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  • Alex Bikard

Ageing Backwards: Our Favourite Drugstore Facial Sunscreens

If you have ever fallen into the skincare side of TikTok, you’ll have been blessed by iconic dermatologists such as Dr Muneeb Shah (@dermdoctor) or Dr Joyce Park (@teawithmd) giving in-depth advice about what you should and should not put on your face. At this point, we all know that, at the end of the day, there are only 3 crucial steps to a good skincare routine: cleanse, moisturise and protect. Although most of us religiously follow the first two, many skip the last. Yet protecting your skin from the sun has been proven again and again to be THE best upgrade to your skincare routine.

The sunscreen world can seem daunting, with elaborate labels promoting a wide range of different benefits. With the overwhelming choice and abundance of information, adding sunscreen to your routine can often seem like an unnecessary and costly addition to one’s skincare. However, while SPF protection might not show its benefits immediately, in the long run, you will be thankful for the day you chose to implement it into your routine.

The Benefits

Using SPF protection every day protects the health of your skin cells. As a result, you may prevent the premature loss of elasticity, the onset of fine lines and the development of hyperpigmentation. More importantly, and perhaps on a less aesthetic level, you are far less likely to develop skin cancer.

Although all the information above is probably old news, many people fail to wear sunscreen every day. Many still associate bad weather - an ongoing theme in the UK, even in the summer - with UV protection, but they couldn’t be more wrong. Harmful UV rays will penetrate the atmosphere despite the rain, and the damage to the skin is life-long. This is why no matter the weather and no matter your skin colour, you should seriously consider adding SPF to your daily routine.

Another reason why sunscreen might be staying on the shelf is its bad rep: adding oiliness and leaving an unflattering white, sticky, and greasy cast on the skin. However, formulas have greatly improved over the years and thankfully there are now plenty of options that are a pleasure to use - you just need to find the right fit.

To help you choose between the myriad of different options while staying on a budget, here are our recommendations of the best drugstore sunscreens to keep you healthy and glowing all year (and life) long.

Vichy Ideal Soleil Mattifying Face Dry Touch Sun Cream SPF50+

£12.37 for 50ml

Not only does this sunscreen have one of the highest SPF factors you can find, if you struggle with oily skin, this is the formula for you, due to its mattifying effects. Even better, this skincare fix doubles the perfect primer to use underneath your makeup, as it leaves skin with a smooth matte canvas to layer products over.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra-Light Invisible Fluid Sun Cream SPF50

£18 for 50ml

This sunscreen product has practically acquired cult-like status, with almost every beauty guru recommending it. I am here to tell you that it seriously is that good. This one is perfect if you have sensitive skin and the texture of it on another level. The light and silky formula means there is no greasy white cast in sight. *Chef’s kiss*

CeraVe Morning Facial Moisturising Lotion SPF 25

£10.75 for 52ml

This skin-fix is fantastic if you are truly on a budget. It acts as both a moisturiser and a sunscreen which is perfect for those known for getting a little lazy with their skincare routine from time to time. The sensitive formula is super moisturising and perfect for those with acne-prone skin. However, it is worth noting that this product only has a SPF index of 25 , relatively low compared to other products in this list, and we always recommend getting the highest SPF index possible for maximum protection.

Eucerin Sun Face Pigment Control SPF50+

£19.99 for 50ml

The fantastic reviews on this product speak for themselves. This sunscreen is a fantastic all-rounder for all skin types, specifically designed to prevent hyperpigmentation caused by sun exposure. With it’s great rep and promise to reduce UV-related brown spots and prevent their reappearance, you won’t regret buying this one.

Drunk Elephant Umbra Tinted Physical Daily Defense SPF 30

£25.50 for 60ml

While arguably on the pricier side, this sunscreen is perfect if you’re looking for a product that will leave your skin glowing. The subtle tint in the formula is perfect for giving you that perfect glowy ‘no-makeup’ look that we all crave in the summertime.

Childs Farm 50+SPF Water Resistant Sun Cream

£9.59 for 125ml

Last but definitely not least, the Childs Farm sunscreen is the humble underdog worth looking into, known for its benefits to dry and sensitive skin. Although officially designed for children, the benefits of this product are well worth considering, with the waterproof formula offering high SPF protection while keeping skin moisturised and hydrated. As it is designed with infants in mind, it is perfect for anyone with extremely sensitive skin due to the gentle ingredients and lack of fragrance. Oh, and did we mention it is only £10 for 125ml? Run, don’t walk, and thank us later.

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