Protect your skin with these luxe new high-protection UVA and UVB SPF formulations.

This year has seen the emergence of a new skincare-sunscreen hybrid step for your beauty regime – just in time for summer. Rather than a token SPF15 after-thought in your daily moisturiser formula or, at the other end of the spectrum, a chalky, pore-blocking standalone hefty SPF, clever beauty brands are launching high-protection UVA and UVB SPF formulations in luxurious serum or gel textures, all with bonus skincare benefits. Sinking straight in without a white cast, expect quenched, protected, nourished skin, all summer long. Here are nine of our favourites.

Ultra Violette

Queen Screen Luminising Sun Serum SPF50+, £36

This super silky sunscreen from Aussie brand Ultra Violette delivers a serious glow-boost. With antioxidant-rich Kakadu plum for a hit of Vitamin C, it protects skin from free radicals and gives broad-spectrum protection from UVA and UVB rays. It’s not just the sun it shields you from either; the addition of dragosine helps protect against blue light from our screens, too. The best part? It smells of fresh roses. Shop it here.

La Roche Posay

Hyalu B5 Aquagel SPF30, £34.50

French Pharmacy brand La Roche Posay has been doing sunscreen well for years. Its new ultra-lightweight Hyalu Aquagel is a brilliant combo of the brand’s super-quenching hyaluronic acid skincare with a broad-spectrum sunscreen. The gel formula is invisible on all skin types and sinks in immediately, without feeling tacky or greasy and, crucially, it doesn’t irritate or clog pores. Great for layering under make-up. Shop it here.

Estée Lauder

Perfectionist Pro Multi-Defence Aqua UV Gel SPF50, £36

The next generation of treatment skincare protection, this clever patent-pending formula from Estée Lauder offers a three-in-one prong attack, with UVA/UVB broad spectrum protection; pollution shield and dehydration defence. It locks in moisture, protects skin from environmental aggressors and shields it from the sun’s rays. An all-in-one invisible veil of gel-texture emulsion, perfect for summer in the city. Shop it here.

Wild Science Lab

Bright Start SPF30 Broad Spectrum UV Shield, £39

Wild Science Lab’s Bright Start SPF quenches, energises and protects skin with hydrating aloe vera and brightening vitamin C. It also contains nourishing vitamin E, sweet almond oil and a stimulating blend of six essential oils, making it an olfactory joy to use as your daily sun defence. Shop it here.

Trinny London

BFF SPF Cream, £35

Trinny London’s BFF SPF Cream gives tinted skin correction, sun protection and skincare benefits too – is there anything it can’t do? It boosts hydration, balances skin tone and generally peps up tired, dull skin with a shot of glow. There’s SPF30 built-in, without a hint of white cast – just healthy, summer skin. Shop it here.

Dr. Dennis Gross

All Physical Lightweight Wrinkle Defense SPF, £46

Practicing dermatologist Dr. Dennis Gross takes sun protection seriously; he knows first-hand the damage we can do to our skin if we don’t. This formula is a physical shield, using invisible zinc oxide to create a barrier, protecting skin from UVA and UVB rays. Crucially, it doesn’t leave a ghostly residue on darker skin tones like so many other physical sun screens. He’s crammed the formula with anti-oxidants too, to halt the onset of dark spots, fine lines and other summer skin side effects. Shop it here.


City Skin Age Defense, Broad Spectrum SPF 50, £60

Another mineral sunscreen, this time from Murad. This SPF50 has been formulated specifically for city dwellers to protect from environmental aggressors that can accelerate the signs of ageing. The idea is to stop toxins penetrating skin in the first place, before they can do any damage. It has colour correcting properties too to even out skin tone and add a dewy finish with zero ashy residue or pilling under make-up. Shop it here.

Sarah Chapman

Skin Insurance SPF30, £59

Top facialist Sarah Chapman knows how to make skin look at its healthiest and most radiant – her Skin Insurance SPF not only protects skin from the damaging sun’s rays, but restores and replenishes tired, dehydrated skin too. Its ‘optical blurring technology’ translates into a brighter, more energised skin tone, while the antioxidant-rich formula works to build stronger, healthier skin – long-term. Not just a topical SPF, but a clever investment in summer skin. Shop it here.

Super Goop!

Unseen Sunscreen, SPF30, £15

When they say ‘Unseen Sunscreen’ – they really do mean it. This invisible formula from Super Goop! is almost undetectable. It’s non-greasy, unscented and is infused with a cocktail of skincare benefits too – from blue-light neutralising red algae to hydrating meadowfoam seed. It’s also a great primer for make-up to stop slippage in the heat. Shop it here.

By Lydia Mansi
May 2021

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Lydia Mansi

Lifestyle Editor

Lydia is an all-round lifestyle guru, tireless champion of women in business and our resident expert on beauty.