(Don't) feel the burn
Finding the best sun cream, sunscreen or sun tan lotion (whatever you call it) is essential. Burning ain’t cool, kids. Neither are weird tan lines. You have to find the right one to make sure you actually use it.
The important thing when picking out a good sun cream is to know what to look for. When you look at the packaging, you want to look for something that protects against UVA and UVB. So you’re looking for SPF and the PA rating. Just to clarify, SPF protects against UVB rays and stops your skin from burning, and PA protects agains UVB, which is the stuff that penetrates deep into the skin and causes your skin to age prematurely – think pigmentation. You want your SPF to be as high as possible, 30 or 50 is ideal. With the PA rating, the higher the number of + after the PA the better. The highest rating is PA++++.
It can seem quite confusing right? If you’re struggling to figure out which is which, remember UVA – A for ageing, UVB – B for burning.
You also have two types of suncreams – mineral (also known as physical) sunscreens that contain ingredients like titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, which reflect the sunlight, or chemical sunscreens that absorb the UV rays and turn them into heat, which is then expelled from the skin. Mineral sun creams tend to suit acne suffers best, as they are less likely to clog the pores, but they can be quite white in appearance and have a thick consistency. However, chemical suncreams are usually preferred by many because they’re thinner and are easy to spread over the body.
Protecting yourself from the sun is so bloody important that you should actually be wearing one of the best SPF moisturisers every single day. Even in winter.
So whether you like an oil, a cream or a spray, we’ve carefully selected the best sun creams below.
The best sun cream for face
This new SPF moisturiser from Avène is a triple threat. It protects against UV and pollution, all the while making your skin look perfected. It’s slightly tinted, which is great as it works in the city, as well as on holiday. Why not check out our holiday beauty products round up next?
The best sun cream for tanning
If your aim of the game is to become a bronzed goddess, then this will be your new best friend. The original tanning brand has nailed it once more by creating a clever sun tan lotion that protects, but also intensifies your tan at the same time by hydrating your skin to stop future peeling and help your tan last for longer. Genius no?
The best natural sun cream
Green People products are completely natural and chemical free. They’re also vegan and organic. What more could you want really? This Scent Free sun tan lotion is perfect if you suffer from prickly heat on holiday, because it allows skin to breathe. Prickly heat is when your sweat gets blocked in the epidermis.
The best sun cream for lips
Don’t forget your lips. The skin on your lips is so much thinner than the rest of your body. Imagine the pain of trying to drink a cup of coffee with burnt lips or even trying to kiss with burnt lips. Exactly. Don’t make the mistake; always carry an lip balm with an SPF, like this Kiehl’s one. It’s super nourishing and feels just like the best lip balm, but with that added protection.
If that wasn’t enough, scroll down for more of our best sun cream edit…
P20 has long been a cult beauty favourite in the world of sun cream. Technically not a cream, we know, but their new kid on the (sun) block deserves to be shouted about. Providing water-resistant protection for up to 10 hours, this easily applied formula will make sure you're protected from those ageing UVA and UVB rays.
Ultrasun is a super reliable sun care brand that you just can’t go wrong with. They live and breathe sun protection. This SPF 50+ Glimmer is so dreamy, because it gives skin a subtle bronzed gleam as you apply. Great if you’re on the pale side.
For those who don't have sensitive skin, you lucky things. The sun is one of those things that can spark an irritating reaction. Luckily, there are brands like Lancaster who develop special formulas who take this into consideration. This one does just that with its clever sensiboost complex. No more hiding in the shade.
If you're ever stuck in the suncare aisle at Boots and don't know which brand to go for, pick up La Roche-Posay Anthelios. This new ultra-light, invisible spray is ideal for the whole family. It doesn't leave any white marks and absorbs at speed.
Little ones deserve the best, because their skin is a lot more sensitive. This has been specially developed for their skin - it sinks in quickly and doesn't leave a greasy, uncomfortable film.
Clarins new suncare line is more extensive than the last and they have spent time developing new textures and formulas that suit our summer needs. This one in particular is an invisible gel-to-oil texture that can be applied to dry AND wet skin. Perfect for when you're constantly in and out of the pool.