Looking After Yourself In The Sun: All You Need To Know…


The matter of sun care can be a little overwhelming. Shelves and shelves of bottles claiming all sorts of sun protection with additional benefits – from boosting your tanning ability to toning your skin. It can make even the most diligent sun lover’s head spin!

But when we take it back to basics, what do we really need in our UV-defending lineup? While sun protection may be partly about getting a nice, even tan there’s also the matter of staying safe and preventing sun-related skin damage.

So, here’s our guide to staying protected in the sun, while still being able to adorn a sun-kissed glow…


How Much Sun Cream Should I Apply?

The amount you need to apply is different for everyone (we’re all different shapes and sizes and have different skin needs after all), but the general rule is that two milligrams for every square centimetre of exposed skin is an ideal amount… or a shot glass amount for your entire body! Britain’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence claims that most people apply 25-75% of the needed amount, leaving them exposed and less protected than they think. So, next time you go to apply, make sure you have a shot glass to hand!

How Often Should I Re-Apply Suncream?

There are two things to think about here: how long you need to leave between application and sun exposure and reapplication. To address the former, you want all those sun protection ingredients to be fully absorbed and ‘in position’ when you go out in the sun. With this in mind, it’s best to apply your sun cream a good 20-30 minutes before going outdoors. As for reapplication… There are some lotions out there that boast a once-a-day application, but for everything else the advice is to top up every two hours and also after swimming, towelling yourself off or sweating.


How Should I Apply Suncream?

The easiest way to apply sun cream? Totally naked. The bits that burn are often missed due to us applying protection with a bikini or swim suit on. Stripping off and going for full body coverage – as you would with fake tan – means you’re more likely to avoid burning any sensitive parts. ‘Dry fabric is an SPF 10, while wet its a mere SPF 3’, explains Clare O’Connor, Boots sun care expert, so full coverage is wise even if you have a cover up on!

Does Sun Cream Have An Expiry Date?

SPF isn’t the cheapest beauty buy, but when it’s expired it’s ability to protect you has evaporated – so bin it. Can’t find an expiration date on your sun cream? You may want to write the date you bought it on the bottle and then, if you’ve had a bottle for more than three years (or it’s been exposed to high temperatures for prolonged periods), you’ll know it’s time to get a new. Also, if you notice a change in colour, consistency (separation) or smell then you may want to refresh your supplies.

What Is The Difference Between UVA and UVB Rays?

This is a key thing to look out for when shopping for sun protection, as many simply protect your skin against UVB rays and do nothing when it comes to UVA. The difference? UVA rays damage your skin and lead to ageing, while UVB are the rays that make you burn.

UVA rays can penetrate glass too. So if you have a office with a great view or you drive a lot, then a photo-stable SPF as part of your daily regime is a wise move. It’s not just necessary for when you’re outdoors! While yes, sun protection is highly important in the summer months or when on holiday, it should also be part of your daily routine, 365 days a year!

Our Favourite Sun Creams Right Now


  1. La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra-Light Invisible Fluid SPF50+ Sun Cream
    £18.00 Buy now with GLOSSYBOX Beauty Unboxed

    La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra-Light Invisible Fluid SPF50+ Sun Cream

    Keep skin nourished and protected with the La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra-Light Invisible Fluid SPF50+ Sun Cream. The lightweight, airy fluid glides effortlessly across your skin, absorbing fast to avoid the look and feeling of greasy, heavy product residue. Developed specially for sensitive skin, the extremely high-protection sun cream creates a powerful barrier against the harsh rays of the sun, reducing the risk of burning and irritation.

    Buy now with free delivery
  2. Ambre Solaire UV Water Aloe Vera Clear Sun Cream Spray SPF30
    £8.40 Buy now with GLOSSYBOX Beauty Unboxed

    Ambre Solaire UV Water Aloe Vera Clear Sun Cream Spray SPF30

    Protect skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays with the UV Water Sun Cream Spray SPF 30 from Garnier’s Ambre Solaire collection; a biphasic formula that instantly shields skin from sun damage whilst refreshing skin with a fresh, water-like, non-sticky texture. Enriched with ultra-moisturising Aloe Vera water, the broad-spectrum, photostable formula hydrates skin and leaves an velvety, invisible finish without any residue.

    Buy now with free delivery
  3. Ambre Solaire Ultra-Hydrating Shea Butter Sun Protection Cream SPF50
    £8.40 Buy now with GLOSSYBOX Beauty Unboxed

    Ambre Solaire Ultra-Hydrating Shea Butter Sun Protection Cream SPF50

    The Garnier Ambre Solaire Ultra-Hydrating Sun Cream SPF 50+ protects skin by shielding it from the sun’s harmful rays. Formulated with a patented filtration system containing Mexoryl SX and antioxidant vitamin C, it reinforces the skin’s natural defences against UVA and UVB ray damage. The water resistant, non-greasy cream also defends against sun-induced damage and premature ageing caused by sun exposure.

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  4. VICHY Idéal Soleil Sun-Milk for Face and Body SPF 30
    £21.00 Buy now with GLOSSYBOX Beauty Unboxed

    VICHY Idéal Soleil Sun-Milk for Face and Body SPF 30

    Keep skin safe outdoors (and in) with Vichy Idéal Soleil Face & Body Sun Protection Milk, an SPF30 sunscreen suitable for the whole family. Formulated with a Mexoryl®XL-based UVA and UVB filtering system for maximum protection, the sun lotion blends effortlessly into skin without white residue, creating a shield against the harmful effects of the sun. Delivering wide-spectrum protection, the sun milk also contains Vichy Mineralizing Thermal Water for a soothing effect.

    Buy now with free delivery
  5. NUXE Sun Tanning Oil Face and Body SPF 30
    £23.00 Buy now with GLOSSYBOX Beauty Unboxed

    NUXE Sun Tanning Oil Face and Body SPF 30

    The Tanning Oil Face and Body from NUXE provides sun protection from harmful rays and prevents signs of premature ageing. Its unique formula with sun and water flowers helps you achieve a natural, even tan and leaves a satin finish on the skin’s surface. Enriched with nourishing and hydrating ingredients, including rice and rosemary extract, the water-resistant oil delivers an uplifting fragrance with notes of sweet orange, Tahitian Gardenia and vanilla. The handy pump bottle allows you to spray all-over the face and body for easy application.

    Buy now with free delivery

Don’t forget, if you’re a Glossy, you can buy all of these products on with your Glossy Credit! Not subscribed yet? Sign up to GLOSSYBOX today to start earning your credit and start saving!

Emily Cotton

Emily Cotton

Beauty Editor

I'm someone who loves getting glammed up, but I feel like I never have enough time. Frequently running between work, the gym and seeing friends means my makeup routine is quick and often touched up on the go. Therefore, beauty products that serve as multi-purpose are perfect for me - a blush that works for cheeks and lips is a must in my makeup bag!