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The top five innovative sunscreens of 2019

When the sun starts to shine, we all know that we need suitable protection to safeguard our precious skin. If you’re not yet convinced, we think this profound yet funny song by Baz Luhrman might still persuade you (do you remember “Everybody’s free to wear sunscreen”?).

These days, however, manufacturers are offering us a whole lot more than simply factor 50 protection. From products that double up as moisturisers or mosquito repellent to those that add a base layer of foundation upon which makeup can be applied, there’s a huge array of innovative sunscreen products providing discerning consumers with more choice than ever before.

We’ve selected our top five innovative sunscreens of 2019 which we think are taking skin protection to a new level. Now, enjoying the British summer here at the Alpha HQ in Cambridge, UK, we’re just waiting for the sun to come out…

1. Smart Sunscreen: UV Essentiel Gel Crème – Multi Protection Daily Defender UV SPF50, Chanel

When it comes to combining technical innovation with an authentic brand experience in the fashion and beauty industry, Chanel is a brand that takes some beating. Now its scientists have brought us something rather new: an SPF50 sunscreen that provides tailor-made protection for each individual’s skin.

So how does smart sunscreen actually work? The formulation uses extracts from the tiare flower to activate the skin’s own protective proteins, known as SPRRs (Small Proline-Rich Proteins). By stimulating the body’s own defence systems, this product activates a protective process which is unique to each individual’s skin and can adapt to changing environments and activities. This means that the gel helps to protect against air pollution as well as harmful UV and UVA rays.

And although we haven’t received any free samples to try ourselves just yet, we’re told that it smells wonderful and feels great on the skin too. If there’s only space for one skincare product in your bag this summer, this could be a wise choice.

Find out more here

2. Totally Tropical: Second Skin Suncream SPF30, Incognito

If you’re heading off to a tropical climate and you need to think about the threat of mosquitoes as well as sun protection, Second Skin Suncream from Incognito could be the perfect way to save space and weight in your baggage.

That’s because it is a three-in-one cream that combines sunscreen, mosquito repellent and moisturiser in one handy tube. Packing this in your bag means you can soak up some rays without having to worry about applying repellent and sunscreen each time you head out.

The product has undergone clinical testing to confirm that it provides full protection against mosquitoes for up to five hours. It’s also free from deet, the commonly used mosquito repellent which has a negative impact on the environment. As well as providing sun protection at SPF30, it also functions as a moisturiser to keep your skin smooth and supple.

The Second Skin Suncream scores highly on environmental and ethical credentials. The tube is made from renewable plastic, the product itself is vegan and Incognito donates 10% of its profits to charity. Now that’s something you can feel good about as you relax on your sun lounger.

Find out more here

3. A Warm Glow: HydraTint Pro Mineral Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 36, Alastin Skincare

Alastin HydraTint Pro Mineral Broad Spectrum SPF 36 is one of a growing number of skincare products that offer protection, not only from potentially harmful UVA and UVB rays from the sun, but also air pollution.

Particularly beneficial in high-density urban areas, this product features an air pollution shield that helps to combat the damage caused by environmental aggressors and the effect of free radicals, atoms that can “steal” electrons from the skin and cause it to age.

As its name suggests, the HydraTint also offers a “universal tint” which can be used as a base layer for makeup or as a stand-alone primer which adds a flattering hint of colour to even out all skin tones.

With a blend of peptides and proteins designed to keep the skin firm and supple, this is a sunscreen product that could form a part of any beauty routine during the warmer months.

Find out more here

4. The Natural Look: Solar Defense Non-Tinted Sunscreen SPF 50, Hydropeptide

For a versatile sunscreen with high-level protection, the Solar Defense Non-Tinted Sunscreen from Hydropeptide is definitely worth considering.

It uses mineral filters and antioxidants to offer protection against UVA/UVB rays and infrared radiation. It also features hydraulic acid and cucumber extract to provide skin hydration while extract of galanga root is included to promote clear complexion.

Vegan and cruelty free, it’s smooth to apply and has a clean matte finish for a natural look or a great base layer upon which to add makeup. A great all-rounder.

Find out more here

5. Spray Power: Sun Defying Sunscreen Oil Broad Spectrum SPF 50, Supergoop!

If you’re looking for the flattering sheen that an oil-based sunscreen can provide but still want maximum protection, this offering from Supergoop! ticks all the right boxes. Like many of the products we’ve featured above, Sun Defying Sunscreen Oil Broad Spectrum SPF 50 acts both as a moisturiser and sunscreen. 

It is formulated using meadowfoam seed oil, marigold extract and grape seed oil to enhance hydration and protect against free radicals, leaving the skin smooth and supple. Its ingredients also include essential oil blended from pomegranate, citrus and calendula, giving a light, refreshing natural scent.

Coming in a spray format, this versatile sunscreen is easy to apply and is absorbed quickly into the skin without leaving it greasy. Water-resistant for up to 40 minutes, this is a perfect choice for a stroll in the city or an afternoon on the beach.

Take a look here