We may love the sun, but as lovely as a tan can look, the harmful UVB and UVA rays can do some real damage to the skin.
A good sunscreen should be worn all year around, even when the sun is not shining. SPF will protect you from UV rays, which can burn the epidermis, age it, and even cause skin cancer.
Our bodies naturally protect us from UVB and UVA rays, but only for a limited period of time, thought to be about 10-20. If you start burning after 10 minutes and apply an SPF30, the sunscreen allows you to stay in the sun 30 times longer than your naked skin would. Having said that, and that’s when it gets a little tricky, it is recommended that sunscreen is applied every two hours, especially if you are at the beach, swimming or out for a while on a hot day (yes, even if it’s overcast). Different SPFs also filter out a different amount of damaging rays. SPF15 blocks out about 93%, SPF30 around 97%, whilst SPF50 98%.
When it comes to sunscreen more is more. You need a generous amount of cream to protect you, so don’t hold back and apply about 1oz of SPF half an hour before going out, to allow it to fully sink into the skin.
Made with sustainable ingredients, this water resistant sun cream contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide for mineral protection, omega 6-rich Illawarra plum extract, kahai oil, which is packed with vitamin E, roucou oil, with high levels of beta-carotene, grape seed oil, jojoba oil and coconut emollients, for super hydrating sun protection. Tropic sunscreen absorbs really easily, doesn’t leave that dreaded white film behind, smells like the holidays, comes in a pretty, recyclable bottle, is made fresh in Surrey and you can choose between SPF15, 30 or 50, according to your needs. £28
This cool Danish brand doesn’t just look good on your bathroom shelf, it really delivers with its line of natural products. This Factor 30 sunscreen has a thinner consistency than most SPFs and goes on the skin like a dream, absorbing really quickly and leaving no white marks or grease. £16.50
SPF15 may seem quite a bit lower than 30, however it blocks out about 93% of UVB rays (whilst an SPF 30 blocks out 97%), so, as long as it’s reapplied every couple of hours, it does an excellent job at protecting from the sun. With organic aloe vera, edelweiss, inositol, green tea and moisturising avocado and without parabens, silicone, alcohol, petrochemicals and other ‘nasties’, this sunscreen helps you tan faster and maintain the tan for longer. This cream also helps prevent heat rashes and is ideal for those with sensitive skin. Its packaging is fully recyclable. £21.50
I do wonder how those girls on Love Island do it, because I can’t bear wearing a full face of makeup in the heat. Depending on the weather, come May, I ditch the foundation, however I do like a bit of a base, and this Tinted Sunscreen Face Cream SPF50 really does the job. With red grape stem cells, it helps to reduce spots and has anti-ageing properties, whilst hydrating and providing high protection from UVB and UVA rays. £24
This primer is fantastic at protecting from the sun and pollution whilst creating a smooth canvas for makeup. It has a very light consistency but goes a long way, so you only need a little bit for your face and neck. £12.99
This is a brilliant day cream for the warmer months as it’s very hydrating yet light, and with SPF 30, it protects from the sun. It’s particularly good for those with combination or oily skin and those who don’t like putting standard sunscreen on their face, because it’s easily absorbed, doesn’t clog pores and doesn’t leave a greasy film on the surface. £27.70
It’s not just the skin that can suffer from sun damage, hair does too. Under the sun hair can become really dry and brittle; Korres utilises red vine polyphenols, sunflower extract and aloe to shield hair from UV rays and create a protective film around it, whilst provitamin B5 keeps it hydrated. I’ve found this product also adds softness and shine to my hair, so when I apply it I use a little less of my usual hair serum, spray this (on wet or dry hair) and style my hair as usual. It also smells lovely and fresh. £10