Doctors’ Guide to Sunscreen Products 2024

As seen in Daily Mail

Skin health expert Dr Ross Perry was invited to give his expert advice for the Daily Mail about sunscreen to keep you safe this summer. 

The feature headlined:

The doctors’ ultimate sunscreen guide:

As brands FAIL protection tests – how to tell if yours will really protect you, why not all SPF factors are equal and the claims you should NOT trust

The article follows concerns that some products overpromise on protection, as Which? recently found issues with 3 popular sunscreens – Asda Protect Moisturising Sun Lotion SPF30; Bondi Sands SPF50+ face sunscreen lotion; and Calypso Press & Protect Sun lotion SPF30 were all said to have failed basic sun protection tests. These findings have been disputed by all 3 manufacturers, yet it makes the purchase decision all the more complex, leaving many consumers unsure what they’re buying and how well it works.

Using a good sunscreen has been proven to help protect the skin from the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays. Studies have shown that applying SPF30 reduced the risk of melanoma (a form of skin cancer) by up to 80%. However, while the benefits of sunscreen are now broadly understood, the rate of melanoma diagnosis is still rising. Scientists have aired concerns that people can stay out in the sun longer than they should, assuming that sunscreen is protecting them. In addition, medics stress that it can take many years for skin cancer to develop and could relate to sun damage decades ago. This means that protection is essential, as well as regular self-checking for worrying moles or blemishes.

Expert advice on top SPF sunscreens 2024

The Daily Mail asked Dr Ross Perry to give his opinion and advice on some of the big name products available this year

E45 Sun Face Cream for Sensitive Skin, 50ml – for dry/sensitive skin

This product is described as:

‘SPF 50+. Hydrating sun cream with very high UVA and UVB protection for dry, sensitive skin. Suitable for eczema-prone skin.’

Dr Ross Perry told Daily Mail readers:

“This really is just E45, the well-known treatment for dry skin, with sun protection in it.

“Using a specific product for the face isn’t a bad idea as the skin is thinner and more sensitive than the rest of the body. If you suffer from sensitive skin or are acne prone, an all-body one could cause irritation. It contains hyaluronic acid, squalane and shea butter, which are moisturising.

“To treat dry skin, use your normal moisturiser, let it soak in, then apply a sunblock. However, this is a good day-to-day sunscreen that isn’t overly expensive.”

Aveda Sun Care Protective Hair Veil – for hair protection

This product is described as:

‘lightweight, water-resistant UV defence mist that forms an invisible screen to help protect hair from sun exposure’ with ‘naturally derived UV filters’.

Dr Ross Perry told Daily Mail readers:

“The active UV protection ingredients are wintergreen and cinnamon bark oils, which aren’t used widely in traditional sun protection products as there’s more evidence for mineral and chemical-based ones.”

“Hair can become dry in the sun but there isn’t really any need to protect it medically, it won’t start falling out.

“If you’re worried about burning your scalp, this won’t make a jot of difference. In that case I’d suggest using a specific product — or wearing a hat.”

Skincycles DNA Defence Sun Shield

This product is described as:

‘An innovation DNA defence complex strengthens skin’s immune system and stimulates DNA repair. Balanced UVA and UVB spectrum protection; SPF 100+.’

Dr Ross Perry told Daily Mail readers:

“Suggesting something defends your DNA is always going to grab your attention, but all sunscreens should work this way: by blocking or absorbing UV rays, they stop the DNA damage that these rays can cause in our skin cells. The ingredients in their ‘DNA defence complex’ — tocopheryl acetate, camellia sinensis leaf extract, among others — however, are more likely to be seen in an expensive moisturiser. And while they have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, they have nothing to do with protecting against UVA and UVB rays.”

Heliocare 360° Oral Supplements

This product is described as:

‘Additional defence from within against the damaging effects of UVA, UVB, visible light and infrared. Contains supercharged antioxidant Fernblock which defends skin cells from damage caused by the sun.’

Dr Ross Perry told Daily Mail readers:

“I cannot see what benefit you’d get from taking one of these a day as they suggest. While much research has been done into the efficacy of vitamins when used in a topical cream, how they work on the skin when ingested is still a bit of a grey area.”

Sunscreen advice

The feature also included a few cautions on choosing sunscreen:

  1. Ensure you apply plenty of sunscreen – many people don’t use enough to get sufficient coverage and protection
  2. If using a chemical sunscreen, allow 30 minutes before you go outside for it to take action. Mineral sunscreens give immediate protection, but can be harder to apply
  3. Be wary about claims of water/sweat resistance – you should always reapply sunscreen after swimming
  4. Be wary about ‘once a day’ claims – again, always reapply after swimming/sweating
  5. More expensive isn’t necessarily better – cheaper brands can be just as good at protecting your skin
  6. Look at the expiry date – sunscreen loses its effectiveness over time and even faster after opening
  7. Apply generously – many people don’t use enough sunscreen to get adequate protection. Experts advise 6-8 teaspoons for an average adult body

To read more and get health tips from more doctors, please visit

dr ross perry mole expertDr Ross Perry

Dr Ross Perry is a GP as well as founder of Cosmedics Skin Clinics, leading provider of private mole removal. He also works in the NHS in skin cancer reconstruction surgery. His expert advice has been featured on TV as well as regularly appearing in printed and online press.

Skin Surgery Laser Clinics

Cosmedics’ Skin Surgery Laser Clinic offer private mole removal at a selection of clinics based in London and Bristol. Moles are removed using the latest surgical techniques including laser mole removal; with trained doctors and surgeons.

Our team of qualified and experienced doctors and surgeons also treat other skin blemishes, including sebaceous cystsskin tagswarts and lipoma using  freezing, laser or surgical techniques.

For ultimate peace of mind, Cosmedics Skin Surgery Laser Clinic offer a thorough top to toe mole check carried out by their trained and experienced doctors.

Cosmedics Skin Clinics was founded in 2003 by Dr Ross Perry, a qualified and experienced London GP who has an excellent reputation in skin treatments and has removed thousands of lesions/blemishes in his career.

For more information or to book a consultation, please complete the form on this web page or call 020 7386 0464.