Sun protection you’ll actually want to wear

Sun-safety products may not be the sexiest items in your beauty routine, but they are the most necessary. We’ve pulled together all the items you need to protect yourself and your skin.

“There’s nothing healthy about a tan” has never hit us harder. I don’t need to preach to you about the importance of sun protection, but I will say this: it’s also one of your best weapons against ageing. Sunscreen has come a long way. There are smart innovations and skincare-hybrid technologies that ensure it’s never been more user-friendly or wearable (even under make-up).

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Super serums

Skin care fused with sun-protection technology encapsulated in a silky serum formulation means you have no more excuses not to wear sunscreen every single day. These innovative blends promise to leave no white casts, wear well under make-up and can be easily reapplied throughout the day. Plus, they leave your skin looking dewy and radiant.

These drops are packed with complexion-boosting active ingredients like peptides and hyaluronic acid, and antioxidants for even more protection.

Ultra Violette SPF50+ Queen Screen ($47, at Adore Beauty) and Everyday Humans Resting Beach Face SPF30 ($33.52, at Everyday Humans)

Get physical

If you’re on the clean beauty bandwagon, when it comes to body blockouts, zinc oxide is your go-to ingredient to help protect. Also known as physical sunscreen, mineral filters work to block and scatter UV rays by sitting on the surface of the skin.

Often found in natural formulations, or blended with plant-based oils like coconut to ensure it glides over skin for a hydrated finish.

Liberty Belle Superstar SPF50+ ($65, at Liberty Belle) and Mother SPF Organic Mineral Sunscreen SPF30 ($42, at Nourished Life)

Lip service

Many of us are aware you need to apply sunscreen to your ears, but what about your lips? Exposed more than your shoulders, we often forget our lips need as much protection as the rest of our face and body – especially as they’re thinner and more delicate. Simply swapping your everyday lip balm for one with SPF protection can help to minimise damage. Formulated with nourishing and hydrating ingredients, you won’t notice the difference.

Mecca Cosmetica To Save Lips Superscreen Protective Lip Balm SPF50+ ($20, at Mecca) and Supergoop! Play SPF30 Lip Balm ($15.16 at Revolve Clothing)

Sun safety that isn’t sunscreen

Lisa Patulny, co-founder of social movement Call Time on Melanoma, believes to get the best protection possible, you need to look further than just sunscreen. “You’d never catch me without a good sun umbrella for the beach. This one from Sunday Supply Co. is beautiful, is made from a protective UPF50+ fabric and provides a lot of shade,” she says. Hats and smart swimwear are also easy additions.

“Owning a selection makes it more likely you’ll wear one. I recently discovered Winki Suits, an ethically made swimwear brand, and I really love their cropped rashies. For chic, sun-safe swimwear, I also like Australian brands UNE PIECE, Matteau and Marla Swim.”

Winki Suits Bessie Top ($89, and Bottom, $60, at Winki Suits) and Avenue Fornillo Sunhat ($120, at Avenue the Label) and Black Sands Beach Umbrella ($249, at Sunday Supply Co)

A note on reef safety…

You may have seen “reef safe” formulations and marketing jargon floating around the sunscreen shelves, (or read about our suggestions here) but according to many marine ecologists and coral experts, reef safe formulations are simply not needed. “People assume there is good evidence that certain sunscreen filters [like oxybenzone] destroy coral. There’s not,” Patulny explains. “In fact, scientists have consistently found that the concentrations of sunscreen in the ocean around reefs are too low to have adverse effects.

There is currently no real-world evidence that sunscreen causes coral bleaching. “‘Reef safe’ is an unregulated marketing term. What science does tell us is that regular sunscreen use protects us against skin cancer. By all means, buy a ‘reef-safe’ sunscreen, but if you care about coral reefs, look into the negative impact of climate change, biological imbalances and water quality instead.”

Avoid prolonged periods of exposure in the sun. Wear protective clothing, hats and eyewear when outside. Remember to slip, slop, slap, seek shade and slide on sunglasses. Always read the label. Use only as directed.

All products featured in this article are selected by our editors, who don’t play favourites. If you buy something, we may get a cut of the sale.