Best sunscreens in Australia

We’ve done the research and found the 14 best sunscreens to help you pick the right one for your skin.

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The best sunscreens in Australia

How did we pick this list?

For this list, we picked products based on actual customer reviews and ratings on various websites, including Adore Beauty, Amazon and Chemist Warehouse. For every category, we carefully chose parameters based on our research and determined products with the highest review score within those parameters.

Read more detail on our methodology below.

Best overall sunscreen: La Roche Posay Anthelios XL Wet Skin SPF50+

Pros

  • Can be applied on wet skin
  • Suitable for all skin types

Cons

  • Too heavy for some
  • Leaves a shiny finish
Price (RRP): $38.95
Amazon price: From $69.82
eBay price: From $68.40 to $70.81
Buy at Amazon
Buy at eBay
Buy at Adore Beauty
Buy at Chemist Warehouse

Why we chose it

We picked the La Roche Posay Anthelios XL Wet Skin SPF50+ as the best overall sunscreen available online. It has an average rating of 4.43 out of 5 stars on Adore Beauty, Amazon and Chemist Warehouse.

With broad-spectrum UVA/UVB, this La Roche Posay sunscreen offers high sun protection for the whole family. It features thermal spring water for hydration. It also has moisturising ingredients to soften and smoothen the skin. According to the company, it can be applied to dry or wet skin. It offers 4 hours of water resistance as well.

Customers gave positive feedback on the sunscreen's efficacy, ease of use and versatility. It is ideal for both children and adults, and people with sensitive skin added that it is quite gentle and non-irritating. Reviewers also mentioned that it leaves the skin well-moisturised. However, the texture isn't lightweight and leaves a shiny finish, which may not suit those with oily skin.


Best budget sunscreen: Nivea Sun SPF 50+ Protect & Moisture Moisturising Lotion

Pros

  • Formulated with vitamin E and panthenol
  • Free from Oxybenzone and Octinoxate

Cons

  • One critic said it washes off easily
  • Sun protection may be too weak for extended exposure
Price (RRP): $12.39
Amazon price: From $9.45
eBay price: From $26.16
Buy at Amazon
Buy at eBay
Buy at Chemist Warehouse

Why we chose it

For the best budget option, we recommend Nivea's Sun SPF 50+ Protect & Moisture Moisturising Lotion. It has a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon.

Nivea's Sun SPF 50+ Protect & Moisture Moisturising Lotion is formulated in Australia for Aussie conditions. It has vitamin E and panthenol to keep skin moisturised. It also offers 4 hours of water resistance. Additionally, the sunscreen doesn't contain Oxybenzone and Octinoxate, 2 UV filters that can harm coral reefs.

The general sentiment is that this is a fantastic budget-friendly option for everyday sun protection. For just $12.39, you get a 400ml bottle with SPF 50+. Customers loved its lightweight feel and subtle scent. Others also mentioned that it rubs in nicely and doesn't leave an oily film nor white cast. However, this sunscreen may be too weak for prolonged exposure. One critic said it easily washes off, requiring more frequent application than other options in the market.


Best physical/mineral sunscreen: Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Face & Body Sunscreen Lotion SPF50

Pros

  • Great under makeup
  • Good value for money

Cons

  • Only offers 2 hours of water resistance
  • Leaves a slight white cast
Price (RRP): $16.99
Amazon price: From $10.19
eBay price: From $20.68
Buy at Amazon
Buy at eBay
Buy at Chemist Warehouse

Why we chose it

Neutrogena's Ultra Sheer Face & Body Sunscreen Lotion SPF50 is our pick for the best physical/mineral option. On Amazon and Chemist Warehouse it has an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.

The Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Face & Body Sunscreen Lotion SPF50 offers UVA/UVB protection with 2 hours of water resistance. It has a rich texture with a matte finish, perfect for oily skin. Apart from being dermatologist tested, it is non-comedogenic and PABA-free.

This sunscreen is a versatile option for most skin types. It can be used for both the face and body, leaving a lightweight and matte finish to the skin. Customers added that it works well as a primer under makeup. It is also oil-free and won't clog pores. Reviewers mentioned that it has a slight lotion scent that smells fresh and subtle. It's worth noting that this sunscreen leaves a bit of a white cast which may be a con for darker skin tones.


