A well-deserved summer holiday is often the highlight of the year, and one essential item that you’re sure to need for your holidays – whether you’ll be soaking up the rays in Barbados, or just keeping your fingers crossed for some sun whilst holidaying in the UK – is sun cream. Whatever type of holiday you’ll be going on, we all know the importance of protecting our skin from harmful rays, but it can be difficult to know which sun cream to choose when there are so many products on the shelf. What is the difference between UVA and UVB? What factor do you really need? It can feel even more complicated when you want to find a sun cream specifically for your face, too.
To make things easier, we’ve compiled a list of the top suncare products for Summer 2019, so you can relax in the knowledge that you’ve chosen the perfect product to take on holiday. Read on for everything you need to know about protecting your skin in the sun, and how to choose the right sun cream for you.
How to choose the best sun cream for your holiday
Firstly, look for ‘broad spectrum’ sun cream - this means it contains both UVA and UVB protection. It’s also recommended that you don’t opt for anything less than SPF 15 in your sun cream.
Apart from that, the best sun cream for you depends on a few different factors – what skin type you have, what kind of holiday you’re going on, and what kind of sun cream you prefer (spray, oil, gel or cream). If you’re going to be very active or be getting wet, a waterproof sunscreen is ideal to give you peace of mind whilst you enjoy your activities, whilst if you know you’ll be lying on the beach, then a high factor sun cream is best to give yourself maximum protection.
What’s the difference between UVA and UVB?
UVA and UVB, in short, are the main causes of skin damage. The sunlight that reaches us is made up of two types of rays – UVA and UVB - which are invisible to the human eye but extremely powerful. UVA rays make up 95% of this radiation as their waves are longer, so they penetrate deep into the thickest layer of the skin, playing a role in ageing the skin, whilst UVB rays will usually burn the superficial layers of your skin, causing your skin to burn and redden.
What factor should my sun cream be?
Factor 50 offers maximum protection and is the best option for children, the elderly, those with very fair skin and anyone exposed to intense sun for an extended period of time. Lower factors still offer good protection though, as long as you follow the instructions that come with your sun cream. SPF 15 offers 93% of UVB protection, rising to 97% for SPF 30 and 98% for SPF 50.
People with darker skin may not burn as easily, but skin damage from UV rays can occur in people of every skin tone, so no one should skip sun protection.
Should I use a different sun cream on my face?
It depends. If you’ve got sensitive skin, you might find you break out or have a bad reaction thanks to some of the ingredients in sun cream. Look out for oil-free, water-based protects, as well as anything that contains irritants such as perfumes, dyes or preservatives. You should still look for a broad-spectrum sun cream for full protection, and waterproof products are good for the face, so you don’t sweat your sun protection off!
What else should I know?
Getting the most out of your sun protection requires a little forward planning. In terms of how much you need to use for full protection, a good rule to follow is one teaspoon per body part that will be exposed in the sun, for example, one teaspoon per leg.
You should always apply sun cream 30 minutes before you’re out in the sun to give it time to work properly, and you should reapply your sun cream every two hours.
Which is the best sun cream?
We’ve compiled a list of our favourites. Look through all of our sun cream offers and see which one you’ll be taking on holiday this summer.
P20 Once A Day Sun Protection
Good for: high-activity holidays, family holidays
It can be a hassle to remember to reapply your sun cream every couple of hours, especially when you’re spending the day getting in and out of the sea or having an active day exploring or playing sports. It can be even more difficult to keep on track of it when you add children to the mix!
P20 offers sun protection for 10 hours from just one application and is water resistant too – so no need to worry about reapplying your sun cream after enjoying a swim or playing water sports. With its unique, alcohol-based formula, P20 is transparent and lightweight, meaning it absorbs quickly and won’t leave you with that sticky feeling – so it’s perfect for using on your face or scalp, too. This sun lotion has both UVA and UVB filters, which means you’re fully protected from both burning and any premature signs of ageing that can be caused by being out in the sun without sun protection. It’s also colour and paraben-free, with no added fragrance or preservatives, so it’s perfect for children or those with sensitive skin. It is available in Factor 15, 20, 30 and 50, so whether you burn easily or only need a lighter protection, P20 Once A Day Sun Protection is a great choice.
