Sun protection is expensive. Especially when you spend a lot of time outdoors or have children who love the pool. You know what’s more expensive? Removing cancerous melanomas from your skin or trying to reverse the damaging effects of sun exposure (think deep-set wrinkles and photodamage like blotchy skin and pigmentation). Sun protection is not a nice-to-have or a special beauty treat – it’s an essential health product. And while there are very expensive options available (some of which are worth it if you can afford them) there are plenty of budget-friendly ones, too. Just remember that sometimes the real cheapies (that seem too good to be true) often aren’t any good at all. Have fun in the sun and protect your skin, your youth and your future with my sun smart Lust List for January.
1 Piz Buin Active Long Lasting Spray SPF20 (R190 at Dis-Chem). I love this sun spray for keeping my skin protected when outdoors. It’s quick to apply, dries instantly, has a pleasant cooling effect on the skin and resists against water and sweat, making it ideal for sports, running and other outdoor exercise. I even use it on my face by spraying onto my hands before applying.
2 Vichy Capital Soleil Milk Spray SPF50+ (R380). For all over protection with a light consistency, this milk spray is divine. It’s even light enough to apply to your scalp to protect it from the sun if you have a very defined parting. A combination of physical and chemical UV filters provide broad-spectrum protection, and the hypoallergenic, perfume-free formula makes it suitable for sensitive skin and children too.
3 Justine SolarTec Skincare Body Lotion SPF40 (R230, review). Get your daily dose of sun protection delivered right to your door with this fast-absorbing, water-resistant body lotion. The texture is creamy and the smell is light.
4 Nivea Sun Protect & Refresh Lotion SPF20 (R94,99). I’m such a fan of the Protect & Refresh Invisible Cooling Mist (R159,99, see it here) but I know many people prefer a lotion. This one is super light, water-resistant and has that familiar Nivea Sun smell. It provides immediate as well as lasting protection thanks to physical (Titanium dioxide) and chemical (Homosalate, Octocrylene and Avobenzone) UV filters.
5 Cetaphil Daylong Spray SPF30 Face and Body (R162,69, review). Don’t be fooled by the name – this sun spray won’t protect you for the entire day, but it will protect very well for the usual amount of time. As with every sunscreen, you do need to reapply when you’re in the sun for a long period of time, but with a very water resistant-formula you should need to apply less often if you’re exercising or swimming. It works well on face, body and your hairline or parting (which people so often forget).
6 Clarins Sun Wrinkle Control Cream for Face SPF15 (R290). A light, fast-absorbing, beautifully hydrating texture makes this sun cream a pleasure to apply, whether on its own or under make-up. Just bear in mind that SPF15 isn’t going to be enough to protect you during the hottest times of the day, or if your skin is very pale. Rather opt for the SPF50+ (which is also R290) and a better buy if your skin is fair or you spend a lot of time in the sun.
7 Sisley Sunleya G.E Age Minimizing Global Sun Care SPF30 PA+++ (R2490, review). Sadly, I didn’t accidentally add a zero to the end of that price but, as with most things in life, the exceptional doesn’t come cheap (if it did it would hardly be exceptional, would it?). If money is no object or if you’re happy to save a little each month to afford one of these every year, it is one seriously fabulous purchase because it’s as much about sun protection as it is about excellent, anti-ageing skincare, which you should be focusing on heavily if you are spending time in the sun.
8 Bioderma Photoderm MAX Dry Touch Cream SPF50+ (R199,95). Over and above the high UVA and UVB protection from chemical filters, this sun cream also helps to protect skin against premature ageing and cell damage caused by sun exposure. The light texture is great for combination or oily skins, or use in very hot and humid climates due to the dry touch finish. A great buy for very fair, sun-intolerant skin.
9 Heliocare Advanced Gel SPF50 (R284, review). If you have very oily or acne-prone skin, sunscreen is probably on your list of hate words. The mere thought of it is enough to make you breakout, but that doesn’t mean you’re allowed to get away with no sun protection. This gel is your new best friend for light-weight, non-comedogenic daily protection that feels soft and hydrating on your skin.
10 SkinCeuticals Ultra Facial Defense SPF50+ (R463, review). For excellent broad-spectrum UV protection as well as protection against photodamage, this travel-friendly tube is a smart pick. It’s also the ideal product to use when you’re treating existing pigmentation to protect your sun-sensitive skin. I love the very light, liquid formula that absorbs in seconds – great for spots like ears and lips.
Tints and tans
11 Nivea Sun Protect & Bronze Face Cream SPF50 (R109,99, review). This isn’t a tinted product but it will help you to look more tanned. It works with your skin’s melanin to promote a natural tan, without any self-tanning ingredients. This makes it a great buy, whether you’re a sun worshipper or just looking to keep your face protected from the sun.
12 QMS Medicosmetics Sport Active Cream SPF15 (R680). A combination of vitamins and antioxidant protection, together with a tint that blends to different skin tones, makes this a desirable buy for all seasons. The downside? The price. You’re paying for the technology behind this brand (read about it here) and the high quality ingredients in the skincare formula. And while you don’t need to use a lot for each application, you are only getting 15ml of product so it’s certainly not a cheap purchase.
13 Dermalogica UltraCalming Ultra Sensitive Tint SPF30 (R520, review). For trips overseas involving lots of sun and time spent outdoors, this is my favourite. It feels like you’re wearing nothing on your skin, but provides you with hydration, broad-spectrum protection and a gorgeous tint. It also builds quite well so you can dab a little extra onto any blemishes to cover them up.
14 Eucerin Sun Creme Tinted for Face SPF50+ (R179,99, review). If you’re on a budget with limited cash to spend on suncare, but you still crave the finish of a tinted cream, you’ll love this one. It offers excellent sun protection, a blendable colour and an oil-free, non-comedogenic formula. Great for oily, acne-prone skins that hate traditional, pore-clogging sunscreens.
15 Vichy Capital Soleil BB Tinted Dry Touch Face Fluid SPF50 (R269, review). For daily use, this product takes the cake. It offers a combination of physical and chemical sunscreens, a high SPF and a beautiful BB-like texture that covers like a dream. The formula is also perfect for combination and oily skins because it’s drier and more mattifying, but there is an option for normal to dry skins – the Tinted Velvety Cream (R269) – which is creamier and not as fast-setting.
Lips and more
16 Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Limited Edition Gold Collection Lip Protectant Stick SPF15 (R175). This blingy beauty is a limited edition version of the regular Lip Protectant Stick, boasting the famous Eight Hour formula, enriched with vitamin E and a protective sunscreen. Certainly the most stylish way to keep lips glossy, hydrated and protected!
17 Justine SolarTec Skincare Lip Shield SPF25 (R98, January). When you’re looking to up the ante on sun protection for lips, this nourishing balm is perfect. A soft, hydrating formula and almost zero scent makes it great for those with sensitive skins and noses.
18 Avon Sun Protecting Balm SPF30 PA+++ (R42). With a high SPF and a water-resistant formula, this waxy balm is ideal for days of swimming and physical activity. Best part? It’s a multi-tasker that can be applied to your nose and ears, as well as your lips. I even used it on the delicate skin underneath my eyebrows.
Get it at selected retailers, pharmacies and department stores