Best chemical sunscreen: Dermalogica Protection 50 Sport SPF50

Pros

  • Doesn't leave a white cast
  • Lightweight and absorbs quickly

Cons

  • Smell is too overpowering for some customers
  • Not cheap
Price (RRP): $71.92
Amazon price: From $72.98
eBay price: From $79.42
Buy at Amazon
Buy at eBay
Buy at Adore Beauty

Why we chose it

With an average rating of 4.75 out of 5 stars on Adore Beauty and Amazon, we selected the Dermalogica Protection 50 Sport SPF50 as the best chemical sunscreen.

Dermalogica's Protection 50 Sport SPF50 is an alcohol-free sunscreen formulated with antioxidants to fight visible sun damage. The company claims that these ingredients will also strengthen the skin's natural protection against free radical damage. Apart from being paraben-free, this sunscreen has a clear formula that doesn't leave a white cast. It is PETA-accredited and cruelty-free as well.

This sunscreen has a light texture that penetrates the skin nicely. It has a clear formula that is suitable for most skin tones. Customers said that it leaves their skin dewy but non-greasy. It also works well under makeup. The sunscreen has a floral scent, but a few customers found it overpowering.


Best natural/zinc sunscreen: EltaMD UV Sport Broad-Spectrum SPF 50

Pros

  • Great for sensitive skin
  • Transparent and penetrates skin quickly

Cons

  • Has a thick and greasy texture according to some
  • May not be suitable for darker skin tones
Price (RRP): From $44.10
Amazon price: From $44.62
eBay price: From $63.90
Buy at Amazon
Buy at eBay

Why we chose it

When it comes to the best natural/zinc sunscreen, we recommend the EltaMD UV Sport Broad-Spectrum SPF 50. It has a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon.

This zinc sunscreen provides SPF50 and UV broad-spectrum protection for both daily wear and outdoor activities. The brand says it will not rinse off in water or drip into the eyes due to sweats. It is also water-resistant for up to 80 minutes. Apart from being fragrance-free, it has vitamin E to fight free radicals.

Customers praised the product's light formula, ease of use and efficacy. This sunscreen can be used on dry or wet skin, making it a great option for reapplication during beach trips. It is also free from parabens, oil and sulphate. Several reviewers with sensitive skin loved that it is gentle and doesn't have a strong scent. However, it leaves a slight white cast.


Best sunscreen for medium skin tones: Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF50+

Pros

  • Leaves a slightly dewy finish
  • Lightweight and non-greasy

Cons

  • Has a strong alcohol smell
  • Not suitable for dry skin
Price (RRP): $23.00
Amazon price: From $16.01
eBay price: Check site for current pricing
Buy at Amazon
Buy at eBay

Why we chose it

For medium skin tones, we picked the Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF50+ as the best sunscreen. On Amazon, it has a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars.

The Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF50+ has a lightweight watery gel formula that rubs in quickly, leaving the skin refreshed and dewy. It has a creamy texture that doesn't leave a white cast. According to the company, it offers broad-spectrum protection of SPF 50+ and PA+++. Additionally, it has hyaluronic acid to keep the skin hydrated.

Apart from being a great sunscreen under makeup, customers loved the product's extremely light formula and smooth finish. It is absorbed into the skin in mere seconds. Those with oily skin added that it leaves their face looking glowing but never greasy, while others mentioned that it leaves their skin nourished. One major drawback of this product is its high alcohol content, resulting in a drying formula that may not suit those with already dry skin.


Best sunscreen for dark skin tones: La Roche Posay Anthelios Invisible Fluid SPF 50+

Pros

  • Ultra-lightweight formula
  • Doesn't sting the eyes

Cons

  • Some customers found it greasy
  • There are more affordable options out there
Price (RRP): $26.47
Amazon price: From $20.99
eBay price: From $26.91 to $39.00
Buy at Amazon
Buy at eBay
Buy at Adore Beauty
Buy at Chemist Warehouse

Why we chose it

The La Roche Posay Anthelios Invisible Fluid SPF 50+ is our choice for the best sunscreen for dark skin tones. It has an average rating of 4.53 out of 5 stars on Adore Beauty, Amazon and Chemist Warehouse.

