The Best Sunscreens Tested And Approved By Editors

by | Mar 1, 2024 | Skincare

The best possible thing you can do for a luminescent, more healthy skin? Stock up on the best sunscreen. Suncreens are not just a summertime essential; but also a year-round must-have for healthy skin. We all know that the sun emits harmful UV rays, that can lead to premature ageing, sunburns and even skin cancer. But did you know that by applying sunscreen daily, you limit the appearance of blotchy skin, reduce the risk of hyperpigmentation and of course create a protective barrier against these damaging effects.

In addition to preventing sun damage, using sunscreen regularly can also help reduce the risk of developing skin cancers like melanoma. It’s important to protect your skin from the sun, regardless of your skin tone. It’s true that some may argue that SPF is uncomfortable, unflattering, or just another beauty chore, but it is one of the most important products we need to protect our skin from sun damage.

So, instead of choosing a sunscreen at random and hoping for the best, check out the best sunscreen options the WH team has tried and loved.

READ MORE: Sunscreens For Every Skin Type And Situation

How To Apply Sunscreen Effectively

You’ve shopped for your sunscreen but do you really know how to put it on? Seriously. Proper application and regular reapplication of sunscreen is crucial for effective sun protection. Here are some key tips to ensure you’re getting the most out of your ‘screen:

  1. Choose the Right SPF: Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 to protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Higher SPFs provide increased protection, but it’s important to know that no sunscreen offers 100% protection.
  2. Apply Generously: Don’t skimp on the amount! Use at least six teaspoons (or about a shot glass full) to cover all exposed areas of your body. Be sure not to forget commonly overlooked areas like your ears, neck and top of feet.
  3. Timing is Key: Apply sunscreen about 15-30 minutes before heading outdoors to allow it time to fully absorb into your skin.
  4. Reapply Regularly: Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating heavily, even if it claims to be water-resistant.
  5. Use Year-Round Protection: Sunscreen isn’t just for sunny days! UV rays can penetrate clouds and windows, so make applying sunscreen part of your daily routine regardless of the weather.

READ MORE: The 18 Best Swimwear Pieces That’ll Flatter Every Figure

Facial Sunscreens WH Editors Actually Recommend

Here’s a roundup of the top sunscreens that have won over the hearts (and skin) of WH editors.

Dermalogica Skin Recovery SPF 50

An emollient daily moisturiser with broad spectrum SPF 50. Contains antioxidant White Tea, is rich in polyphenols and has polypeptide that helps improve the appearance of photoaged skin. 

Why We Love It: “Ooh, this is a medium-weight favourite of mine that gives all the goodness and protection I need. Blends in soooo nicely, by that I mean (not chalky), totally hydrating and smooth”
— Gotlhokwang Angoma-Mzini, Editor

Vitaderm Invisible Photo Defence SPF 50

This ‘screen incorporates a combination of highly effective new-generation UV filters to provide invisible, broad-spectrum protection against harmful UVA and UVB radiation, including blue light.

Why We Love It: “If you have oiler skin, reach for this. Thanks to the lightweight, matte texture your skin won’t end up looking like you’ve run a fast 5k. Best part? It’s non-irritating to the eyes so you can run a fast 5k without the burning sensation that accompanies breaking a sweat while wearing sunscreen. The perfect workout buddy.”
— Kelleigh Korevaar, Managing Editor

Dermopal Sunscreen SPF 30

This one is specially formulated to provide broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection for face and body. It also helps prevent blemishes and protects from sun-induced skin damage and pigmentation. 

Why We Love It: “I experimented with a few sunscreens when I struggled with adult acne a few years ago and none moisturised my face as well and comfortably as this one – especially after a chemical peel. Plus, it’s easily absorbable, leaves no white cast and is easy on the pocket. Guess you could say that I’ve stuck with it out of loyalty – so much so that I still haven’t crossed over to the new SPF50 offering.”
— Kemong Mopedi, Deputy Editor

Heliocare Gel SPF 50 (Oil-Free)

This one contains natural antioxidants that help to protect the skin from free radical activity. It also can help prevent photo-ageing.

