Edwina Ings-Chambers: The rise of the multitasking SPF

Supercharged with skincare goodies, today’s sunscreens do far more than simply fight UV rays.

Do we need to talk about SPF? Whether or not you’re jetting off somewhere ‘sunny’, do I need to say it’s vital to incorporate some sun protection factor into your skincare routine (it’s the last step, after your moisturiser and before your make-up)?

We should all know that daily application year-round is the wisest approach but, if nothing else, please make it standard issue come the sunshine months wherever you are. Think prevention rather than cure.

Such is the importance of sunscreen as part of a beauty routine that brands are increasingly adding skincare ingredients to the mix. This means modern SPFs aren’t just flinging themselves, comic-hero style, between you and those pesky UVA and UVB rays, but actually working on issues such as pigmentation while still performing their main job.

Take Murad Correct & Protect SPF45 (£68, murad.co.uk) – two years in the making and created with ‘multifunctionality in mind’, says Kristen Robinson, Murad’s senior director of new product development. Essentially, ‘the technology protects your skin from oxidative stress, helping to prevent dehydration, lines, texture changes and even pigmentation, while also working on the hyperpigmentation that is already visible’. All in a lightweight texture and invisible finish.

Clarins Multi-Protection UV Plus Anti-Pollution SPF50 (£33, clarins.co.uk) has a cream-gel texture and boasts organic leaf of life extract – a plant that retains water in extreme heat – to boost skin hydration as well as UV protection to defend against pollution, blue light, pollen and, of course, the sun. It comes in a translucent and a rose finish.

Shiseido Urban Environment Age Defense SPF30 (£34, shiseido.co.uk) is another lightweight texture from one of my go-to brands for SPF. Formulated to be at least half about skincare, it includes hyaluronic acid and mangosteen to work on the appearance of wrinkles.

Caudalíe Vinosun Ocean Protect Lightweight Cream SPF50 (£19, caudalie.com) is as feather-like as its name suggests. As well as vitamin E to help retain moisture and protect against external stress, it contains the brand’s signature grape-seed polyphenols (a very powerful antioxidant).

CeraVe Facial Moisturising Lotion with SPF50 (£15, boots.com) takes the approach of adding sun protection to an already excellent moisturiser rich in ceramides (great for skin barrier health) and niacinamide (an all-round complexion booster).

La Roche-Posay Anthelios UVMune 400 SPF50+ (£18, boots.com) was already one of the best SPFs around. Now it’s been updated to include protection against long UVA rays – which means helping to prevent wrinkles, pigmentation and loss of elasticity.