Offering very high UV/UVB protection, the Anthelios Invisible Fluid is suitable for sensitive skin. It is hypo-allergenic and formulated with thermal spring water to keep skin hydrated. Additionally, it has a light texture and is easily absorbed without any white cast. It is dermatologically tested as well.

This ultra-lightweight sunscreen has won the hearts of many customers. It leaves a smooth finish, making it suitable for wearing under makeup. It also has a gentle formula that won't sting the eyes. A few reviewers mentioned that it helps keep their skin hydrated for longer, while others added that it doesn't leave any white cast at all. There were a few complaints about the sunscreen being greasy.


Best waterproof sunscreen: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Sunscreen Lotion SPF50

Pros

  • Water resistant for up to 4 hours
  • Non-greasy

Cons

  • Has a strong fragrance
  • Leaves a bit of a white cast
Price (RRP): $14.40
Amazon price: From $10.19
eBay price: From $14.50
Buy at Amazon
Buy at eBay
Buy at Chemist Warehouse

Why we chose it

With an average rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars on Amazon and Chemist Warehouse, we selected the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Sunscreen Lotion SPF50 as the best waterproof option available online.

This Neutrogena sunscreen provides broad-spectrum protection from the sun while quenching the skin with hydration. It features Helioplex technology for balanced protection against burning UVA/UVB rays. Additionally, it has a lightweight and non-greasy formula, leaving the skin refreshed and looking healthy.

Customers gave positive feedback on the product's value for money, ease of use and efficacy. It is water-light and doesn't wash off easily, perfect for outdoor activities. Several reviewers added that its runny texture is easy to spread and leaves a moisturised finish. However, it has an overpowering scent that some people don't enjoy. The sunscreen also leaves a mild white cast.


Best sunscreen for kids: Thinksport Kids Safe Sunscreen SPF 50+

Pros

  • Reef-friendly
  • Offers high sun protection

Cons

  • A few customers said it gave their kids rashes
  • Has a thick texture that is difficult to blend
Price (RRP): $36.78
Amazon price: From $58.25
eBay price: From $27.25
Buy at Amazon
Buy at eBay
Buy at iHerb

Why we chose it

For kids, we recommend the Thinksport Kids Safe Sunscreen SPF 50+ as the best sunscreen. It has a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon.

The Thinksport Kids Safe Sunscreen SPF 50+ is a physical sunscreen that uses zinc oxide for sun protection. It also offers up to 80 minutes of water resistance. Apart from being cruelty-free, it is formulated without filters that may harm coral reefs. Additionally, it is gluten-free and vegan.

The general sentiment is that this is a fantastic physical sunscreen suitable for both kids and adults. It also works well for the face and body. Customers loved its yummy pineapple scent, while others mentioned that it doesn't wash off quickly. It also leaves the skin soft and hydrated. A few buyers reported that it gave their kids rashes, which may be a huge con for those with sensitive skin. We suggest doing a patch test to check for irritation before using this product on your entire body.


Best sunscreen for babies: Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Zinc Oxide Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Sweat and water-resistant

Cons

  • Leaves a strong white cast
  • Difficult to wash off
Price (RRP): $25.30
Amazon price: From $40.06
eBay price: From $22.72
Buy at Amazon
Buy at eBay

Why we chose it

Our pick for the best sunscreen for babies is the Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Zinc Oxide Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50. On Amazon, it has a rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars.

This Aveeno baby sunscreen contains zinc oxide for sun protection and oat to soothe the skin. It is sweat and water-resistant for up to 80 minutes. The company claims that it has a non-greasy formula that is tear-free, paraben-free and hypoallergenic. It is also free from phthalates and fragrance.

Customers praised the product's reasonable price, efficacy and lightweight feel. It is quite grippy and doesn't drip upon contact with water or sweat, making it an ideal SPF for the outdoors. The non-greasy formula also blends quickly into the skin, but reviewers said it leaves a strong white cast.


