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Wherever you’re jetting off to on holiday this year, one item that is likely to be essential to your suitcase is sun cream. We all know how important it is to protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun, and if you’re holidaying with children then it’s even more important to ensure they’re getting maximum protection. So if you’re planning on a sightseeing city break, an active holiday or just two weeks lying on the beach, don’t forget to make sure you’ve got a sun cream or two packed in your bag.
To make things easier for you (because let’s face it, all that pre-holiday prep can leave anyone exhausted) we’ve compiled a list of the top suncare products for summer, as well as giving you all the information you could possibly need about which sun cream is right for you. What factor do you need? What’s the difference between UVA and UVB? Read on for everything you need to know about protecting your skin in the sun this summer.
How to choose the best sun cream for your holiday?
The first thing you should always look out for is ‘broad spectrum’ sun cream. This means it contains both UVA and UVB protection, which will give you maximum protection from sun damage. It’s also recommended that you don’t opt for anything less than SPF 15 in your sun cream, and if you’ve got children or fair skin, then the higher the factor, the better.
Aside from that, the best sun cream for you depends on you – what skin type you have, what you’ll be doing on your holiday and what kind of sun cream you prefer (some people opt for sprays, oils and gels over traditional creams). If you’re going to be very active and getting sweaty, or you’ll be taking a dip in the pool now and again, then a waterproof sunscreen is ideal to give you peace of mind whilst you enjoy your activities.
What’s the difference between UVA and UVB?
UVA and UVB are the main causes of skin damage. Put simply, the sunlight that reaches us on earth is made up of the two types of rays (UVA and UVB) and both are extremely powerful. UVA rays make up a huge 95% of this radiation, so they penetrate deep down into the thickest layer of the skin and cause skin ageing. Whilst UVB rays are shorter, meaning they burn the superficial layers of your skin – leading to – you guessed it – sunburn.
What factor should my sun cream be?
The best option for the elderly, children, and anyone with very fair or freckly skin is Factor 50. Again, it depends on the type of holiday you’re going on though – if you’re going to be spending a lot of time in very intense heat, then opt for Factor 50 too. Lower factors still offer good protection though, as long as you follow the instructions that come with your sun cream. SPF 15 offers 93% of UVB protection, rising to 97% for SPF 30 and 98% for SPF 50.
People with darker skin may not burn as easily, but skin damage from UV rays can occur in people of every skin tone, so no one should skip sun protection. Remember, it’s still possible to tan with sun cream on – but a tan should never come at the price of damaging your skin.
Should I use a different sun cream on my face?
Some people with sensitive skin find that they break out or have a bad reaction when they use sun cream on their face, thanks to some of the ingredients in the formula. If that sounds like you, look out for oil-free, water-based products, and avoid anything that contains irritants such as perfumes, dyes or preservatives. Remember to still opt for broad-spectrum sun cream for maximum protection, and if you’re going to be in the water or be very active, then a waterproof sun cream will keep you protected even when you’re sweating!
What else should I know?
Sometimes it’s hard to know just how much sun cream you need to apply on your body, but a good rule to follow is one teaspoon per body part that will be exposed in the sun, for example, one teaspoon per leg and one teaspoon per arm. You should always apply sun cream 30 minutes before you’re out in the sun to give it time to work properly, and you should reapply your sun cream every two hours.
Which is the best sun cream?
We’ve put together a list of our favourites, so take a look through and see which one you’ll be taking on your holiday this summer.
P20 Once A Day Sun Protection
Good for: high-activity holidays, family holidays
When you’re having a fun active day, getting in and out of the pool or playing with the children, it can be a hassle to remember to constantly reapply your sun cream. It can be even more difficult to keep on track of it when you add kids to the mix!
P20 Once A Day Sun Protection offers 10 hours of sun protection from just one application. It’s also water resistant too, so there’s no need to worry about having to keep reapplying your sun cream after playing sports or enjoying a swim. P20 has a unique, alcohol-based formula, meaning it absorbs quickly and won’t leave you with that sticky feeling – so it’s perfect for using on your face or scalp, too. This lightweight, transparent lotion offers broad-spectrum protection, which means you’re fully protected from both burning and any premature signs of ageing that can be caused by being out in the sun without sun protection. It’s also colour and paraben-free, with no added fragrance or preservatives, so it’s perfect for children or those with sensitive skin. Available in Factor 15, 20, 30 and 50, it’s a great choice whether you burn easily or just need a lighter protection.
