Thrifty Facial Sunscreen


For the longest time I’ve been looking for a sunscreen which I could slap on my face wear on a day to day basis without it causing my make up to slide down to my neck before 11am. My search has not always been successful and a lot of the time I’ll just slap on the regular old factor 60 and go without make up but sometimes, such as days I’m filming for work (or you know just when I want to) make up is a must.

Before going on holiday back in April I bought this Garnier SPF 50 BB Cream hoping it would cover all bases whilst on holiday, alas it was the worst thing I’d ever put near my face. After 2 days of 33c heat and bright white sunblock smeared around my face, I could be found in a Spanish supermarket hunting down something more suitable to slap on my pasty face. I stumbled upon Calypso Facial Sun with SPF 30 and as I’d seen this brand in shops at home I decided to give it a whirl and handed over my 4 Euros, mainly because it was the only facial sunscreen in the shop.

This stuff is cracking. I’ve been using a hefty amount on a daily basis shortly before applying my make up (and about 30 minutes before sun exposure) and my skin hasn’t broken out any more than it usually does and my make up has stayed put pretty much as long as it normally does too. Plus I haven’t burnt (and I burn very, very easily) or found my skin feeling tight and dry like it does when exposed to sun without protection.
The product does have a distinct suncream scent to it, you know what with it being suncream and all but once it is rubbed it the scent disappears. Thankfully it doesn’t leave a trace on clothes unlike a Nivea sunscreen which exploded and ruined one of my favourite dresses and a pair of wedges. Nor does it make my hair greasy or crunchy if a little bit should stray too far which is always useful.

I spotted Calypso products in budget stores like Home Bargain and even Aldi before my holiday and I’ve since seen noticed the brand in more and more shops after my return. The prices are brilliant and if the rest of their range is as good as the product I have tried I can’t wait to try them out. I can’t seem to find everything in their range online (I can actually only find this particular product in factor 15) so it is worth checking out local stores to see if you can track this and some of their other products down.




P.S. Have you got any recommendations?

P.P.S. I’ve seen a lot of debate about sunscreen and people getting very angry about cheap sunscreen on other websites of late. I’m not one to scrimp when it comes to sun protection however I know some people don’t have a choice, they want to protect themselves but don’t have £16, £20, £45 and upwards to spend on anything (food included) let alone sunscreen. So I’m thrilled there are decent budget options.

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  1. Being a fair-skinned (pasty) Scot, I use quite hefty SPF when I go abroad. I picked up a bottle of “Pink Bits” Hawaiian Tropic in Home Bargains a while ago for £3.49 and it’s the best thing ever – I use it on my face as well as other bits and it smells divine.

    Not a budget buy, but my top sunscreen tip is P20. It’s expensive at circa £20 a bottle, but you only have to apply it once a day before you go out in the sun and it’s water resistant, so you can apply in the morning and then forget about it. So one bottle lasts a week for me. I then top up with the Pink Bits on the areas I burn to a crisp on.

  2. La Roche Posay 50+ is an amazing sun protector for your face. I find that it leaves me skin in a really good condition for foundation afterwards and is all round amazing. Not sure how much it is, I got in in a glossybox. Great review, thanks 😀

  3. I use BB cream with SPF at the moment either 17 or Maybelline, both work well for me although I tan easily.

  4. I used the Boots Soltan SPF 50 Facial Suncream on a recent holiday & it was brilliant! I didn’t burn my face at all & although it was a little shiny at first it performed great under make up :) x

  5. I really struggle to find good facial sun cream so thank you Thrifty! I burn so easily, even on cloudy days, so a facial sun cream is a must. I’ve been using a bb cream so far this summer but as it’s tinted I’m struggling with applying it as I don’t wear makeup, this could be a brilliant alternative!

    Rachel xx

  6. It’s not for the sunniest days, but if you want an oil free, cheap moisturiser/sunscreen for everyday wear which won’t make you break out in spots, try Boots new Simply Sensitive Protecting Day Moisturiser SPF 15. It is a very, very thrifty £1.86!!! Bargain.

    Sam xx

  7. I never have worn it, nor makeup. Now at 63 I’m showing some wrinkles but not more than others. Think of the money I’ve saved!

  8. Anonymous says:

    I’ve not tried the Calypso Facial Sun Cream but I do use the Calyso Once A Day range and they’re very effective (and cheap!). The SPF 20 works really well but has a strong chemical/alcohol smell which is a bit off-putting and it literally takes my breath away when applied to my face! The SPF 40 Kids Once a Day product is fantastic though – a coconut-fragranced cream with no nasty chemical/alcohol smell and it gives great protection. Last Sunday I stood in the middle of a field for several hours and in very strong sun (doing a car boot sale, I might add – not doing a crazy scarecrow inpressions) and I didn’t burn at all. I used it all over, including my face, and my make-up stayed put. I’d definitely recommend this one.

