The best moisturisers with SPF for every day protection

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  • Because SPF is a must, seven days a week, 365 days a year

    Ah, summer… It’s all sunshine and rosé until someone gets burnt. Nothing is as harsh on the skin as the sun. And yet the type of protection we should be wearing on the beach, every day and during the colder months still lies shrouded in mystery. So let’s set the record straight from the start. When it comes to the best SPF moisturisers, there are a couple of things to bear in mind.

    Is SPF moisturiser enough or do I also need to wear sun cream?

    In summer you definitely need to wear a separate sun cream on top of your SPF moisturiser if you are sunbathing or outside for prolonged periods of time.

    ‘Many people believe that having an SPF in their moisturiser will suffice,’ says consultant dermatologist Dr Justine Kluk. ‘But according to the British Association of Dermatologists, moisturiser with an SPF will only help protect you against small amounts of UV exposure – for example, when you walk to the car.’

    But what it won’t do, is provide the same degree of sun protection as the best facial sunscreens. Especially for longer, more deliberate UV exposure.

    It’s true, SPF in a moisturiser is tested the same way as SPF in sunscreen. So technically speaking, an SPF30 moisturiser should provide an SPF of 30.

    ‘But to achieve the SPF on the label, you would have to apply at least half a teaspoon to the face, which people rarely do,’ says Kluk. ‘What’s more, SPF moisturisers are less likely to be rub-resistant and water-resistant. For these reasons they won’t offer the same level of protection as the best sun creams.’

    It’s also worth noting that moisturisers containing an SPF don’t always contain protection against UVA rays, either. ‘As a result, they will not protect against UV ageing in the same way as a broadspectrum sunscreen would,’ adds Kluk.

    Beauty Drawer

    So why does my face cream contain an SPF?

    Worn on its own, moisturiser with SPF grants a very basic level of every day defence against sun-related damage: think dryness, skin pigmentation and wrinkles.

    SPF moisturisers will also allow you to double up on your sun protection. When applied underneath facial sunscreens, they pump skin full of moisture while adding another layer of protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

    Then in the winter months, you can switch to just using SPF moisturiser instead of two separate products.

    Best SPF Moisturiser for oily skin

    Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream Light SPF20, from £25, Cult Beauty

    SPF moisturisers, Best SPF Moisturiser for Oily Skin: Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Cream Light SPF20, £75, Cult Beauty


    It still includes everything we love about the original Magic Cream, which was like a blanket for dry skin. But with a host of welcome extras. This all-new lightweight formula is not only the answer to hydrating oily skin but is supercharged with wrinkle-smoothing peptides, SPF20 and pollution defense technology.

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    Best SPF30 Moisturiser

    Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield Broad Spectrum SPF30, £65,

     SPF moisturisers, Best SPF30 Moisturiser: Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield Broad Spectrum SPF30, £65,


    This cool gel wins points for sweaty skin in a heat wave, while peptides from mushrooms tackle fine lines and enlarged pores, leaving behind a smooth, not suffocating, canvas.

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    Best SPF moisturiser for men

    Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer SPF30, £26, Space NK

    SPF moisturisers, Best SPF Moisturiser For Men: Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer SPF30, £26, Space NK



    Squalaene restores natural moisture while the lack of scent appeals to both sexes. The addition of a strong SPF makes it a hat trick.

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    Should I wear an SPF moisturiser even if it’s cloudy?  

    Yes, you should wear an SPF every day as UVA rays can still permeate cloudy skies and windows. So good luck coming up with excuses as to why you’re skipping it.

    Once that’s decided, check out more of the best SPF moisturisers below:

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