Finding your SPF soulmate can be tricky business. Firstly, there’s the broad spectrum protection (that means fielding both UVA and UVB rays) to think about, then then comes the factor (30+ is always the best way to go) and finally, the feel. Texture, consistency, skin finish – it all comes into play when finding the dream sun cream that you'll want to wear out of choice, not mere necessity. And that’s where we come in: introducing the best body sunscreens in the business, tried and tested by team Grazia.
First though, a little lesson in safe sun protection…
Let's Talk Daily SPF Application
Hands up if you’re guilty of swerving daily SPF application in the summer months when you’re at home in Blighty? Ah-ha. We thought so. For many of us, while we'll religiously lather on our sun lotion mid-Mediterranean holiday, a spike in sun and temperatures back in the UK doesn't illicit the same response. Ultrasun MD, Abi Cleeve – who is vocal about the need for us all to take sun care seriously – says we need to up our game on home soil.
'We all need sun protection no matter what our skin type. The sun is not selective, UVB rays burn and UVA rays penetrate deeply into the skin causing premature ageing, damaging the collagen and elastine structure and causing malignant melanoma.' Abi goes on to cite that one of the most common areas she sees instances of malignant melanomas are on legs. 'It's likely to be because when the sun hits the UK it's one of the first things we do - get our legs out. Legs that have likely not been exposed to proper sun for quite some time. Something as innocent as someone letting their legs see some sun on their lunch break without any SPF could be the cause in some cases.' Take heed and apply that body SPF.
How Much Sun Lotion Should I Apply?
This can often be hard to determine when it comes to differentiating between spray bottles and tube bottles, but here's the lowdown. According to Ultrasun, when using a non-spray sun lotion, we should be using - at the very least - the following (based on one finger length constituting a line of the product dispensed along your finger)...
Face: 1 finger length
Front of arms: 1 finger length each
Front of chest and shoulders: 2 finger lengths
Front of rest of torso: 2 finger lengths
Front of legs: 2 finger lengths each
Neck and ears: 1 finger length
Back of arms: 1 finger length each
Top of back and back of shoulders: 2 finger lengths
Back of torso: 2 finger lengths
Back of legs: 2 finger lengths each
As far as spray SPFs are concerned, be vigilant. According to the American Academy of Dermatology most adults need at least enough sun screen to fill a shot glass to protect them accordingly. Remember this is not an inconsiderable amount of spray sunscreen. Be liberal and make sure to massage it into your skin directly after spraying. Hold the nozzle close to your body as if there's even a slight breeze, you could lose a fair bit of it before it even hits your skin.
Shop The Best Body SPFs To Buy Now
Best Body Sun Lotions 2021
A non-greasy lightweight formula that feels comfortable on your skin and doesn't stain clothes. This one's a great all-rounder and a Grazia beauty team favourite.
A dry body oil formula that mists on like a dream and affords superb protection from the sun. This one was tried and tested by beauty editor Annie Vischer in the sun-drenched valleys of LA and it passed with flying colours.
Despite the title this one is definitely more of a cream than a gel, but it's incredibly hydrating, light, non-greasy and hydrating to boot. It smells like summer too; this one's a box-ticker.
Lancaster is many a sunbather's go-to SPF and for good reason. The brand is Monaco born so it has that glam factor, and the formulas always do their job, whilst absorbing quickly.
Soltan is the mini most of us will pick up in the airport if we've forgotten our SPF, it's an absolute go-to, so we know the quality is there. This 8 hour option promises longer protection, though we'd still advise topping up applications just in case.
This sun lotion not only affords incredible protection but looks out for the environment too. The biodegradable and non-toxic formula was made to preserve the ecosystems of the sea and protect reef life.
This lotion is a go-to for those with dry or sensitive skin. The formula is both hydrating and water-resistant. Use it once and it's likely to become a summer staple.
Ultrasun is one of those sun care brands that once found, incites loyalty for life. This pump bottle houses a sensitive-skin-friendly formula suitable for the entire family.