Just in: Awkward tan-lines and tomato skin-tones are not trending this summer! With the year at its end, the team decided to use the opportunity to put our SPF-avourites to the test and avoid going into the new year looking like Patrick Star.
Take a look at our hot-picks for the best sunscreens of 2019.
Eau thermale Avène Very High Protection Lotion SPF 50+
R279.96 for 250 ml, Clicks
I am so in love with this product, for so many reasons. First off, I’m a redhead with very fair skin which means that I constantly have to reapply sunscreen, and we’re not talking SPF 15. I’m talking SPF 30 at LEAST. This “very high protection” SPF 50+ keeps my face and body happy in the sun while putting my mind at ease. Sure I still have to reapply every couple of hours, but the formula keeps my skin nicely hydrated and I don’t have to worry about tight skin or a burnt face. It also didn’t leave an oily or sticky residue.
The second thing that I really appreciate about this product is the fact that it works on the motto “Skin Protect – Ocean Respect”. This sunscreen is ocean friendly – bet you didn’t think that was a thing – so that it has a higher biodegradability and has been designed in a way that minimises the effect on marine life. Along with this is the fact that that R10 of every Eau Thermale Avène Sun Care product sold between November to December 2019 will will be donated towards turtle conservation initiatives along the Southern African coast.
This product will definitely be in my backpack as we hit the roads and keep active this summer.
Optiphi Solar Spritz Lightweight Sun Protection SPF 30
R450 for 150ml, Optiphi
So here’s the thing… I have crazy light skin and freckles. I get sunburnt while driving to work through the visor, but I love the outdoors! Some of my favourite things include hiking and swimming and cycling and I need a sunscreen that can keep up. The first thing I noticed while trying out the Optiphi Solar Spritz is that it feels dense once sprayed, but is really light when you rub it in and feels weightless on your skin.
I’ve tried quite a few Optiphi products before and this Solar Spritz from their Body Curve range has the same distinct smell. The bottle is not large and bulky like some of the other suncare products out there, so it was great to just throw in the drawstring bag I usually take cycling. Like mentioned, I am quite nervous about getting sunburnt, so I reapplied every hour – also because it is an SPF30 and I was in direct sun exposure.
I am ecstatic to report that I had no sunburn whatsoever and that it even took away some of that hectic heat glow, reducing redness on my face.
Bioderma Photoderm Spot-Age SPF50+ Anti-spots Antioxidant Gel-Cream
R269.95 for 40ml, Clicks, Dis-Chem and select pharmacies
This newbie from Bioderma combines the antioxidant power of Vitamins A and C with broad spectrum UV protection, helping to prevent free-radical attacks, sunburn and long-term cell damage. It also works to reduce the signs of sun-induced ageing, including sun spots and wrinkles.
I love the lightweight gel consistency that quickly absorbs, leaving a matt finish. Because of this you get zero greasiness, and it works really well under makeup. So far it has worked very well with my sensitive skin, with no breakouts, irritation (and happily, no stinging eyes) or itchiness.
It’s a brilliant choice for everyday, and of course the SPF50+ makes it perfect for beach days.
Dermaceutic: Laboratoire Sun Ceutic 50+ Age defence Sun Protection
R670 for 50 ml, Dermastore
When I’m not working I’m usually outdoors, be it at the beach or on a nice hike. So I need a sunblock that will stay on and protect me through all my weekend adventures. I grew up with a mom who was very strict on sunblock, so I’ve been through a few brands in my lifetime and I can confidently say that Dermaceutic Sun Ceutic 50+ is up there on my go-to list.
Dermaceutic Sun Ceutic 50+ has the perfect combination of feeling like a sunblock and not just a normal moiturizer, but without the heaviness and oiliness that some sunblocks have.
This is perfect for skins that, like mine, that are prone to breakouts. The subtle tint also gives you the confidence to show up to those pool/beach parties without needing the extra makeup.
