Summer Is Here—These Are the Best Sun Creams for Every Occasion

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

It might be pricey, but this facial SPF is without a doubt one of the best I have ever tried for everyday wear. With cherry blossom, lemon balm and white tea extract, it soothes skin and sits beautifully under makeup.

Not only is this sun cream kind to the planet thanks to its reef-safe formula, but it also leaves a natural-looking matte finish on the skin, making it perfect for daily use.

First and foremost, this sun cream is a great way to protect your skin from the sun every single day. Besides that, though, it also offers up a subtle tint that leaves skin looking glowing from the inside out.

Lightweight and noncomedogenic, this sunscreen veils the skin in an almost invisible layer of protection that won't irritate or cause breakouts.

Formulated specifically to soothe skin and prevent breakouts (it contains monolaurin to regulate sebum production), this SPF is the perfect everyday option for those who find facial sun creams troublesome.

Best for Body

I didn't think I could love a sun cream as much as I do this stuff. Not only is it moisturising and generally lovely to use, but it also smells like tropical heaven. 

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 gel formula is incredibly hydrating and also seriously comfortable and cooling on the skin. It's perfect for those stiflingly hot summer days.

This stuff is a classic for good reason. Offering up reliable protection every single time, it's one of the hardest-working, most affordable options out there.

If, like me, you appreciate a little luxury even when it comes to your suncare, I'd like to point you in the direction of this spray from French pharmacy brand Nuxe. It's really nourishing and a total joy to use.

Best for Ease

This super-hydrating, lightweight water SPF sprays so evenly and seamlessly that you'll never want to have to deal with messy lotions ever again.

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 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.

Perfect to keep in the handbag, this handy stick makes midday SPF touch-ups an absolute breeze.

Forget messy creams and unsightly white casts, this easy-to-use spray goes on a treat and actually replenishes moisture while it works.

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're not a big fan of the shiny finish that so many facial SPFs give, this silky, mattifying formula could be the one for you.

New from Decléor, this sun cream for the face is formulated with aloe vera for super-soothing results. Ideal for really hot days, it's cooling and dries down matte, keeping unwanted shininess at bay.

An absolute favourite among beauty editors and skin experts, this gel SPF is oil-free and ideal for those that suffer with breakouts. It's high-protection, fast-absorbing and helps to regulate sebum production while it works.

This stuff is no-fuss, lightweight, high-protection, anti-shine, long-lasting, noncomedogenic, water-resistant, fragrance-free and hypoallergenic. What is there to dislike?

Related Stories