Sun protection made easy
Soak up our advice and find the spf for you and yours
Spending time outdoors is great, especially when you know you've got your sun protection right.
But not all sun creams offer the same protection. Our guide to sun protection will help you make the right choice, whether you are staying in the UK, or travelling further afield.
Why you need sun cream
Sun damage is caused by two types of ultraviolet light, UVA and UVB. UVA penetrates the skin deeper and is mainly responsible for ageing. While UVB damages the upper layers of the skin, causing burning.
Did you know the amount of UV light present is less about temperature and more about how close you are to the equator? The closer you are to the equator, the more UV there is. And even on an overcast day, UV is still present because it can penetrate cloud cover.
Choosing your sun cream
So, when choosing your sun cream, you need to get protection against both types of UV. Here's what to look for when making your choice:
Sun Protection Factor (SPF)
Whether your skin complexion is fair or dark, you need at least SPF 15. The higher the SPF, the more protection you get against UVB. Our handy SPF finder will tell you what level of protection you need. Simply select your skin type and destination, then we'll do the rest!
What's your skin type?
Very Fair (Always burns, never tans)
Fair (Sometimes burns, tans minimally)
Medium (Sometimes burns, tans moderately)
Olive skin (Burns minimally, always tans)
Brown skin (Rarely burns)
Black Skin (Rarely burns)
1. Select skin type?
- Very Fair
- Olive skin
- Brown skin
- Black skin
2. Where are you going?
- Northern Europe
- Southern Europe / Mediterranean
- Tropical / Equatorial
3.Find your SPF >
Your SPF is:50 +
To get the proper benefits of your sun cream:
- Make sure you apply a thick enough layer. A useful guide is using a blob the size of a two pound coin on each adult limb, chest, tummy, upper and lower back, not forgetting the head and face
- Check you've not missed any bits and get some help for those hard to reach places
- Give yourself at least 15 minutes to let it dry before heading out
- Reapply regularly and after being in water and follow the product's instructions too
Please note: This recommendation is the minimum that should be used and is based on spending a "sensible" amount of time in the sun – that's up to a couple of hours. Take to the shade when the sun is hottest, between 11am and 3pm in the UK. It also includes a 'margin of safety' compared to the National Protection Level calculation. Boots recommends using at least SPF 15 whenever you are in the sun but if in doubt, go for a higher SPF.
Your SPF is:50
Your SPF is:30 - 50
Your SPF is:30
Your SPF is:20 - 30
Your SPF is:15
Your SPF is:30 - 50
Your SPF is:50 plus
Some sun creams also have a handy star rating to show the level of protection against UVA. All suncare products in Boots Soltan and NO7 ranges are 5* rated, which gives the highest level of protection against UVA. Plus, Boots Soltan is made to our scientists' uncompromising standards, so you don't have to wonder if it'll work!
Don't forget your hat and sunnies
Wearing a hat is also a great way to shield yourself from UV. And just like the skin, your eyes are also vulnerable to sun damage, so make sure you've got a pair of sunglasses too. Our guide to sunglasses is just the thing to help you choose your perfect pair!