High SFP sun cream review

The UK is enjoying its annual 3-day ‘heat wave’ so now is an opportune time to review high SPF sun creams.

In case you are concerned about my level of expertise on this subject, let me reassure you:

I am pale. And ginger.

I don’t tan. I burn.

There is no one better qualified to talk you through the exciting world of sun protection.

The best range

I am a big fan of Garnier’s Ambre Solaire products.

The sensitive advanced range is light and not too greasy even in the high factors.

The protection spray dries quickly and gives decent erm…protection. I use it on non-sensitive areas like arms and legs but it has too much alcohol in to use on faces.

In the depths of winter I picked up a reduced bottle of Ambre Solaire dry mist spray for £2. It sprays at any angle and has proved really useful when travelling alone – no more uncomfortable moments asking strangers to ‘do my back’ on the beach.

However, I am not convinced it gives particularly even coverage as it’s quite easy to miss bits.

The workhorse

I first started using Riemann P20 when I lived in Vietnam as it does a fantastic job in humid conditions or on the beach. Apparently it gives up to 10 hours of protection but I am always too paranoid about burning to test this out.

The downsides are pretty bad: it smells gross, stains your clothes neon yellow and it’s way too harsh to use on sensitive areas.

It’s one of the more expensive brands but it always seems to be on offer somewhere.

Cheap and reliable

Boots’ own brand, Soltan has improved massively in recent years and it’s no longer like emulsion. The range is almost always 2-4-1 and there is a huge selection of factors and sizes.


It is hard to find a reasonably priced high SPF moisturiser but there are 2 products that fit the bill.

The first is Olay’s essentials SPF 30 which lightweight and smells like my mum. I have a horrible feeling that this product is being discontinued as it’s getting increasingly harder to find. Time to start stockpiling…

Simple’s protecting moisture cream SPF 30 gives both UVA and UVA coverage and is only about £4 for 50ml. The texture is closer to a sun cream than a moisturiser which makes it well-suited for humid conditions or exercising.


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