We test suncreams for the heatwave – so is a £3 one as good as a £30 one?

HEATWAVES can make our purses feel the burn, and one area we are told not to scrimp on is suncream – but what if a £2.29 bottle is just as good as one costing £30?

Ahead of this week’s peak sunny spell, Dr Amelie Seghers, from London’s Cadogan Clinic, says: “Budget can be just as good as branded as long as you know what to look for.

“Protection against UVA or ‘ageing rays’ is represented with stars – at least three will be a good safeguard.

"And Sun Protection Factor (SPF) reveals how long it will protect you against UVB, which can lead to skin cancer.”

Here, ABBY McHALE tests a selection of SPF30 creams to see which come out as great defenders, with marks out of five, while Dr Amelie breaks down the terminology.

Decleor SPF 30 Aroma Sun Expert (£32, escentual.com)


This is one of the pricier creams I tried and I think you’re mainly paying for the rose-infused scent, which comes from essential oil that is meant to boost the skin’s natural defences, too.

It’s not greasy and has UVA and UVB protection – but I’m not sure if it is worth 30-odd quid.

Soltan Suncare Lotion SPF 30 (£4, boots.com)


The protection this bottle offers is very clear on the packaging.

It tells me it contains high protection against UVB, and has a five-star UVA rating, which Dr Amelie said to look out for.

It claims to be non-greasy, but it still felt oily. It does however contain everything you need to be protected.

Nivea Sun Immediate Absorption 30 High (£8.89, medino.com)


This new formula from Nivea is a spray mist that is so refreshing.

It makes for a lovely way to stay protected while keeping cool, but you need to be extra careful not to miss any areas.

It contains UVA and UVB filters, plus it is dermatologically approved.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios 30 SPF (£17.50, feelunique.com)


Brand new this year, this cream from La Roche-Posay was my favourite.

It rubbed into my skin easily, feeling light and not greasy.

It contains UVA and UVB protection as well as an antioxidant to give your skin more protection from sun damage.

Lacura Moisturising Sun Lotion 30 High (£2.29, aldi.com)


I THOUGHT its price would mean it was not as effective, but I was pleasantly surprised.

The bottle states it protects against UVA and UVB – plus it’s dermatologically tested and smells nice.

As it is thick, it needs rubbing in well, but it will keep you covered all day.

Ultrasun SPF 30 Body ­Mineral (£28, hollandandbarrett.com)


CONTAINS minerals that are said to be good for sensitive skin.

Out of all the creams I tested, this gave me the most information on the packaging.

It stated PA3H, which tells me it has UVA protection, and it mentioned its UVB, too.

Abby’s verdict

THIS has changed how I shop for suncreams, making me more aware of UVA and UVB.

My favourite was La Roche-Posay just because the ­formula was so light.

However, the budget options, such as Lacura from Aldi, were definite contenders and I would use them too.

How to shop for sun lotion

DR AMELIE says: “The PA rating informs you about the level of protection against UVA rays, which age skin.

“When a sunscreen says ‘broad spectrum’ this means it will protect against both UVA and UVB.

“If it normally takes you ten minutes to burn without sunscreen, SPF10 will take you ten times longer to burn and SPF30 will take you 30 times longer to burn.

“The level of SPF is how much it protects against UVB – the rays that burn the skin. SPF15 blocks about 93 per cent of all UVB rays, SPF30 blocks roughly 97 per cent and SPF50 blocks about 98 per cent.”

  • Learn more at cadoganclinic.com.

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