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 anti-oxidants 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 suncream 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.
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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