Lancaster Sun Beauty Velvet Milk SPF 30
Good for: those looking to tan without sacrificing sun protection
If you’re looking to come back from your holiday with a radiant, golden tan, you can – without scrimping on protection. Lancaster’s Sun Beauty Velvet Milk contains a Tan Activator Complex which will help you to maintain a lasting tan long after you’ve returned to home soil – which is sure to make everyone jealous!
However, this sun cream also offers optimum, ultra-broad-spectrum protection so you can enjoy the feeling of the sun on your skin without the worry. Its exclusive Full Light Technology targets 100% of sun rays (that includes UVA, UVB, Visible Light and Infrared) so skin is protected from damage, whilst the velvety lotion helps to maintain firmness and elasticity. Plus, should you want to take a break from sunbathing, you can, because Sun Beauty Velvet Milk is water-resistant – so you can cool down with a dip in the pool without the worry.
Ultrasun Family SPF 30 Sun Cream
Good for: sensitive skin, children
Often the sun protection that works for adults won’t be right for the sensitive skin of children. However, if you’re holidaying with the family, suitcase space will probably be tight, meaning it’s not always convenient to bring multiple different sun creams for everybody’s needs.
With a special formula that is oil, perfume and emulsifier-free, Ultrasun Family is suitable for all skin types and is particularly good for those with sensitive skin – making it a great choice for the whole family. If you struggle with prickly heat or heat rash whilst in the sun, worry no more, as this sun cream will help prevent those uncomfortable sun reactions - leaving you to make the most of your holiday. With a sun protection factor of 30, it gives full protection for all.
Just one application provides long-lasting protection, and the product’s airless pump dispenser effectively prevents product deterioration and contamination, meaning your sunscreen will last longer.
P20 Once A Day Sun Protection Continuous Spray SPF 30
Good for: swimmers
If you’re not a fan of traditional sun creams, then why not try out a spray? P20’s new sun protection spray contains the classic once-a-day formula of the original sun cream, in a multi-angle spray bottle – making it easy to apply to those hard-to-reach areas.
The spray is also water resistant and effective even after frequent swimming, so you can dip in and out of the pool to your heart’s delight or enjoy a swim. Like the original P20 sun cream, it’s ideal for those with sensitive skin, as it contains no colour, fragrance, parabens or other preservatives, and can be used on the face and scalp as well as the body.
Lancaster Sun Sensitive Delicate Comforting Cream SPF50+
Good for: those requiring extra protection
For some people, including children and those with very fair skin, sometimes a lower SPF just doesn’t cut it when it comes to sun cream. Lancaster’s Sun Sensitive Delicate Comforting Cream offers maximum protection and contains a sensiboost complex to give sun-sensitive skin ever more protection, as it reinforces the skin’s natural resistance and reduces skin redness and irritation.
Containing UVA and UVB filters, full light technology also provides unique protection against Infrared and Visible Light rays, which can be responsible for sun-induced skin reactions. If you want maximum protection, you can’t really ask for more in a sun cream.
Biotherm Lait Solaire SPF 30
Good for: sensitive skin, beauty lovers
If you prefer your sun cream to be a little more luxurious, Lait Solaire is the one for you.
With a silky formula and an irresistible citrus scent, this is nothing like the sticky, hard-to-blend sun cream of your childhood memories – in fact, it feels like a real treat to apply this gorgeous body milk.
Lait Solaire is blended with Vitamin E to neutralise free radicals and Life Plankton™ to soothe the skin and stimulate its natural defences, whilst a photostable broad-spectrum filter absorbs UVA and UVB. Available in SPF 15, 30 and 50, this sun cream is perfect for sensitive skin.
Did you know you can Click & Collect your sun cream? Simply add to your basket and pick your shopping up before you fly. Plus, beat the high street by getting 10% off your shopping when you buy with Manchester Airport direct.