Sunscreens: different textures for a sunburn-free summer

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A closer look at different sunscreens (creams, oils, mists)

Summer's well and truly here! Lazing on beaches, soaking up the rays... To safely tan, we need to slather on the sunscreen, but the choice of creams, oils and mists can be overwhelming.

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Even though the textures differ, all sunscreens work in the same way - they contain chemical or mineral filters that prevent UVA and UVB rays from penetrating our skin. So long as you choose a sunscreen that's suited to your phototype, the question of texture boils down to your personal preferences.

# Sun cream, a fondant barrier: Often white or coloured, sun creams are visible, the advantage being that you can control how much you apply and ensure that you've applied it to all exposed areas. It's great for protecting children and its creamy, moisturising textures sticks well to skin.

# Sun lotions, a moisturising barrier : Thinner than creams, lotions protect and moisturise in one go. They're a cinch to apply, particularly the spray forms. Sun lotions quickly penetrate skin without leaving behind a thick or greasy film. A good option for days by the pool!

# Sun sprays, an ultra-light barrier: Sprays feel less oily that creams or lotions and their applicator means you can apply a light coat. You can spray them from head to toe and their tiny droplets don't feel sticky or leave white streaks. Just make sure you spray on enough to cover your entire body.

# Sun oils, a beauty-boosting barrier : Suntan oils are fluid and leave behind a non-sticky sheen. They glide over skin and thanks to their high SPF's (30 or 50) allow us to tan safely. What's more, nowadays formulae are packed with nourishing and moisturising active ingredients to keep our tans glowing and our skin beautifully soft.

# Sun mists, a refreshing barrier: Non-greasy or sticky, sun mists don't leave behind white streaks and are ultra-easy to apply. They dry on contact and leave skin feeling protected rather than suffocated. Plus they feel fresh - a cooling moment under a scorching sun.

# Sun gels, a creamy barrier: Sun gels are bursting with water and their creamy, non-greasy texture leaves skin feeling fresh and moisturised. They don't leave behind white streaks - they're completely transparent, easily absorbed and slightly shimmery.

# Sun sticks, the solid barrier: Sun sticks are good for specific parts of the face - nose, lips, forehead, cleavage. Their handy size means you can pop them in your bag and they're one of the best choices if you're a water-sports fan.