I’m a big fan of a good sunscreen. With my pale complexion and red hair, I’m very prone to sunburn. I usually slather on sunscreen at least twice on an average day, and in summer this increases exponentially as the temperature rises.
My mom taught me from a young age to always wear sunscreen and some of my first memories of summer holidays are of my mom practically drowning me in SPF. Her training has set in well, and I very rarely miss an opportunity to apply and reapply, even when most people think that I’m being ridiculous.
Because of this, I’ve tried almost every brand and SPF rating under the sun (pun intended) and I’ve had many good experiences and many many bad experiences.
Even if you aren’t as fair skinned as I am, or if you spend all day in an office, everyone needs sun protection. The sunlight that reaches us is made up of two harmful rays, UVA and UVB. UVA rays leads to skin damage and promotes premature aging, while UVB rays are responsible for sunburn and mutations that can lead to cancer. Even if you don’t look like a lobster at the end of the day, or you’ve only picked up a nice golden tan, the sun’s rays can still affect you, so put on your sunscreen!
I decided to test a few sunscreens and rounded up a few of my favourite choices. Take a look
Heliocare Colour Gelcream in Light SPF 50
R350 for 50ml, heliocare.net
This sunscreen is a new favourite of mine. At first I was hesitant to use a tinted sunscreen, as most tinted moisturisers, BB creams and foundations are waaaay too dark for my skin tone. Luckily, this sunscreen was light enough to blend into my skin, without leaving me looking like an Oompa Loompa.
Best of all this, tinted sunscreen can cover skin imperfections, as I usually don’t wear makeup because of my borderline obsessive sunscreen habit – foundation tends to rub off as soon as I apply a new lather of sunscreen.
Another big positive was that Heliocare offers broad spectrum protection, meaning it protects the skin from both UVA and UVB rays.
SVR Sun Secure Extreme SPF 50+
R250 for 30ml, labo-svr.com
This broad spectrum ultra-matte gel is my go-to sunscreen option to use on my neck, shoulders and décolletage (it has a strong fragrance, which is why I preferred not to use it on my face).
The ultra smooth, ultra-matte consistency made my skin feel delightfully soft and smooth, and didn’t leave any shine! I was so happy to finally find a sunscreen that doesn’t leave a sticky residue.
Nimue Skin Technology Sun-C SPF 50
R550 for 50ml, nimueskin.com
This sunscreen is the full package. It protects against both UVA and UVB rays, as well as infrared, HEV blue light (the kind that emanates from our phones and screens), infrared light AND pollution!
I used this on my face as well as my shoulders and arms, and my skin was left feeling smooth and refreshed all day. It is also very light and has some mattifying properties, so it didn’t leave me feeling greasy or shiny at all. All in all, this was my favourite all-rounder.
Nivea Sun UV Face BB Cream (SPF 50+)
R155 for 50ml, nivea.co.za
I’ve always been a fan of the Nivea Sun range; and the smell of Nivea sunscreens brings back memories of beach holidays when I was younger.
This moisturising tinted sunscreen is very similar to a BB cream, with a super high SPF to boot! It features protection against both UVA and UVB rays, is packed with antioxidants, won’t irritate your eyes, and it’s dermatologically proven to be compatible on all skin types.
I loved this sunscreen. It didn’t leave any sticky residue on my face and I didn’t feel like I wanted to reapply my sunscreen every few minutes. The only drawback was that the tint was a little bit too dark for my skin, but with some more concentrated blending on my jawline and the edges of my face, it eventually blended in nicely.
SkinCeuticals Physical Matte UV Defence (SPF 50)
R650 for 30ml, skinceuticals.com
OMG I adored this sunscreen! I wore it on one of the hotter days during my test period, and I didn’t feel like it would melt off from sweat at all. The oil absorbing base and matte finish almost made it feel like a primer rather than a sunscreen.
At first I was hesitant to try this one, as the tint seemed a bit too dark for my skin tone, but the sunscreen practically disappeared into my skin as soon as I applied it.
The oil absorbing base left my skin matte all day, even through the Stellenbosch heat and it’s also a broad spectrum sunscreen, which offers protection against both UVA and UVB rays.
Did I miss your favourite sunscreen? Let me know in the comments below!