SUN PROTECTION Broad Spectrum SPF 50 PA+++_50mlNatura Bissé Diamond White Matte Finish Sun Protection SPF 50

Nature Bissé Diamond White Matte Finish Sun Protection SPF 50
From the luxury Spanish beauty and skincare brand Natura Bissé, the Diamond White Matte Finish Sun Protection SPF 50 is an oil and paraben-free lotion that also contains the all-important filters that protect against broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) rays. It is non-oily, very light on the skin and I found it absorbed like magic without leaving any chalky-looking residue or greasy slicks on the skin – as well as providing moisture throughout the day.

Fragranced with a pleasing lavender scent, Diamond White Matte Finish Sun Protection comes in a elegant tube with a very handy and well-designed dispensing pump-top, which I found made it very easy to access and apply. It also stops in its tracks the problem of a well-used lid becoming hard to close or a rogue top coming undone in your bag, making the product smear and spread all over your things.

by Caroline Simpson

Natura Bissé Diamond White MatteFinish Sun Protection SPF 50 (50ml) is available from Harrods and retails at £83.00

Derma Sun Oil SPF 30

Derma Sun Oil SPF 30

Derma Sun Oil SPF 30
Using sunscreen oil rather than cream makes me feel that I’m celebrating the sun, not hiding from it. Sun Oil SPF 30 spray from the best-selling Danish sun-care brand Derma is my favourite sunscreen for the body. The Factor 30 oil gives UVA and UVB protection and is perfect for me on hot London days. It’s quick and easy to apply, enriched with Vitamin E and natural oils, and delivers a big hit of good feeling, thanks to the jolly golden packaging that brings a little hit of carefree beach mood to the dullest of working days. Most importantly, Derma Sun Oil 30 Spray carries the internationally recognised AllergyCertified accreditation (and is an AllergyAward winner) – it reassures me that this formulation won’t upset or irritate my skin, and nor will it compete with my favourite summer fragrances.

by Rachel McCormack

Derma Sun Oil SPF 30 129.95 Danish Krone for 200 ml



Vichy spf

Vichy Idéal Soleil Velvety Cream SPF50+


Vichy Idéal Soleil Velvety Cream SPF50+
If you like your high factor sunscreen to also be quality skincare, Vichy Idéal Soleil SPF50+ is for you. This is a facial sunscreen enriched with Hyaluronic Acid and Vichy Thermal Spa Water; I like to wear it on my face and hands. It’s recommended for normal to dry skin, but my combination skin is perfectly happy with it, and I’ve had no problems with clogged pores or blemishes. Perfectly sized to pop in a handbag or a deep pocket, I carry this to ensure I can top-up my sunscreen if the sun starts to blaze, or offer it to companions feeling the heat.

by Rachel McCormack

Vichy Idéal Soleil Velvety Cream SPF50+ £14.50 for 50 ml



Vichy Idéal Soleil Velvety Cream SPF50+

Vichy Idéal Soleil BB Tinted Velvety Cream Spf 50+


Vichy Idéal Soleil BB Tinted Velvety Cream Spf 50+
I have been using this BB cream since the first sunny days of this year, and it’s ideal for my combination skin. As I prefer skin tints to foundation – even in the depths of winter – I switch to a BB cream in the hotter months. This Vichy BB cream gives a natural tint to the skin, and just enough coverage to make me look pulled together and disguise any tiredness.

It is a summer essential for me, as wearing only this, and no other make-up – I am moisturised, sunsafe and happy to face a day of work or play. When I do feel like wearing make-up, I appreciate the dewy finish of this BB cream – a perfect base for gel, cream, and liquid blushers – and find that just a little powder pressed into the t-zone prevents shine and still looks beautifully natural.

by Rachel McCormack

Vichy Idéal Soleil BB Tinted Velvety Cream Spf 50+ £15.50 for 125 ml

Zelens Daily Defence

Zelens Daily Defence Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30 UVA/UVB


Zelens Daily Defence Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30 UVA/UVB
Wearing a decent sunscreen as part of your daily skincare regime should really be a no-brainer. I am always surprised (actually staggered) when people can’t be bothered as this is, perhaps, one of the best (and simplest) things you can do to stop ageing in its tracks – as well as not smoking.

