Best sun creams and sunscreens with SPF and UV protection for your skin in 2022 (2023)

Things are finally hotting up in the UKso it's a good job that we've been trialing the most effective sun protection creamsso you don't have to. Sheer, clear, and coral-reef friendly,the following sun screens for face and bodyare worth your pennies.

In asurvey conducted by Bupa, it reports thatthat38 millionBrits admit to notapplying sun cream while in the UK. As astonishing as this statistic is, we are not surprised. Whilst us beauty editors implore people to recognise sunscreen asan essential pillar of your skincare regime, finding the right SPF can be very confusing.

Sun protection creams will help to keep your skin protected from sun damage as well as minimise the ageing effects of the sun(along with a large hat and seeking shade, of course).Brands have modernised sun lotion into new, less Casper-the-ghost like formulas and they are better than ever. Here is everything you need to know about SPF and the newtried and tested sun creamsthe Telegraph beauty team swear by.

What is SPF?

SPF, or Sun Protection Factor, is a measure of how well asunscreenwill protect skin from UVA and UVB rays, the kind of radiation that causes sunburn, damages skin, and can contribute to skin cancer. "The latest development in UV protection is that it is more than just sun screen," says Dr Tom Mammone, Vice President Skin Physiology and Pharmacology Clinique. "The topical use of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories are boosting SPF values and help protect skin," advises Mammone.

How does SPF work?

"There are two types of sun protection filters - chemical filters and physical filters," advises dermatologist Dr Emma Wedgeworth.Chemical filters absorb UV rays like a sponge, thereby reducing the risk of cellular damage. Physical filters act to reflect and scatter UV.

"Broad-spectrum coverage, i.e. both UVA and UVB, is recommended for all skin types and should be in the range of SPF 15-30for both lighter and darker skin tones," advises Mammone. Those who have a darker skin tonerequire less protection from UVB rays (which causes burning), they still need adequate UVA to protect against skin cancer and ageing.Invest the time in finding a formulation that feels comfortable on your skin, and wear it daily.

​What should you look for on an SPF label?

As a rule of thumb, you should always wear SPF 30 or above, as anything less, you are at risk of considerable sun damage. "The SPF value is calculated using coverage of 2mg/cm^2 of product on the skin which is actually far less than what most of us apply," advises Wedgeworth.Therefore the actual amount of protection you get is likely to be a fraction of the figure on the bottle.

To ensure you are getting the right dose of SPF, you should apply a teaspoon to every limb, with a generous amount to yourface.Be aware that the SPF only tells you how much UVB protection a product affords, so make sure the product you choosealso has good UVA protection, which is usually on the front or back label.

UVA star rating is very important and should be considered when finding the right SPF for you.The star rating measures the amount of ultraviolet A radiation (UVA) protection. You should see a star rating of up tofive starson all UK sunscreens on the ingredients label.

What does the SPF figure actually mean?

"The SPF figure tells you how much more time you can spend in the sun without burning, relative to your skin’s natural protection," advises Wedgeworth.Say you can spend 10 minutes in the sun without burning, a SPF 30 product would increase that to 300 minutes. The caveat is that the figure is based on extremely thick application of sunscreen with very frequent reapplication.

"We know in practice, this seldom happens. So, It'salways advisable to opt for anSPF 30 or higher. If you have very fair skin, a history of skin cancers and for children, I advise SPF 50," says Wedgeworth.

How can sunscreen protect you from wrinkles?

There are two main types of ultraviolet rays that can damage your skin, UVA and UVB. "UVA rays penetrate more deeply and cause long term damage to collagen, resulting in wrinkling of the skin and are also linked to some skin cancers," says Wedgeworth.UVB rays cause more intense burning of the skin with DNA damage and increase the risks of skin cancers considerably.

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It makes sense to use products that protect against both of these effects, hence the benefits of broad spectrum sunscreen. Dr Mammome also adds, "The face is the part of your body that is most often exposed to the sun and also has the thinnest skin on yourbody, so it's extremely important to have a broad spectrum sun screen formulated specifically for that area (and to use it daily) to protect your skin from ageing."

Best SPF sun creamfor face

1. Thank You Farmer Sun Project Water Sun Cream SPF50, £18.00

Great for dry (or ageing) skin, this is as hydrating as a moisturiser thanks to the addition of hyaluronic acid.

2. La Roche Posay La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra-Light Invisible Fluid Sun Cream SPF50, £18

Kate Moss, Charlize Theron, and our very own beauty team swear by this lightweight invisible SPF for face. One of the most sheer high factor sunscreens you can buy, this won’t clog pores or make your skin greasy.

