To find the best sunscreen lotion, with so many available in India today, can be confusing. We took it upon ourselves to find out by testing a carefully selected handful of them.
To do this we spent a month working to identify the best sunscreen in India. We sifted through the data to analyse 165 sunscreens based on their ingredients, skin type requirements, reviews, and ratings, to narrow down our recommendations to the 11 best sunscreens.
There was a lot of data to crunch. So, to help you make a purchasing decision quickly, we summarized the test results below. If you’d like to see the full testing procedure, you can find it here.
Here’s what we found.
Best sunscreen lotion
This product from Lotus is easily the best sunscreen for men and women, both.
This cream-based physical type sunscreen out-performed all the other sunscreens during our experiment.
It has a nice aroma thanks to its extracts of sage and thyme, and gives you broad spectrum protection for several hours in the sun.
The Lotus Professional has a smooth texture and is easy to apply. It only takes about 10 to 15 seconds to blend, and doesn’t leave you with any greasy or sticky residue. It’s also got a three-year shelf life, so it’s safe to buy in bulk.
One thing we noticed is that it only has a minimal whitening effect due to the cream being brown in color. It doesn’t make your skin appear artificial.
It’s suitable for all skin types, with an SPF of 70. While it’s perfect for all-day use, though, it only comes in 50g tubes, so it’s quite expensive for what it is. However, one of the things we really liked about this cream is that you only need a dollop to cover your face, which is really small when compared with the others we tested. A little goes a long way!
It’s not oily, and it produces only a mild shine once it’s on. It holds up well against water, too, and doesn’t dry out your skin, nor does it give you a burning sensation after application.
So if price isn’t an issue, and you want a full-protection cream that smells nice, feels nice, and is easy to apply, the Lotus Professional is the choice for you.
Effective ingredients: Titanium dioxide, Thyme extract (Skin conditioning agent), Sage extract (reduce irritated skin, helps in purifying skin)
Second best sunscreen
The Lotus Herbals 70 came in second behind the Lotus Professional.
This physical type cream-based sunscreen is similar to the Professional, but with a slightly different colour, and a nice aroma. It provides broad spectrum protection, so you’re covered when you go out in the sun.
Much like the Professional, it’s smooth, and easy to apply. It only takes around 15 seconds to put on, and doesn’t leave you feeling sticky or greasy. It also features a long shelf life of three years.
You don’t need much to put on, either, using a similar amount of only half a tip to cover your whole face. It’s not oily and gives the skin a medium shine once absorbed.
Where it differs, though, is in its effects. It produces a slight whitening effect, which can tend to look a little artificial. Another key difference is in its ingredients—this cream includes benzoephedrine, a chemical that has been shown to cause irritation in some skin types, so we recommend removing this properly at the end of the day following application in order to avoid any allergies. At a steep price for a 60g tube, you’re getting more than the Professional, but for a higher cost.
Despite this, it’s very water-resistant. In fact, it’s paraben-free and provides a matte finish to the skin, so it acts well as a makeup base.
Effective ingredients: Titanium dioxide, Carrot extract(Anti-tan), Avocado extract (Soften, Smoothen and nourish skin).
Why trust us
Here at Hometop, we do the work of performing all the tests, crunching all the data, hammering out all the facts so you don’t have to spend a lot of time thinking about what to buy, or end up making a bad purchase that you have to return.
We’ve done the same to find the best sunscreen in India.
Before coming to the above conclusions we sifted through data on 165 sunscreens and their ingredients, and through a series of elimination tests we ended up with 11 products to choose from. Here’s how we selected the eleven best sunscreen lotions.
How we selected
We started with a substantial list of 165 sunscreens. Here we eliminated the products that contained any bad or harmful ingredients, listed in the box below.
Bad ingredients: Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, Retinyl Palmitate, Octocrylene, Paraben Preservatives, Octisalate, Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), Helioplex, Cinoxate, Homosalate.
We now had a list of 79 sunscreens that were free of any harmful ingredients. From here, we wanted to find which ones featured ingredients that are especially good for sun protection, or have properties that are particularly good for your skin.
Physical: Titanium dioxide (TiO2), Zinc oxide (ZnO).
Chemical: Avobenzone, Blackberry extract, Black tea.
Antioxidants: Acai Berries, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Astaxanthin, Beta Carotene, Bilberry, Blueberries, Co Q-10, Cucurmin, Cysteine, Ginko Biloba, Glutathione, Grape Seed Extract, Green Tea, Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2), Mangosteen, Melatonin, Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins (OPCs), Olive leaf, Polycosanol, Pychnogenol, Resveritrol, Selenium, Superoxide Dismutase (SOD), Turmeric, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E.
After looking for all these good ingredients we were left with 52 sunscreens.
