12 Best Sun Creams 2021 | The Sun UK

HOLIDAY checklists can be really long (bikinis, swimsuits, pretty dresses, flip flops, books) but a good sunscreen should be top priority.

We love pink, but not on our skin. The best sun creams will ensure you don't experience a painful and damaging sunburn sipping margaritas while floating on a flamingo inflatable.

Always make sure to look for a suncream that is "broad spectrum", meaning there's protection from both UVA and UVB rays, to prevent ageing wrinkles, dark spots and pigmentation, as well as more serious health issues.

UVAs are skin-damaging long waves that can penetrate through the hypodermis tissue, while UVBs are short waves that cause redness and burns, which can lead to skin cancer.

The SPF number is the UVB protection, so make sure there is a UVA stamp, too.

Then all you need to do is choose the right type of sunscreen for you. Whether you're looking for sensitive skin, oily skin, tan accelerators, or high SPF, our round-up of the best sun creams below has got you covered.

1. Best sun cream for oily skin

  • Clinique SPF40 Body Cream, £20 from Feel Unique – buy here

If you're blemish-prone on your back or chest, it's a good idea to opt for an oil-free sun cream that doesn't leave a pore-clogging, greasy finish.

This Clinique sunscreen offers good broad-spectrum protection in a light, weightless formula free of any oils.

What's more, it's packed with antioxidants that repair damage already done to skin and well as preventing premature ageing. Plus, who doesn't love that cheery yellow packaging?

2. Best sun cream for sensitive skin

  • La Roche-Posay Anthelios Body Lotion SPF50+, £22.00 from Feel Unique – buy here

Are you the lobster that sticks out like a sore thumb on the beach?

Time to use a high SPF that's specifically designed for fair, dry and sensitive skin.

The experts at La Roche-Posay knows their stuff when it comes to skincare, and this hydrating product boasts super-high broad spectrum protection to prevent damage from UVA and UVB rays.

Even though it's completely nourishing, it's also non-greasy and isn't sticky or thick like some sunscreen.

And it's paraben-free. Tick, tick, and tick.

3. Best drugstore sun cream

  • Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Protective Sun Lotion SPF 30, £6 from Amazon – buy here

Just because you cut costs on your sunscreen does not mean you should have to cut quality.

Gone are the days when people would cover themselves in greasy Hawaiian Tropic oil (SPF2) and then lay out and cook.

The company has got with the sun protection programme and now offers broad-spectrum UVA and UVB cream with SPF 30 – but still infused with that glorious tropical smell.

It's also packed with "moisturising ribbons" that keep your skin from drying out, as well as nourishing antioxidants.

Lightweight, non-greasy, and leaves a lovely little glow, too. We've packed it already…

4. Best sun cream with tan accelerator

  • Bondi Sands Protect & Tan SPF 15, £10.35 from Beauty Bay – buy here

Go brown without the burn by choosing a sun cream that also develops a fake tan while you wear it. Genius.

Go faux but look like it's the real deal on your next holiday with the Bondi Sands lotion that protects while you tan.

It will also leave you with a gorgeous coconut fragrance that fits in nicely with the palm-fringed surroundings.

Do remember that SPF 15 is not super-high protection so avoid direct sun exposure during the hottest parts of the day.

5. Best sun cream for face

  • Kiehl's Ultra Light Daily Defense SPF 50, £40 from Kiehl's – buy here

Non-greasy and high SPF: the two things you need to look for when you're buying a good facial sunscreen.

Nobody wants pore-clogging face cream on holiday (or any day, for that matter), so this Kiehl's number is ideal for travelling and for everyday use.

It's lightweight but heavy-duty with an SPF 50 packing a punch in the protection department.

The cream is great for a getaway – and small enough for carry-on luggage – but it's also a good idea to wear it daily for extra protection for your complexion.

What's more, with regular use it will even reduce signs of ageing, like wrinkles and dark spots. Total bonus.

6. Best value sun cream

  • Altruist Dermatologist Sunscreen SPF 50, £8 from Amazon – buy here

Altruist Dermatologist features 5 Star Ultra UVA protection and a broad range of photostable UV filters.

