Best sunscreen: 5 beauty director-approved SPF lotions for head to toe protection

Posted by for Beauty

Forget the gloopy, greasy, grey sunscreens of yesteryear; it has never been easier to find a hard-working formula that you won’t bemoan applying. Just take it from Stylist’s beauty director…

The sun is finally starting to come out — hurrah! But at the risk of being a buzzkill, I’m here to remind you that, as always, sun cream is a total non-negotiable.

Whether you’re out and about for some outdoor socialising or you’ve moved your home office into your garden or onto your balcony,  it’s important to protect your body (as well as your face) from the sun’s harmful rays. Well, that, and avoiding the sun when it’s at its strongest, and seeking shade as much of possible, of course.

But I get it: all sun cream feels gloopy, sticky, greasy and gross, right? Wrong. Over the years, I’ve made it my mission to hunt out non-greasy, non-sticky, hydrating formulas that protect the skin but are also — believe it or not — a joy to apply. Plus, not one of them will leave your limbs looking ashy, even if you have dark skin. So, I’m sorry, but there goes all your excuses.

These are the five best sunscreen formulas I pack for everything from holidays to trips to my tiny inner-London balcony. 

  • Best non-greasy sunscreen: Vichy Ideal Soleil Hydrating Sun Protection Water SPF 50

    Vichy-Capital-Soleil-Solar-Protective-Water-Hydrating-SPF50

    Hate heavy creams? I feel you. Vichy’s sunscreen comes in mist form, meaning you simply need to spritz limbs and pat it in to apply. There’s also hyaluronic acid in there, too, which hydrates as it protects. This has to be one of the most refreshing formulas out there, especially if you pop it in the fridge ten minutes before applying.

    Shop Vichy Ideal Soleil Hydrating Sun Protection Water SPF 50 at Feelunique, £19

  • Best marine-safe sunscreen: Green People Scent Free Sun Lotion SPF 30

    Green-People-Scent-Free-Sun-Lotion-SPF-30

    Scientists estimate that up to 14,000 tons of suncream washes off our bodies and into the oceans every year. That’s why we’ve seen a recent turn towards mineral formulas that omit certain chemicals believed to bleach and damage coral. Green People’s sun care formula is 100% reef-safe, and although it is slightly heavier than other creams, it melds into skin without the need for furious rubbing. One for your next post-lockdown holiday…

    Shop Green People Scent Free Sun Lotion SPF 30 at lookfantastic, £25

Sign up for our essential edit of what to buy, see, read and do, and also receive our 11-page Ultimate Guide To Making Your Home Feel Bigger.

By entering my email I agree to Stylist’s Privacy Policy

Images: Peopleimages/ Getty / courtesy of brands

Share this article

Recommended by Shannon Peter