The crème de la crème of suncreams.
As Australians, we should all be on our best SPF game year-round — but during our long, hot summers, we need to give extra consideration and do our due diligence when it comes to applying sunscreen.
Thanks to our (especially) harsh sun, we have the second highest rate of skin cancer incidence in the world. Just recently, Cancer Council Australia reported that more than 434,000 skin cancers are detected each and every year — it’s a sobering statistic and one we should all remember every time we step outside this summer.
That’s why it’s vital that we aim to apply the best sunscreen protection on the market — and hey, who better to understand Australia’s unique sun conditions and skin needs than those created down under? Here, a roundup of our fave Australian sun care brands.
Rosie wears Sir the Label dress.
Founded by Ava Matthews and Rebecca Jefferd (both MECCA alumni), Ultra Violette products walk the line between sun protection and skincare — providing both UVA and UVB protection, as well as skin benefits. Since launching earlier this year, the brand has already hit cult status, featured in #shelfies snapped by beauty influencers and experts alike (our very own founder and Gritty Pretty Editor-in-Chief Eleanor Pendleton counts herself as a fan).
Offering both chemical and physical SPFs — read our guide to chemical vs physical sunscreens here — Ultra Violette caters to all skin types, with their Queen Screen SPF 50+ Luminising Sun Serum (a chemical formulation) a great option for drier skins, and their Clean Screen SPF 30 Mattifying Mineral Skinscreen (a physical formulation) is perfect for sensitive, acne-prone and oily skin. Oh, and it’s designed to sit flawlessly under makeup. If you’re not with it, get with it!
If you’re a physical SPF kinda gal, Invisible Zinc is one for you. With its 2004 launch, the brand brought to the market high-factor zinc that didn’t look, or feel, like traditional zinc products.
Fast forward to now, and their formulations are more undetectable than ever — with a range of products available from Daywear, to their Sheer Defence SPF50 moisturisers (available in both tinted and untinted offerings) as well as their Face + Body Mineral SPF50. All products are formulated with zinc oxide, which creates a barrier on top of the skin that works to reflect both UVA and UVB radiation. Safe to say they have all bases covered.
Australian-made and founded by Dr. Geoffrey Heber, Ultraceuticals’ skincare range is renowned for its cutting-edge, results-driven formulations — and their SPF products are no different. Formulated with our harsh climate conditions in mind, the brand’s Ultra UV and SunActive ranges have long been favourites for those in the know.
Offering cruelty-free chemical formulations, Ultraceuticals has an extensive offering. This includes everyday moisturisers with SPF30 protection, formulated with additional vitamins and minerals essential for protection against pollution and environmental aggressors, as well as high factor SPF50+ for those summer days spent in the sun.
Created three years ago by Stephanie Gilmore’s coach, Jake Patterson, as well as cosmetic skin clinic owner Scott McGregor, We Are Feel Good Inc. was the result of the want for high-performance sunscreen that felt, well, good — both luxurious and easy-to-wear on a daily basis, as well as being good for the planet.
While their signature Sunscreen Lotion SPF50+ is undoubtedly their best known product, they also offer a fragrance-free option for those with sensitive skin. As well as being preservative-free and cruelty-free, We Are Feel Good Inc’s offerings are also formulated without oxybenzone and octinoxate: two ingredients that have been under scrutiny recently for possible links to coral bleaching and the degradation of marine environments. Winner!
Melbourne-based brand Aspect launched in 2007 with one key goal: to create cosmeceuticals that would deliver results for all skin types. Using certified organic ingredients whenever possible, they also formulate without fragrance, harsh preservatives or SLS — plus, they’re cruelty-free.
Already ticking your boxes? Let us get to the SPF. The brand streamlined their sun care offering to minimise confusion. There’s the CC Cream SPF50+ (which evens out the complexion while providing high-factor 50), the Hydrating Face SPF 50+ (designed for everyday use and doubles as a primer), along with the Envirostat Face and On the Go SPF50 (for days on the beach).
This one’s cult. Arguably Mecca’s most popular own-brand product, the To Save Face range has long been touted as some of the best SPFs on the market for everyday wear (seriously, just check the reviews). All sharing a weightless consistency that feels like you’re not wearing SPF at all, Mecca To Save Face is a failsafe choice for all occasions.
When it comes to facial sunscreens, they have on offer two chemical formulations: To Save Face SPF30 Facial Sunscreen (ideal for everyday) and To Save Face SPF50 Superscreen (a heavy-duty formula for prolonged sun exposure). As for body, Mecca have you covered with their Protective Lip Balm and Body SPF50 Superscreen — with the latter formulated without oxybenzone.
Tell us, which are your go-to Australian sunscreen brands? Have you added any of the above brands to your shopping list?