So you go dip in that pool girl, this one will stick.
The Body Shop Skin Defense Multi-Protection Face Mist SPF30
R250 for 60ml, Clicks
I’ve been a barefoot, outdoor girl since my diaper days. Even now, as I sit in front of my computer, I dream of lazy days on the beach. But with my fair complexion and (strawberry-ish) blonde hair, I’ve been struggling with sun-freckles all my life. This has inflicted a life-long search for that perfect sunscreen.
I was super keen to try the Body Shop’s Skin Defense Face Mist as an alternative to the lotion-based sunscreens I’ve used. I love that the fine-mist makes it sooo much easier to apply and leaves no greasy residue! Seven sprays and you’re good to go. Plus, the tiny bottle makes it easy to throw in your handbag and have it nearby for any occasion.
I only have one question now: where do I order in bulk?
Nivea Sun UV Face Shine Control Cream SPF 50
R129.99 for 50ml, Clicks
Sun freckles, moles, beauty spots, call it what you want, I have no shortage of them on my face. At first they were endearing, and I had no problem with them, but as they increased and I read up some more on skin cancer, I realised they might soon turn into unwanted occupants.
I was therefore very excited to try out the Nivea UV Face Shine Control SPF 50 as it seemed like the perfect, lightweight everyday SPF. I like it since it blends very well with my everyday moisturiser and also sits well under make-up. Its neutral fragrance isn’t too distracting, i.e. it doesn’t allow me to long after beach days while I’m sitting in the office. My biggest pet peeve with sunscreen is feeling sticky and uncomfortable while wearing it, but Nivea really perfected the smooth, lightweight formula for this product
Most importantly, I know I’m protected from acquiring (more) potentially dangerous sun spots. All in all, a trusty everyday staple, sold at a very favourable price.
Nivea Sun Sensitive Immediate Protect Sun Spray
R 189.99 for 200ml, Clicks
The first thing I packed into my bag for Endless Daze, a music festival that takes place on the West Coast, is sunscreen. I knew I was going to be spending a lot of time in the sun and me being as pale as I am, I needed something that would prevent me from becoming a sundried tomato. I chose to take the Nivea Sun Sensitive Immediate Protect Sun Spray with SPF 50+.
What I loved most about this particular sunscreen is the fact that it’s a spray, which makes the application process super easy, allows me to get more of an even application, and prevents those awful white streaks some sunscreens cause. This sunscreen is also made with sensitive skin in mind, which I love because I can apply as much as I want throughout the day and not have to worry about getting a skin reaction. There are so many pros about the Nivea Sun Sensitive Immediate Protect Sun Spray… it is light, non-greasy, unscented and water-resistant, plus it kept my skin protected throughout the entire weekend so I could party sunburn free!
Optiphi Classic Hydration Tint Broad Spectrum SPF 20
R 898.00 for 50ml, Optiphi
My Netflix-and-chill weekend was set aside for a weekend in the winelands with some friends I made at varsity. We started with sipping wine on wine farms, went surfing and ended up dancing the night away in the local bar. I threw the Optiphi Classic Hydration Tint Broad Spectrum SPF 20 in my bag and off we went.
As I sipped my wine, I applied the tinted moisturizer with a light to medium coverage to protect me against the sunny day hopping between wine farms. It disappears into the skin instantly without leaving any sticky residue like sunscreens tend to do. My skin felt and looked bright and breathable.
From a wine farm to the local bar we went. This tint leaves a fair bit of coverage. Look I’m not talking MAC Studio here, but its enough for dancing in a bar and buying that cutie a drink.
A weekend in the winelands can be rough on your face, but with the the combination of Ascorbic Acid and Vitamin B3, this Hydration Tint made my skin look and feel brightened, hydrated and breathable. Is there something like that for my headache as well?
Do you have a favourite sunscreen? You can leave your recommendations for the best suncreens of 2019 in the comments below!