3. Estée Lauder Perfectionist Pro Multi-Defense Aqua UV Gel SPF 50 with 8 Anti-Oxidants, £36

A new see through SPF feeds your skin with vitamins to defend itself from free radicals while the clear gel formulation doesn’t leave behind a chalky finish. A great primer for make-up too.

BestSPF suncreenfor body

4. Sun Bum SPF30 Spray, £17.99

If you like the smell of coconuts, you’ll love this. Vegan, cruelty and gluten free, this is dermatologist tested and water resistant for 80 minutes. And the wide fine mist gives an even lightweight application.

5. Bondi Sands SPF50+ Body Sunscreen Lotion £7.99

Fragrance free and good for skin, Delivering up to 72 hours of skin hydration, added Aloe Vera and Vitamin E leave skin feeling moisturised, while the omission of Oxybenzone and Octinoxate mean it’s safe for skin and the ocean coral.

6. SVR Sun Secure Mist SPF50+, £20

The easy to use nozzle means you won't miss a patch of skin before heading into the sun. The formula is almost invisible, hydrating the skin while it protects.Plus, its delicate, warming scent is a joy to spray on.

This latest addition from brand Malin+Goetz works well as a primer underneath make-up, or as a skin brightening last step of your routine.

8. Mineral Sunscreen SPF30, £36, Soleil Toujours

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A super-refined, quickly absorbing formula, this isa treat to apply as it has a silky smooth, sophisticated finish.

9. Cellular Protection Sunscreen SPF30, £39.95, The Organic Pharmacy

Rich with avocado oil to replenish lost moisture, this is perfect for those with dry skin.

11. Super Stick Tinted Sun Care SPF50, £68, Sisley

For use on sensitive areas like the nose and cheekbones, Sisley’s handy stick is made with the latest-generation mineral sunscreens and gives face a warm tinted glow.

(Video) Testing 18 Mineral Sunscreens 2022! No White Cast? Good Under Makeup?

12. Mineral UV Filters SPF30 with Antioxidants, £8.90, The Ordinary

Something more purse-friendly, this is excellent value.

13. Eco-Lux Size Sport SPF50 Guava Mango Sunscreen Spray, £25, Coola

Although it contains chemicals, this spray is ‘reef friendly’, with clinically tested natural and organic sun filters, as well as plant extracts such as algae and raspberry-seed oil, the mist applicator makes itvery easy to apply.

14. Beautifying Suncare Oil SPF30, £21, Caudalie

Not strictly mineral, yet deemed clean due to its removal of the most toxic sun filters (as well as silicones and alcohol), for those who prefer an oil this gives skina natural radiance.

15. Revive SPF 50 Sunscreen UVB/UVA PA++++, £95

Offering the highestof UVA protection (PA++++) this is a great choice if you want to keep fine lines and wrinkles at bay whilst also treating your skin to some TLC.

16. Garnier Ambre Solaire Dry Spray SPF 30, £8

This family-friendly dry mist is the perfect choice for kids and adults that find applying SPF a chore. Simply spray onto your body and gently rub in for full protection.

17. Sisley Super Soin Solaire Facial Sun Care SPF 50+, £136

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This soft milky formula is a greatmoisturiser with added SPF. Apply under make-up daily to protect from both UVA and UVB rays.

18. Obagi Medical Sun Shield Tint Broad Spectrum SPF50, £42.93

This medical-graded SPF will protect you from harmful rays whilst leaving your skin perfectly tinted- the perfect daily SPF choice for those who want to prevent ageing and sun damage.

17. Soltan Once Spray SPF 50+, £10

This took five years to develop and test, and uses a unique blend of filters that don’t break down in sunlight, along with a complex of polymers that bind the formula to the skin’s surface to prevent it coming off during the day. One application allows for up to 8 hours of sun exposure and 40 minutes water exposure making it a great choice for those who forget to reapply.

This article is kept updated with the latest information.


What are the safest sunscreens to use in 2022? ›

Mineral-based sunscreens considered safest

For now, if you are concerned about health effects, the safest choice is a so-called “mineral” or “physical” sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, dermatologists say.

Which SPF is best for UV protection? ›

Dermatologists recommend using an SPF of at least 30, which Adarsh Vijay Mudgil, MD, a dermatologist practicing in New York, calls "the magic number". SPF 15 blocks about 93 percent of UVB rays, while SPF 30 blocks about 97 percent of UVB rays. The ADA recommends an SPF of 30 or higher.

