Most of us know that we should be wearing SPF protection in the sun, but very few understand exactly what will happen to our skin if we fail to slap on the sunscreen before stepping into the sunshine.

Skincare scientist Dr Lars Lindmark explains: “When UVB rays from the sun penetrate the top level of skin – called the epidermis – a natural, brown-coloured pigment called melanin is produced to protect it from the sun. this is what causes a tan to develop – but with continued exposure, the structure of the skin starts to deteriorate. UVA rays penetrate into the dermal layer where they destroy collagen and elastin fibres. Skin loses its suppleness, elasticity, and the ability to retain water.

Most importantly, however, these invisible rays from the sun can cause the skin to burn painfully and often blister, whilst also putting us at an increased risk of developing skin cancer.

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The solution is to arm yourself with a bottle of SPF and apply liberally at least half an hour before stepping outside – but with a plethora of different brands and bottles on the shelves, how do you choose? Whether you need sun protection for your kids, your sensitive skin, or your summer golf game, we’ve rounded up 12 of the best sunscreens to add to your bathroom shelf…

Just scroll through the gallery below to check them out…

Originally published in Good magazine