My Top 3 Sunscreens For Winter

June 13, 2021

There’s a moment that happens every year sometime between May and June, and it’s the exact moment that I realise that Winter has hit. Suddenly I need to hose down my windscreen in the morning to get rid of frost and it becomes even harder than normal to wake up because even the sun seems to be having a lie-in. That telepathic argument I have with my snooze button each morning between what I know I should do and what I can be bothered doing rages on, and it’s not unlike the inner debate many of us with our SPF… ‘do I *really* need to put on sunscreen when it feels like I haven’t seen the sun for days?…’. Spoiler: yeah, you do.

Favourites Winter SPFs

WHY | Red skin and painful tan lines are synonymous (unfortunately) with the Aussie Summer, but it isn’t the heat that does all that damage. Skin burns because of UV rays, specifically UVB rays, which still beam down on us on mild, overcast days in Winter. They aren’t as strong in the cooler months, which is where this idea of sunscreen being a Summer specific necessity has originated from, but it really is something you should be including in your routine every day of the year.

WHEN | Most Dermatologists will suggest making sunscreen part of your morning routine; after skincare but before makeup. But at the moment, and for the foreseeable future, I’m still spending a lot more time at home than ‘normal’, and so I tend to apply it about 20 minutes before I leave the house or before I put on makeup. Sunscreen is most effective in the immediate two hours after it is applied (typically, but every product is different, so always check individual packaging suggestions) so putting sunscreen on when I do my morning routine at 7am is kinda pointless if I’m not leaving the house until 3pm. So do whatever works for you, first thing in the morning or later in the day if that suits you, but the important part is that you do it. And to help with that, I’m sharing a few of my favourite formulations that I love specifically as sunscreens for Winter; because the best sunscreen for you is the one you’ll actually use.

A few notes before we begin:
– All three of these products are SPF30 or higher and are fragrance-free.
– All are specifically made to be used on the face.
– All three reapply perfectly, with or without the ‘Mist Trick’.
– I have *extremely* sensitive eyes when it comes to sunscreen (watering, redness and stinging if certain SPFs get anywhere near my eyes, let alone in my actual eye #gameover) and I’ve never had a problem with these three, even while exercising.
– As a very fair, Caucasian person, I’m unfortunately not in a position to comment on whether any of these products would leave an ashy finish or a ‘white cast’ on deeper skin tones. I have read from darker-skinned writers who say they don’t, but I personally can’t be sure.

Ultra Violette Clean Screen SPF30 – My ‘Everyday’ Sunscreen
This will come as little surprise because it’s the sunscreen I share the most in my skincare routines on Instagram. The Ultra Violette Clean Screen is a gel-cream consistency with a slight tint and is specifically made for acne-prone, combination and/or sensitive skin. It contains no fragrance and is a great option for people who normally find their skin gets congested from their SPFs. The finish is very natural, not too shiny and not too matte, and the subtle hint of colour is only somewhat noticeable on me so I make sure to blend more carefully than I would a transparent lotion. However, I love the light coverage it gives my skin, it doesn’t feel like makeup, but it just knocks out a little of my redness and gives my skin an overall more even tone.
Available at Adore Beauty in 50ml ($42) and 75ml ($47) tubes.
$0.63 per ml

Bondi Sands Hydra UV Protect SPF 50+ Face Lotion – My ‘Outside’ Sunscreen
This is the sunscreen I reach for when I’m actively spending lots of time outside (walking the dogs etc.). I want the higher SPF protection which this one offers at SPF50+ but still something really comfortable to wear. Another fragrance-free option, this one gives a shinier finish than the Ultra Violette, but it’s also my favourite for under makeup. The formula contains ethically sourced algae to aid in hydration which is a welcome addition in Winter.
Available at Priceline in a 50ml pump bottle ($22.99).
$0.46 per ml

Bondi Sands SPF 50+ Daily Moisturising Face Sunscreen Lotion – My ‘Dry Skin’ Sunscreen
My third and final favourite that I keep in rotation in the colder months is the Bondi Sands Daily Moisturising Lotion, it contains Aloe Vera and Vitamin E for an extra boost of hydration and nourishment. It also wears well under makeup, however, I do find this to be the shiniest of the three. So even if I’m not wearing makeup, I do tend to quickly dust some powder down the centre of my face. I love this one for when it’s freezing out because it does feel like it gives my skin that extra cushion of moisture, but the shine is real, so powder is your friend.
Available at Priceline in a 75ml tube ($14.99).
$0.20 per ml

Mist Trick:
Reapplying sunscreen is vital, and all three of these have the typical recommendation of reapplying every two hours, but personally, I don’t love the feeling of applying sunscreen on ‘dry’ skin. It doesn’t slide around as nicely and sometimes it grips to drier patches of skin which is why I reach for the Jordan Samuel Hydrate Mist. I apply just one spritz of this into my hands and press it in all over my face before giving it 30 seconds to dry down and then I go in with my sunscreen of choice. Although it is ‘sandwiching’ in another layer of hydration (key for this time of year) it’s also giving skin a little more slip so that the sunscreen lotions glide on more easily. Plus, it makes the sunscreen feel like it’s sinking into my skin better too, rather than feeling like it’s just ‘sitting’ on top of it.

If you’re after any other Winter skincare tips I’ve just done a post all about the skincare basics that I try and include in my routine at this frosty and chilly time of year HERE.

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