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The 10 best sunscreens to buy in the UK

Picture of a sunscreen

Buying the best sunscreen for your skin is more important than most realize. Even without excessively high temperatures or visible sun, sunscreen is essential for protecting the skin from UV damage, helping to reduce the risk of skin cancer and visible signs of aging.

Yet with such a huge number of products to choose from, it’s not always easy finding the best sunscreen for your skin type. Here’s everything you need to know to help pick the best sunscreens to protect your skin:

What are sunscreens?

Sunscreen refers to a variety of products that absorb or reflect the sun’s ultraviolet radiation, helping to protect against sunburn and other forms of UV damage. They come in many different products, including lotions, sprays, and gels, all of which are applied to any skin that will be exposed to the sun.

Why should you buy a good sunscreen?

The best sunscreen products help to prevent sunburn caused by a type of ultraviolet radiation known as UVB. Sunburn isn’t just very uncomfortable for the skin, but also very dangerous for its long-term health as it increased the chances of developing skin cancer. Not only that, sunscreen is great for promoting healthy and youthful skin by protecting from another form of ultraviolet radiation known as UVA rays. By penetrating deep into the skin, these rays can hasten the aging of skin by causing wrinkles, sagging, and fine lines, making sunscreen a great addition to a skincare regime.

How to choose the right sunscreen in 2024?

Another picture of a sunscreen

Knowing the best sunscreens for your skin can be rather difficult when you see how many options are out there, so here are some important things that should make choosing the right sunscreen much easier:

  • Sun Protection Factor (SPF): A measurement of UVB protection, you will require a SPF of at least 15 in any sunscreen to get adequate protection from the sun. The SPF scale measures from as low as five and reaching upwards of 50, the latter of which offers the most amount of protection.
  • Skin Type: When looking for the best SPF in your sunscreen, you need to consider your skin type first, as fairer skin requires a higher SPF for protection. Similarly, sensitive or dry skin will require specific types of sunscreen, so be sure to recognize your skin type and the appropriate sunscreen (and SPF).
  • Age: While adults can use almost any type of sunscreen, children have more specific requirements due to how sensitive their skin is. Also, certain sunscreen ingredients can irritate children’s skin. Accordingly, child-friendly sunscreens should always be used for children aged 6-months and older.

What is the best kind of sunscreen in the UK?

There are a few choices when it comes to types of sunscreen, with each one offering their pros and cons, depending mostly on your skin type:

  • Chemical Sunscreen: Chemical sunscreen contains ingredients that absorb the ultraviolet radiation rays. While they traditionally only had ingredients that could absorb UVB rays, newer products feature chemicals that can absorb UVA rays as well. Many people`s skin is sensitive to some of the chemicals commonly found in this sunscreen. It can also take longer to be effective, approx. 20 minutes after application. So be mindful before enjoying the sunbath.
  • Physical Sunscreen: The main difference between physical and chemical sunscreen is that physical sunscreens act as a barrier, reflecting and shielding from UVA and UVB rays rather than absorbing them. They also contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, making them a better sunscreen for those with sensitive skin, while also helping them to take effect much quicker than chemical sunscreen. Given this, and the fact they absorb UVA and UVB rays, many view it is as the best sunscreen.

Top 10 list of sunscreens in the UK (2024)

The bestseller list compares brands and their sunscreens. Which sunscreen is the best?
Best choice TOP 1
Image of Garnier 3600541624245 sunscreen
Garnier Ambre Solaire Hydra 24 Hour Protect Lotion, Water Resistant…
  • LEAPING BUNNY APPROVED: approved as cruelty free under the Leaping Bunny Program…
  • WATER RESISTANT: This fast-absorbing lotion is non-greasy and water resistant Fo…
  • UP TO 24 HOUR HYDRATION: Our FORMULA is enriched with nourishing Shea Butter and…
BUY NOW
Offer TOP 2
Image of NIVEA 85669 sunscreen
NIVEA SUN Protect & Moisture Sun Spray SPF 50+ (200ml), Moisturising…
  • Readily biodegradable: NIVEA SUN protection cares for your skin and the planet. The…
  • How to apply: Apply a visible layer before sun exposure before rubbing in, let dry…
  • Skin moisturising: This NIVEA sun cream supports skin protection from the inside…
BUY NOW
TOP 3
Image of NIVEA 85402 sunscreen
NIVEA Sun Protect & Moisture Sun Spray SPF 30 (200 ml), Moisturising…
  • Sustainability: NIVEA's sun protection cares for your skin and the planet. The…
  • How to apply: Apply a visible layer before sun exposure before rubbing in, let dry…
  • Skin moisturising: This NIVEA sun cream supports skin protection from the inside…
BUY NOW
TOP 4
Image of Beauty of Joseon JSMSM03-SR sunscreen
Beauty of Joseon Relief Sun (50ml, 1.69fl.oz)
  • Target gender: unisex
BUY NOW
TOP 5
Image of Banana Boat PLAYTEX439182 sunscreen
Banana Boat Sunscreen Sport Performance Broad Spectrum Sun Care Sunscreen…
  • Size: 2 Count (Pack of 1)
  • bookshelf-albums
  • Product Type: BEAUTY
BUY NOW
TOP 6
Image of Nivea Sun 85666 sunscreen
NIVEA SUN Protect & Moisture Sun Lotion SPF 50+ (200 ml), Suncream…
  • Sustainability: The formula offers highly effective sun protection whilst respecting…
  • How to apply: Apply sun tan lotion generously before sun exposure. Reapply frequently,…
  • Water-resistant: This sunscreen protects healthy skin from the outside and inside…
BUY NOW
TOP 7
Image of Garnier  sunscreen
Garnier Ambre Solaire SPF 50+ Sensitive Advanced Dry Mist Sun Cream…
  • *no Ethyl Alcohol
  • LEAPING BUNNY APPROVED: Approved as cruelty free under the Leaping Bunny Program…
  • SENSITIVE SKIN: Suitable for fair and sensitive skin. The formula does not contain…
BUY NOW
TOP 8
Image of Altruist SPF50 100ml sunscreen
ALTRUIST. Dermatologist Sunscreen SPF 50 – Superior 5-star UVA…
  • ALTRUIST SUPPORTS PEOPLE WITH ALBINISM IN AFRICA - 10p from every Altruist product…
  • PREMIUM PRODUCT, LOW PRICE. For the price listed you receive two tubes. Our mission…
  • HIGH QUALITY BROAD SPECTRUM PROTECTION with 5 star Ultra UVA rating (PPD: 52). Altruist…
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TOP 9
Image of Ambre Solaire 3600540305473 sunscreen
Garnier Ambre Solaire Ultra-Hydrating Sun Cream Spray SPF30, 200m…
  • LEAPING BUNNY APPROVED: approved as cruelty free under the Leaping Bunny Program…
  • EASY APPLICATION: The spray format allows you to protect all parts of your body quickly…
  • WATER RESISTANT: This fast-absorbing lotion is non-greasy and water resistant
BUY NOW
TOP 10
Image of NIVEA 85431-04500-15 sunscreen
NIVEA SUN Protect and Sensitive Sun Spray (200 ml), Sunscreen with…
  • Scope of Delivery: NIVEA SUN Protect and Sensitive Sun Spray, 200 ml Bottle. Sensitive…
  • How to apply: Apply sunscreen generously onto bare skin before going outside, allowing…
  • Water resistant: The sensitive suncream is highly water resistant so it will last…
BUY NOW
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We participate in the Amazon Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. We consider only products that are available on Amazon while the ranking is based on factors such as customer reviews, number of sales and keyword. Last Update: 2024/07/15.