REVIEW: The Best Sunscreens

May 28, 2019Notino
There’s nothing like the caress of sunlight on your face. We all associate summer with warm weather, swimming, and sunbathing. But many of us also know the other side of it – the unpleasant sunburns and the resulting skin damage. This means one thing: your summer beauty stash should absolutely include a good sunscreen!


We at Notino know very well how important sunscreen is, which is why we decided to test all types of sun care and do a big comparison. Apart from the classic sunscreen, we’ve also included pre-tanning and after-sun care which is at least as important, if not more. So read on and find out what we discovered, what our favourites are, and which sunscreen will be the perfect one for you!

The Ultimate Sunscreen Test

Our Notino experts know a lot about beauty and have lots of experience with different sun care products. Which sunscreens have impressed them?

Top Pre-Tanning Care

Veronica: St.Tropez Prep & Maintain: Exfoliating Tan-Enhancing Cream

I always exfoliate before tanning to remove dead skin cells. That way all moisturisers absorb better and the tan ends up being more even. If your skin is well hydrated and ready for tanning, you have less visible flakiness and your tan looks beautifully natural without disappearing in a matter of days.

I’m really happy with the Prep & Maintain tan-enhancing exfoliator by St. Tropez. I’ve been using it once or twice a week and I appreciate the exfoliating particles are tiny and don’t irritate the skin, but still work the way I expected. The product also smells great and leaves the skin beautifully smooth. Don’t forget to wash it off properly and then moisturise.

Best Sunscreen Lotions

Lucy: Piz Buin Tan & Protect: Tan-Promoting Oil with SPF 15

I tested the Piz Buin oil during a long day at a music festival – the kind of sudden sun exposure that many people underestimate. And I was pleasantly surprised!

Fragrance: 5

How well it goes on and absorbs: 5

Reliability of sun protection: 4

Resistance: 4

The Piz Buin Tan & Protect dry sunscreen oil became my favourite for several reasons. Even though it’s an oil, it absorbs really quickly without a greasy film, it just gives your skin this beautiful sheen and softness. It comes in a spray bottle and it’s great for all skin types.

Regarding the sun protection, I recommend applying this product several times a day because oil generally has less of a staying power than creams. I personally tan pretty well and don’t really use sunscreen in the city, even though I know I should. But I do start using sunscreen in the spring to get a head start for my summer tanning. That is why I chose a lower SPF of 15 – but you can obviously go with a higher one, it’s up to you. One of my friends actually loved the scent so much she bought this product for herself! 😊

Gabrielle: Vichy Capital Soleil Beach Protect: Moisturising Lotion with SPF 50+

I’m not particularly choosy when it comes to sunscreen: I prefer a cream form, SPF 50 (mainly because of my tattoos and for general skin protection), and ideally a product that can be used on both face and body. Vichy Capital Soleil Beach Protect met all my requirements, so I decided to put it to the test while I’m out and about. )

Fragrance: 5

How well it goes on: 5

How well it absorbs: 5

Reliability of sun protection: 5

The cream has a nice subtle scent to it – nothing too overpowering. It’s also really soft and easy to spread. It absorbed almost immediately and left no traces on my black t-shirt. I used it at 9am and then spent the day doing 10km on roller blades, playing badminton and later relaxing in the park.

I didn’t reapply the product all day as I felt it wasn’t necessary. The sun was out all day long, I was obviously sweating and even dried myself with a towel a few times. After all that I was still really happy with the sunscreen because it had met all my expectations and I have nothing bad to say about it. It even felt pleasant on my skin, without clogging my pores or making me oily. I think it’s a great product to take with me on holiday.

Laura: Nuxe Sun Spray with SPF 20

I finally found a sunscreen spray for lazy people like me. No fiddling with a tube – you just spray it on and work it in!

