The best sunscreen: full body protection from the rays

The best sunscreens

Whether you’re lucky enough to be jetting off somewhere exotic, or you’re simply making the most of the oh-so-rare British summer days, wearing sunscreen is imperative when protecting your skin from the UV rays. With many of us not used to the hot weather, it can be very easy to burn without realising, even on cloudy days.  

The things to consider when buying a good sunscreen are who is using it and where are they using it. Babies and children should ideally always wear SPF 50+, no matter where in the world they are, as their skin is incredibly delicate, and you’ll want to look out for sunscreen specially formulated for babies as this tends to be kinder to sensitive skin. 

Adults can get away with a slightly lower SPF if they want to get a tan, but for long-lasting protection against UVA and UVB rays, SPF 30 is the minimum you want to go for. Always check the star rating on the back of the bottle, too, as this indicates just how good the UVA protection is. You want to be looking out for a 4 or 5 star rating for the best sunscreen protection. 

Our best overall is Vichy Ideal Soleil Hydrating Milk SPF 50, but for more options, see the rest of our list below.

The best sunscreen

1. Vichy Ideal Soleil Hydrating Milk SPF 50

A non-greasy face and body sunscreen the whole family can use

 Fragrance free 

This SPF 50 sunscreen is a non-greasy, delicate formula that can be used by the whole family to protect against the UV rays. It’s lightweight and rubs in well, leaving no white marks and can be used everywhere on the body, including the face (just be careful of the eyes). It’s not waterproof so you will need to reapply regularly (recommended every two hours) but users have rated it highly for sensitive skin, making it suitable for children as well as adults.  

Jurlique Sun Specialist SPF 40 High Protection Cream

2. Jurlique Sun Specialist SPF 40 High Protection Cream

An organic sunscreen with a high SPF

Contains nourishing antioxidants  

If you want something that feels great on the skin as well as giving you the protection you need, this organic sunscreen might just do the trick. It’s SPF 40, so it’s ideal for using both on holiday and at home in your back garden, and can be applied to both the face and body. You can expect your skin to feel silky smooth when using this cream, as it feels more like a body lotion than the typical greasy sunscreen.  

Decleor Aroma Sun Expert Protective Hydrating Milk SPF 30

3. Decleor Aroma Sun Expert Protective Hydrating Milk SPF 30

Keep your skin hydrated with this protective milk formula

Protects against sun-ageing  

For those who have particularly dry skin, you may find that this milky formula keeps you hydrated all day long. It’s SPF 30, and comes in a pump dispenser which makes it very easy to apply. Not only is it designed to protect against UV rays, but it is designed to protect the skin against aging from the sun, so you can expect your skin to stay feeling soft and supple even after a week in the sun. 

Garnier Ambre Solaire Kids Anti-Sand Spray SPF 50

4. Garnier Ambre Solaire Kids Anti-Sand Spray SPF 50

A kid’s spray to stop sand getting in the way

Easy to apply spray 

We all know what a nightmare freshly applied sunscreen and sand can be, not to mention when it’s kids! With this mist spray from Garnier, you can rest assured that sand won’t be an issue, as this quick-drying formula is designed to deter sand from sticking to the skin and causing irritation. Simply shake well and spray, ensuring you cover all bases, and reapply after swimming. It’s also designed for sensitive skin with a SPF of 50+ for protection in even the hottest conditions.  

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Sun Cream Body Spray SPF50+

5. La Roche-Posay Anthelios Sun Cream Body Spray SPF50+

A convenient spray cream with a high SPF

Designed for sensitive skin 

If your skin is prone to sensitivity such as prickly heat in the hotter months, then this spray sunscreen could help combat irritation. It’s a specially designed hypoallergenic formula which is kind to skin with a high SPF of 50+ and contains no preservatives or parabens. It is water-resistant, but is recommended to re-apply every two hours for the best protection.  

Green People Scent Free Sun Lotion SPF 30

6. Green People Scent Free Sun Lotion SPF 30

A moisturising sunscreen which will help you retain your tan

Water-resistant  

Green People have produced an all-natural, organic sunscreen that contains no preservatives and is completely scent-free. It’s rich in antioxidants which help protect the skin and it is extra hydrating which will help you retain your natural glow for longer. Berry wax is used as a unique way to ensure this sunscreen is water-resistant, and some users find it a little bit thick upon application, but it is said to absorb quickly into the skin. 

Garnier Ambre Solaire Ideal Bronze Tan Enhancing Protection Spray SPF 30

7. Garnier Ambre Solaire Ideal Bronze Tan Enhancing Protection Spray SPF 30

Perfect your tan the safe way with this bronze enhancing sunscreen

Supports the skin’s natural production of melanin 
 Not suitable for use on the face

If you want a little extra helping hand in getting a tan this summer, then Garnier Ambre Solaire Ideal Bronze is a sunscreen that works to improve the skin’s production of melanin, the thing that makes you tan. It still has SPF 30, so you’re fully protected from UVA and UVB rays. It is not recommended for use on the face, especially if you have sensitive skin, but users have been very impressed with their sun-kissed skin after using this regularly when on holiday.  

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For the ultimate in protection, see our list of the best sunblocks