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Save money without sacrificing the protection you give your skin.

Is a branded sun cream any better than a supermarket’s own version? And what should you be thinking about other than the SPF number? Find out in my latest video.

Watch the video:

Don’t like watching videos? Scroll down for a full transcript

Read more about sun cream:

How much sun cream to use and what to do if you burn (via BBC)
Which? sun cream test results (via Good to Know)

More summer savings:

How to refill your water bottle for free


Hi I’m Andy Webb from be clever with your cash .com, and in this video I’m going to talk to you about getting the best value in your suncream.

When you’re going buy some cream there’s probably only one number you really pay attention to. This big one on the front – the SPF number. Sun Protection Factor. This ranges from around four or five all the way through to fifty plus. The number which medical groups recommend is at least thirty. Basically the higher the number is, the greater the protection, the longer the protection you’re going to get from this sun’s rays.

Now there’s actually, and lots of people don’t realize this, more than one type of ray coming from the sun. Now what the the SPF number shows is a protection against ultraviolet B UVB rays. This is the stuff that generally will burn your skin. That’s what the protection is for.

What you should also be looking for when you’re buying your sun cream is something called UVA – Ultraviolet A – rays. This is the stuff that’s meant to premature age you, the stuff that causes you to to get those lines of caused by sun. Now it will say on there UVA, and UVB hopefully, on the packet.

But how do you know how good that protection is? Because that SPF that’s not affecting the UVA, it’s not protection against UVA. Instead you look for some stars. This one has it on the back as it’s a small packet. The bigger ones hopefully it’s on the front. And you should be looking for at least four stars. That’s going to give you hopefully the protection that you need.

Now if you’ve got at least factor 30 on the UVB and then you’ve got at least four stars on the UVA then all the sun creams are pretty much the same. At least that they’re doing the same thing anyway in terms of protecting you from the sun’s rays.

So whether you’re going into Aldi or Asda and you’re spending a couple of quid or whether you’re spending nearly ten quid by getting some posh brands, they’re not really doing anything different.

Now I had a look at Which? magazine. They’ve reviewed and tested about 15 to 20 different sun creams. The only real difference they found between them is that some of the cheaper ones can feel a bit greasy when you apply them to your skin. Or they smell not fantastic when you apply them, so you might want to try some different ones and pay a bit more money.

But just because it’s a brand – this one’s Nivea I got this one for free, I didn’t pay for it – if you are buying that it’s not necessarily any better than an own brand from one of the chemists or supermarkets.

One thing, one extra thing to think about when you’re buying your sun cream in terms of getting value for money. Now you see it quite often you can get a big bottle. It often works out cheaper per unit, per ml, whatever it might be. So you think the bigger the bottle the better the deal.

Now that’s not always the case. On the back of most of your sun creams you’ll see a little pot. You see it on lots of cosmetics as well. This little round pot with an open lid and in there it will give a little number. This one here says 12m. That stands for twelve months. Most sun creams are meant to last between 12 and 18 months. Now the bigger the bottle the less likely you’ll use it in that time.

And actually it reduces how strong it is. It might say thirty on the front but if it’s two or three years old it won’t be delivering that kind of protection. So unless you’re likely to take a big group or family with you, or you’re going away to somewhere in the sun for a couple of weeks, I don’t think you need to buy those big big big packets. You’re better off buying something a little bit smaller and then getting another one next year.

And it’s worth bearing in mind as well if you leave your sun cream out in the sun then that’s going to make it last a shorter amount of time as well. So hopefully you’re gonna go out and get some new sun cream now, especially if like me you’ve got it stacked at the back of the cupboard from last year. When you do don’t get fooled into spending over the odds as long. As it’s got a decent SPF for UVB and a decent star rated the UVA, it doesn’t really matter what you’re paying.

I’m Andy Webb. Please do head over to Be Clever With Your Cash .com for more information on this and more videos. Cheers

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