Oh hey there!

Disclaimer: This post got super long so you may want to grab yourself a cup of something tasty before proceeding.

Let’s talk SPF… It seems somewhat of a buzz word and it’s something that I definitely did not pay much attention to until recently. I feel like it’s a rite of passage to be blase about SPF when you’re young. I have had more holidays than I’d care to admit where I haven’t put on sunscreen because I was more concerned about getting tanned… Stupid, right? 

Last Summer I did start to consider SPF but it wasn’t until a month or two ago that I really started to think of the importance of daily facial SPF – blazing sunshine or not. That said, I went on the hunt to find a facial SPF and in true Shona style, bought a few to try out and compare before making a final decision. Which truthfully, I still haven’t fully come to. 

All products featured are cruelty free.

Sun Bum Sunscreen Face Stick SPF 30 – £11.99 for 13g
This is a solid chemical sunscreen. I feel like finding this was a ‘meant to be’ moment. I had watched a YouTube video about facial sunscreens that wouldn’t break you out and this was featured but after a quick Google, it seemed difficult to get in the UK. Then, as if by magic, that very day I spotted it in Boots. This facial SPF is super easy to apply because it’s a solid stick. It’s broad spectrum and non-greasy. It initially gives a nice glow to the skin although this does pretty much disappear as the product fully absorbs into the skin. I have tried this product on its own and under make-up and truthfully, am a huge fan. The first day I tried this out under make up it was 20+ degree heat which is hot for Scotland and it kept my make-up looking good for more than 8 hours. Sun Bum smells incredible – of all the SPFs I’m talking about, this has the best smell – foamy bananas is what it reminds me of. I know there are a lot of people that can’t cope with fragrance on the face so this may not be for you but I truly love this product. In my opinion, it’s the most fun and the SPF I get the most excited about. Saying that, I don’t think it will become my go-to facial SPF but I can definitely see myself repurchasing this over Summer months and for holidays abroad. This is also a product that Ian is excited by and tried to ‘take off my hands’, so maybe a great option for any men in your life too?

ASDA Protect Mattifying Facial Sun Cream SPF 30 – £2.50 for 50ml
This is also a chemical sunscreen but it’s a cream consistency not solid. I have had this previously because it used to be coconut scented which I loved for being on holiday. I had never given this the time of day and actually tested itout properly. Doing that now though, and especially for the price point – this SPF is excellent. It’s broad spectrum, applies really nicely and absorbs into the skin really well. Because it’s mattifying, it controls oil which I find great especially on a hot day as someone who has oily-combination skin. It also contains vitamin E so although it’s mattifying, it’s not going to dry out your skin. My make-up applied beautifully over this sunscreen and lasted well all day. It truly is a great facial SPF. There’s something about this product that means I don’t get really hyped or excited by it but bottom line, it is excellent. I can’t find fault with it and it’s the most affordable on this list. I also noticed that ASDA have a Q10 facial SPF in their range for those who need more hydration. 

Bondi Sands Daily Moisturising Face SPF 50 – 75ml for £6.99
This is another cream consistency broad spectrum chemical sunscreen. This is reef friendly – I think the only reef friendly SPF on this list. It contains vitamin E and claims to provide 72 hour hydration. It also claims to be fragrance free which I disagree with. It’s very subtle and non-offensive but there definitely is a smell. Again, fragrance doesn’t upset my skin but this is something to be mindful of. Something that really irritates me about this product is that there are two products which seem identical but one says FACE and one does not which is 150ml and £7.99, so much better value for money.. I contacted Bondi Sands and asked about the difference in these products because checking the ingredients list, claims, consistency I could tell no difference. The brand got back to me and the reason the 75ml product is suitable for the face? The size. “Both products can be used for full body application (including the face) as they are TGA approved.” – Now, this is obviously a good thing if you know this ahead of time and buy the bigger, and cheaper, product. But I just feel it’s misleading marketing making you think you need to splurge on the smaller bottle for the face. That said, this is the heaviest and most greasy SPF I’ve tried, and I wonder if this is because it is suitable for ‘full body application’. This SPF is the most reminiscent of typical sunscreen and while it would be totally fine for a holiday when you are just laying in the sun, I found it thick and greasy and I really was not a fan of how it applied or sat on the skin. I struggled to put make-up on top of this because I found it so heavy. My friend Beth has dry skin and out of interest, I asked her to try this out and let me know her thoughts.

