Customisable SPF sun drops are all the rage now. Here is hope for those who hate wearing traditional face sunscreen.
Call me an old school snob, since I prefer my face sunscreen to be creamy and easy to apply like a facial moisturiser as the last step of my skincare routine. However, not everyone is enthused by the idea of having to slather their face with such a sunscreen, which for some could be far too greasy, sticky, sometimes itchy, or even causing breakouts.
With the rise of customisation in the beauty industry, SPF sun drops, generally used alongside primers by makeup connoisseurs to smoothly apply their foundation, are gaining in popularity in minimalist skincare routines. This is because the type of sunscreen you wear can affect your skincare and makeup routines. Nobody likes to end up with a cakey face or a peeling makeup for the sake of wearing sun protection. I know, vanity sometimes takes precedence over the importance of doing the right thing when it comes to minimising rapid photo ageing and the risks of skin cancer as a result of over exposure to damaging solar radiation.
Rest assured that you can count on the beauty industry to come up with innovative hybrid serum/sunscreen formulas such as SPF sun drops to entice those who shun face sunscreen entirely to get decent broad-spectrum sun protection.
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Innovative Lightweight Formulas
Packed with antioxidants and skin brightening ingredients, lightweight SPF sun drops hitting the market could be worn either as stand alone alternatives to traditional face sunscreens or blended into moisturisers, offering broad-spectrum protection against UVA/UVB rays and blue light.
Particularly ideal for warmer months during which lighter textures are much preferred, many of these SPF sun drops are also easy to reapply over makeup after 2 hours to maintain good sun protection level throughout the day.
Whilst some people may be worried about the addition of antioxidants into SPF sun drop formulas, fear not – antioxidants and sunscreen are actually friends. Clinical research reveals that the combination of vitamins E, C and sunscreen can boost the effectiveness of your sun protection. Such a powerful combo is helpful in the fight against both photo ageing and skin cancer (melanoma).
There is however a caveat to all of these. With skincare products layering becoming the norm, when opting to use SPF sun drops in your routine, make sure to use products with complementary potent ingredients in the right order. Otherwise, you might end up cancelling out the effectiveness of some skincare or makeup products and triggering over exfoliation and skin irritation. To ensure you mix your products correctly in your skincare routine, I suggest you read the following articles:
- How retinoids (Vitamin A) interact with AHA, BHA, and PHA containing products here
- How to mix AHAs, BHAs, and PHAs with other acid-based skincare here
- How to add vitamin C to your skincare routine alongside potent ingredients here
Without further due, below are some SPF sun drops for all skin types and skin tones worth investing in this summer and beyond.
The Best SPF Sun Drops – The Shortlist
Deciem NIOD Survival 30 (S30) 30 ml
Best for: oily skin, medium skin tone
NIOD Survival 30 is formulated with advanced technologies to target the effects of oxygen radicals including the superoxide radical, nitrogen radicals, carbonyl radicals, glycation and advanced glycation end-products (AGE), pollution, smog, stress, infrared and blue light.
The mineral-only high UVA/UVB protection of SPF30 (PA+++) found in Survival 30 is the combination of Silicone-Dispersed Zinc Oxide (ZnO) and Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) delivered on skin in refined micronized forms in flexible, high-volatility, non-comedogenic silicones.
Added to the formula are a few innovative ingredients such as Fractionated Melanin, which is specifically designed to absorb light in the range of 400-500 nm wavelengths, and Pycnogenol®, a highly-potent antioxidant derivative of maritime pine. The latter minimises and reverses the appearance of photo damage.
The very lightweight, white-cast free and mattifying face sunscreen formula works best for oily skin and medium skin tone, leaving the skin with a silky feel. It sits well under makeup.
Dr Barbara Sturm Sun Drops SPF50 30 ml
Best for: dry skin, sensitive skin, all skin tones
A hybrid SPF50 serum and light moisturiser with UV chemical filters for broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays that blends sun-protection ingredients with anti-ageing ingredients to offer an alternative lightweight solution to your face serum.
To protect the skin from oxidative damage and promote skin resiliency, Cassia Extract, Vitamins E and C and Beta-Glucan have been added to the formula. Hyaluronic Acid, Glycerine and Panthenol deliver moisturising, hydrating and anti-inflammatory properties.
Amino acid Arginine helps protect the skin from free radicals and support collagen production, whilst Purslane helps calm the skin and reduces visible signs of irritation.
The white-cast free SPF sun drops have a lightweight texture on skin, particularly on dry skin, and are gentle enough for sensitive skin.
Hello Sunday The One That’s A Serum – Face Drops SPF45
Best for: sensitive skin, eczema and acne-prone skin, all skin tones
An alternative approach to face sunscreen, the light textured, moisturising SPF45 serum protects against UVA/UVB rays. Additionally, the product is built to prevent premature photo ageing and to enhance your protection from blue light and pollution.
The SPF sun drops is a blend of traditional and new generation UVA/UVB chemical filters including Octocrylene, Avobenzone known as Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Bemotrizinol known as Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, and Ethylhexyl Triazone.
Silicone-based skin-smoothing ingredient Dimethicone added to this serum makes this gentle formula suitable for sensitive skin, including for those with eczema and acne-prone skin.
Hyaluronic Acid together with Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder help maintain skin hydration levels, whilst a dipeptide Carnosine, which is naturally found in the human body, helps protect skin against blue light and rejuvenate connective tissue cells to prevent ageing.
The fast absorbing, non-sticky formula enhanced with Vitamin C, leaves your skin feeling fresh and radiant and acts as the perfect base before makeup.
COOLA Sun Silk Drops SPF30 30 ml
Best for: all skin types and skin tones, great under makeup
The lightweight sun silk drops offer broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection, whilst helping to minimise the damaging effects of blue light, infra-red, and pollution on your skin.
Formulated with chemical filters such as avobenzone, the serum is infused with jojoba oil, aloe vera, olive oil, and sodium hyaluronate to boost skin moisture and hydration levels and to enhance the skin barrier functions. AHA Citric acid is added to the alternative face sunscreen to support skin radiance.
The nourishing, reef-friendly and white-cast free SPF formula works well under makeup. It can be used alone or blended with moisturiser or foundation to further enhance essential skin protection into your daily routine.
Cover FX SPF Booster Drops SPF30 30ml
Best for: all skin types, under and over makeup
The weightless and highly customisable Cover FX SPF Booster Drops is an innovative invisible sun protection that is easily applied under and over makeup to maximise broad-spectrum protection against harmful UVA/UVB rays, heavy metals and free radicals.
Chemical filters Avobenzone, Homosalate, Octisalate, Octocrylene are mixed together with argan oil and coconut oil to boost skin moisture and barrier function. The alternative face sunscreen works best for all skin types, particularly for those who wear makeup daily.
Rodial SPF50 Drops 31ml
Best for: skin soothing ingredients
The lightweight SPF 50 drops from Rodial deliver high broad-spectrum protection against unhealthy UVA/UVB rays and blue light photoaging. The serum harnesses blue light filter technology to shield your skin from collagen degeneration and loss of elasticity.
A chemical sunscreen blending Octocrylene, Avobenzone, UVB filter Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate with Oxybenzone (Benzophenone 3) and Ethylhexyl Salicylate with
sunflower (seed) oil to support skin moisture and citric acid for skin brightening. Antioxidant rich Butterfly Bush, known to soothe skin, is added to the formula to protect the skin from free radicals, alongside Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin E to enhance skin’s hydration and moisture.