This Summer, in my personal one-woman campaign against skin damage,  I will be sporting Daily Defence from Zelens the range developed by skin cancer expert, Dr Marko Lens. This spf is non-sticky, non-eye stinging and velvety smooth in texture, absorbing quickly into the skin with no tell-tale chalky residues and is highly effective.

by Caroline Simpson

Zelens Daily Defence Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30 UVA/UVB  (50ml) retails at £55.00 and is available from Zelens and Cult Beauty

La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Gel creme 50+ teinte

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Tinted Dry Touch Gel SPF50+


La Roche-Posay Anthelios Tinted Dry Touch Gel SPF50+
This newly launched tinted dry-touch high sun protection gel from La Roche-Posay delivers just what it says it does – remaining true to its word. It is remarkably dry to the touch, water resistant and delivers an anti-shine action, which makes it perfect for those among us with slightly oily, or combination skin.

The gel simply melts into the skin once applied, and adapts to each individual skin tone thanks to its content of micro pigments. With an SPF of 50+, it is perfect to be worn as a very lightweight tinted moisturizer or under foundation for a more made-up look. Having recently worn this gel on holiday, now I am home I won’t leave the house without it on.

by Amanda Bernstein

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Tinted Dry Touch Gel SPF50+ (50ml) retails at £18 and is available from here and Boots

Fresh SPF sun Fresh

Fresh Sugar Sport Treatment SPF 30


Fresh Sugar Sport Treatment SPF 30
My earliest memories of skincare is not a good one. It was at age six, sweating in the Florida heat, standing begrudgingly in front of my mother whilst she slathered thick white sunscreen all over my face, arms and legs, that my loathing of sun protection begun. The hideous sticky greasiness of it always managed to put a dampener on summer fun.

14 years later and my quest to find lightweight, comfortable sun protection may finally be at an end. Perhaps my biggest gripe with sunscreen is the oily feeling it leaves behind, so my genuine joy at finding Fresh Sugar Sport Treatment SPF 30, a small lipstick-sized tube with a slide-out SPF stick, is not to be dismissed. You slide it all over the face – in my case concentrating on the nose, cheeks and chin – and there you have it!

What clinched the deal for me was the intensely nourishing, hydrating yet non-oily feeling it left on my skin. Instantly my skin texture felt softer and smoother, as though I had used a luxurious treatment rather than a sunscreen. From now on, come summer, the Fresh Sugar Sport Treatment will never be far from my side.

by Thomas Marrington

Fresh Sugar Sport Treatment SPF 30 (6g) retails at £20 and is available here


Medik8 Physical Sunscreen_product_noreflection SPF 90ml

Medik8 Physical Sunscreen

Medik8 Physical Sunscreen
This is a chemical-free physical sunscreen designed for use on the face. It’s marketed towards people who are recovering from minor cosmetic procedures such as chemical peels so need protection on their sensitive skin. While I couldn’t test the effect on post surgery, my skin is naturally sensitive and I had no reaction after using this. While Medik8 Physical Sunscreen isn’t oily, it does however have a thick consistency and sits on top of the skin.

Having applied it before my usual make-up routine I found that it made my make up cake in certain areas and slide off in others, which is why I’d ideally use it on holiday when I wouldn’t need to apply foundation on top. In general I found it a little thick for facial use, especially considering it isn’t water resistant, but the non-greasy finish is an improvement on lots of face sun creams in the same price range.

by Stephanie Clair

Medik8 Physical Sunscreen  (90ml) retails at £32  and is available here



Sisley SPF Solaire TeinteSisley Super Soin Solaire Youth Protector SPF30

Sisley Super Soin Solaire Youth Protector SPF30
I’m immediately drawn to the words Youth Protector on this facial sun cream from Sisley Paris. Especially since the sun’s UV rays account for 80 per cent of skin ageing and wrinkles – and, well, I’m 30-something and still making peace with my fine lines. Sisley Super Soin Solaire Facial Sun Care SPF 30 provides UVA-UVB protection and helps protect the skin from the effects of photo-ageing, including wrinkles, dark spots, dehydration and loss of firmness. It doesn’t whiten skin on application (a big bonus) and it’s surprisingly silky, making my skin feel soft to the touch instead of tacky.

But it really proves its prowess at a summery (read: overcast) picnic in the park where I leave with not even a sunglass tan, while my boyfriend, at least two shades naturally darker than my English Rose complexion, goes without any SPF and finds himself more sunburnt than sunkissed. Only problem is that when the weather hits 30 degrees celsius, there’s no sun cream out there that won’t slide straight off my face if I’m doing anything more strenuous than sitting on a sun lounger licking a rum popsicle.

by Natalie Egling

Sisley Super Soin Solaire Facial Sun Care SPF 30 (6oml) retails at £134 and is available from here or John Lewis


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