Which sun-protection cream should you wear?
We have scoured the shelves for the best sun screen creams
Any SPF under 30 isn’t worth purchasing – except for a false sense of security.
Skin cancer is still the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Ireland, but despite this fact, we are not always sensible about sun exposure. During the summer months, wearing a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or over is important, particularly if you’re travelling somewhere hot. UVA rays damage and prematurely age the skin, while UVB rays burn it and put us at risk of melanoma. A moisturiser containing SPF is simply not enough to protect skin adequately – you’ll need an SPF that contains both UVA and UVB protection; “SPF” only refers to UVB.
If you use a high factor, don’t get lazy about reapplication. SPF50 offers only 1-4 per cent more protection than SPF30, and if you’re in direct sun, you’ll need to reapply every two hours. Any SPF under 30 isn’t worth purchasing – except for a false sense of security. It is worth remembering that tanning is the result of a protective response by the skin to UV light – and this response isn’t effective.
Tanning is skin damage which will eventually result in premature aging of the skin, so it is seriously worth considering tanning the artificial way. No matter what sort of SPF you use, always shake it vigorously before use and apply it liberally.
La Roche Posay Anthelios-XL Wet Skin Gel Lotion SPF50 (€19.95 for 250ml)
The best water-resistant SPF I’ve found this year, this feels comfortably light to wear and is barely visible on the skin (an invisible SPF isn’t doing very much).
Sisley Super Sun Solaire Milky Body Mist SPF30 (€103.50 for 150ml)
If budget is no impediment, this SPF is dreamily smooth, light and rich in nourishing skincare. Skin glows after application.
Clarins Sun Wrinkle Control Cream For Face SPF30/50+ (€26 for 75ml)
An old reliable, this wears comfortably under makeup or on the bare faces of family members of all ages. It isn’t as congesting or overly heavy as facial SPFs can tend to be.
Tom Ford Face Protect SPF50 (€64 for 30ml)
This is a dream to wear under makeup and doesn’t interfere with foundation. Rich but light.
Clinique Mineral Sunscreen Fluid for Face SPF30 (€28 for 30ml)
An excellent option for sensitive skin types, this little carry-on luggage friendly bottle is a fluid rather than a heavier cream.
La Roche Posay Anthelios Invisible Fresh Mist SPF50 (€14 for 75ml)
I never leave the house in summer without this fine mist, which can be spritzed over makeup to top up sun protection.
Nuxe Melting Spray High Protection SPF50 (€26 for 150ml)
If heavenly fragrance is important to you in a sun cream, look no further. This melts into skin and feels comfortable. Avoid it if you are sensitive to fragrance.
Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Protective Sun Lotion SPF15/30/50 (€12.50 for 180ml)
For that childhood “holiday smell”, always opt for Hawaiian tropic, but ignore protection levels under 30.
Vichy Idéal Soleil SPF30/50 (€19.50 for 200ml)
Non-sticky and sumptuously fragrant, I was really impressed with this soft lotion – it is my go-to for gardening and everyday activity in the sun during summer.