Nivea, Sunsense and Aldi: The best sunscreens in Australia ranked

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A sun cream protection bottle with a sun drawed with cream on a yellow background
Sunscreen should be a part of your daily routine. Credit: Getty Images

Sunscreen is a non-negotiable part of living in Australia. Even in winter months, it's advised to wear sunscreen, and as the weather heats up, applying sunscreen should be part of everyone's daily routine. 

Cancer Council Australia recommends that sunscreen should be applied 20 minutes before UV exposure, and be re-applied every two hours. This means you need a sunscreen that feels and smells good, gives good value for money - and of course, is effective. 

Canstar Blue asked consumers to try various different sunscreens (not including niche brands), and rate how they felt about the effectiveness, texture, scent, absorption, value for money, and overall satisfaction. It's worth noting the 'effectiveness' category is measured by the perceived effectiveness reported by consumers.

Here's how they rated:

Sunsense

SunSense was the only brand with a five-star rating for 'overall customer satisfaction.' It also scored five stars for effectiveness, texture and consistency, ease of absorption and scent, with four stars for value for money. There's a variety of great products in the range, including a sand and sweat resistant cream, as well as formulations for kids, babies and people with sensitive skin. Their Sport SPF 50+ Sunscreen, $15.49, wears really well. 

SunSense Sport SPF 50+ Sunscreen, $15.49
SunSense Sport SPF 50+ Sunscreen, $15.49. Credit: Chemist Warehouse

ALDI

ALDI is known for delivering great products at quality prices, and its Ombra sunscreen range is no different. All their products are SPF 50+ and come in cream or sprays. Consumers gave it five stars for value for money, texture and consistency, and it got four stars for everything else. Their 100ml tube is just $2.19.

ALDI Ombra sunscreen 100ml tube is just $2.19

Cancer Council

Unsurprisingly, the Cancer Council range of sunscreens got five stars for effectiveness. They got four stars in most other categories, including ease of absorption and texture, and three stars for value for money. They have an extensive range, including a water sport formula which is tested to four hours of water resistance, a kids range, and a face range, including a BB cream, which comes in a range of tints. The BB Cream Matte, is $15 for 50ml and is a great base. 

The Cancer Council BB Cream Matte, is $15 for 50ml

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Coles

Coles rated well across the board, with four stars in every category. Its Everyday SPF 50+ sunscreen comes in a 1litre pump pack, $8.50, which is great for families and stocking up for summer. There's also an option for sensitive skin.

Coles Everyday SPF 50+ sunscreen, 1litre pump pack, $8.50

Nivea

The Nivea range was rated five stars for scent, four stars for everything else, and three stars for value for money. Lots of their products contain Vitamin E, designed to soothe and repair sun damaged or dry skin. There are plenty of options, including a roll-on formula for kids, a spray bottle, and a version for sensitive skin. Their standard Nivea Sunscreen Moisturiser Lotion Spf50+ & Vitamin E, is $11 for 100ml

Nivea Sunscreen Moisturiser Lotion Spf50+ & Vitamin E, is $11 for 100ml.

Neutrogena

This range scored four stars in all areas, including effectiveness and ease of absorption, coming in with three stars for value for money. The range covers SPF30 - SPF 50, and its facial range is aimed at keeping your face clean and dry, while of course still protecting it from the sun. They have a face and body sunscreen stick, $16.99, and a face mist, $23.99, for extra convenience. 

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Face mist, $23.99
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Face mist, $23.99. Credit: Chemist Warehouse

Banana Boat

Synonymous with summer, the Banana Boat range scored four stars across the board, apart from value for money which rated as a three. They have products for kids and babies (many ranges only cater for kids), as well as a sports range, and sensitive skin products. The Banana Boat SPF 50+ Dry Balance Lotion 175g, is $16.99.

Banana Boat SPF 50+ Dry Balance Lotion 175g, is $16.99.

Woolworths

Woolworths own brand range impressed with value for money, earning four stars. It got three stars on everything else, including overall satisfaction and texture. There's a Zinc Clear, $9.50, a spray for sensitive skin, $7, and the regular SPF50+. This comes in a 100ml tube, $2.25, a 500ml pump, $6.50, and a 1 litre pump, $8.50.

Woolworths SPF 50+ Everyday Lotion 500ml pump, $6.50

Canstar only rated big brands, but these niche labels have cult status amongst skin care gurus:

Ultra Violette Queen Screen SPF 50+ Luminising Sun Serum, $47, is a lightweight, invisible broad spectrum SPF50+ serum that gives a glowy finish. 

Ultra Violette Queen Screen SPF 50+ Luminising Sun Serum, $47

Naked Sundays SPF50+ Collagen Glow 100% Mineral Lotion and the SPF 50+ Hydrating Glow Mist - Australia’s first over-your-makeup SPF 50+ top up - have gained a huge following online and are both $39.95.

Naked Sundays
The mineral lotiion and hydrating glow mist are perfect for beneath and on top of your makeup. Photo: Naked Sundays

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Invisible Fluid Facial Sunscreen SPF 50+, $31.95, is specially formulated for sensitive skin and works brilliantly under makeup.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Invisible Fluid Facial Sunscreen SPF 50+, $31.95

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