Would you trust an SPF serum? That’s high-level sun protection in a fine, supple, viscous fluid you’d normally associate with regular skincare containing antioxidant and hydrating ingredients. They’re the beauty innovation of summer 21, and having spent the past few weeks putting them through their paces, I’m enthusiastically on board. The new SPF serums are ideal if you’re dry and still need the moisture hit of your regular day cream rather than replacing it with a sunscreen, and, conversely, if you’re oilier and want a thin, lightweight fluid to do everything in one spread. Don’t be deceived by their slight texture – they pack as mighty a punch as thicker creams, provided they’re applied in sufficient quantities (pumping a streak spanning from the tip of your middle finger to the bending joint above the knuckle is about right).
New Aussie luxury suncare brand Ultra Violette is outstanding across the board, but Queen Screen Luminising Sun Serum SPF 50+ (£36 for 50ml) is commanding the most attention, and I can see why. This thin, silky, dewy serum feels like the loveliest luxury skincare (for normal to dry skins), while invisibly providing maximum sun protection. I’ve never until now been pitched high-performance SPFs as having been created with makeup and other skincare products in mind (all of Ultra Violette’s sunscreens sit obediently over moisturiser and under foundation), and I applaud the concept. It seems a basic starting point, but is routinely overlooked and renders countless SPFs unusable as they pill, bobble and peel. Not here, nor in Full Spectrum 360º Sun Silk Drops Organic Face Sunscreen SPF30 (£44 for 30ml) by Coola, one of the best suncare brands in the business. This serum slotted into my normal routine a treat, added no ashy cast and withstood vigorous makeup blending without breaking down. It’s extremely comfortable and non-oily, leaves a subtle sheen and suits any skin type.
Offering superb bang for one’s buck is The One That’s A Serum – Full Shield Drops SPF45 (£20 for 30ml) from new affordable suncare brand Hello Sunday. This milky-white fluid gets a resounding thumbs up from me, largely thanks to its instantly hydrating effect and the fact that I could spread it all around my eyes without it causing the blurring and watering I’ve come to expect from most facial sunscreens. It’s a beautiful formula – unsticky, ungreasy, nice and stable under makeup – and is suitable for all skins, including sensitive. All three are vegan and transparent for all skin tones.