From this list of 52, we removed any that did not have a significant number of reviews as they were not sufficiently tested by the market.
We then read through verified Amazon and Flipkart reviews for the remaining products and eliminated three that had bad reviews.
Two products were eliminated because they some reviews said they made your face look pale and one was eliminated because some users had received allergic reactions.
This left us with 11 best sunscreen lotions.
Biotique Bio Sandalwood 50+ SPF Sunscreen Ultra Soothing Face Lotion for All Skin Types Very Water-Resistant.
Jovees Water Resistant Sun Screen Fairness Lotion SPF-25.
Aroma Magic Cucumber Sun Screen Lotion.
Aroma Magic Aloe Vera Sun Screen Gel.
Aroma Magic Carrot Sun Screen Lotion.
VLCC Glow+ Sun Block Lotion SPF 20 PA++ With Sandalwood Extract Sun Defence.
Lakme Sun Expert SPF 50 PA Fairness UV Sunscreen Lotion.
La Shield La Shield Sunscreen Gel SPF 40, White.
Lotus Professional Phyto Rx Ultra Protect Sunblock SPF 70 PA+++.
Lotus Herbals Safe Sun Daily Multi-Function Sunblock SPF-70.
Lakme Sun Expert SPF 30 PA Fairness UV Sunscreen Lotion.
We bought and tested these remaining 11 to conduct a series of simple and quite interesting experiments, so we could land on a decision of what’s the best sunscreen for your skin.
Here’s how we did it.
How we tested
We tested each of our selected eleven products using a simple experiment that involves sun-sensitive paper. Now it is important to note that there were many variables we could not control and this is in no way a strictly controlled scientific experiment. But it's a good proxy.
We sourced 12 pieces of sun-sensitive paper and then attached it onto a sheet in a room away from the sun. Sun-sensitive paper is a kind of paper that turns dark blue when exposed to the sun's rays. It turns a pale whitish light blue when it successfully blocks the sun's rays.
Next, we labelled the sunscreens from 1 to 11 and applied four to five drops of each sunscreen lotion to the corresponding piece of sun-sensitive paper.
The sun-sensitive paper labelled 12 was left as it was, which we did so we could note the difference between this piece and the other sunscreen papers with sunscreen on them.
The papers were then left in direct sunlight for an hour. During this time we had a cup of chai and waited. At the end of this period we took each piece of paper and sprinkled it with water on both sides, then left it to dry for two hours.
When the papers were finally dry, we inspected all of them to find them in different shades of blue. The paper without any sunscreen had turned a complete shade of deep dark blue. The paper with our winner was almost a complete whitish pale blue!
The papers with the yellow borders are our best picks and the one with the blue border is the one without any sunscreen lotion on it.
This whitish pale blue were areas that the sunscreen had blocked UV rays, and the deep dark blue parts were areas where the sunscreen had let the UV rays through.
The sun sensitive paper which featured the most amount of white was paper number 9, which had been applied with Lotus Professional Phyto Rx Ultra Protect Sunblock SPF 70 PA+++.
Now that we knew which sunscreen was most efficient in blocking the sun we wanted to make sure they felt good on the skin and were comfortable to use.
We then tested each product by application, to see how the texture and consistency of each one felt. In this test, we captured the time it took for the sunscreen to settle on the skin, then checked to see if made the skin dry or oily. One of the key things we noted was whether it produces a pale look or whitening effect on the skin.
After 15 minutes we then washed our faces, to check whether the sunscreen lotion was water-resistant.
Our most important takeaway from these test is just how important it is that you use sunscreen to protect yourself against harmful UVA and UVB rays.
However, not all sunscreens are created equal, and can feature both good and bad ingredients—so be sure to check the ingredients when buying, and avoid ones with ingredients that can actively damage your skin.
From these ingredients, you can check whether you’re getting a physical or chemical sunscreen. Our pick is physical, and it provides a physical barrier against the sun’s rays. The ingredients you should be looking for are things like titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, as they’ve been proven to block more UV rays than other ingredients.
For our pick, you can’t go wrong with the Lotus Professional Phyto Rx Ultra Protect Sunblock SPF 70 PA+++. With a pleasant aroma of sage and thyme, and a smooth, non-greasy feel, this sunscreen gives you broad spectrum protection from the sun for several hours. It is the best sunscreen for men and women.
If you want all the effects of the Lotus Professional but with some added skincare properties, we recommend the Lotus Herbals Safe Sun Daily Multi-Function Sunblock SPF-70.
While both sunscreens do cost more than your average sunscreen, you’re getting a fantastic product for the price, and full comfort that you’re protected from the harsh rays of the sun. And after all, that’s what it’s all about.