Travel Tips

Top Tips to Shopping Smarter for Sun Cream

victoria green travel well blog series

Travel Well Blog Series Part 5: Find the Perfect Sun Cream

Whether you call it sun cream, sunscreen on sun tan lotion, we all know it is a must have for any summer holiday. There are so many to choose from, it can be tricky to know which one is best.

Well we have done the research for you and rounded up the key facts you need to know when shopping for your sun protection.

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Starflower Hanging Traveller Wash Bag - £19

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UVs and SPF

There is an abundance of sun cream available on both the high street and online, so what do you need to look for?

  1. UVs: UV radiation reaches us in the form of UVA and UVB rays.

UVA rays cause deep skin damage which leads to brown spots, accelerated ageing and skin cancer. UVB rays are what cause our skin to burn.

Obviously we want to make sure we are protected against both types of UV radiation! Look out for the UVA logo on the bottle. This shows the sun cream meets the EU requirements for how much UVA protection the product gives you.

sun cream uva rays

Boots have got their own UVA star rating on their own brand ‘Soltan’ products, which makes it even easier to see how much UVA protection each product provides you with (with 5 stars being the highest like normal).

We are protected against UVB rays with the SPF in the sun cream, which we will look at in more detail.

  1. SPF: It stands for Sun Protection Factor and was not introduced until the 1960s. According to a British Skin survey over a third of Brits don’t actually know what SPF means, so what is it?

SPF refers to the amount of UVB protection the cream provides. SPF 30 will block about 97% of these rays and last up to 300 minutes (if applied correctly of course). It is recommended that we use a teaspoon of cream per limb and we need to be re-applying regularly! Slap on the sun cream every couple of hours and of course after swimming.

Does a high SPF mean I am less likely to burn?

Not necessarily, no.There is a misunderstanding about SPF ratings. People assume that SPF 30 provides twice as much sun protection as SPF 15. However, this is not the case.

SPF 15 blocks about 94% of UVB rays and SPF 30 blocks about 97%. Anything above SPF 30 only blocks a maximum of 98% of UVB rays so you are not getting much more sun protection for a higher SPF.

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top 5 sun creams

Best Sun Cream for Oily Skin

clinique sun cream


Sun cream can feel heavy on your skin, especially your face. This is a problem for those with oily skin and prone to breakouts. Clinique’s face sun cream has a light texture and doesn’t leave you with that greasy residue.

It’s a handy on the go size so you can pop it in a makeup bag to go in your handbag.

Clinique – SPF 30 Anti Wrinkle Face Cream (£18)


 sun cream tips

Best Sun Cream for Children

boots soltan kids sun cream


A spray sun cream is always more fun for the kids! We think the Soltan range at Boots is perfect for the little uns.

The kids’ sensitive cream gets our vote because of the gentle and hypoallergic formula. SPF 50 as we know is not necessarily better protection than SPF 30 but for delicate young skin, parents might prefer the extra 1% of UVB ray protection.

Soltan at Boots – Kids Sensitive Ultra-Light Skincare Spray SPF50+ (£6)


top sun creams

Best Natural and Organic Sun Cream

green people organic sun cream

Green beauty is a major trend and more people are looking for natural and organic products.

Green People are the go to brand for organic skincare and makeup. Try their non-greasy sun cream which is made with nourishing avocado oil and contains 78% organic ingredients!

The perfect choice for people looking for ethical sun protection.

Buy from So Organic – Scent Free Sun Lotion SPF30 (£22)


top sun cream tips for summer holidays 

Best Everyday Sun Cream for Holidays

nivea sun cream


Nivea is a trusted brand and their sun care range is a favourite with us Brits. The classic ‘protect and moisture’ is a tried and tested cream and with its light weight and non-greasy formula we can see why it is so popular!

The travel sized sun lotions are fab for long weekends away! Tuck them in the small compartment of our Lorton threefold hanging wash bag.

Nivea - Sun Protect & Moisture SPF30 Sun Lotion (£7.99)

top sun creams

Best Sun Cream Applicator

solar buddies sun cream applicator

Do you hate getting sticky and greasy hands when applying sun cream? Maybe your kids hate the whole process as well.

Solar Buddies is the perfect solution! The specially designed bottles are filled with a sun cream of your choice, then the unique roller ball applies the right amount of liquid through its sponge.

The applicator is reusable and you can replace the roller ball heads when they get worn. A great way to make sun cream fun for kids!

Solar Buddies – World’s First Child Friendly Sunscreen Applicator (WAS £8 NOW £6.40)

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victoria green penryn cosmetic bag

Penryn Cosmetic Pouch - £8

A cosmetic pouch is the perfect size to carry your sun cream and other bits and bobs when on the go!

best sun cream for children

We hope you have learnt all about the world of sun cream. Have fun in the sun and stay safe!

Have you read about our best holiday beauty buys? Get the full story here.

Love Victoria x