Summer Is Here—These Are the Best Sun Creams for Every Occasion

You want healthy-looking skin. It’s cool. I get it. Trust me—I really do understand where you’re coming from. I also know that once the warm weather hits, it's tempting to want to spend more time outdoors (safely, of course) but that without the proper protection, the sun can work against your healthy-skin goals.

Beauty editors and skin experts far and wide promote the message that staying out of the sun at all costs is the best way to protect your skin from premature ageing and potentially dangerous skin conditions. However, providing you’re taking the necessary measures by applying a high-factor sun cream and not spending prolonged periods of time in direct sunlight, is wanting to spend some time in the heat of the sun something to be ashamed of?


(Image credit: @BETTINALOONEY)

The truth is making sure that you are applying the correct sun cream in the correct way is absolutely crucial in ensuring sun safety. "From March to October, UV levels are at their highest. I would recommend applying sunscreen to any exposed skin 15 minutes before you head outdoors,” advises consultant dermatologist Justine Kluk. "It is possible to burn, tan and sustain sun damage that increases your risks of skin cancer and premature ageing from just 15 minutes of casual sun exposure without the right protection.”

And this is where the issue lies. In reality, very few people do apply sun cream correctly, and thus expose themselves to damage. "Many people make the mistake of thinking that their makeup contains SPF, so they don’t need to wear a separate sun protection product, but you should. Use sunscreen as your final skincare step and apply makeup afterward,” Kluk recommends. 

If you’re keen to start paying more attention to your suncare routine or if you simply can’t find the right formula for you, trust me when I say that putting the effort into getting your sun cream line-up right will be worth it in the end. To make things a little easier, keep scrolling for the very best sun cream formulas for every need.

Best for Everyday Wear

Best for Body

Best for Ease

Best for Face

Next up, You Still Need to Wear SPF Right Now—These 14 Are the Best for Oily Skin

Freelance Beauty Editor

Shannon Lawlor is a renowned beauty journalist and has contributed to Who What Wear’s beauty content since 2020. As a leading beauty editor, expert and brand consultant, she has over eight years of experience working for some of the industry’s most esteemed titles, including Who What Wear (of course), Glamour UK, Stylist, Refinery29 and Fabulous.

Having also worked behind the scenes with some of the industry’s biggest brands and retailers, Shannon has a unique insight into what people really want from their beauty routines. Understanding that beauty lovers seek honest, open and responsible advice, she has it made her mission to demystify the intimidating world of beauty, taking a no-frills approach to the most relatable topics.

While Shannon is the first to admit she doesn’t hold the answer to every beauty question out there, she is dedicated to sharing her expert insights in a bid to help. As a self-proclaimed lazy girl, Shannon has an affinity for easy-to-use, foolproof beauty products and has made it her mission to scope out the best of the best.

When she’s not working, Shannon is likely soaking in the bath or giving no-holds-barred beauty reviews on Instagram from her bathroom floor.