With temperatures (finally!) starting to reach above the 20 mark, chances are you'll be needing to stock up on sun cream again this summer.
And though the days of greasy, oily SPF are very much a thing of the past, finding the right formula–at the right price–is never an easy feat.
Luckily, the very best supermarket sun creams, from everywhere from Aldi and Lidl to Morrisons and Marks & Spencer, pack a UV and UBA protection punch up there with the fancy brands: you just need to know which ones to choose.
Before we get into the specifics, here's how to read a bottle of bargain suncream, to ensure that it's here for the protection you need.
The UVA star rating system is your most useful tool when identifying the best supermarket sun creams.
Ranging from 0 to 5, this scale measures the amount of protection the formula offers against UVA radiation.
UVA accounts for around 95% of the UV light that reaches our skin, has the ability to penetrate glass, and is responsible for causing skin damage. Ideally, you want a sun cream that hits the 5-star rating to ensure you’re as covered as can be.
So, what about the SPF rating? This measures the amount of UVB protection the formula offers – these rays are the ones that cause sunburn.
The SPF rating ranges from 2 (you may as well slather milk on your body) right up to 100, although SPF 30 and 50 are the most widely recommended (the British Association of Dermatologists says that the former should always be your minimum SPF.). They block around 97% and 98% of UVB rays respectively.
It goes without saying that you need protection from both UVA and UVB in your sun protection, and, thankfully, almost all of today’s sun creams offer this. How do you know? Look for the words ‘broad spectrum’ on the bottle.
So, where can the best supermarket sun creams really be found? Read on for the WH verdict.
As well as advanced UVA/UVB protection, this hydrating heavy hitter is formulated with soothing shea butter to help nourish skin and counteract the drying effect of the sun.
No matter how many times they jump in and out of the paddling pool, you can rely on this formula to offer high protection to little ones’ delicate skin.
With SPF30 protection and a 5-star UVA rating, this bargain face cream from Aldi ticks all the boxes. The lightweight formulas feels undetectable on skin, but rest assured it’s keeping your visage safe and protected.
Easily irritated and sensitive skin? Look no further than Nivea's new Sun Sensitive formula. The unperfumed sun cream harnesses the power of gentle ingredients like Aloe Vera, Liquorice extract and Antioxidants to protect skin from sun allergies and irritations, while also offering UVA/UVB and High Energy Visible Light (HEVL) protection.
While chemical-based sunscreens do the job properly - and are often available at a lower cost - they don’t slip so seamlessly into a low-tox lifestyle, if that's what you're after.
This vegan, organic option is ideal - it’s formulated with mineral UV filters instead of chemical nanoparticles and comes with a flattering tint to even out your complexion.
Off for a spot of surfing? You need a sun cream with serious staying power, and one of the very best comes from none other but Lidl. This thick cream is formulated to withstand moderate water contact, so you'll need to reapply less often.
Lidl doesn't do the online shopping thing, so you'll need to head in-store, for this one.
Stocked in Waitrose, this brilliant sun cream is suitable for most allergies including those caused by the sun. Formulated with antioxidants, it ensures long-lasting protection after just one application.
Next time you're browsing Ocado, be sure to add this lotion to your basket if you're headed to the beach. It's formulated without any of the nasty chemicals that have been proven to bleach coral and disrupt the ocean's delicate ecosystem.
For kids that don't sit still, the roll on appliator of the this sun cream makes it a breeze to cover every inch of their skin, ensuring they're protected from head to toe.
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