There’s no need to hibernate this summer: thanks to new innovations in sun protection it’s possible to have fun in the open air and keep skin safe

“If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it,” or so goes the Australian film director Baz Luhrmann’s 1998 pop hit, “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)”.

The risk associated with sun exposure is not new knowledge, but fortunately the products on the market to protect against it have come a long way since the days of the song.

Cheap flights have opened the door for sun worshipping on an international scale, meaning Sun Protection Factors (SPFs) are put through their paces with more vigour than ever before. Where once effective protection against the sun meant being visibly coated in cream that was often sticky and opaque, thanks to innovations in technology there’s now an SPF-heavy product for every occasion.

Oil is something in the realms of suncare that traditionally was associated with creosote-inspired tanning, certainly not something that would merit a mention in the context of viable sun protection.


However, this summer oils are the new buzzword in sun lotion; Nivea’s Protect and Bronze Tan Activating Protecting Oil for the first time gives users the best of both worlds, offering both effective sun protection and an enhanced tanning ability. Decléor, Lancaster and Vichy are all also treading similar ground, with oil offerings new to the market with impressive SPF values of up to 50.

Those acquainted with the discomfort of sunburn will be all too familiar with the perils of combining water with a suncream regime and even many water-resistant products are not immune to the weakening effect of a dip in the pool. Shiseido hopes to resolve all that by being the first brand to develop a sunscreen that is actually enhanced through contact with water: WetForce harnesses ionic mineral sensors to bond negative and positive ions which allow it to become more powerful when exposed to sweat and water. 

And if that sounds a little bit too scientific for you, there is now a solution for those with a preference for the natural approach; Neal’s Yard Remedies this week launches its debut sun-care line, which uses organic ingredients to protect and nurture the skin in the sun.