What sunscreen is most recommended by dermatologists? ›

  • Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Zinc Oxide Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50 lotion. ...
  • Monat Sun Veil Daily Mineral Protection SPF 30. ...
  • Dermatone's No-Touch Sunscreen Stick SPF 50. ...
  • Get Mr. ...
  • Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush-On SPF 50. ...
  • Isdinceutics Mineral Brush. ...
  • EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46. ...
  • Supergoop!
14 Jun 2022

Which sun creams give the best protection? ›

Best overall
  • Nivea Sun Protect SPF30. ...
  • Vichy Solar Protective Water SPF50. ...
  • Institut Esthederm Sun Care Oil. ...
  • La Roche-Posay Anthelios Protective Oil SPF 50+ ...
  • Nuxe Sun Protective Milky Oil for Hair. ...
  • La Roche-Posay Anthelios Invisible Spray SPF50+ 200ml. £27. ...
  • Glossier Invisible Shield SPF30. £20. ...
  • Neutrogena Ultra Sheer SPF45+ £15.
15 Jul 2022

Which sunscreen is the best 2022? ›

The best sunscreens you can buy in 2022
  1. Avène Intense Protect SPF 50+: The best sun cream for very sensitive skin. ...
  2. RoC Soleil Protect Moisturising Spray Lotion SPF 30: The best sun lotion for mature skin. ...
  3. Vichy Capital Soleil Solar Protective Hydrating Water SPF 50: The lightest sunscreen formula.
13 Jul 2022

What is the highest most effective SPF? ›

Properly applied SPF 50 sunscreen blocks 98 percent of UVB rays; SPF 100 blocks 99 percent. When used correctly, sunscreen with SPF values between 30 and 50 offers adequate sunburn protection, even for people most sensitive to sunburn. High SPF products may pose greater health risks.

Is SPF 70 or 50 better? ›

The SPF rating only refers to UVB rays. An SPF 15 sunscreen blocks 93% of UVB radiation, and SPF 30 blocks 97%. After that, the difference in protection is small. SPF 50 blocks 98%, and SPF 100 stops 99% of UVB rays from reaching your skin.

Is SPF 50 or 30 better? ›

An SPF 30 allows about 3 percent of UVB rays to hit your skin. An SPF of 50 allows about 2 percent of those rays through. That may seem like a small difference until you realize that the SPF 30 is allowing 50 percent more UV radiation onto your skin.

What is the number 1 dermatologist recommended skin care brand? ›

Neutrogena. The brand: You don't need to spend tons of money for effective products that derms love; Neutrogena is touted as the number one dermatologist-recommend skincare product and you can find it at the drugstore.

What SPF is best for face everyday? ›

The right amount of SPF: SPF 30 shields skin from 97% of the sun's UVB rays, and it's what the American Academy of Dermatology advises as a minimum for daily wear. Higher-SPF formulas can be harder to rub in and can leave more of a white cast, while providing minimal additional protection.

What sunscreen do dermatologists recommend for face? ›

One of the best mineral sunscreens, according to dermatologists, is this CeraVe hydrating sunscreen. It contains three essential ceramides that assist in restoring your skin's natural barrier and locking in moisture, and has no trace amounts of oxybenzone, avobenzone, or benzene.

Which is better sunblock or sunscreen? ›

In most cases, sunblock is considered to be more effective because it has zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These are the ingredients that meet the FDA's requirements to be labeled as safe and effective. These ingredients, when comparing sunscreen vs.

Should you wear SPF 50 everyday? ›

For day-to-day use, pick a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. If you spend time outdoors, choose a product with SPF 60 or greater. In reality, most people do not use as much sunscreen as they should, and this higher SPF helps compensate for the reduced application.

How do I choose the right SPF for my face? ›

Go for an SPF 30 or Higher

When choosing the best sunscreen for face, opt for a high SPF of 30 or higher which easily absorbs into the skin such as sunscreen gel SPF 50 especially for oily skin. No matter your skin tone, you should always stay protected from harmful UV rays.

How much SPF should I use on my face? ›

In general you should use an SPF of 30 or higher on your face. But if you have sensitive, fair skin, or a family history of skin cancer, then you may need to go even higher. It's also important to note that SPF does not protect against UVA rays.

Which is better SPF 50 or SPF 50? ›

Experts say sunscreens with an SPF higher than 50 aren't worth buying. They only offer marginally better protection. They might also encourage you to stay out in the sun longer. Instead, choose an SPF between 15 and 50, apply liberally, and reapply often.

Does any SPF over 50 matter? ›

According to the American Cancer Society, SPF (sun protection factor) correlates to how much protection a sunscreen offers against UVB rays. They say that SPF 15 filters 93% of UVB rays, SPF 30 filters 97%, SPF 50 filters 98% and SPF 100 filters about 99%.

What are the 3 most important skin care products? ›

Three Essential Elements in a Basic Skincare Routine
  1. Step 1: Cleanser. Choosing a cleanser that's specifically formulated for the face (rather than the body) is the first essential step in a basic skincare routine. ...
  2. Step 2: Moisturizer. ...
  3. Step 3: Sunscreen. ...
  4. 3 (or 5) simple steps to beautiful skin.