Lancaster Sun Beauty Velvet Milk SPF 30
Good for: those looking to tan without sacrificing sun protection
Whilst it’s always important to protect your skin from the sun, let’s face it, sometimes it’s nice to come home from your holiday with a radiant, golden tan. If that sounds like you, Lancaster’s Sun Beauty Velvet Milk is the one for you. It contains a Tan Activator Complex which will help you to maintain a lasting tan long after your holiday is over.
Don’t worry though – you won’t be scrimping on protection. This sun cream offers optimum, ultra-broad-spectrum protection, so you can enjoy the rays on your skin without the worry. The formula also contains exclusive Full Light Technology, which targets 100% of sun rays (that includes UVA, UVB, Visible Light and Infrared) so skin is protected from damage, whilst the velvety lotion helps to maintain firmness and elasticity. Plus, if you’ll be cooling off with a dip in the sea or the pool, you can, because Sun Beauty Velvet Milk is totally water-resistant.
Ultrasun Family SPF 30 Sun Cream
Good for: sensitive skin, children
Children need higher protection than adults as they have more delicate, sensitive skin, but sometimes it can be a hassle to take up valuable space in the suitcase with sun cream for both you and the kids.
Ultrasun Family has a special formula that is oil, perfume and emulsifier-free, making it suitable for all skin types, and particularly good for those with sensitive skin. If you struggle with prickly heat or heat rash whilst in the sun, this sun cream will help prevent those uncomfortable sun reactions - leaving you to make the most of your holiday. With a high sun protection factor of 30, it gives full protection for all.
Just one application provides long-lasting protection, and the airless pump dispenser effectively prevents product deterioration and contamination, meaning your sunscreen will last longer.
Biotherm Lait Solaire SPF 30
Good for: sensitive skin, beauty lovers
If you prefer your sun cream to be a more like a moisturiser than a traditional sun cream Lait Solaire is a great choice for you. With a silky, moisturising texture and a gorgeous citrus scent, this is nothing like the sticky sun creams of your childhood memories – actually, it feels like a real treat for the skin to apply this gorgeous formula.
Lait Solaire is also blended with Vitamin E to neutralise free radicals, and contains Life Plankton™ to soothe the skin and stimulate its natural defences. Meanwhile, a photostable broad-spectrum filter absorbs UVA and UVB.
Lancaster Sun Sensitive Delicate Comforting Cream SPF50+
Good for: those requiring extra protection
Let’s face it – some people just don’t really get on with the sun. Whether it’s because you burn easily or are susceptible to sun-induced skin reactions, you’re likely to need maximum protection and a special formula to ensure you can enjoy your holiday without having to worry about the rays.
Lancaster’s Sun Sensitive Delicate Comforting Cream offers maximum protection of 50+, and contains a sensiboost complex to give sun-sensitive skin even more protection, as it reinforces the skin’s natural resistance and reduces skin redness and irritation. Containing UVA and UVB filters, full light technology also provides unique protection against Infrared and Visible Light rays, which can be responsible for sun-induced skin reactions. If you want maximum protection, this is the one for you.
P20 Once A Day Sun Protection Continuous Spray SPF 30
Good for: swimmers
If you find sun creams difficult to apply all over, then a spray version like P20’s new sun protection spray is a great choice. Containing the classic once-a-day formula of the original sun cream, this is a multi-angle spray bottle which makes it easy to apply to even those hard-to-reach areas.
The spray is also water resistant and effective even after frequent swimming, so you can enjoy a dip in the pool or a swim in the sea without the worry. As with the original P20 formula, this spray is ideal for children, those with sensitive skin, and use on the face and scalp, as it contains no colour, fragrance, parabens or other preservatives.
Did you know you can Click & Collect your sun cream and sun protection products? It couldn’t be easier. Just choose your favourite sun care products, add them to your basket and pick up before you fly. Plus, you can now beat the high street by getting 10% off your shopping when you buy direct with East Midlands Airport.