Here comes the sun & our edit of sunscreens for that all-important protection against UV rays…

Who doesn’t love having fun in the sun? But when it comes to sunny days (and every day in our books!), sunscreen is an absolute must. Contrary to popular belief, UV rays can damage your skin all year round, even in the depths of winter.

UVB rays affect the outermost layers of our skin and cause sunburn and longer-term damage including skin cancer. UVA rays affect the deeper layers of our skin and, as well as playing a role in the formation of skin cancer, also contribute to premature ageing including fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots. So, if you don’t already, now’s the time to think about adding a sunscreen to your daily routine.

How can I stay safe in the sun?

We’re glad you asked! There are a few simple things you can do to help keep you and your family protected from UV radiation including:

• Spending time in the shade between 11am and 3pm from March to October

• Covering up with suitable clothing, hats and sunglasses

• Using a sunscreen with at least SPF30 and reapplying throughout the day

• Making sure you never burn

• Staying hydrated

• Keeping babies under six months out of direct sunlight and taking extra care with children by applying sunscreen to areas of the body not covered by clothing such as the face, ears, hands and feet. Make sure to reapply generously every two hours or every time they come out of water.

What should I look out for in a sunscreen?

First up, pay attention to the SPF number which indicates a sun cream’s ability to protect your skin from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. Look for one labelled SPF30 at a minimum, but if you’re jetting off to somewhere particularly hot like Australia (lucky you!), then go for one that offers SPF50+.

It’s also important to look out for the UVA star rating which shows how much protection you’ll get from UVA radiation. The higher the star rating, the better (five-stars is the highest and the lowest recommended is four stars). Soltan’s entire range has 5-star UVA protection, so that’s a pretty good place to start if you ask us.

It’s worth noting though that not all brands use the star rating system but can still have an equivalent level of UVA protection. It can be indicated by the letters "UVA" in a circle, which shows that it meets the EU standard.

But what about formulas?

Ever walked down the sun care aisles and felt overwhelmed by choice? Us too! Gone are the days of sticky formulas that leave a greasy feeling all day. The newest sunscreens are much more sophisticated and come in a range of formats from mists and gels, to sticks and roll-ons. Then there’s dedicated facial sunscreens, many of which have a whole host of skincare benefits, too.

Finding the right sunscreen for you is all down to personal preference and a little bit of trial and error. If you’d like some help deciding, here’s our round-up of eight seriously good sunscreens to know about…

Soltan Clear & Cool Protect Suncare Mist SPF50 200ml

Spray on with ease

With SPF50 and 5-star UVA protection, this quick-drying mist from Soltan has an instant cooling effect and leaves a transparent, non-greasy finish. It’s a great option for avoiding the dreaded white cast of some sunscreens. Plus, it’s water and sweat-resistant meaning it works a treat for days spent by the pool or on the beach.

If that’s not enough to convince you, it’s also vegan and has a delicious tropical scent to bring on holiday vibes wherever you are.   

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Anti-Shine Sun Cream Gel SPF50+ 50ml

One for oily skin

If you’ve got oily and blemish-prone skin, the last thing you want on your face is a thick, greasy-feeling cream. This gel-cream from La Roche-Posay has a dry-touch finish designed to mattify your skin whilst protecting from UVB and UVA rays.

The velvety formula is non-comedogenic, so it won’t block your pores, and it’s water-resistant with no white cast. A true winner if we ever saw one!

Clarins Sun Care Body & Hair Oil Mist SPF30 150ml

A multi-tasking marvel

Did you know hair needs protection from the sun too? Don’t worry, we’re not saying you should slather a thick cream all over your locks. Instead, try a mist like this one from Clarins, which doubles up as a body sunscreen with SPF30.

This dry oil spray offers invisible protection from UV rays whilst nourishing your hair and body. And best of all, there’s no greasiness.

Soltan Kids Sunstick SPF50+ 25g

Easy & mess-free

We get it, sunscreen can be messy to apply, particularly when kids are involved. If sprays and creams are getting everywhere other than their body, then give this easy-to-apply sunscreen stick a go. It can be rolled onto the body a bit like a deodorant stick and offers SPF50+ and 5-star UVA protection.

Plus, it’s extra water-resistant and is small enough to be popped into a travel bag for on-the-go adventures.

Soltan Kids Protect & Moisturise Suncare Roll-On SPF50+ 50ml

For young skin

This roll-on sunscreen from Soltan is another super easy option for children’s skin – it’s just like a classic roll-on deodorant. With SPF50+ and a 5-star UVA rating, it offers high levels of protection with the added bonus of being extra water-resistant.

Simply roll on to the body making sure there’s a visible layer of sunscreen, then rub in well to help protect from the sun’s rays while keeping skin moisturised. Why not pop it in their school bag for those sunny, summer days - they'll love rolling it on all over! 

NIVEA Kids Sun Cream Trigger Spray SPF50+ 270ml

Caring & moisturising

Perfect for children’s delicate skin, this sunscreen from NIVEA has a moisturising formula with SPF50+ to protect from UVA and UVB rays. The extra water-resistant finish will keep up with all their splashing around in the pool or at the seaside.

It’s also really fun to apply thanks to the handy trigger spray with lock to stop any leaks and spills. (We’ve all been there!).

Hello Sunday The One That's A Serum Face Sunscreen SPF45 30ml

Sunscreen with skincare benefits

If you love using serums in your skincare routine, then this light-textured, moisturising SPF45 serum could be for you. The fragrance-free and vegan formula is built to protect against UV rays. It also contains hyaluronic acid to keep your skin hydrated and the antioxidant power of vitamin C to help protect against daily aggressors like pollution.

Use as the last step in your skincare routine to leave skin feeling fresh and radiant. It’s the perfect base before applying make-up.

Hello Sunday The One For Your Lips Lip Balm SPF50 15ml

Lip balm, but better

It’s so easy to forget about lips when it comes to applying sunscreen. But we bet you’re never without a trusty lip balm. So why not combine them both with this SPF50 lip balm from Hello Sunday?

Now you can protect your lips every day with the fragrance-free formula enriched with hyaluronic acid and shea butter to leave them feeling super soft.

Once you’ve found the sunscreen that ticks all the right boxes, make sure to apply it 15 minutes before going out to give it time to dry. For the average adult, use two to three tablespoons of sunscreen over the entire body or if you’re just covering your head, arms and neck, go for two teaspoons. Don’t forget to reapply it generously every two hours, or straight away after you’ve been in water.

Now, ready for some fun in the sun?