SPF has never been so sexy.
We’ve come a long way from the days when we’d spray Goody-Gumdrops-green SPF20 onto our skin (and accidentally, our mouth) before an impatient lather at Point Erin Pools.
Now, with more advancements in both technology and aesthetics, SPF is entering functional, sensorial, and dare we say sensual new heights.
Multi-functional, reef-safe, illuminating, colour-correcting, playful, and even going so far to protect us from blue light rays? This next wave of must-know SPFs simply do it all.
The one that does it all: Dermalogica’s Porescreen SPF40
Ever heard of pore care? It’s officially on our radar now, thanks to Dermalogica’s Porescreen SPF40. And, just like our plight with SPF, it’s something we wish we started using sooner. On the surface, it smooths the pores with a primer-like action, transforming your skin into a perfect canvas for what comes next. Behind the scenes and your dwindling pores, Niacinamide (2%, to be precise) antioxidises and ‘encapsulated pigments’ (i.e., orbs of natural tint) give a touch of colour to all skin tones. And then, of course, there’s the fact that it offers protection against UVA and UVB rays. We love us an SPF that does it all.
The one that treats all the senses: Jeunora’s FullStop.™ SPF50 Daily Glow Screen
Is there anything that Jeuneora can’t do? Or to be more precise, is there any part of our Summer schedule that they can’t make a touch more frolicsome? From Beauty Sleep’s ability to keep us smoothly snoozing despite the noises coming from the tent next to us at RnV, Beauty Brain’s keeping us alive and well during overwhelming family BBQs, to curing Long White-induced eye bags with Doe Eyes, we thought we’d exhausted all of their pick-me-ups. Until FullStop.™ SPF50 Daily Glow Screen came along, that is.
The vegan formulation is quite simply out of this world. It’s lightweight, absorbs in an instant, and of course provides SPF50 UVA and UVB broad-spectrum protection. Less obvious but just as noteworthy are the key ingredients: Ectoin, your protector against blue light, environmental pollution and broken barriers and Arctalis™, an arctic-harvested hydrator and blue light protectant. Where olfactory senses are concerned, gastronomists will delight in the fact that it’s scented (naturally, and with zero fragrance, we must add) just like a creamy fennel dip. It’s basically the perfect Summer BBQ plus one.
The daily hydrator and protector: Aēsop’s Protective Facial Lotion SPF50
If there’s one way to a New Zealander’s heart, it’s including our little island as a delivery destination at checkout. But launching an entire new offering in our part of the world, let alone hemisphere, *before* the rest of the world? Be still our beating heart. Such is the case for Aēsop’s new Protective Facial Lotion SPF50, joining their Sun Care range just in time for the kiwi summer. By no means a coincidence, nature’s programming is exactly the reason behind their decision to give our part of the globe the first taste.
In line with its more grunty SPF dose than predecessor, the Protective Facial Lotion SPF25, this lotion is a medium-weight texture and suitable for most skin types — normal and dry especially. In true Aēsop fashion, every molecule is curated to the enth degree—something we’re well versed on given our one-on-one with their Master Perfumer— resulting in a bouquet of Niacinamide and lesser-known humectant (read, ingredient to reduce the loss of any moisture) Saccharide Isomerate, as well as sage leaf, cedar atlas and lavender stem.
The sensitive skin saviour: Bondi Sands’ SPF 50+ Fragrance Free Range
Bondi Sands, formidable confectioners of products to both enhance moments under the sun (or make yourself look like you’ve had plenty of it,) are at it again. Nope, we’re not talking about their recent acquisition by beauty gargantuan Kao—although, snaps for them. Rather, it’s their newly-launched line of face and body SPF50+ essentials that famously are fragrance-free. It’s a god-send for anyone who’s gone a little too hard on the coconut margs or for who a sickly, pineapple-tinged SPF triggers the memory of a failed summer fling. Lest of all, those with actual fragrance and skin sensitivities who would break into a rash and/or thumping headache at any given whiff. Proving that fragrance free by no shout means bland, however, is their SPF 50+ Fragrance Free Tinted Face Fluid: a cute little dropper that delivers a subtle colour tint alongside UVA & UVB protection and a hefty dose of moisturising (72 hours to be precise).
The niche collector’s piece: Lernberger Stafsing Sun Defence Cream SPF50
The it-sunscreen of Nordic tastemakers has officially made its way down to our nook of the hemisphere. Nope, it’s not a drill, Lernberger Stafsing’s Sun Defence Cream holds a candle to Aotearoa’s SPF scene—and the steep regulations, climate, and of course, consumer tastes we’ve got here. To get into the nitty gritty, its UVA/UVB Protection ratio is 0.42 — much higher than the EU requisite of 0.33— making it a worthy adversary to Aotearoa’s rays.
Year 13 Chemistry class talk aside, it’s got everything we love and expect in our skincare: a quick-absorb texture, hyaluronic acid and squalane for skin strengthening, along with Cassava root, the tone-smoother extraordinaire, the Cassava root. Not to mention, it’s reef safe, vegan and cruelty-free. Add in the fact its neutral and gold-flecked packaging pairs perfectly with expertly curated ANKO ceramics atop your dresser, and you’ve got an SPF that really does do it all.
The textural treat: MECCA To Save Body SPF30 Radiant Sun Mousse
Fashion isn’t the only one being hit by a wave of inflation. SPF is getting its puffy, whippy comeuppance too, as evidenced by Mecca’s To Save Body SPF30 Radiant Sun Mousse. Yes, just like the hair mousse you’d use to immortalise your ringlets for a Year Two Jazz showcase, it theatrically foams out of the can and grows in your palm—only this time in the name of saving your skin, not crisping your hair. Not to mention, it’s the first of it’s kind in Australia and New Zealand.
Adding seriousness to what is now summer’s playful most playful ritual, the To Save Body SPF30 Radiant Sun Mousse, sets you up with SPF30 UVA and UVB protection, as well as an antioxidant-heavy (thank you Vitamin E) and moisturising (and you, Glycerin) formula. And it’s not going to leave you with filmy limbs. Nope, it’s parting gift is gentle dose of luminous pearls for a radiant, damage-free glow.
The perfect tint: Raaie’s Sun Milk Drops
If the existence of RAAIE’s Sun Milk Drops is news to anyone reading this, then we can kick our feet up and proudly say that we’ve done our job. It’s the kind of SPF you’d fiercely gatekeep at first, but, like us, want to sing about from the rooftops when it quickly replaces your foundation as your go-to makeup base. Speaking of quick, it’s one of the few SPFs that offers protection immediately post-application, unlike the 15-20 minutes chemical sunscreens take.
In terms of texture, the Sun Milk Drops lives up to its ‘barely there’ proclamation. As for what meets the eye? A smooth, radiant, colour-correcting and subtle tone-enhancing (far from any BB creams that promised a natural “glow” circa 2015) complexion is noticeable as soon as you smooth it in. We’d call it the quiet luxury of SPF, however we’re far too fond of the conspicuous stone bottle—and make much too big of a spectacle of it come 1pm reapply sessions—to reduce it to that.