The different types of sun protection

From sensitive skin saviours, to handy sprays & lip balms – we’ve got you covered, so get ready to rock summer!

When it comes to sun protection some decisions have to be made, like what factor you want and also what formula to choose. But what’s the difference between the formulas and how do you know which one will suit your skin type and activity best?

Why do I need sun care?

Sun care products are one of your best mates as they help protect your skin from the sun: burning, premature ageing, wrinkles, and sagging skin – no thanks! Spraying, splodging and applying sun care any way you see fit can help delay these and let you live your best life in the sun. Even on a cloudy day, UVA and UVB rays can be harmful, so you’ll need to ensure your sun protection has 5* UVA protection. If you’re unsure what UVA and UVB rays are, find out all you need to know on the difference between UVA and UVB rays.

Our top tips on applying sun protection

Wearing your sun protection sometimes isn’t enough; you need to make sure you’re applying it properly. So we’ve gathered our top tips below, but for more in depth detail check out our tips for staying safe in the sun.

Follow these tips and you’ll be a pro in no time:

  • Aim for two tablespoons of sun protection to cover your body
  • Apply at least half an hour before going out in the sun, and it will usually need a good 15 minutes to soak in and dry
  • If you’ve been swimming, exercising or sweating, you’ll need to re-apply
  • Check your sun protection product is still fresh – simply squeeze some out and check that it looks and smells ok. Anything older than last summer needs throwing out!

The different sun protection types

Classic sunscreen

Sun lotion is the favourite that most people will use when applying sun protection. They’re great because you can clearly see how much you’re applying and any areas you’ve missed as the majority are white in colour, which means lotion sunscreen is probably best for if you’re spending a day at the beach. Always make sure you get someone to help you apply it to areas that are hard to reach like your back, neck and shoulders.

Spray sunscreen

Using a spray sunscreen is easier to apply than other options, especially if you’re in a rush or you’re a little eager to get outside. But you need to make sure you’re using them the right way, as it can be harder to know if you’ve put enough on. Apply an amount about the size of a two pound coin on your hands to rub into the face (but don’t spray directly on your face!), then one for each arm and two each for your back and legs. Make sure you rub in once you’ve applied and hold it close to your skin or you could end up just spraying the air. Ensure you reapply as soon as you arrive at the destination.

Roll-on sunscreen

Roll-on sunscreen is probably the handiest and most hassle-free of them all, as they come in a small size that fits perfectly in your handbag or travel luggage. You simply roll onto your skin, ensuring you’re covering all areas, and rub in. Many are water resistant, which makes them great for if you’re jumping in and out of the pool all day – but make sure to reapply each time you get out! 

For sensitive skin

If you have sun sensitive skin and react to sunlight by getting itchy red rashes it may be that you have an allergy to UVA light rather than to sunscreen. Use a high SPF 50+ product for sensitive skin with the highest five-star UVA rating to ensure the maximum protection against UVA light and don’t forget to reapply.

For your face

There are many sunscreens out there now that are specifically designed for your face. Whilst it’s safe to use body products on the face, products designed especially for the face tend to have more specialised ingredients to support healthy ageing such as peptides and antioxidants. If you’re looking for facial cosmetics that contain SPF then get some inspiration from our article, does SPF in cosmetics protect your skin?

Lip balm

Many of us can forget that our lips need protecting too when going out in the sun – the skin on our lips is delicate which is why many of us can suffer when it’s windy or sunny. So to help, just make sure you have with you a lip balm that contains SPF to help protect your pout

For kids

As children’s skin is more vulnerable to damage than ours due to them spending more time outside playing, meaning sun care products may rub off, it’s best to get them a sunscreen that’s suitable for children – or if you’re struggling, look out for ones that say suitable for sensitive skin.