WHEN it comes to choosing the right sun protection for a heatwave, some brands leave others in the shade.
Consumer watchdog Which? found that Asda and other budget options shielded skin better than pricey brands such as Clinique.
Some well-known names don’t offer UV ray protection. The Sun Protection Factor (SPF) rating along with UVA (anti-aging) and UVB (anti-burning) protection is vital to shield you from sun damage and skin cancer.
Laura Stott tests a range of budget products for stickiness, drying speed, nourishing feel and how well they stayed on in the water compared to the UK’s top-selling brand, Nivea. She gives each a mark out of five.
Nivea Protect SPF30 Lotion, 200ml, £6, boots.com: 4/5
THE UK’s best-selling brand of sunscreen is water-resistant and boasts 48-hour moisturizing.
The lotion felt very nourishing on my dry skin. A lovely consistency and quick to apply, it absorbed well leaving no residual grease or sticky white marks.
Lasted well on warm days and didn’t wipe off, and although there is quite a strong smell, I liked it as it reminded me of holidays.
Good anti-aging skin defence, but its UVA rating is only four stars – surprising, as it’s the priciest bottle.
Solait by Superdrug SPF30 200ml, £5.49, superdrug.com: 3/5
Helps protect against UVA and UVB rays and has a five-star UVA rating.
It’s made with vitamin E to hydrate thirsty skin and a formula called Aquarich which shields against free radicals when tanning.
This is quite a thick white lotion, more like a cream, which does feel nourishing and rubbed fairly easily but felt rather sticky.
Made me feel a bit clammy and had a strong perfumed smell. It didn’t leave yellow stains on clothes but is more expensive than other own brands.
Tesco Soleil SPF 30 Lotion 200ml, £2.80, tesco.com: 3/5
A five-star – the highest – UVA rating, a coconut smell, and water-resistant.
Packaged in a cap tube, this lotion was much lighter and runnier than the others, which meant it wasn’t greasy and is very easy to rub in.
But on the downside it goes everywhere because it’s so thin, and it’s hard to control how much comes out of the tube.
The lotion also has a strong yellow tinge and I was concerned about it marking my clothes. But it’s a great price and protects well.
Sainsbury’s Sun Protect Lotion, SPF30, 200ml, £3.50: 4/5
BEST FOR SWIMMERS: formulated with the highest UVA rating and boasts 24-hour hydration.
It’s a very thick lotion with a yellow tinge and slightly chemical smell which came out in gloops. Although it initially seemed to rub in quickly, it felt greasy.
That said, it protected well and getting wet didn’t seem to shift it so you wouldn’t need to reapply all the time.
Also a good option for very fair skin as it offers a thick protective barrier. I’d watch this one with fabrics, though.
Boots Soltan Protect SPF30, 200ml, £4, boots.com: 1/5
THIS has a five-star UVA rating and comes with UVB protection. It’s also water-resistant and contains an antioxidant complex.
There’s no doubting it protects your skin, but I really didn’t like much else about the product.
The yellow lotion felt sticky and unpleasant, it didn’t absorb well, and had a strange, overpowering and pungent smell.
I felt like my skin was glued to everything I came into contact with and it also left yellow marks on fabric. I couldn’t wait to wash it off.
Wilko Skin Therapy SPF 30 200ml, £4, wilko.com: 5/5
WINNER: Comes with a high level of protection, a moisturizing formula and five-star UV rating.
Easy to apply, this lotion looked quite thick when squeezed out but actually wasn’t greasy or sticky at all. Easily absorbed with no staining, water- resistant and it smelt lovely.
Not the cheapest of the bargain bottles but still a decent saving on the big brands.
An excellent, take-anywhere, everyday sun lotion for all the family which is pleasant to use.
Asda protect SPF30 200ml, £2.80, asda.com: 4/5
BEST FOR FAMILIES: Another lotion which boasts a five-star UVA rating and is water-resistant. It also comes with a rock bottom price.
The lotion itself is quite thick but it rubbed in well and, after some time to soak in, dried with no problems or staining.
Did make my skin feel slightly tacky but also hydrated me really well and didn’t seem to sweat off.
Not the fanciest sunscreen but does what it says on the bottle, and will save you a fortune compared to the leading brands.
Aldi Lacura spray SPF30 200ml, £2.99, aldi.co.uk: 4/5
A STRONG performer from the supermarket’s purse-friendly suncare range.
It comes in a spray bottle, soaks straight in and dries almost.
The spray nozzle was a bit tricky to direct, so be careful not to pump the applicator in the direction of any fabrics – and the clear liquid makes it harder to apply evenly as you can’t see which areas you have already coated.
But the price is great and I’d be happy to pack this in my holiday suitcase. If you need enough sunscreen for the whole family, it’ll save you a fortune too.
Malibu SPF30 lotion, 150ml, £2.99, superdrug.com: 3/5
THIS water-resistant sunscreen, which has a four-star UVA rating, contains so-called Miracle Tan.
Not to be confused with fake tan, this term refers to the flavonoids in the cream which Malibu claims helps your skin’s ability to tan.
I can’t really say it made me look any more golden but the lotion has a great consistency, rubbed in easily, was non-greasy, and didn’t leave any marks on clothes. Smells good too.
A great price but you only get 150ml instead of the standard 200ml.
https://www.the-sun.com/health/5587433/test-all-the-best-sun-creams-nivea/ We tested all the best sun creams against leading brand Nivea and the winner is a real surprise