The latest suncreams
Even though a new suncream will probably never be your most exciting purchase before you set off on your travels (and it's often a last-minute one), it does signal the arrival of your imminent jollies - and the array of brightly-coloured bottles can be bewildering - which to choose?
The right one really does make life easier. Constantly rushing in and out of the water? Try a water-resistant sports formula. Fed up with chasing children around in a frantic effort to get the cream on before they burn? A once-a-day application helps to make the job a little easier for older kids. Longing for a bronzed glow? New tan-boosting technology helps to speed up your tan.
Here's what to pack.
A lightweight, easy-to-use spray formula that sinks in really quickly, Clarins Sun Care Milk for Children UVA/UVB 50+ is a 100% mineral suncream that's designed specifically for little ones and their delicate skin.
If you find sprays a bit tricky to use, SunSense’s suncream for toddlers formula is ideal for popping into your handbag for day trips.
For sensitive skin
Suitable for everyone in the family, Ultrasun Super Sensitive is a perfume-free, hypoallergenic formula designed for sensitive skin and skin that's suffered sun damage. The handy once-a-day application means you won't have to remind grown-ups to reapply after swimming, and you won't be constantly chasing your children around the beach to give them another layer of sun protection. An added bonus is that the cream helps to prevent prickly heat.
Enriched with pomegranate, green tea, shea butter and vitamin E to help protect and hydrate your skin, Liz Earle's Mineral Suncream SPF20 uses titanium dioxide and zinc oxide to reflect UV rays, rather than the carbon atoms found in traditional chemical suncreams.
Also formulated with titanium dioxide and without various chemical "nasties," Origins Sunshine State SPF20 Sunscreen is an oil-free cream that's both water and sweat-resistant.
Guerlain's new Terracotta Sun has a "tan booster" complex in it as well as UVA/UVB protection, so it protects against UV rays whilst helping to speed up your tan. It comes in an SPF 15 or SPF30 for paler skins.
For your body, try Dior Bronze Body SPF30SPF30 . With a slight shimmer to create a radiant glow, this suncream combines a high SPF with active ingredients to encourage a longer-lasting, more intense tan.
Fuss-free, once-a-day application
Ideal if you're sightseeing all day, or hate the hassle of re-applying suncream every couple of hours, Riemann P20 Once a Day Sunscreen SPF20 provides 10 hours' sun protection. Fragrance and paraben-free, this non-greasy gel won't leave those chalky, white streaks and it's water-resistant, even if you're swimming during the day.
It's easy to forget to apply suncream if you're darting after a frisbee or constantly running about in the water, and so sports formulas are perfect for the active ones in your family.
Ultrasun's Sports SPF20 can be used on everyone (from those with sensitive skin to children). It's a speedy once-a-day application and doesn't need to be reapplied after swimming, so it's great if your little ones (or big ones!) are keen on watersports. The Sports SPF20 also comes in a large 500ml bottle , a good size for longer trips away.
Whilst we might have shied away from very high SPFs in the past, new formulas and an increased awareness of sun damage mean that we're happy to slather on an SPF50. Where once these creams might have been incredibly thick and hard to rub in, the latest are lightweight and invisible.
SunSense, whose creams are researched, developed and made in Australia, has a range of SPF50+ products which protect against both UVA and UVB rays, including a tinted cream for everyday. Their handy new roll on formula comes in an SPF50+ and is water-resistant for 4 hours.