Protecting your skin can sometimes feel like a full-time job. If you’re not fighting off eye wrinkles with a caffeinated cream or trying not to nick or scratch your skin while shaving, then you’re probably throwing a sheet mask over the whole thing and hoping that it works its mollifying, moisturising magic. It’s exhausting.
And now, in the sweltering throes of another blistering British summer, there’s yet another skincare concern to worry about. That’s right, it’s suncream season. To add to your endless list of balms, serums and salves, there’s another product to put a strain on your bathroom cabinet. Or could there be another way?
We’ve consolidated a couple of products, and rounded up the finest SPF moisturisers that will soothe, smooth and protect your skin from even the most pernicious UV rays. Apply them whatever the weather and you’ll always be both protected from premature ageing and shielded from the sun. Two skincare birds with one FDA-approved stone.
For your one-stop skin defence shop, Lab Series Day Rescue Defence
Lab Series. It’s as scientific as it sounds. Among the unpronounceable — but thoroughly effective — compounds in this Day Rescue Defence moisturiser are ‘Octocrylene’, ‘Ethylhexyl Salicylate’ and ‘I Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane’. That last one’s a particular favourite.
But you don’t need to worry about all those syllables. All you need know is that Lab Series has really buttoned up its white coats for this one — and come up trumps with a one-stop skin defence shop. It’s factor 35 SPF, blended with ‘Hydra-Endure Technology’, and promises to protect against the sun, dry climate and even pollution damage that can lead to dehydrated skin.
Lab Series Day Rescue Defence
For an all-rounder, Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Daily Energising Moisture Treatment for Men
It’s another clunky name, but Kiehl’s have come out on top for us. The perfect balance of cost and effectiveness, this perfect blend of Caffeine, Chestnut Extract and Vitamins C and E is like a gift from the grooming gods; and the ideal way to hydrate your skin while getting some colour this summer.
With only SPF 20 keeping you safe from the sun, it’s not an ideal sunscreen (although it has been formulated with broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays). But, when paired with its marvellous moisturising benefits, the American brand’s offering speaks for itself; providing antioxidant protection in addition to softening and refreshing skin.
Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Daily Energising Moisture Treatment for Men
For a cool, fresh feeling, Perricone MD Photo-Brightening Moisturiser
If we’ve got one issue with Perricone MD’s offering, it’s the name. Currently rather clunkily named ‘Photo-Brightening Moisturiser Broad Spectrum SPF 30’, this product was once-called the altogether more slick and simple ‘Photo Plasma’. But, while the name on the pot is no longer as cool as it was, the contents still are — a fast-absorbing, oil-free moisturiser with freshness in spades.
It may protect you from the sun, but it’s also got lashings of active ingredients that’ll brighten your complexion. From Vitamin C, which will give the appearance of collagen-rich skin by smoothing, brightening and minimising discolouration, to Alpha Lipoic Acid to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, it’s a winner for us. Now, if they’d only change the name back…
Perricone MD Photo-Brightening Moisturiser
Good enough to eat, Aēsop Sage and Zinc Facial Hydrating Cream
Aēsop had better be careful. The Australian brand cooks up such thrillingly scented products that it’s all we can do not to eat them straight out of our bathroom cabinet. (Don’t even mention the cardamom and wasabi-infused toothpaste.) This hydrating face cream is one of the brand’s more delectable offerings, formulated with sage, macadamia nuts and soya beans to keep your skin fresh and your mouth watering.
A blend of calming botanicals and mineral-based zinc oxide has been swirled together to form a barrier that both reflects sunlight and leaves your pores unclogged. And the best part? With its herbaceous, woody, warm aroma, it’ll keep you feeling fresh all day long. Just try to refrain from spreading it on toast.
Aēsop Sage and Zinc Facial Hydrating Cream
For effective simplicity, Clinique For Men SPF 21 Moisturiser
Curiously, for a company that recently took the plunge and began marketing make-up to modern men, Clinique’s SPF moisturiser is formulated to be utterly undetectable on your face. It’s got no aroma, no colour and leaves your skin with no surface shine. To all intents and purposes, no-one will know you’re wearing it — save for your distinct lack of both sunburn and crows feet.
And that’s really what it’s all about, isn’t it? Clinique has pared things back and kept this product simple. It hydrates, it protects. A grand basic.
Clinique For Men SPF 21 Moisturiser
For a no-nonsense, does-it-all moisturiser, Anthony Day Cream
There’s something reassuringly simple about Anthony. It’s a brand that tells things like they are. And this basic-bottled moisturiser is no different. In fact, it’s so no-nonsense that it’s not even called a moisturiser. It’s a ‘Day Cream’. Because it’s a cream, and you wear it during the day, every day.
But, behind the label, it’s got so much more going on. Formulated with squalene and glycerin, it will keep your skin hydrated from sun-up to sun-down, and has an impressive SPF factor of 30 to keep you protected in the hours in between. There’s also soy and Vitamin E in there to nourish away any signs of ageing.
Anthony Day Cream
For a miracle worker, Sisley Paris Super Soin Solaire Youth Protector
No, that’s not the sunstroke setting in — this really is a £130 moisturiser. Sisley Paris has called it a ‘Youth Protector’. For this price, you’d want the Fountain of Youth. But here’s the rub; this isn’t far off.
It’s non-greasy, non-whitening and has an SPF factor of 30. It shields the skin from the effects of photo-ageing, eliminating everything from lines and dehydration to dark spots. It’s been developed with UVA and UVB filters to protect from the sun, blended with Vitamin E acetate to strengthen skin, and both edelweiss extract and shea butter to strengthen it. So yes, you have to dig deep for it — but miracles rarely come cheap.
Sisley Paris Super Soin Solaire Youth Protector
Want more summer grooming tips? These are the best men’s fragrances for summer 2022…
Become a Gentleman’s Journal member. Find out more here.