How to choose the best sunscreen (or SFP) for mature skins
The sun has got her hat on, or at least, she’s fishing it out of her bottom drawer and has it at the ready, as the tulips are popping out and the days are lengthening, and that can only mean one thing – time to check your sunscreen situation!
I am going to walk you through seven sunscreens/SPFs that I have tried and tested on my mature skin, and that I think work really well, on their own or under makeup. I have both high street and high end products and I’ve even ranked them by cost per ml.
Before we start, I just want to let you know all links on this post are Amazon Associate affiliate, which means if you click on the link and purchase the product, I will receive a small commission at no cost to you, but which helps support my blog. I only recommend products that I have tried and tested.
A little about my skin…
I don’t wear a moisturiser under my SPF as I have normal skin – not dry, not oily, just mature, lined and wrinkled.
I’ve also looked at which are chemical and which are physical – it doesn’t matter to me, but I know some people prefer minerals to chemicals for a variety of different reasons – primarily due to skin sensitivity. But I have what could be termed sensitive skin – in that I am allergic to certain ingredients found in makeup and skincare: citrate and its derivatives, and Peruvian Balsam. However, I am able to tolerate both mineral and chemical sunscreens, so although most of the sunscreens I’ve chosen are chemical, there is one mineral in here too.
A little about the difference between mineral and chemical sunscreens.
- Mineral sunscreens work by forming a barrier which reflects the sun’s light rays away from the skin.
- Chemical sunscreens absorb the sun’s rays, turn them into heat, then release the heat through the skin.
According to Byrdie, a fantastic website which has a wealth of info on this and so many other questions we beauty fanatics have, “the key difference between mineral and chemical sunscreens is that mineral/physical sunscreens sit on top of the skin and block rays at the surface using ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, while chemical sunscreens absorb rays like a sponge using ingredients like oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, or octinoxate. Mineral sunscreens tend to be better suited for those with sensitive or acne-prone skin, but the formulations also tend to be thicker (and can potentially leave a white cast behind on deeper skin tones).”
All seven sunscreens were tested by me, wearing the same foundation each time – No. 7 Lift and Luminate, all recommended, all available in the US except one but I’ve given an alternative which isn’t available in the UK. In the US, the FDA has different regulations to those in Europe, but all bar one in this video are available in both territories.
All have skin loving ingredients, either hyaluronic acid or triglycerides, so all can act as moisturisers as well as sunscreens. All worked well under makeup, with no pilling. I’ve mentioned below which have alcohol as an ingredient, although for each product it’s fairly low down on the ingredients’ list.
Bondi Sands - chemical
- Cost per ml 0.09p
- SPF 50 plus
- Very high protection, water resistant lotion
- Key ingredients: homosalate, octocrylene, alcohol.
Beauty Pie Super Healthy Skin Ultra-light UVA/UVB – possibly chemical
- £9.14 plus membership (e.g. £59) – lasts 2 months
- 50 ml
- Cost per ml 0.34 including membership of £59 if you purchase 6 per year
- SPF 25
- Key ingredients: …Octocrylene
Bioderma Photoderm Max Tinted Cream – possibly mineral as it contains Titanium Dioxide
- 40 ml
- Cost per ml 0.37p
- SPF 50 plus
- Key ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Octocrylene….C20-22 Alcohols,
US: unavailable but this is a good dupe: https://amzn.to/3iyK0DO – Cerave CeraVe Tinted Sunscreen with SPF 30 | Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen With Zinc Oxide & Titanium Dioxide | Sheer Tint for Healthy Glow – a mineral sunscreen
Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen - chemical
- I bought the mini, but the full size is £32.
- Cost per ml £1.56
- SPF 30 – SPF 40 in the USA
- Broad spectrum.
- Key ingredients: avobenzone (gold standard of UVA protection), homosalate – same in US as in UK.
UK: https://amzn.to/35c0AX2 – this is SPF 40 – the 30 is very difficult to find except on Net a Porter – there’s a waiting list for it on Cult Beauty.
And here’s a helpful guide to cost per ml:
|Cost per Ml
I would choose Supergoop as my favourite high end sunscreen, and the Garnier as my favourite drugstore/high street product. But they are all absolutely wearable, comfortable and effective.
If you want to watch me talking through the sunscreens, I have done an accompanying YouTube video: https://youtu.be/d20LZlQfphM
Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried any of these, or what your favourites are!