What is the world's best skin care? ›

23 Of The Best Skincare Brands To Know In 2022
  • SkinCeuticals. SkinCeuticals has been a leader in skin care for over two decades thanks to its science-backed approach. ...
  • Emma Lewisham. ...
  • The Secret. ...
  • CeraVe. ...
  • esmi Skin Minerals. ...
  • La Roche Posay. ...
  • Kiehl's. ...
  • The Ordinary.

What is the best skin care routine for 60 year old woman? ›

Here's what you can do: Wash with a gentle, fragrance-free, moisturizing bar soap, cleanser, or body wash. Doing so will help soothe rather than dry your skin. Moisturizing ingredients that can help reduce dryness include glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and lanolin.

What should you avoid when buying sunscreen? ›

Avoid any skin or lip product whose label includes retinyl palmitate, retinol or vitamin A. Avoid oxybenzone, an ingredient that may behave like estrogen. Oxybenzone penetrates the skin readily and can disrupt the hormone system. Look for products with zinc oxide, 3 percent avobenzone or Mexoryl SX.

Is Neutrogena sunscreen Safe 2022? ›

Neutrogena Sunscreen Recall 2022

Benzene is not an ingredient in sunscreen, and the company has yet to determine how benzene contaminated the affected varieties of sunscreen. If you have Neutrogena aerosol sunscreen, you must stop using the product immediately.

What is the safest SPF to use? ›

Here are some of the most highly rated sunscreens that met EWG's criteria for safety and effectiveness:
  • 365 Everyday Value Mineral Sunscreen Sport Lotion, SPF 30.
  • 3rd Rock Sunblock Sunscreen Lotion, Aromatherapeutic, SPF 35.
  • ATTITUDE Mineral Sunscreen, Fragrance Free, SPF 30.
  • All Good Sunstick, Unscented, SPF 30.
5 May 2022

What does Hawaii recommend for sunscreen? ›

Reef-safe sunscreen is the only sunscreen allowed in Hawaii.

Reef-safe sunscreen is made from minerals rather than harmful chemicals. You may or may not have heard of these minerals, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

What is the healthiest SPF to use? ›

Here's what the major health authorities say:

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends SPF 15 every day you leave your house and SPF 30 if you plan to be in the sun most of the day.

Do dermatologists recommend Neutrogena sunscreen? ›

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen Lotion

Most folks don't apply enough, sunscreen, so a high SPF can help add extra coverage. Derms love this lotion for its broad spectrum protection and fast-absorbing finish.

Is Cetaphil sunscreen safe? ›

Cetaphil is the #1 Dermatologist Recommended Facial Skincare Brand. Our mineral sunscreen is specially formulated to be gentle on sensitive skin. This fragrance free, paraben free and chemical free active formula is hypoallergenic and helps preserve the skin's delicate microbiome.

What SPF should you wear every day? ›

For day-to-day use, pick a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. If you spend time outdoors, choose a product with SPF 60 or greater. In reality, most people do not use as much sunscreen as they should, and this higher SPF helps compensate for the reduced application.

Is SPF 30 or 50 stronger? ›

An SPF 30 allows about 3 percent of UVB rays to hit your skin. An SPF of 50 allows about 2 percent of those rays through. That may seem like a small difference until you realize that the SPF 30 is allowing 50 percent more UV radiation onto your skin.

How can I protect my skin in Hawaii? ›

Sunburn Protection Tips During A Hawaii Vacation
  1. Avoid Outdoor Activities When The Sun's Rays Are The Most Direct. ...
  2. Wear A Hat That Has 3 To 4 Inch Brim. ...
  3. Use SPF 30 To 50 or Higher Sunscreen. ...
  4. Apply Sunscreen To Your Lips And Feet. ...
  5. Don't Forget To Apply Sunscreen While Snorkelling. ...
  6. Wear Sunglasses. ...
  7. Go For All-Around Protection.
30 Mar 2020

What ingredients in sunscreen to avoid in Hawaii? ›

In 2018, the Hawaii state legislature passed a statewide ban that prohibits the use of sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate. These chemicals are detrimental to local fish and coral reefs, so as of January 1, 2021, no Hawaiian islands can sell sunscreens that contain these chemicals.

What is the best sunscreen for face and body? ›

Explore the Top 10 Sunscreen cream & Lotion for all Skin Types in India
  • Biotique Bio Sandalwood: 50+ SPF UVA/UVB Sunscreen.
  • Biotique Morning Nectar Sun Protector Sunscreen.
  • Mamamearth Hydragel Indian Sunscreen SPF 50.
  • Minimalist SPF 50 Sunscreen.
  • Wow Skin Science AM2PM Sunscreen.
  • Aroma Magic Cucumber Sunscreen Lotion.


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