Beth actually did like this product, she liked the feel and found it very moisturising but isn’t convinced it would be good under make-up. “It id quite heavy feeling for the first hour it was on my face – if I was going to wear it daily I would need to put it on a minimum of an hour before putting on make up which isn’t ideal … However, I did actually like how moisturising it felt and my skin was very soft all day.” In short, Beth probably wouldn’t repurchase which I think says it all…

Beauty Pie Ultralight UVA/UVB SPF 25 – 50 ml for £9.56 (member’s price)
You can read my Beauty Pie post here to understand all about the concept.
This is another broad spectrum chemical SPF. It contains hyaluronic acid so is very hydrating but as the name – ultralight – might suggest it is a lightweight formula and even with my oily-combo skin, it wasn’t heavy or greasy. What I have found with this SPF is that it applied better if I dotted it over my face instead of just putting a drop (dollop? blob?) onto my finger tips and tried to apply. (I don’t even think that makes sense but I hope it does. This is when I really wish I just made a YouTube channel because it would be easier to SHOW than to try and describe…) This is another SPF that claims to be fragrance free and again, although it’s subtle, there is a scent. Beauty Pie has a great review system so you can filter and read reviews from people with different skin types, perusing this option it seems that regardless of skin type, the people are loving this SPF. On initial application this SPF leaves a slight tackiness to the skin but this does totally absorb and it gives skin a slight dewy finish. This is the SPF I have reached for the most and can confirm it is great with or without make-up. It’s definitely the best on this list for under make-up in my opinion. My make-up went on beautifully over this SPF and just looked so nice throughout the day, even in 20+ degree heat walking around town to get steps in. I was writing up my blog notes having worn this for a full day and the first thing I have written is simply: LOVE!!!!! – So, that kind of says it all.
My one ‘negative’ about this SPF is that it’s only factor 25. However, drum roll… Just last week, Beauty Pie announced that they were releasing this in a factor 50 next month so, I guess I don’t really have anything negative to say about this at all. 


Trying these SPFs, I used the exact same skincare pre-SPF application and initially tested the SPF using the same foundation over the top – Tarte Cosmetics Rainforest of the Sea foundation in shade Medium Sand, FYI. This is a medium-buildable coverage and I just thought it would be a good starting point but I have now worn these SPF products with BB cream and fuller coverage products as well.

In short, personally I would avoid the Bondi Sands SPF but all the others I would recommend. Sun Bum is definitely the most ‘fun’, I think it would be so handy for holidays abroad and I love the banana scent! Beauty Pie is probably the one I will use the most and repurchase, especially in the new factor 50. But, the ASDA SPF really is a great product and with such an affordable price tag, if you just want to dip your toe into the world of SPF, this is a great option. It will definitely be the product I am reaching for when I’m trying to be super strict with spending (although, it’s been years of telling myself I’ll do that and it’s still not happened so who knows…)

All of these products are chemical sunscreens which mean they don’t provide instant sun protection. It’s important to wait at least 15 minutes after applying SPF before going out into the sun or before applying make-up. I also want to mention that if you use less product than recommended, your SPF protection will be lower.

Please let me know what your favourite facial SPF is or if you have tried any that feature on this list! I am even more excited to be spending Summer days in the sun, knowing that I am finally protecting my skin properly. 

Until next time,
Shona x 

One thought on “LET’S TALK ABOUT SPF

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