SPF picks for this scorcher of a heatwave

With temperatures expected to reach 36 degrees next week, it's more important than ever to load up on sunscreen.

We all know that SPF is a vital step in any good skincare routine — but it’s quite the Sisyphean task to find one that does it all. Luckily for you, we did all the hard work. Armed with a team of testers we went through some of the best sunscreens on the market, searching for the best formulas and most cost effective products out there. So if you’re always getting the dreaded white cast with your SPF, or you can’t find one that won’t break you out, here’s your sign to try something new. Read on for HUNGER’s top picks…

If you’re after an SPF that doesn’t skimp on skincare… Alumier MD Sheer Hydration SPF 40 | £37.50

Clinical grade skincare brand, Alumier MD, has won awards for its Sheer Hydration Broad Spectrum SPF, and it’s not hard to see why. This physical sunscreen packs a punch by providing powerful broad-spectrum protection, while also including ingredients like zinc oxide, titanium, and moisturising vitamin E. It’s also packed with free-radical-quenching antioxidants that every skincare buff will be familiar with; there’s a stable vitamin C, resveratrol, grape seed extract, and glutathione. In short, this sunscreen makes us feel good about our life choices. 

The all-rounder… Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40 | £32 

Supergoop made headlines for revolutionising the SPF industry with their slew of completely invisible sunscreens, and years on, they’ve continued to dominate the market. You can’t go wrong with their Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40, which as well as being undetectable, is also scentless and provides broad-spectrum protection. For skincare buffs, the formula also includes blue light-neutralising red algae and hydrating meadowfoam seed and is reef-friendly too. 

If you’re conscious about re-application… iS Clinical’s NEW PerfecTINT Powder SPF40 | £64 

iS Clinical is our top pick for SPF re-application throughout the day. Easy to whip out, and touch up on the go, the PerfecTINT Powder SPF40 provides silky smooth broad spectrum coverage to protect against the visible signs of photoaging, all while minimizing the appearance of pores and surface oil. Available in five shades from ivory to deep, the formula includes iS clinical’s botanical antioxidant Extremozyme technology, which is proven to help DNA from environmental stressors. We love to apply the powder while out and about, at our desks, and even when for holiday touch-ups. 

For under makeup… COSRX Aloe Soothing SPF50 PA+++ Sun Cream | £18 

Sometimes you just want an easy SPF that can do it all — and for us, that’s COSRX’s Aloe Soothing SPF50 PA+++ Sun Cream. This physical and chemical SPF has a moisturising formula that is enriched with Aloe Vera. It absorbs quickly, sans white cast, which makes it perfect for use under makeup. We love the glowy, dewy finish it leaves on the skin too.

For quick absorption… PCA skin weightless protection broad spectrum SPF 45 | £42 

This quick-absorbing, lightweight, broad spectrum sunscreen has been recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation for daily use against harmful UV rays. The formula includes ultra-sheer zinc oxide and the antioxidants milk thistle and caffeine, which makes it ideal for those who have oily or breakout-prone skin. In short, if you hate the feel of thick, claggy, SPFs, this should be your pick. Oh, and it’s reef-friendly to boot!

For glowing skin… Flawless PhotoGlow Daily Skin Radiance SPF30+ | £61 

We’re always on the lookout for luminous skin, and Flawless PhotoGlow Daily Skin Radiance SPF30+ does just that and provides your daily sun protection to boot. The product claims to restore the skin’s natural radiance within two weeks thanks to an array of multivitamins and liposomes, and our testers noticed a more radiant skin tone almost immediately. 

The everyday one… Hello Sunday SPF30 Face Moisturiser | £16 

This hybrid moisturiser contains all your essentials, so broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection — but it also packs some skincare heavyweights at a price that won’t break the bank. Our testers also commended the Hello Sunday SPF 30 Face Moisturiser for being fragrance-free as well as lightweight and hydrating. It’s ideal for those who always forget to wear sunscreen, and hate thick textures. 

An alternative to tinted moisturiser… Dr David Jack All Day Long Moisturiser SPF 50 | £95 

This sheer day cream showcases the very latest protective filters, including blue light protection to create a daily skin shield for those who live in urban centres. Our testers said that the addition of skincare superheroes (niacinamide, glutathione, and hyaluronic acid) made their skin look less shiny, and resulted in them wearing less foundation. Win win! 

To soothe the skin… Wild Science Lab Root + Fruit Bright Start SPF 30 Broad Spectrum UV Shield | £39.00 

Our testers picked out the Wild Science Lab Root + Fruit Bright Start SPF 30 Broad Spectrum UV Shield for its non-irritating qualities. With stabilised vitamin C, antioxidant vitamin E, nourishing sweet almond oil and organic aloe vera, this powerful mix of skin-boosting ingredients not only helps maintain daily defence but restores equilibrium. 

For those on a budget… Glow Hub Sun Silk SPF 30 | £12

While Glow Hub’s Sun Silk SPF 30 may be easy on the purse strings, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t pack a punch when it comes to UVA/UVB protection. Lightweight and silky in texture, this SPF is designed to be worn daily, whatever the weather. Key ingredients include vitamin E, antioxidant rich marigold and green tea. 

For mineral sunscreen lovers… MONAT Sun Veil Daily Mineral SPF 30 | £42 

This lightweight, mineral-rich zinc oxide sunscreen will disprove all your assumptions about physical SPFs. Formulated with hyaluronic acid, botanicals, and antioxidants — sans white cast — this vegan Sun Veil offers serious protection as well as hydrating nourishment. Our testers noted its surprisingly lightweight formula and quick absorption. 

For easy application… SKN REHAB SKN Filter SPF 30 | £35

The award-winning SKN Filter SPF30 is a broad spectrum SPF that boasts an easy pump-bottle application. The sunscreen includes a powerful combination of vitamins and antioxidants to help reverse the damaging effects of the sun. With the additional antioxidant properties of vitamin C, the SKN REHAB SKN Filter SPF 30 also targets sun spots and pigmentation. Our testers loved this SPF for its all-rounder properties. 

For protection from daily elements… The FIERCE Shield SPF20 | £65 

While this SPF offers a lower SPF factor, it certainly wows when it comes to protection from the daily elements. The daily multi-dimensional fluid shield provides protection from pollutants and environmental factors. Its advanced marine anti-pollution compound fights against free radicals, stimulates the anti-oxidant synthesis and reduces oxidative stress and inflammation. 

And against heat stress… Oskia SPF 30 Vitamin Face Cream | £62 

This mineral sunscreen includes encapsulated glacier water, snow algae, astaxanthin, prebiotics, as well as a slew of vitamins. If that all sounds intimidating, it shouldn’t. Our testers praised the Oskia SPF 30 Vitamin Face Cream for its calming properties. The encapsulated swiss glacier water cools the skin to protect against heat stress and additionally provides deep, 24-hour hydration, which keeps you nourished all day long. 

WriterNessa Humayun