Its mere mention may conjure childhood memories of being roughly smeared by insistent parents before sporting a ghostly face for the next few hours. But sunscreen technology has come a long way since we were kids. No longer does SPF 30 guarantee you grappling to spread a putty-like consistency all over yourself, not to mention smelling like a bag of chemicals.
Here are some of the best to help you dodge our friendly hole in the ozone layer this summer.
For the Face
Invisible Zinc Face and Body Sunscreen SPF 30+ ($18.95 for 75ml)
Invisible Zinc gets its name because it uses zinc oxide as its active ingredient, physically shielding the skin from UVA (long-wave) and UVB (short-wave) rays. This one is perfect for daily wear on the face and neck, and has a vastly lighter and smoother consistency than the zincs of our youth. Many of the face sunscreens on the market provide only SPF 15, so you can happily take that SPF 30 to the bank.
Ultraceuticals Ultra UV Protective Daily Moisturiser SPF 50+ ($65 for 100ml)
If you want to get really serious about protecting your face while also keeping it hydrated, Ultraceuticals offers high protection – SPF 50 is the highest protection legal in Australia at the moment – in a lightweight formula. This comes in a tinted version and is also useful for people who have had surgery and need to stay very protected.
Aesop Sage & Zinc Facial Hydrating Cream SPF 15 ($40 for 40mL or $60 for 60ml)
It’s not surprising that Aesop’s contribution to the suncare conversation is a product that not only does its job well, but smells and looks great, too. Despite coconut being the current sunscreen go-to scent de rigeur, subtle sage has been used here for an unusual touch.
Dove Protective Tinted Moisturiser SPF 15 ($8.99 for 50ml)
A fantastic all-rounder product. Choose Beige for lighter complexions or Honey for darker complexions and do away with foundation if you don’t mind a natural look. Conveniently, it’s your sunscreen, light cover and moisturiser all-in-one.
For the Body
Eco Tan Coconut Sunscreen SPF 30 ($29.95 for 150ml)
Great for people who are wary of covering themselves in chemicals. Eco Tan is Australian made using non-chemical sunscreen ingredients (zinc oxide provides the protection), including a whole host of nourishing ingredients for your skin such as coconut oil, shea butter, jojoba oil, beeswax and rosehip oil. It also smells good.
Dermalogica Solar Defense Booster SPF 50 ($62 for 50ml)
Dermalogica’s suncare range wins for being lightweight and easy on sensitive skin (as one would expect from the esteemed skincare brand). Top marks for its high protection, easy applicator nozzle and crisp packaging.
Banana Boat Ultra SPF 50+ Clear Spray ($16.49 for 175ml)
With sandy beach hands, the advent of aerosol sunscreen has been a welcome one. Sometimes it’s a case of the less contact the better and Banana Boat’s Ultra Clear Spray allows you to load up with very high protection (SPF 50) minus the gooey hands. Another added bonus is its oil-free formula.
Invisible Zinc 4hr Water Resistant SPF 50+ ($21.99 for 50ml)
A perfectly compact bottle, containing the first SPF 50+ sunscreen in Australia to have zinc oxide as its only active ingredient. Its sweat and water resistance making it ideal for the beach and water activities, minus the white caste look we’ve become accustomed to.