Sunscreen is the one summer essential you should always have on hand. Luckily, we’re spoilt for choice in Australia when it comes to the best sunscreen brands.
Our SPF regulations are pretty hardcore and we take skin health seriously (tends to happen when you’re the highest-ranking country in the world for skin cancer).
But still, not all sunscreens are made equal. And when it comes to shopping for a face sunscreen that’s non-greasy or an easy-to-spread body sunscreen for your whole family, some brands do stand above the rest.
So to help you find the best sunscreen for you this summer, here are the top ones to look out for…
When it comes to the best sunscreen brands, Cancer Council is a mighty all-rounder. Not only are the products made in Australia and tested to provide the highest UVA and UVB protection in and out of the water, but every purchase goes towards cancer research and services.
Our sunscreen pick: Cancer Council Face Day Wear Moisturiser Matte SP50+ Invisible, $10.39 for 70ml at Chemist Warehouse
If you consider white cast and heavy textures the devil, allow us to introduce you to the heavenly angel that is Ultra Violette. With SPF serums (yes really), mattifying skin tints and lightweight sheen screens, this Aussie brand has made wearing sunscreen daily so damn desirable. Praise be.
Our top sunscreen pick: Ultra Violette Extreme Screen SPF 50+ Hydrating Body & Hand SKINSCREEN™, $35 for 150ml at Sephora
Fun sun protection! Come on, you know you sing it every time. Catchy theme song aside, Banana Boat does offer a great range of sunscreens particularly suited to on-the-go families, with options for sport and kids, as well as a great after-sun soothing gel.
NIVEA’s deep blue sunscreen bottles have been a mainstay in many beach bags for a reason; it’s affordable, accessible and effective sun protection. They’re also always trying to make our lives easier with convenient roll-on, spray and lightweight face fluids.
Our top sunscreen pick: NIVEA SUN Protect & Moisture Moisturising Sunscreen Lotion SPF50+ Trigger Spray, $17.49 for 300ml at Chemist Warehouse
If you’re looking for the best sunscreen brand for sensitive or acne-prone skin, La Roche-Posay has an excellent (and well-deserved) rep. Its Anthelios range answers the wants and needs for dry-touch, satin-finish sunscreens, as well as ‘invisible’ fluid formulas that sit seamlessly under makeup.
Our top sunscreen pick: La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Anti-Shine Dry Touch Facial Sunscreen SPF50+, $31.95 for 50ml at Adore Beauty
If your mind immediately goes to tanning oils when you think of REEF, we have an update for you. The brand now has an SPF50+ Oil Spray and Lotion, the latter of which scores 4.6/5 from over 50 reviews from our members. Do not dismiss.
Another great one for sensitive skin, Cetaphil’s sunscreens are lightweight and fast-absorbing. They spread easily and are also fragrance-free, hypoallergenic and water-resistant.
If you prefer a physical sunscreen over a chemical, Invisible Zinc is one of the best sunscreens brands to have on your radar. Zinc Oxide is the only active ingredient used in its formulations for providing broad-spectrum protection.
Our top sunscreen pick: INVISIBLE ZINC Sheer Defence Tinted Moisturiser SPF50, $30.49 for 50g at Chemist Warehouse
Who doesn’t want to feel like they’re on a tropical holiday whenever they apply sunscreen? It’s why we love Hawaiian Tropic’s delicious-smelling range. Although, they also have a fragrance free option if it’s not your thing.
Neutrogena has a wide range of reasonably-priced skin care products, and this extends to sunscreen. Anything from the Ultra Sheer range is lightweight liquid gold and we’re also partial to the Hydro Boost Gel Lotion sunscreen for dry skin.
Naked Sundays is another new and good-looking brand on the block, doing its best to provide sunscreen solutions for our ‘out and about’ lifestyles. Its most notable entry to the market has been its SPF50+ Hydrating Glow Mist, designed to be spritzed over makeup for easier re-application.
Our top sunscreen pick: Naked Sundays SPF50+ Hydrating Glow Mist Facial Sunscreen, $39.95 for 100ml at nakedsundays.com.au
Another Aussie favourite that’s been around for years is Sunsense. What we love about this brand is they don’t overcomplicate it, with a face, body, sport, and lip balm SPF the mainstays in the range.
If you’re after a sunscreen brand that smells great without compromising on high-level protection, new kid BEACHFOX could be the perfect fit. Take your pick from coconut, lime, vanilla and grapefruit.
*This article has been updated since its original publication date.
What’s your favourite sunscreen brand?