Best face sunscreen: Ultra Violette Supreme Screen SPF50+ Hydrating Sunscreen

Pros

  • Doesn't leave a white cast
  • Lightweight and hydrating

Cons

  • Not suitable for oily skin
  • Expensive
Price (RRP): $45.00
THE ICONIC Price:From $35
Buy at Adore Beauty
Buy at Sephora
Buy at THE ICONIC

Why we chose it

For the face, we selected Ultra Violette's Supreme Screen SPF50+ Hydrating Sunscreen as the best option. On Sephora it has a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. This sunscreen is also one of our picks for the best face sunscreens available in Australia.

A combination of moisturiser, SPF and primer, the Ultra Violette Supreme Screen is formulated with Australian Kakadu plum, Pentavitin and Dragosine Plus. It also has heaps of antioxidants and anti-ageing ingredients to help skin fight signs of ageing. Additionally, it has a thin formula that won't leave a white cast. It is free from parabens and Oxybenzone as well.

A favourite among beauty enthusiasts, this 3-in-1 sunscreen is lightweight and has a smooth finish. It leaves the skin feeling refreshed and moisturised. A lot of customers also used this sunscreen as a primer alternative, adding that makeup sits extremely well on top of it. It has a nude tint to eliminate any white cast as well. But because it's got heaps of hydrating ingredients, this may be too rich for those with oily skin.


Best body sunscreen: Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Body Dry-Touch Sunscreen Lotion

Pros

  • Hypoallergenic
  • Good value for money

Cons

  • Not for prolonged sun exposure
  • Washes off easily
Price (RRP): $14.39
Amazon price: From $14.39
eBay price: From $31.39
Buy at Amazon
Buy at eBay
Buy at Chemist Warehouse

Why we chose it

Neutrogena's Sheer Zinc Body Dry-Touch Sunscreen Lotion is our choice for the best body sunscreen. It has a rating of 4 out of 5 stars on Chemist Warehouse.

This Neutrogena SPF is a mineral-based sunscreen with naturally sourced zinc oxide for sun protection. It is also formulated with vitamin E to soften and condition the skin. Additionally, it has a lightweight formula with an invisible finish that leaves little to no white cast on the skin. Apart from being water-resistant for 2 hours, it is free from oil, fragrance and dye.

In addition to being affordable, customers praised the product's high sun protection, ease of use and gentleness. It is easy to spread and leaves a smooth finish with no white cast. Reviewers added that it sits pretty well under makeup. Others mentioned that it doesn't feel heavy nor clogging. But because it only has 2 hours of water resistance, this may be too weak for extended sun exposure.


Best sunscreen to wear under makeup: Ultra Violette Queen Screen SPF 50+ Luminising Sun Serum

Pros

  • Oil-free with a thin texture
  • Also protects the skin from blue light

Cons

  • Customers said it has a strong fragrance
  • Expensive

Price (RRP): $47.00
THE ICONIC Price:From $35

Buy at Adore Beauty
Buy at Sephora

Why we chose it

If you're looking for the best option to wear under makeup, we recommend Ultra Violette's Queen Screen SPF 50+ Luminising Sun Serum. It has a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars on Adore Beauty.

The Ultra Violette Queen Screen SPF 50+ Luminising Sun Serum is an oil-free yet hydrating sun protection for all skin types, specifically normal to dry. It has a milky serum-like texture that penetrates quickly into the skin, leaving no white cast at all. It is also formulated with Australian Kakadu plum and Dragonise Plus to protect skin from blue light exposure.

Despite its hefty price tag, a lot of customers loved this serum-like sunscreen. It is extremely lightweight, leaving a soft and smooth finish with no traces of a white cast. Reviewers mentioned that it gives their skin a natural luminosity that adds a little oomph to their overall makeup look. Despite being ultra-hydrating, people with oily skin said it isn't greasy at all. The sunscreen has a strong scent, but this seems to be a minor concern for most buyers.


