La Roche-Posay Anthelios UVMune400 SPF50 offers the best protection against sun-related skin ageing to date – we review it

You’ve probably heard by now that you should be wearing your best SPF on your face every day, but now that the spring sun is well and truly starting to emerge, it’s all the more important to make sure this is an essential part of your skincare routine. And a brand-new sunscreen from La Roche-Posay might just be the one to replace all others.

You might assume that all sun creams are created equal, and the only reason to pick one SPF50 over another SPF50 is down to personal preference – a great scent or invisible texture, for instance. However La Roche-Posay claims it has created a new sun filter that is genuinely groundbreaking, being able to protect skin against UV ageing at a level that’s never been achieved before.

To explain why, here's a quick recap on the effects that the sun has on the skin. “UVA rays are present all year round and, unlike UVB rays which cause the skin to redden, you don’t get a signal to let you know that they’re causing damage,” explains consultant dermatologist Dr Justine Hextall. “So by the time you see the results of that damage in the form of wrinkles and pigmentation, it’s too late.

“That’s why, as dermatologists, we encourage year-round use of a broad-spectrum product that protects against UVB and UVA rays.”

And it’s the “long UVA rays” – the ones that span from 380-400nm on the UV spectrum – that are the most damaging, penetrating deepest into the dermis and damaging collagen structures.

There was no product that protected against these long UVA rays – until now. La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios UVMune400 Invisible Fluid SPF50+, £18 here, contains a brand new sun filter called Mexoryl 400. Ten years in the making, this is the first ever filter to defend against this most damaging slice of the UV spectrum.

Combined with La Roche-Posay’s existing filters, this new facial SPF promises the most comprehensive sun protection on the market: tests show how 90% of fibroblasts (the cells responsible for creating collagen) remained intact after exposure to long UVA rays, compared to just 54% when using a less sophisticated sunscreen. It really makes you wonder what all other SPFs have been doing all this time.

And if you think that full protection means thick, white and sticky, think again. This reformulated version has the same lightweight liquid texture as the much-loved original Anthelios, and is invisible on all skin tones. Now there’s REALLY no excuse not to wear SPF everyday.

OK! beauty editor Laura was one of the first to get her hands on the new launch…

Laura says: “I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek at this newly-reformulated SPF at the end of last year, and the science honestly blew me away. This really seems like the ultimate in sun protection.

“But of course, the most important thing about an SPF is that you wear it on your face every day, and no one’s going to do that if it’s thick, greasy, and chalky white. Luckily this one is nothing of the sort.

“If you’re familiar with the original Anthelios, which will be stepping aside to make room for this updated version, it has the same thin, fluid consistency (remember to give it a shake first) that sinks immediately and invisibly into the skin, and it sits brilliantly under makeup. It’s also fragrance-free, so ideal for sensitive skin types.

“I’ve been applying it diligently every day since I received it, and I can’t see my head being turned by another facial SPF any time soon.”

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