It's hypoallergenic and fragrance-free, and you can use it daily on both face and body, meaning it's a truly versatile option.

It's definitely one of the best value sun creams you can snap up now, and if SPF 50 feels like too much, check out a Altruist Dermatologist Sunscreen SPF 30.

7. Best anti-shine sunscreen

  • SVR Blur Sun Secure, £15.40 from Feel Unique – buy now

We all know that with the sun can come the shine… in particular shine on the face! This often isn't the desired look when sunning in the garden or at the beach and SVR's new Sun Secure Blur has been created to help unify the skin.  The factor 50 sun protection comes in a magical apricot foam texture which smoothes on leaving the skin hydrating and glowing. The foam cream melts instantly to help blur imperfections which is great if you want a bare skin makeup-free day. Highly concentrated, it can even work as a makeup base with the added benefits of complete sun protection. Suitable for even sensitive skins, plus it smells delicious!

8. Best sun cream to wear over makeup

  • Garnier Over Makeup, £6.00 from Boots – buy here

Want to still have your cake and eat it, i.e wear your makeup but be protected? Well, now you can with thanks to the Garnier Super UV spray!

Coming in a nifty handbag-sized mist, you simply spray before or after makeup (or even both!) and you will be protected against UV rays, free radicals in pollution and, with its infusion of vitamin E, even dehydration. This lightweight spray is transparent on the skin, and has a non-greasy finish, making it perfect for applying without messing up any makeup. For ultimate protection, Garnier recommends applying frequently particularly after being in water or sweating.

9. Best for Acne-Prone Skin

  • La Roche Posay Anthelios Clear Skin, £19.99 from Look Fantastic – buy now

If you are prone to breakouts then sun creams with greasy formulas are not your best friend. Thankfully, La Roche-Posay can help with their Dermatologist Tested Skin Cream. This SPF 60 skin cream is suitable even for the most sensitive of skins and is water-resistant making it perfect for poolside wearing. It is also fragrance-free and paraben-free meaning zero nasties and extra anti-oxidants. What's not to love?!

10. Best tinted sun cream

We all know and love Trinny from her fashion TV days but now she has become a skin connoisseur thanks to her Trinny London range. The BFF cream has a SPF coverage of 30 and is infused with Microencapsulated pigments to even out skin tone and help create a dewy glow. It can be used as a stand alone suncream or under makeup as a base. One pleased customer says, 'Unlike other SPF's, this one doesn't make me look super oily. Gives me a great glow and protects my skin from the Zambian sun.'

11. Best Lightweight Sun Cream

  • SuperGoop, Unseen Sunscreen, £29.99 from Revolve – buy here

Thick, rich creams you've been slathering on all winter can be put to the back of the bathroom shelf now that summer has arrived. Instead, why not opt for an invisible, lightweight formula that won't clog the skin and will keep it protected all day long. With an SPF of 40, SuperGoop has created a sun cream with a difference. A barely there consistency, it has red Algae infusions which helps protect against the harmful effects of Blue Light emitted from electronic devices, while the Meadowfoam Seed Oil increases hydration for a more even skin texture. We fully recommend.

12. Best Organic Sun Cream

  • The Organic Pharmacy sun cream, £39.96, from Look Fantastic – buy here

Want protection but hate the idea of chemicals? The mineral sun cream by The Organic Pharmacy has been created with a suitable antioxidant-packed formula for both the face and body. With a collection of natural ingredients which include rosehip, calendula, aloe vera, as well as Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide which delivers mineral protection to defend against UV rays. This cream aims to be anti-inflammatory, calming and comfortable on the skin with shea Butter working to seal in a layer of natual moisture for a thoroughly hydrated and healthy-looking appearance.



Looking for a non comedogenic sun cream? Then head over to our round-up of the best non-comedogenic sunscreens.

Enjoyed our round-up of the best sun creams? For more incredible beauty recommendations, head over to our dedicated Sun Selects Beauty page. Trust us – you won't regret it.

We’re all about helping you find the best products at the best prices, so be sure to check out more of Sun Selects’ recommendations.

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