Best sun creams for summer
Sun creams are an absolute necessity, in fact they're probably one of the first things you buy before a holiday, or pack before a day out in the sunshine. They can be expensive, especially considering they don't last very long! You shouldn't be keeping a sun cream for longer than 12 months, as it can make the UV protection ineffective (although if you store them out of sunlight I think you can keep them for another 6 months). This is why it’s important to make sure you're buying the right one!
Over my career I have spent years traveling abroad, so suncreams have been a big part of my life, using them on myself, models and actors. I have tried and tested most, so here are my favourites from budget to skin allergies.
ORGANIC AND VEGAN
GREEN PEOPLE Scent Free Sun Lotion SPF 30 £22.00 for 200ml
This from organic skincare specialist Green People is ideal. The brand produces lotions that are free of parabens, lanolin, artificial perfumes, petro-chemicals, colourants, as well as other more complicated chemical compounds usually found in sun cream. It contains moisture-retaining ingredients to ensure your tan lasts, is water repellent (but not pore-clogging), and is rich in natural antioxidants (green tea, olive, avocado and rosemary) and vitamins A, C and E – all these combine to help protect against ageing and cell damage. It's relatively thick, but soaks in surprisingly quickly and easily. It’s the perfect suncream for those with sensitive skin, eczema or psoriasis, or who are prone to prickly heat.
VALUE FOR MONEY
SOLTAN Protect and Moisturise SPF30 £4.50 for 200ml
This light & easily absorbed spray provides long-lasting moisturisation for silky-soft skin, helping to reduce dryness and prevent peeling. All Soltan sun protection products have been awarded a maximum five-star rating against deep-down skin damage caused by UVA rays. It was my go-to at work for years for when I had supply a team of 8 sun protection!
SUN ALLERGY (PRICKLEY HEAT)
PIZ BUIN Allergy Lotion SPF 30 £7.00 for 200ml
If you're prone to allergies like my step-daughter, look to Piz Buin for their special collection dedicated to sun-sensitive skin. The formula has been designed by dermatologists to help protect against the likes of prickly heat, so no more itching. As a family, this is the best we’ve tried. Specially developed with dermatologists to protect and soothe sun sensitive skin. The water resistant lotion, absorbs quickly and provides hours of moisturisation and helps prevent your skin from peeling.
CLARINS Sun Care Oil Spray SPF30 £21.00 for 200ml
If you like your sunscreen in a luxury dry oil for pool-side glamour, this is pretty much unbeatable. Packed with skin-protecting and softening plant extracts, fatty acids and omegas 6 and 9 (good for your skin), this will ensure skin is in tip-top condition when you get home from holiday – and can be used to deep condition and protect the hair. The scent is a heavenly blend of mandarin, kiwi, mango, jasmine, sandalwood and amber, and it sinks into the skin very well, leaving limbs glossy and gorgeous. With an oil, you’ll want to reapply more often than you would with a lotion.
ANTI-AGEING AND FIGHTING PIGMENTATION
LA ROCHE-POSAY ANTHELIOS Sun Cream Body Spray SPF50 £18 for 200ml
French brand La Roche-Posay is the brand we recommend for sun care and skincare, as well as make-up for anyone with easily-irritated skin. Its sunscreens are perfect if you're sun-intolerant, or prone to prickly heat and they offer one of the best protections against UVA rays that cause ageing – specifically brown sun and age spots. This is an exceptionally lightweight spray – we had to double check it was SPF50 – and stuck to our skin even when in the water.
RIEMANN P20 Sun Protection SPF30 £19.99 for 200ml
Riemann’s P20 Sun Protection is an all-round beauty bag favourite. It lasts for up to 10 hours – with water resistance – it’s non-sticky (ensuring you don’t go white all over), and will make sure you’re protected from those ageing UVA and UVB rays. This isn’t the best for moisturising but is very convenient for those who just want to apply once.
BEST SUNCREAM FOR WET SKIN
LANCASTER Sun Sport SPF 30 £12.50 for 100ml
This SPF spray is brilliant as you can apply it straight on to wet skin (and it doesn't go white or streaky). So if you've just jumped out of the pool and want to top up your protection, or you have a young family that can’t stay out of the water, then this is the spray for you.
SPECIALISED FACE SUNCREAMS
HELIOCARE Gel SPF90 £18.00
This is an amazing product, it has one of the highest SPF’s yet it’s invisible on the skin, so much so that I can use it on my beauty shoots under makeup. Do not be put off by the fact it’s a gel, it feels and moisturises like a cream.
Heliocare is a brand completely dedicated to protecting to the skin from the sun’s rays, environmental stressors and free radicals. Every product in the range is developed using mineral and non-mineral filters to prevent UVA and UVB rays wreaking havoc on the tone and underlying structure of the skin. But what makes Heliocare products so special is their innovative ingredient Fernblock™ which is extracted from a particularly clever fern known as Polypodium Leucotomos. Found in Central America, it has developed the amazing ability to protect itself against photo-damage and stress caused by the sun’s rays. By harnessing this impressive power, Heliocare products are able to protect human DNA within the cells against destruction which makes maintaining a smooth, plump complexion easy.
LANCASTER Tan Maximiser After Sun £29.00 for 400ml
Part of Lancaster's best selling 'Tan Maximizer' range this jumbo size 400ml moisturiser is a lightweight and fast penetrating, after sun face and body moisturiser. It gives you a delicious and soothing sensation while an exclusive technology helps intensify melanin production, even without sun exposure, to prolong the tan. Skin is soft, supple and better prepared for subsequent sun exposure. The tan is beautiful, radiant and long lasting.