10 best SPF foundations

Conceal, preserve and protect your skin with a multi-tasking treatment

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The Independent Online

We all know that applying a light layer of SPF before your foundation is one of the most important beauty lessons to adhere to for youthful, radiant skin. But, if like us you often forget to slap on the sunscreen or you’re looking for a protective boost then opting for an SPF-infused foundation is the next best thing. This new range of lightweight, protective formulas will leave your skin staying flawless and safeguarded all summer long, with the promise of complexion perfection to boot. Here, we’ve tested some of the highest SPF foundations on the market so when the mercury rises you’ll have both your imperfections and your safety covered. 

1. Dior Skin Forever Fluid Foundation SPF 35: £33 for 30ml, John Lewis

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If you’re looking for an ultra-lightweight foundation that promises to even out your complexion while offering protection then this is the one for you. If you struggle to find the right colour, this is available in 18 different shades, so there’s bound to be one here for you. The super-soft, liquid formula blends seamlessly with the skin and the promise of 16-hour coverage is spot-on. It melts into the skin with a luminous demi-matte finish that gives a gentle, natural radiance. What’s more, it smells absolutely divine and promises to be a make-up bag must-have all year round.

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2. MAC Studio Waterweight Foundation SPF 30: £26 for 30ml, MAC Cosmetics

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MAC Cosmetics is a well-known make-up artist kit staple and this foundation proves exactly why. While it doesn’t offer the most coverage it’s definitely buildable and the virtually weightless feel melts into the skin easily. Oil-free but surprisingly hydrating, this is a great choice for tired, dry skin in need of an instant pick-me-up and feels more like a serum than a foundation. The formula is fairly thin and watery but the unique dropper allows you to control the amount of product you use. We also love the fact that it comes in 23 different shades.

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3. Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Foundation SPF 40: £40 for 30ml, Selfridges 

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This super-silky formula from Bobbi Brown has the highest SPF of all the foundations, making it a great addition to your summer make-up collection if you have skin that burns easily or you’re looking to prevent future damage. Formulated with bamboo grass, lychee and cordyceps mushroom extracts, it supports anti-ageing and leaves skin feeling firmer and more lifted. Great for normal to dry skin types, this is a great option for those looking to give their skin a glow without it feeling greasy. 

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4. Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish Perfectly Satin 24hr Makeup SPF 15: £23.20 for 30ml, Feel Unique

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This foundation adjusts to control excess oil throughout the day and promises to last through heat and humidity, making it a great addition to your holiday essentials. The formula is fairly thick and creamy and takes some working into the skin but as a result provides great coverage and an excellent finish. The liquid turns into a silky powder-like consistency and is perfect for blemish-prone skin and keeping any shine to a minimum. 

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5. Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Foundation SPF 25: £36 for 30ml, House of Fraser

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Almost completely invisible, this foundation from Chanel glides seamlessly creating the feeling of a second skin. The formula is light but packs a punch, leaving the appearance of fine lines and blemishes noticeably blurred. On top of the high SPF, it also includes Kalanchoe extract, a beauty-protecting botanical ingredient that works to strengthen the skin and protect against harsh environmental conditions. With medium coverage, this foundation manages to conceal without looking cakey and allows the skin to breathe freely. It also smells amazing and doesn’t budge all day. 

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6. Guerlain Parure Gold Foundation SPF 30: £56 for 30ml, House of Fraser

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While this foundation does sit at the upper end of the market it’s most definitely worth investing in. Infused with gold pigments and a collagen-boosting ingredient, the formula diffracts light to reduce the appearance of dark spots while revitalising the skin. It wears evenly and is super-easy to blend with a natural, light and radiant finish. This is great for those with dull or dehydrated skin and leaves the skin feeling noticeably more radiant after each use. We also love the sleek black bottle and handy pump dispenser.

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7. Burberry Skin Cashmere Foundation SPF 20: £35 for 30ml, Feel Unique

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This soft-matte foundation has a creamy texture which melts into the skin, leaving it with a radiant glow. It has amazing staying power and diminishes the appearance of imperfections almost instantly with a soft, velvety finish. Lightweight and effortlessly buildable and blendable, this is a great product for those looking for a polished appearance without looking too made-up. The formula also contains Burberry’s signature blend of rose hip, tea and lavender.

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8. Benefit Big Easy BB Cream SPF 35: £28.50 for 35ml, John Lewis

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If you suffer from irritable skin that’s crying out for a little TLC then this liquid-to-powder formula is the one for you. Designed to soothe and comfort the skin, this moisturising cream-like foundation evens out your skin tone and conceals imperfections. Hydration is key here and the formula is super-nourishing, leaving you with a nourished and radiant glow. While it only comes in six shades, the natural coverage means it works to provide an airbrush effect that is designed to self-adjust on the skin.

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9. Giorgio Armani Maestro Glow Nourishing Fusion SPF 30: £40 for 30ml Debenhams

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This new version of the famous Maestro Fusion make-up offers a completely fresh sensation to wearing foundation. Unlike its predecessor, Maestro Glow contains no water, instead made up of a high concentration of oils which separate the formula, so be sure to give it a good shake before you use it. The oils work to leave the skin feeling highly nourished with an immediate moisturising effect and also work to improve overall skin tone with continued use. The light texture provides medium coverage with a lasting glow. Nine shades are available to suit all skin tones, from light to deep.

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10. Vichy Dermablend Fluid Corrective Foundation SPF 35: £12 for 30ml, Look Fantastic

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A brand renowned for its advanced skincare products for sensitive skin this foundation is ideal for those with irritable complexions, uneven skin tones, redness and scarring. Enriched with glycerin and plant oil, the formula delivers high coverage and is ultra-easy to blend into the skin. Correcting imperfections almost seamlessly, this foundation still manages to provide a barely-there finish and can be built up for desired coverage. Vichy proclaims that this is a product to be used by men and women, all ages and every skin type – a great all-rounder, especially if you struggle to find a foundation that works for you.

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Verdict

For flawless coverage, incredible staying power and a boundless shade range, Dior Skin Forever takes the top spot. But for sheer indulgence we have to give Giorgio Armani’s Maestro Glow a mention too. If you struggle with troublesome skin, we’d recommend Vichy’s offering which promises to conceal, preserve and protect.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing

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