BEAUTY SUN CREAMS: 11 Tried & Tested sunscreens
A little bit of sun is great for you! But we also need to protect ourselves from it. With so many sunscreens out there, it can be tricky to decide which is right for you. So the team tried a few…
‘These days there are sunscreens on the market that do more than just protect your skin from UVB (what the SPF rating refers to),’ says Dr Cara Duminy of Cape Aesthetics. ‘There are sunscreens that can protect you against UVA, UVB, infrared and visible light, as well as repair DNA that has been damaged by prior sun exposure.
‘Look for an SPF of at least 50. The packaging should also state that the product is broad spectrum, otherwise they’re covered only for UVB and not necessarily for UVA at all.’
KIEHL’S ULTRA LIGHT DAILY UV DEFENSE SPF 50, R730
This paraben- and oil-free sunscreen is best for those with very oily skin, which I don’t have, but I liked that it didn’t make my skin dry. Unlike thick-textured products that take time to absorb and leave brown skin looking shiny, this product has a light, liquid consistency that sunk in quickly. Plus, it’s non-comedogenic so it doesn’t clog your pores. – Sinelizwi
NUXE SUN SPF 50, R415
This sunscreen is perfect for sensitive skin. It wasn’t too greasy – the texture is more like a cream rather than thick and heavy – and absorbed easily. The product had a matte finish, yet it didn’t leave any white residue on my skin. Its summery scent of sweet orange, gardenia and coconut smelt lovely on my skin. A must-have! – Washiefa
EAU THERMALE AVÈNE VERY HIGH PROTECTION SOLAIRE ANTI-AGE SPF 50 (WATER RESISTANT), R240
I applied the cream over my moisturiser and under some light makeup (blusher only). It absorbed well and didn’t leave a white residue like most sunscreens do.
My face felt moisturised and smooth. The biggest plus: no allergic reaction from my ultra-sensitive skin! I applied it every two hours as directed, which made my skin feel a bit greasy, but overall I really liked this product and will be using it this summer. – Crystal
DR. DERMAL UV GUARD 50, R250
This anti-ageing sunscreen (it’s enriched with hydrolysed collagen) is suitable for sensitive skin and is water-resistant, which I like as I’m in the water a fair amount. I put it on after my serums and moisturiser. The texture is quite thick but silky to the touch. It didn’t leave a residue, but it did
leave my skin feeling rather dry, though that might also be what makes it water-resistant.
I used the product when I went hiking, and even though I was out in the sun for several hours, I didn’t burn at all – nor did I have that thick, greasy film on my skin. – Caryn
HELIOCARE GELCREAM IN LIGHT SPF 50, R350
I don’t wear foundation so I wasn’t mad about the idea of this tinted sun cream (it comes in Light and Dark), but the tint added a lovely glow to my skin. I later discovered that people use it instead of foundation in summer as it means one less product on your face. Coverage was great, and the cream felt light and moisturising at the same time, which I also liked. It protects against both UVA and UVB rays – a must in my book because the sun sometimes causes me to come out in a rash. – Suzy
DERM-EDEN DD CREAM DAILY DEFENSE SPF 50, R450
First there was BB, then CC, now there’s a DD cream – ‘the first day cream to find the balance between UV protection and the benefits of vitamin D’. It has a ‘moussey’ texture and comes out of the tube white, but as soon as I started to rub it in, it changed colour (because of the ‘encapsulated pigments’), giving me a slightly more tanned hue. It gave my skin a nice sheen and worked well under makeup.
Despite the description, which says that it’s ‘ideal for city use’, I’ll be packing it in my beach bag – it adds a lovely hint of colour when you’re going to the beach sans makeup. – Liesl
PAYOT SUN SENSI PROTECTIVE ANTI-AGING FACE CREAM FOR INTOLERANT SKINS SPF 50, R365
Even though I have fair skin and have to avoid the sun, I’m not a fan of sunscreen. It stems from when I was a child: before being allowed in the pool, my mom would slather on the thickest, highest-factor water-resistant sunscreen (which I’m now thankful for).
I was really impressed with this product: it smells amazing, is creamy in texture, absorbs well and doubles up as a moisturiser. There’s no greasy feeling, just a healthy glow. It worked well under my makeup too as it created a nice base for my foundation without drying or feeling tight. Thumbs up! – Janine
SOTHYS FLUIDE PROTECTEUR SENSITIVE ZONES HIGH PROTECTION SPF 50, R595
I have a slightly translucent skin but it’s not especially sensitive, though it can get slightly dry at times. The texture of this product falls somewhere between a milk and a cream, so it went on smoothly and absorbed very well.
It still lived up to the ‘screen’ part of its function. Happily, it didn’t leave any white marks or residue, but there was a slightly pale glisten to my face which I wasn’t particularly unhappy about. My skin looked dewy.
It’s quite a smooth application, almost greasy but not quite, and has no tint so it didn’t compete with my foundation. – Sameena
CETAPHIL SUN VERY HIGH PROTECTION GEL SPF 50, R318
In cold weather, my skin gets dry, and in the heat, I get red blotches on my cheeks. So dryness and irritation are a struggle.
This light cream soothed and hydrated, and sunk in with ease, leaving no white residue. It’s pleasant to wear and reasonably priced, so there’s no need to use it sparingly! – Tasneem
DIEGO DALLA PALMA SUN SHINE DNA SMART PROTECTION MILK SPRAY SPF 50, R595
As someone who spends a lot of time in the sun, I have to say: this sunscreen is the best I’ve ever tried. This milk-textured product absorbed easily and left my skin with a lovely healthy sheen that didn’t melt off my face when I started sweating during my run.
I also wore it under my Mac Pro Longwear Foundation and it worked perfectly. – Liza
NIVEA SUN UV FACE SHINE CONTROL 0% STICKY FEELING SPF 50, R125
I have dry, flaky skin, but my T-zone also gets oily, especially when I wear makeup. As I had an event to attend, I tried this sunscreen under a full face of makeup.
The lightweight formula soaked in effortlessly and didn’t leave a white residue. It helped keep my oily T-zone in check and my makeup went on smoother. I tried three formulations from this range and this was the best. – Raquel