If you're outside in the sun - be it at home or abroad - sunscreen is a must to protect your precious skin from damage. We've tried and tested creams, sprays and lotions to find the best products for the job.
Remember, no matter what brand you choose, always apply 15-20 minutes before hitting the beach or pool -applied in direct sunlight, sunscreen can evaporate before it has a chance to bond with the skin and this makes it far less effective.
Make sure you always use enough; two-three tablespoons for the average adult is about right. Use at least a teaspoon for the face as well to avoid looking wrinkly and crinkly before your time.
1. Soltan Dry Touch Suncare Lotion SPF50+, £5.50 for 200ml, boots
Soltan’s latest offering is a joy for parents who struggle to get – and keep - little ones in suncream. SPF 50 but ultra-light, non-sticky and water resistant (that combo alone is no mean feat!), it's also sand resistant and dries within 60 seconds so sand can't stick. Obviously providing you can keep your little horrors upright and out of the sand for 1 minute! There are separate versions for kids and adults. Choose from a lotion or spray. Also available in SPF 30.
2. Nuxe Milky Spray for Face and Body SPF 20, £18 for 150ml, amazon
This is sun protection at its most glamorous. Concentrated active anti-oxidants strengthen the skin and help tackle signs of ageing, while a plant-based tanning activator prolongs the natural colouring of the skin. And the cherry on top of all those skincare bonuses is a rich and heady scent – think exotic islands and sumptuous tropical flowers.
3. Ultrasun High 30SPF Super Sensitive Family Formula, £24 for 150ml, feelunique
Now this is my kind of sunscreen; apply once and it lasts all day. It's water-resistant, non-greasy, contains no perfume, emulsifiers or preservatives and calms and soothes skin suffering from prickly heat. The perfect choice for sensitive skin or skin prone to flaring up in the heat.
4. Dermalogica Protection 50 Sport SPF 50, £31, johnlewis
This sun block is surprisingly lightweight, sheer and without a hint of grease – which is rare for such a high SPF. A seriously hard-working sunscreen, it's water resistant for a whopping 40 minutes. There are no artificial fragrances or colours, which makes it perfect for sensitive skin tones too.
5. Rituals Sun Protection Lotion 30, £15 for 200ml, uk.rituals
Concerned about ageing but still want to get a tan? Then this rich, hydrating, but instantly absorbed, non-sticky sunscreen is for you. A powerful natural anti-ageing complex based on anti-oxidant organic white tea, vitamin E and ginkgo biloba, will help to prevent premature ageing. Available in SPF 10, 20 and 30.
6. Ambre Solaire Wet Skin SPF 30, £9 for 200ml, amazon
Water babies will love this new sunscreen, which can be applied directly on to wet skin. Put it on without even towelling off and it leaves no white marks or sticky finish – I tried it straight out of the shower and it absolutely works. Choose this if you're always in and out of the water, or particularly sporty and want guaranteed protection. Available in SPF 10, 20 and 30.
7. Bioderma Photoderm Bronz Invisible Sun Mist SPF30, £20 for 200ml, amazon
The alcohol-free formula of this mist makes it non-drying, which often isn't the case with a mist spray, it's also water resistant, non pore clogging and fragrance-free, making it perfect for sensitive skin types. The added bonus is a gentle tanning complex which intensifies and prolongs your natural tan.
8. Shiseido Expert Sun Ageing Protection Lotion Plus 50+, £32 for 100ml, johnlewis
This is expensive, but what it lacks in affordability it makes up for in high-performance skincare benefits. A complex combination of ingredients inhibit enzyme activity, cell damage and DNA damage – which are all linked to the formation of wrinkles and dark spots. It's also super light, non-sticky and water resistant.
9. Ambre Solaire Dry Mist, £12 for 200ml, amazon
This is a super light-weight dry protection mist, it's instantly absorbed and leaves skin feeling completely bare. I noticed it leaves a slight satin finish to the skin and that's thanks to mattifying powders, which keep you shine-free in the heat. Available in SPF20, 30 and 50.
10. Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Protective Sun Lotion SPF30, £13 for 180ml, amazon
This innovative formula combines sun protection, nourishing anti-oxidants and silk proteins to keep skin luxuriously hydrated and nourished for up to 12 hours. Wave goodbye to sun parched skin this summer with this ultra moisturising lotion. Available in SPF 50, 30, 15 and 10.
11. Soltan Protect & Tan Ultra-Light Texture Suncare Spray SPF30, £7 for 200ml, amazon
If you can't get out in the sun as often as you'd like, but want to get a great tan, instead of using a low factor and risk burning, try this new water resistant sunscreen that supports the skin's natural tanning ability. You'll need less time in the sun to get a lovely golden glow, which let's face it is perfect if you're holidaying in the UK this summer and sunny days are not always guaranteed.
The once-a-day application of UltraSun Family is brilliant for families who don't want to spend the whole holiday reapplying cream to kids who keep jumping in the sea and washing it off. While instantly dry, sand-resistant Soltan Dry Touch is really innovative. But practicalities aside, if I were heading to the beach solo, Nuxe Milky Spray's anti-ageing skincare benefits and sumptuous scent of tropical flowers is the ultimate in sun protection.
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