The best protective day creams | Sali Hughes

Last month, I mentioned that the new Fenty Skin range appeared promising and that I’d report back. I hadn’t expected to be able to tell you that it’s damn near perfect. Several of the products are refillable – just pop a pod into the outer packaging. And there’s an emphasis on multitasking, easy-to-use formulas, rather than a bandwagon-chasing of all the multi-step, single-ingredient skincare that millennials buy by the dozen.

Fenty Skin is so good that I deduct points only for the inclusion of fragrance, which doesn’t bother me but can irritate some, and will put off many. The standout product is a timely one, as we ready ourselves to emerge from the darkness, blinking. Hydra Vizor Invisible Moisturizer SPF30 (£32, 50ml) is a light, skin-plumping, dewy-finish day lotion that gives good glow while adequately protecting the skin during shortish bursts of sun exposure (always use a dedicated sunscreen product if spending lengthy periods outdoors, whatever the weather). Unusually in the category, it doesn’t sting my eyes, and provides a base for makeup that allows for proper blending without the sunscreen disintegrating or sitting greasily on the skin like some foundation firewall.

As is typical of Rihanna’s brand, Hydra Vizor also applies invisibly, leaving none of the white, lavender or ashy cast left by some sunscreens on brown, black and olive skins. This invisibility can usually only be achieved by chemical sunscreens, which is why I’m very impressed with Day Defence Cream SPF30 (£20, 60ml), from another millennial favourite, Bybi. This has a richer texture than Fenty’s (it contains shea butter, which isn’t for the oiliest types), but uses natural mineral sunscreens that rarely aggravate sensitive skin. I expected it to throw a white cast, but after a few short moments of rubbing, it sinks in without a trace. Just as with the Fenty, increased sustainability is as important here as the product, which is reef-safe and dispensed from a cornstarch, not plastic, tube.

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If you’re oilier or spot prone, do try Paula’s Choice Clear Moisturiser SPF30 (£11, 15ml), a blemish-treating, but still soothing, day lotion that is particularly great for teens and older, hormone-triggered breakout sufferers, as well as night-time retinol users who always need daytime protection. All are cruelty free. 


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