The Best Foundations with SPF

Protection for the sun should be a fundamental part of your skincare regime. We find out why and how you can protect yourself from premature aging.
The Best Foundations with SPF -

The Best Foundations with SPF

As Spring sunshine descends on us, skincare, especially sun protection, comes into focus. Dusting off the bottles of sun cream, purchasing a fresh yearly batch of creams and solutions in order to fight off sun damage and the associated aging effects. Sales of foundations with SPF always peak in the Summer months. However, protecting your skin from sun damage is 365 day a year commitment. Even the slightest exposure to sun on a daily basis, without protection, can lead to irreversible damage to your skin.

skin damage by sun

'crow's feet' are associated with sun damage

How does the sun damage my skin?

Exposure to the sun's UV rays can account for up to 80% of the skin's aging. Two of the main signs of skin damage are wrinkles and freckles.

Over time, the skin's exposure prompts the creation of free radicals within the skin which damages the skin's natural elasticity and contributes to wrinkling and potential skin cancer. The more delicate areas of your face, such as around the eyes, are susceptible to skin damage more than other area. This is seen by the creation of 'crow's feet' around the eyes.

Ephelides are freckles that we associate with 'freckles'. Persistent sun exposure and sunburn are the main cause of ephelides. The main areas that they appear are:

  • Face
  • Arms
  • Upper Chest
  • Neck
  • Back

Fortunately, freckles aren't harmful, although it is still important to monitor them for any changes as part of the precautions against malignant melanoma (skin cancer. The same has to be said about monitoring moles. If any new or existing moles have changes shape, look uneven or change colour, get them checked with your doctor.

With greater intensity of the sun also comes greater potential damage. Hotter countries, with intense sunshine, carry heightened risk of sun damage and skin cancer. Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer partly attributed to a thinner ozone layer, the stratospheric layer that absorbs UV rays, above Australia. 

Those with lighter skin are also at a greater risk of skin damage than those with darker skin.

A common misconception is that only that the sun's UV rays are only dangerous in warmer months or on sunny days. Your skin, especially your face is constantly exposed to the elements. The build up of even the perceived weakest of UV rays over time will accumulate into sun damage. For this reason, you should protect your skin all year around.

What does SPF mean?

There are two kinds of UV rays - UVA and UVB. UVA is much more prevalent than UVA in sunlight. Each of these types of UV rays penetrates our skin differently and commonly SPF refers to protection from UVB. 

On the point of SPF, SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. The higher the SPF, the greater the protection from the sun. This, however, does lead a lot of us into a false sense of security, believing that we can apply a high level of SPF sun cream and enable us to stay in the sun longer. There are significant limitations to this theory. 

First of all, SPF 30 doesn't give us double the protection of SPF 15. It's a logarithmic scale of protection i.e. SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB radiation whilst SPF 30 blocks 97%. SPF 100 blocks out 99% of UVB radiation.

These percentages only apply when sun cream is applied evenly and reapplied every two hours. Sun cream rubs and sweats off so it's essential to reapply to get the protection.

 sun protection spf foundation

How best to protect your skin from the sun? 

There are a number of precautions you can take to protect yourself from damaging UV rays.

- Use Sun Cream.

It may seem obvious but applying sun cream, with a broad spectrum of UVA and UVB protection with a 30+ SPF. Most of us don't apply enough and don't reapply regularly enough to get the advertised SPF protection.

- Wear Moisturiser with SPF protection

Add moisturiser with SPF protection into your daily routine. Be wary though, SPF moisturiser will not give you the protection of sun cream. On warmer days, with intense sunshine, you should look to use sun cream as well as SPF moisturiser. 

- Avoid Excess Exposure to the Sun.

As much as we all enjoy the feel of the sun on our skin, limiting our exposure as a whole is the most effective way to protect ourselves from the harmful rays. In the Summer months, you should aim for less than 30 minutes at a time in direct sunlight. 

- Use Foundation with SPF Protection

Applying sun cream and foundation can be very challenging. The two differing textures hardly compliment each other and often leave just a greasy mess. Using foundation with SPF protection daily enables protecting your skin to be easily factored into your daily skincare routines. Fortunately plenty of leading beauty brands recognise the need for foundation with 

The Best Foundations with SPF Protection

1. The Ordinary Serum/Coverage Foundations

The Ordinary are synonymous with skincare the World over. Blending their expertise with affordability, the skincare experts have developed two ranges of foundations - the Serum and the Coverage foundations. The Serum foundation offers light coverage with a satin, lightweight finish while the Coverage foundation provides full coverage with a matte finish. Both of these ranges offer SPF 15 protection. The Ordinary foundations come in a wide range of shades. You can find a comprehensive shade guide here to find the right shade for you

the ordinary serum foundation

The Ordinary Foundations are £6.99 each or 3 for £16.99. Shop here at

 2. No.7 Protect & Perfect Advanced All in One Foundation

Leading beauty brand, No.7, launched their popular All in One foundation in 2019 and has acquired a band of loyal customers. Blended with 50+ SPF protection, this foundation has the greatest SPF protection in our favourites list and is also enriched with vitamin c and e to help block free radicals. This product missed out on our top spot due the expense and the inconsistency of the finish. Unlike The Ordinary, priced at £6.99 for 30ml, No.7 was almost £18 and we found that this foundation sat heavy into fine lines and needed regularly smoothing out to avoid clogging pores.

no.7 all in one foundation

No.7 All in One Foundation is available at Boots for £17.95

3. Perricone MD No Makeup Serum Foundation

Created by Dr Nicholas Perricone, a leading expert in healthy aging, Perricone MD offers an array of serums, moisturisers and beauty products. One of their bestsellers is their No Makeup Serum Foundations. Offering broad spectrum SPF 20 protection alongside their semi-matte, at £48 for 30ml, this foundation was one of the more expensive foundations in our favourites list. The product is also limited to 8 shades vs The Ordinary with 32 shades.

perricone serum foundation

Perricone MD Foundation Serum is available at for £48.

4. Elizabeth Arden Prevage anti-aging Foundation

Elizabeth Arden was the cosmetic choice to the late Queen Elizabeth II so this brand comes with an air of sophistication with a balance of the traditional meets innovation. Their broad spectrum, anti-aging foundation offers SPF 30 protection with a medium coverage and a light liquid formulation. Their royal warrant may contribute to this foundation being the most expensive of our favourites list at £60 but, for us, this didn't represent value for money compared to our other favourites.

elizabeth arden foundation

Elizabeth Arden Prevage anti-aging Foundation. £60 at

5. MAC studio Waterweight Foundation

This versatile foundation from MAC, the make up synonymous with make up artists, offers buildable coverage and serum texture all with SPF 30 protection. With 21 shades on offer, you're likely to find a shade to suit you and, at £34, it was mid-priced in our list of favourites. We found it effective at covering fine lines without any clogging.

mac foundation with spf

MAC Studio Waterweight Foundation is available at ASOS for £34


So, in conclusion, you should be protecting your skin all year around and take necessary precautions to ensure you don't suffer any irreparable damage. Small adjustments to your daily skincare regime will pay dividends in the long term.

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