  9. you can get P20 in savers (don’t know if this store is uk wide) but its in there for about a fiver. And its a apply once great for you and your family and i love the Hawaiian pink totally smells of holidays lol. but it is thick and some may not like that.

  10. When on holiday in Tenerife earlier this year year we had a suncare rep on site she was promoting and selling a product called Natural Tone it is 100% natural and you only need small amount as it spreads easily and just fades into your skin they do several factors from 8 up she told me the high factor I had been using (50) was blocking my pores and that was why I was feeling hot and sticky she got me off my 50 factor down to a 8 by end of 2 weeks and I had a lovely soft tan with no itching no burning its not cheap and youcan only get it from rep or post from USA but iam totally hooked on it and it works for me

  11. Thanks for this! I tend to rely on the SPF in makeup and moisturiser day-to-day but have recently found this doesn’t work the hard way. Hello Rudolf! x

  12. May I just put in a good word for the M&S Formula range? Well actually the SPF50 sun lotion. I’ve used it for two or three years now. It’s formulated by Aussie suncare specialists and really works. I have actually used it in Australia ( Bondi) in scorching temps as well as in English spring and summer weather like today and yeasterday in London ( 27+C). I am older and have freckly fair skin. I use it on my face as well as my body. It has practically no smell, goes on easily and sinks in well. It is white but is soon absorbed and doesn’t stay white in your skin. I use it under my make-up (currently a tinted moisturiser that itself has an spf of 15 which I use all year round). Or for sunbathing – by the beach etc, use it just on its own.

    I always buy it on the M&S half-price offer which seems to be constant – 200ml for approx £4.75. Strangely I can’t find the factor 50 online but some authorities say that factor 30 is the maximum effective anyway. It’s hypoallergenic, photostable, water resistant and dermatologically tested to care for delicate skin. It doesn’t claim to be noncomedogenic but it has never caused me any breakout problems on my face. Sorry for such a long review but it really works for me and is quite economical given the size of the tube.

  13. I remember seeing the Piz Buin All day long sunscreen being on Watchdog (here: ) At the moment I am trying the M&S suncare range, they had some great offers earlier on in the year when it didn’t look as if we were going to have any sunshine!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Hi, I’ve only just discovered your blog in the last week but have been reading with interest. I just had to join in the sunscreen discussion as I had a bit of a turning point last year and wanted to share my find. I am very, very pale and my skin is prone to breakouts so I was having a lot of trouble trying to find a decent facial sunscreen that wouldn’t clog up my pores. I tried everything from Soltan to really pricey products but either my skin would react or it would left sticky or chalky. By this point I’d started using a mineral foundation that had an SPF so at least I was getting some protection, and then I discovered the same company did a POWDER sunscreen (Jane Iredale Powder Me SPF 30).
    It’s great, I use it every day as if it were a regular face powder, and also on my body too if it’s going to see the sun. The little jar it comes in has a built in sponge applicator so you just dab it about and give it a quick buff (though for my face I tend to dip a powder brush into the pot). There’s no smell, no stickiness and no shiny face! And you’re protected straight away, unlike a lot of regular sunscreens. I’ve also used it on holiday (as has my boyfriend) and it has performed just as well.
    It’s about £30, but each pot gives me about 6 months of daily use. I use the translucent one so I can layer it over make up (though some days it’s all I wear) but it comes in tinted versions too though I suspect these would be way too dark.

  15. It sounds great :) Especially for the price xxx

  16. Ooh have been looking for a good facial sunscreen so may give this a go – although I do usually prefer to use spf50 on my incredibly pale skin!

  17. I have burned on so many occasions in the past until I discovered P20. I would never have bought it but I won a bottle a good few years ago and gave it a go. It lets you tan without burning. Someone commented a few days ago what a lovely golden tan I have. You need to put it on 30 minutes or so before you go out into the sun but then you can forget about it. It’s a liquid rather than a cream and I absolutely love it!

  18. My daily moisturiser seems to provide really good sun protection (Boots No7 Beautiful Skin for oily skin), it’s SPF 25 and has sun block (can’t remember if that’s UVA or UVB protection) and although I’m not prone to burning, I always know it’s doing something, because my face doesn’t tan even when the rest of my does. At £12.50, it’s not the cheapest, but it’s often on 3 for 2 or the £5 off vouchers Boots run fairly regularly bring the price down significantly, plus I use this as a daily moisturiser and it usually lasts me around 3-4 months.


  1. […] trying Calypso Face Sunscreen last year (my review here) and loving it, when I spotted Calypso Dry Oil in Home Bargains for £2.99 it instantly went in my […]

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