Why We Love It: “I apply this before my barrier cream and my tinted concealer, it leaves your skin looking dewy without that oily layer.”
— Pia Hammond, Creative Director

CeraVe Moisturising Lotion SPF 50

A lightweight lotion formulated with hyaluronic acid to hydrate and support the skin barrier of normal to dry skin.

Why We Love It: “I rely on CeraVe Moisturising Lotion SPF 50 for my face. It keeps my skin hydrated without feeling greasy and I often use a foundation with SPF on top for everyday wear for extra coverage.”
— Chamain Van Zyl, Digital Editor

Back 2 Nature Active Zinc Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50

A mineral-based face sunscreen, suitable for water sports & all outdoor enthusiasts. The combination of natural minerals, oils & waxes nourish & protect your skin whilst exposed to the elements & reflect harmful UVA & UVB rays.

Why We Love It: “It’s kind to the planet and acts as a shield between my face and the sun. And it doesn’t budge, even though I need to wipe water off my face every 2 seconds when I’m surfing. Game changer.”
— Michelle October, Features Editor

READ MORE: Sunscreens For Every Skin Type And Situation

Body Sunscreens WH Editors Actually Recommend

Nivea Sun SPF50+ Protect & Moisture Trigger Spray

A moisturising formula with an effective UVA/UVB filter system combines advanced sun protection expertise and all the care. Apply generously onto sun-exposed areas.

Why We Love It: “This cream spreads easily and provides excellent coverage.”
— Chamain Van Zyl, Digital Editor

Coola Suncare Classic Body Organic Sunscreen Lotion SPF30

An organic sunscreen lotion for your body this cult classic is designed for long active days in the sun but light enough for everyday use. With its broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection. It contains an advanced plant-based oleosome technology that optimises the formula’s performance for fortified protection that’s sheer on skin.

Why We Love It: “I’m not particularly finicky about sunscreen from the neck down – as long as it’s SPF 30 or above. However, this sunscreen is sooo nice. If you want to look glowy and smell REALLY good while getting protection get this. FYI if your nose and skin is sensitive to scents – this comes fragrance free too”
— Gotlhokwang Angoma-Mzini, Editor

Techniblock SPF 50 75ml Active On The Go

This water and sweat-resistant, non-greasy active performance formula, is perfect for athletes. 

Why We Love It: “Dynamite, meet small package. If I ever do a “What’s In My Bag?” (whether that’s my handbag or gym bag), you’ll always find this 75ml aerosol. It has a water and sweat-resistant, non-greasy active performance formula that makes it great for your outdoor sweat sessions and an afternoon basking in the sun at a wine farm. She does it all!”
— Kelleigh Korevaar, Managing Editor

Vichy Laboratoires Capital Ideal Soleil SPF 50 Invisible Hydrating Mist

A convenient spray that is dry to the touch, and water-resistant. Alcohol and paraben-free.

Why We Love It: “I’ve always loved this one because it has all the makings of a perfect sunscreen – non-sticky, easy to apply, dries and absorbs quickly, hydrates well and delivers high protection!”
— Kemong Mopedi, Deputy Editor

Everysun SPF50 Invisible Sunscreen Spray

This sunscreen is specially formulated with Vita Lock™, an infusion of superfruits, antioxidants, vitamins and advanced UVA and UVB filters with photostability. It provides protection both in and out of the water and is dermatologically tested.

Why We Love It: “Because it says invisible AND is suffused with vitamins, antioxidants and UV protection. A multitasking queen.”
— Michelle October, Features Editor


This one has a lovely vanilla coconut fragrance and contains a moisturiser to keep your skin hydrated and feeling soft. It comes in 7 colours.

Why We Love It: “Essential for long surfing sessions, there are many colours to choose from but a fair warning, it’s very thick. I use the tanned skin tone one. “
— Pia Hammond, Creative Director

Women’s Health participates in various affiliate marketing programmes, which means we may get commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites.

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