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The best sunscreens for an Australian summer

IMAGE VIA MOTHER
WORDS BY KATE STREADER

The best sunblocks and sunscreens with SPF.

Not all sunscreens are created equally. You’ve got your face sunscreens, tinted sunscreens, natural sunscreens and moisturising sunscreens, not to mention greasy formulas, white casts, unpleasant scents and, most importantly, different SPF levels. 

You should be wearing sunscreen year-round, even if you aren’t planning on spending much time outside, but it’s especially important to slather on that SPF during summer and reapply it every two hours – especially if you’re swimming or sweating. 


We like nosy people. Don’t be shy, head to our Beauty section for more. 


The harsh Australian sun can cause a lot of damage to your skin and trigger premature ageing, so make sure you slip, slop and slap it up this summer (and the rest of the year). To get you on the right track, we’ve put together a list of some of the best sunscreens for all types of skin. 

Face sunscreens

Ultra Violette Queen Screen SPF50+

 

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Ultra Violette is somewhat of a cult hero in the SPF game. While the appeal is partly thanks to the brand’s chic packaging, the products themselves certainly live up to the hype. A serum-sunscreen hybrid, Ultra Violette’s Queen Screen works great as a primer and leaves a natural, glowy finish. 

ultraviolette.com.au

Mecca Cosmetica To Save Face SPF50+ Superscreen Oxybenzone Free Formula

 

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Free of oxybenzone, a chemical commonly found in sunscreens that can be damaging to your health and the ocean, Mecca Cosmetica’s To Save Face Superscreen is non-greasy, lightweight, alcohol and sulphate-free and it doesn’t leave a white cast. Designed to be worn underneath makeup, it won’t leave your foundation pilling or splitting. 

mecca.com.au 

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Invisible Fluid Facial Sunscreen SPF 50+

La Roche-Posay’s invisible, barely-there, fragrance-free Anthelios Invisible Fluid Facial Sunscreen is great for those who can’t stand the smell or feel of sunblock. The lightweight, matte formula is perfect for oily skin types and serves as a great base for makeup. 

laroche-posay.com.au

Glossier Invisible Shield

 

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Comprising a water-gel formula that feels like a serum rather than sunblock, Glossier’s Invisible Shield is great for sensitive skin and everyday wear. Leaving a light, citrusy scent and Glossier’s trademark natural glow, Invisible Shield is sun protection that feels a little luxe. 

glossier.com.au

Moisturising Sunscreens

Alpha H Daily Essential Moisturiser SPF50 with Vitamin E

 

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Hydrating your skin and protecting it from the sun, Alpha H’s Daily Essential Moisturiser is great bang for your buck. An emollient face cream and broad-spectrum sunscreen in one, it works both the preventative and protection angles for combating skin damage. 

alphah.com

Everyday Humans Resting Beach Face SPF30 Sunscreen Serum

 

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Full of antioxidants, BHAs, and salicylic acid, Everyday Humans’ Resting Beach Face SPF30 Sunscreen Serum is a two-in-one sunscreen and moisturiser. It’s lightweight and suitable for all skin types, plus there’s no yucky sunscreen smell. 

everyday-humans.com

Dermalogica Dynamic Skin Recovery SPF 50

Fighting premature ageing from both ends, Dermalogica’s Dynamic Skin Recovery is packed with antioxidants, tripeptide to protect and boost collagen, and hyaluronic acid to plump and hydrate the skin. And, of course, the broad spectrum SPF50 protects against UVA and UVB damage.

dermalogica.com.au

Skinstitut Age Defence SPF50

 

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Providing protection through both chemical and physical UV filters, Skinstitut Age Defence SPF50 works against dehydration, free-radical damage and UVA/UVB rays for a three-pronged defence. Containing antioxidants like vitamin B3, it also helps prevent UV-triggered pigmentation. 

skinstitut.com

SkinCeuticals Ultra Facial Defence SPF50

 

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A broad-spectrum sunscreen offering strong UVA and UVB protection, SkinCeuticals’ Ultra Facial Defence SPF50 is a hydrating sunscreen that combats the breakdown of collagen. Bonus points for its satin finish and nourishing texture.

skinceuticals.com.au

Tinted Sunscreens

BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream

 

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BareMinerals’ SPF30+ skin tint provides sun protection and medium coverage, plus it contains squalane to keep your skin hydrated. The oil-free formula will leave you looking dewy and luminous without so much as a hint of greasiness. 

bareminerals.com

Ultra Violette Dream Screen SPF50 Tinted Veil 

 

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Available in 11 shades, Ultra Violette’s Dream Screen tinted sunscreen leaves you with a glowy finish and just the right amount of coverage for a natural look. It’s oil-free, paraben-free, fragrance-free and full of AHAs, too. 

ultraviolette.com.au

Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint SPF40

 

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Combining niacinamide, squalane and hyaluronic acid, this vegan, mineral SPF skin tint works to plump, hydrate and balance your skin. The dreamy tinted formula will leave your complexion looking even with a subtle, radiant finish. 

iliabeauty.com

Bioderma Sensibio AR BB Cream SPF30

Made for sensitive skin, Bioderma’s Sensibio AR BB Cream works to neutralise and conceal redness with its blend of calming, moisturising and protective agents. If you suffer from rosacea or any other reactive skin condition, this is the tinted sunscreen for you. 

bioderma.com.au

Natural Sunscreens

Mother SPF Organic Mineral Sunscreen SPF30

 

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Comprising just nine sustainably sourced, certified organic ingredients, Mother SPF’s Organic Mineral Sunscreen is made from botanicals, high-strength antioxidants and zinc oxide to keep you protected from the sun’s rays and free radical damage. Plus, the packaging is made from post-consumer plastics that would otherwise end up in landfill. 

motherspf.com

Paula’s Choice Resist Super-Light Wrinkle Defence SPF30

A pure mineral, zinc oxide sunscreen, this all-rounder product is light, silky and gentle and will leave your skin looking firmer and smoother with its concoction of antioxidants. Plus, you can cut down on your skincare routine by using it in place of your usual moisturiser.

paulaschoice.com.au

Grown Alchemist Natural Hydrating Sunscreen

Utilising an all-natural, zinc oxide formula, Grown Alchemist’s Natural Hydrating Sunscreen is vegan, reef safe and full of ingredients that will leave your skin feeling oh so soft. It’s sheer, broad-spectrum and blends beautifully into the skin, too. 

grownalchemist.com.au

For more on the importance of sun protection, head here.

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