Best lip balm with SPF: Aesop Protective Lip Balm SPF30

Pros

  • Hypoallergenic
  • Good value for money

Cons

  • Not for prolonged sun exposure
  • Washes off easily
Price (RRP): $14.39

eBay price: From $39.90

THE ICONIC price: From $20

Buy at eBay
Buy at THE ICONIC
Buy at Adore Beauty
Buy at Myer

Why we chose it

We selected the Aesop Protective Lip Balm SPF30 as the best lip balm with SPF. On Adore Beauty it has a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars.

Aesop's Protective Lip Balm SPF30 includes vitamin E and castor seed oil to nourish the lips and delay the impact of daily aggressors. Its SPF30 also ensures that your lips are safe from the sun. The brand claims that it has a non-sticky feel and a demi-matte finish. Additionally, it is made without silicone, paraffin and animal-derived ingredients.

Customers praised the product's high sun protection, ease of use and smooth finish. It glides effortlessly over the lips, leaving them buttery and well-conditioned. Several customers said it even helps soothe dry and chapped lips with continuous use. It also sits well under lipsticks. There were some complaints about the balm containing tiny hard particles like those in exfoliating scrubs.


Amazon prices last updated on 24 September, 2021 at 09:01 am
eBay prices last updated on 24 September, 2021 at 10:02 am
The Iconic prices last updated on 23 September, 2021

Methodology

37
Brands considered
107
Products compared
14
Best products chosen
  • We compared over a hundred sunscreens from 37 brands.
  • We then assessed hundreds of customer reviews and ratings on various websites, including Adore Beauty, Amazon and Chemist Warehouse.
  • The products on this list are chosen by our editorial team and are not selected based on commercial relationships.

What is the difference between physical/mineral and chemical sunscreen?

Both physical and chemical sunscreens are used to prevent sunburn and skin damage, however there are some key differences between the two.

Physical (or mineral) sunscreen creates a physical barrier between the sun and your skin, helping to deflect UVA and UVB rays. These sunscreens sit on the surface of your skin and usually contain ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

Chemical sunscreens meanwhile do the opposite, penetrating into the deeper layers of the skin to absorb the UV rays. These sunscreens can contain a multitude of ingredients, the most common of which are Avobenzone and Oxybenzone.

To find out more, read our chemical vs physical sunscreen comparison.

What is zinc sunscreen?

Zinc sunscreen is considered to be a physical sunscreen as it forms a protective barrier over the top of the skin.

It is often preferred by those with sensitive or acne prone skin as it contains zinc, which is a natural anti-inflammatory, and does not absorb into the skin.

How often should you reapply sunscreen?

According to the Cancer Council, you should apply your chosen sunscreen 20 minutes before heading outdoors.

Sunscreen should then be "reapplied at least every two hours, irrespective of the water resistance of the sunscreen."

If you have been swimming or working out, you should also reapply immediately after you have finished, as these activities can reduce the effectiveness of sunscreens.

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4 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    PaulJune 16, 2019

    What about UV Natural sunscreen? World’s first chemical free sunscreen I think, made right here in Australia. How good is it?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      CharisseJune 17, 2019Staff

      Hi Paul,

      Thanks for reaching out to Finder.

      Though UV Natural sunscreen is not included on our suggestions for the best sunscreens, according to the information on their website, they were highly commended by the Nature & Health Natural Baby Awards for 2018.

      To have an idea on how good the product is, you can also refer to other online reviews about UV Natural sunscreen.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Charisse

    Default Gravatar
    yggizApril 1, 2019

    can i put your sunscreen on my lizard. he gets very red everyday. they said he was a red lizard at the pet store but i think its the sunburn. i tried normal sunscreen and he started to defecate all over his tank. VERY HARD TO CLEAN. it was runny.
    kind regards yggiz ramus.

      Default Gravatar
      NikkiApril 2, 2019

      Hi Yggiz,

      Thanks for reaching out! It’s helpful to know that for snakes and other reptiles that at times bask in the sun, their inner epidermis is protected from UV rays via their scales, which also function to help retain moisture underneath, among other things. For these animals, they would typically die from overheating before any threat of sunburn became a problem. The sunscreens listed on our page are for human consumption and might not be a fit product for reptiles. I do understand you want what’s best for your lizard but I highly suggest to consult a veterinarian for this as he may be able to suggest proper products.

      Best,
      Nikki

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