The best new sun creams worth trying

From sprays with super-fast absorption to city SPFs that protect against pollution or the ones that just smell glorious, here's our round-up of this summer's best suncare

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By Elle Turner on

Well, Blighty has well and truly pulled it out of the bag. Hot weather for all! Weather as hot as the Caribbean! Of course, tropical heat calls for a few things, among them ice lollies and cold rosé, but – safety first – top of the list is sun cream. Having tried and tested this year's offerings, I'd like to unveil my hit list of the very best non-sticky and non-clammy sun creams that – who'd have thought it? – are a joy to use.


If you hate the feel of thick, sticky sun cream, this may well be the one for you. Garnier's UV Water has the consistency of water (clue's in the name) and sprays out of the bottle in a light mist that sinks in instantly. What's more, it is completely transparent, so doesn't leave behind a film, and blends beautifully with all skin tones.


THE ONE with added oomph: BEAUTY PIE Ultralight uva/uvb Spf 25

A comfortable face SPF that does what it says on the tin – it's ultra light, non-greasy and feels moisturising on your skin. It contains hydrating hyaluronic acid and liquorice extract to calm redness, which means it protects, moisturises and primes skin ready for make-up all in one.


The one for city breaks: Hawaiian Tropic DUo Defence Sun Lotion

As you'd expect from a brand called "Hawaiian Tropic", this cream smells like Pina Coladas and sunshine. It has more of a traditional creamy sun-cream texture, but feels silky on your skin and sinks in relatively quickly. But the real bonus is that it contains antioxidant-rich green tea extract, which protects skin against the damaging free-radicals in pollution, meaning it's great for city living. It comes in SPF 15 and 30.


The one that smells like holiday: Bondi Sands

Bondi Sands has expanded its offering to a range of five cream and oil SPFs, all of which smell yum – like fruit punch, coconuts and summer nights. I gave some to my sister, who loved them so much she tried to sneak a bottle through airport security. Alas, at 150 and 200ml, they're not ones for hand luggage. My favourite is the SPF 30 lotion, which is less greasy than the oils and leaves skin feeling moisturised and smelling wonderfull. If you want a bit of extra oomph, the Protect & Tan Oil offers a built-in fake tan, so each time you reapply you can build on your bronzed glow. It does take a bit of rubbing in, though. 


The one that does it all: Bare Minerals complexion rescue defense

Your one-stop-protection shop comes in the form of Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Defense. The lightweight cream protects against the sun, pollution and blue light from your laptop and phone screen. It also feels lovely and fresh to apply and has a pleasant zingy scent. Said protection comes from a selection of mineral (this means the protection is physical, rather than chemical) and vegan ingredients, such as cacao extract (which defends against blue light) and sugar molecules (which work to block out pollution). Throw in a bit of pearl pigment to give skin a healthy-looking sheen and you have yourself one very multitasking SPF.


THE ONE we've all been waiting for: THE ORDINARY Mineral UV filters SPF 30

Given how great its skincare is, it was only a matter of time before The Ordinary turned its attention to suncare. Sticking to the ethos of effective, no frills and affordable, it has opted for mineral protection, which is good news for those with sensitive skin (mineral protection sits on skin, rather than in it like chemical sunscreen, making it less irritating). The two factors available (SPF 15 or 30) are souped up with nourishing antioxidants, plus they're fragrance-free (another tick for easily aggravated skin). While it applies fairly thick and leaves a whitish/purple film on skin, give it 10 minutes and it does sink in. And, if you're interested, The Ordinary has more suncare options (including an invisible SPF 35 and a mattifying oil-control variation) on the way...



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