Fragrance: 4

How well it goes on and absorbs: 5

Reliability of sun protection: 5

Resistance: 4

Nuxe is my favourite brand and Nuxe Sun did once again not disappoint. I love the fact that it comes in a handy spray bottle. The lotion absorbed in a manner of seconds without leaving any kind of oily residue on the skin or white stains on my clothing – just a lovely scent.

But what about the most important thing – sun protection? Even though this product only has an SPF of 20, it did a great job during my cycling trip and short hike (but I’ll definitely buy something stronger for my seaside holiday). Thanks to its waterproof formula, it didn’t even sweat off. On of the best sunscreens I’ve ever tried – plus, it can be used on both your body and your face! It’s non-comedogenic and you can even use it under your makeup.

Sarah: Avène Sun Sensitive: Sunscreen Oil with SPF 30

I have to stick to pharmacy skin care because of my atopic dermatitis. That’s why I was really happy to be able to test this hypoallergenic sunscreen oil by Avène. I’m the type of person who uses an SPF every time I step out of the house, not just when I’m headed to the beach or the pool – after all, that’s what we all should be doing.

Fragrance: 3

How well it goes on and absorbs: 5

Reliability of sun protection: 5

Resistance: 5

I tested the oil while taking a walk in the park. Since my skin is pretty pale, I only use products with SPF 30 and higher – this oil falls into that category, which means I can rest easy knowing that it will protect me from sunburns.

As the name suggests, this product is an oil – however, it doesn’t just sit on the skin and it absorbs quickly, leaving a slight velvety sheen with a subtle scent. And don’t worry, you can wear the Avène Sun Sensitive even for swimming thanks to its waterproof formula. Another thing I love about it is the fact that you only need to use a little at a time because it spreads so easily. It will last you a really long time.

Thanks to the transparent packaging I can easily see how much of the product is left. I also like the that it’s a spray – it makes the application so much easier without wasting product. I even tested it on my skin and I think it’s wonderful if your complexion is on the drier side!

Top After-Sun Care

Andy: Collistar Sun No Protection: Tan-Optimising Spray

I tested the product while sunbathing in my back yard all day. How did it fare?

Fragrance: 4

Ease of application: 5

I picked the Collistar Sun No Protection moisturising spray with aloe vera mainly because my skin is really sensitive and sun exposure really stresses it out and makes it prone to sunburns. This spray is fantastic for skin regeneration, but it also helps calm your skin after sunbathing. If you use a good sunscreen during your sun exposure, this product will help you tan quicker and more effectively.

I used the Sun No Protection straight after applying my sunscreen lotion and let it absorb without rubbing it into my skin. It absorbs quickly without leaving any greasy or sticky residue. I reapplied it once more after washing my skin at the end of the day for a more intense regenerating and refreshing effect.

Trisha: Bioderma Photoderm After Sun: After-Sun Lotion

This after-sun lotion was tested like no other because I used it on my freshly sunburnt skin after a full day of gardening.

Fragrance: 5

Ease of application: 5

Bioderma is one of the most popular skin care brands and has many fans around the world. I’m definitely one of them – I simply love their products, which was one of the reasons I decided to try their after-sun lotion as well.

What I look for in an after-sun product is mostly immediate relief from the burning sensation, quick absorption, and no strong perfume. Bioderma Photoderm After Sun fit all of these requirements perfectly. I used it on my sunburnt arms and chest and was instantly surprised how well it goes on and how soothing it is on my skin.

The cream, almost gel-like texture doesn’t leave behind any stickiness. One other thing you’ll definitely appreciate during hot summer days is the cooling effect, the hydration, and the beautiful light texture of the product.

I also love that the scent is very light and refreshing – I don’t even mind that it lingers on for a few hours. Since the product is advertised as hypoallergenic, I think it’s probably suitable even for people with atopic dermatitis or for children. And the handy pump dispenser is simply wonderful, saving you from a messy application.

And what about you – have you found your perfect sunscreen for the summer?

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