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Stiftung Warentest: This is the best day cream with a sun protection factor

Anastasiia Ostapovych / Unsplash

It is one of the greatest dangers for the skin: sun. UV radiation can not only cause skin problems such as premature aging or pigment spots, but in the worst case it can even lead to serious diseases such as skin cancer. For this reason, dermatologists recommend that we apply sunscreen every day, regardless of the weather. Fortunately, there are now numerous day creams that offer an integrated sun protection factor (SPF). But what are these 2-in-1 products good for? Stiftung Warentest investigated this question.

Stiftung Warentest tests day creams with a sun protection factor

For the March edition of the “Test” magazine (2021), the consumer organization tested eleven different day creams with a declared sun protection factor. As part of the test, the following aspects of the creams, among others, were examined in more detail: their moisture enrichment, their use and skin feel, their UV protection, their microbiological quality, their packaging and their advertising messages.

Test winner at Stiftung Warentest: This is the best day cream with UV protection

Balea moisturizing day cream – 1.95 euros at DM

The sobering result of the test: only four of the eleven tested day creams were rated “good”. Two more were at least satisfactory, while five of the creams with an overall grade of “unsatisfactory” failed the test. Overall, the moisturizing day cream from Balea performed best (grade: 1.8, corresponds to “good”) – although it is significantly cheaper than the competition. It is available from around 4.00 euros per 100 milliliters, while some of the deficient creams cost up to 100.00 euros per 100 milliliters. You can read which day creams Stiftung Warentest recommends in addition to the test winner in the March issue of “Test” magazine (2021).

Why the moisturizing day cream from Balea was chosen as the test winner

How did the Balea cream prevail against the competition from premium brands such as Estée Lauder, Vichy or Shiseido? Their protection against UV radiation, their microbiological quality and compliance with the advertising statements (sub-rating “very good”) were particularly praised. In particular, the inadequate UV protection caused bad test results for the failed creams. The fact that the Balea cream was rated “very good” on this point is a real quality feature. In addition, there are also positive results with regard to the moisture enrichment, the skin feel and the packaging of the day cream, which were each rated “good” by the experts from Stiftung Warentest.

What else you should know about Balea day cream

  • Price: from 1.95 euros (50 milliliters)
  • Sun protection factor 15
  • Normal to combination skin
  • Vegan
  • Contains perfume and preservatives
  • Free from microplastics
  • Available from DM and Amazon *

These 5 day creams with SPF failed the test

  • Cerave moisturizing face cream
  • Estée Lauder Daywear Antioxidant 72H-Hydration Sorbet Cream
  • Isana Glow & Shine Daycream & Primer
  • Shiseido Essential Energy Day Emulsion
  • Vichy Aqualia Thermal moisturizing care with UV protection

Disclaimer: We’re looking for products for you that we think you’ll like. The selection is subjective, but editorially independent. We have affiliate partnerships, which means that if you make a purchase using a link marked with an asterisk, we receive a small commission. Our recommendations and the selection of products are not influenced by this. The content is also independent of our advertising marketing. You can find our guidelines for journalistic independence here:


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