You want healthy-looking skin. It’s cool. I get it. Trust me—I really do understand where you’re coming from. I also know that once the warm weather hits, it's tempting to want to spend more time outdoors (safely, of course) but that without the proper protection, the sun can work against your healthy-skin goals.
Beauty editors and skin experts far and wide promote the message that staying out of the sun at all costs is the best way to protect your skin from premature ageing and potentially dangerous skin conditions. However, providing you’re taking the necessary measures by applying a high-factor sun cream and not spending prolonged periods of time in direct sunlight, is wanting to spend some time in the heat of the sun something to be ashamed of?
The truth is making sure that you are applying the correct sun cream in the correct way is absolutely crucial in ensuring sun safety. “From March to October, UV levels are at their highest. I would recommend applying sunscreen to any exposed skin 15 minutes before you head outdoors,” advises consultant dermatologist Justine Kluk. “It is possible to burn, tan and sustain sun damage that increases your risks of skin cancer and premature ageing from just 15 minutes of casual sun exposure without the right protection.”
And this is where the issue lies. In reality, very few people do apply sun cream correctly, and thus expose themselves to damage. “Many people make the mistake of thinking that their makeup contains SPF, so they don’t need to wear a separate sun protection product, but you should. Use sunscreen as your final skincare step and apply makeup afterward,” Kluk recommends.
If you’re keen to start paying more attention to your suncare routine or if you simply can’t find the right formula for you, trust me when I say that putting the effort into getting your sun cream line-up right will be worth it in the end. To make things a little easier, keep scrolling for the very best sun cream formulas for every need.
Best for Everyday Wear
If you want a lightweight SPF that shields and soothes in tandem, then this is a great formula to reach for. This moisturiser contains SPF 25, which adds another layer of protection underneath your SPF. It also contains CBD and CBG which offer anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Formulated with hydrating hyaluronic acid, this SPF is the perfect everyday option for topping up throughout the day and applying over makeup too.
Best for Body
If you worry about the damaging effects of sun creams on the environment, this is one for you. Not only is it reef-safe, but it is also highly biodegradable. On top of that, it also contains a patented antioxidant complex to help tackle other signs of premature ageing.
Hate the sticky feeling of sun cream? You're not alone. This formula is incredibly hydrating and also seriously comfortable and cooling on the skin. It's perfect for those stiflingly hot summer days and leaves skin with a subtle gleam.
Best for Ease
This super-lightweight SPF sprays so evenly and seamlessly that you'll never want to have to deal with messy lotions ever again. This one also doubles up as a makeup setting spray.
I know that the price tag is a little steep on this one, but if you can manage it, I promise you won't regret it. This is the product that got me hooked on SPF. Not only does it smell like an actual piña colada, but it's also the easiest sun cream I have ever used. Just spray liberally and go. It's light, non-sticky and leaves skin smelling absolutely delicious.
Again, I know it is a little pricey, but if you have ever had the joy of using Institut Esthederm suncare, you'll understand. Regarded as more or less the best suncare brand in the business among beauty editors, this simple protective mist is long-lasting, nourishing, smells amazing and leaves skin with a beautiful sheen.
Best for Face
This stuff is without a doubt one of the best facial sun creams you can buy. Suitable for just about every skin type, the thin formula sinks in quickly, leaving behind virtually no residue. It's high protection without the fuss.
If you want a high-factor SPF that also primes your skin for makeup, then you have to try this formula which plumps and smooths the skin ahead of application, but also looks great worn alone.