From milks, mists, mousses and sprays to creams and oils, and from roll-ons, tubes and sprays to bottles and aerosols, whatever your sunscreen of preference there's one to suit. Go premium with hi-tech anti-ageing skincare benefits, or practical with a combined insect repellent.
However you choose to protect your skin this summer, remember to apply 15-30 minutes before going out in the sun, reapply often, and stay shady in the middle of the day. Ensure the sunscreen you choose has UVA (at least 4-star) and UVB protection, and at an absolute minimum SPF of 15 for adults and 30 for kids. Remember SPF is no substitute for a t-shirt, hat and seeking shade from 11am-3pm.
1. M&S Beauty Sun Smart Moisture Protect Nourishing Dry Oil SPF 15: £12 for 150ml, Marks and Spencer
Enriched with vitamin E and Omega 6 and 9, this ultra-silky, water resistant, dry oil absorbs easily and leaves skin with a dewy sheen. It’s inexpensive and a little goes a long way. It also has a heavenly holiday scent. It’s available in SPF30 if you need more protection.
2. Bakel Suncare High Protection Face & Body SPF 30: £46 for 150ml, Look Fantastic
This hi-tech, premium sunscreen will not only protect your skin from burning, but it's also rich in antioxidants and active ingredients to enhance skin tone and elasticity, and protect the skin from photo-ageing (skin damage associated with sunshine, which can cause lines, wrinkles, sagging and leathery skin).
3. Lancome Soleil Bronzer Smoothing Protective Oil SPF 15: £24.50 for 200ml, Harvey Nichols
A trio of luxurious oils – argan, monoi and musk rose – make up this sumptuous sunscreen. It's lightweight, easily absorbed and leaves skin glowy and radiant-looking. It is water resistant, but with a relatively low SPF, needs to be re-applied often.
4. Nivea Sun Roll-On SPF30: £7.99 for 50ml, Superdrug
Anyone planning to spend their summer holiday desperately grappling small children on sandy beaches trying to protect their delicate skin from sizzling in the sunshine will love the idea of a roll-on. (And so will older kids, who can actually manage it for themselves). The texture is fairly fine as it's in a roll-on format, so make sure you reapply more often than a thick lotion or cream and opt for a higher factor.
5. Neal's Yard Remedies Lemongrass Moisturising Sun Lotion SPF 50: £20 for 150ml, Neal’s Yard Remedies
A brand new range of organic, water-resistant sun care, which is one hundred per cent naturally derived and contains no chemical nasties. If you're prone to dry skin, this will suit you as it's packed with nourishing organic shea butter, conditioning beeswax, and moisturising karanja and baobab oils. This high factor is great for young, delicate or sensitive skin, but it's also available in SPF15 and 30 (the lower SPFs come in smaller 50ml handbag size tubes too). It feels rich, creamy and nourishing on the skin.
6. Piz Buin Protect and Cool Refreshing Sun Mousse SPF 30: £9 for 150ml, Boots
Instantly absorbed, non-greasy and non-sticky, the icy blast that hits as you apply this is very refreshing. Sweat and water-resistant, this cooling, lightweight mousse is perfect if you're holidaying somewhere really hot.
7. Lancaster Sun Beauty Silky Milk Fast Tan Optimizer SPF 15: £21 for 125ml, Feel Unique
If your skin takes forever to tan, then give this one a go. UVA and UVB rays are responsible for ageing sun damage (age spots, fine lines and wrinkles) and burning, but infrared rays are what lead to loss of firmness and elasticity. The new infrared technology in this sunscreen will help to protect from this loss in skin resilience, while tan activator really does help you get a faster, deeper, more flawless tan. You can also use it on the face. Apply frequently and especially after swimming or towel-drying, as it is a relatively low SPF.
8. Vichy Ideal Soleil Invisible Hydrating Mist SPF30: £13.50 for 200ml, Boots
This has to be the lightest lightweight sunscreen I've ever come across. Spritz it on and it disappears immediately, leaving skin feeling completely dry, which is slightly disconcerting, so you do need to apply methodically – or you won't remember where you've actually applied it. But if you hate that heavy, creamy, overly-moisturised feeling, this is the one for you.
9. Soltan Protect and Repel Spray SPF30: £6 for 200ml, Boots
Time-saving and space-saving in your holiday suitcase, this deeply nourishing sunscreen and insect repellent doesn't have any of the usual chemical smell of a repellent. And it's rated 5 stars for UVA – the rays that cause premature skin ageing (fine lines and wrinkles) and photo damage to the skin (brown sun spots).
Lancome is pure luxury in a bottle and Nivea is portable, convenient and great for kids to have a go. Piz Buin is ultra-refreshing for sizzling summer temperatures, while Bakel is unbeatable for its anti-ageing benefits. But M&S Moisture Protect Nourishing Dry Oil gets top marks for leaving limbs gorgeously glowy at a great price-tag.
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