If prevention is better than cure, why aren’t we investing in sun protection?
There’s no argument when it comes to sun protection: you’ve just got to wear it. Skin cancer aside, sun damage is the number one cause of premature skin ageing, responsible for hyper-pigmentation, collagen breakdown and wrinkles. Despite this, it’s often the last beauty product to get us excited. While we’re totally cool with stretching the budget for the latest ‘miracle’ face serum, it’s rare that a premium sun screen has us running to the shops.
The truth is, sun protection products don’t often feel luxurious. No one likes slathering on a claggy white cream and regular reapplication is more of a chore than a ritual. So we convince ourselves that we don’t need it, touting a host of excuses for skipping what is the most essential step in any skincare routine.But invest sensibly now and you’ll decrease the need for those expensive anti-ageing products later. Here, we bust every excuse in the beauty book and present some stellar sun products that will truly deliver on style and substance…
Whatever the weather, you need sunscreen. “UVA rays penetrate through clouds and even glass, damaging the DNA of the cells,” explains skincare expert Emma Hardie. So while we may not visibly burn on an overcast day, the damage is still occurring deeper down. Hardie created her Protect & Prime SPF 30 with everyday wear in mind. “We’ve made the formulation extra light, just like a daily skin lotion. The molecular structure of the cream is very small, so it can penetrate easily and doesn’t leave a chalky-white residue. We also made it smell delicious (most SPFs smell pretty awful in my opinion) and added high levels of antioxidants and oils, including Mica to create a blurring effect on the skin.”
Maybe, but not enough of it. This protection is usually a kind of ‘add on’ selling factor and shields only from UVB (visible burning) rather UVA (DNA damage). As Hardie explains, “UVB makes up only 5-10% of solar radiation which reaches the earth. Its high energy damages surface epidermal layers and causes sun burn. UVA accounts for between 90-95% and is present equally throughout the daylight hours and the seasons. It penetrates the deeper layers of the skin and results in tanning. Both types of rays are damaging and contribute to premature ageing.” So while your foundation may prevent that obvious rosy-cheeked glow, it won’t protect on a deeper level. Plus, wearing sunscreen on a daily basis makes you smell like holidays. Winner.
If your sun protection is giving you spots it’s not the SPF’s fault, you’re just wearing the wrong product. Dr Lens, skin-damage specialist and founder of Zelens, explains that the optimum factor is 30 because it offers adequate protection but won’t clog the skin like a factor 50 can. “SPF 50 is usually very unpleasant to wear and offers only 1% more protection against UVB compared to SPF 30 (98% versus 97%).” His new Body Defence sunscreen is the perfect choice for anyone who likes a little luxury. It’s a broad-spectrum SPF 30, so shields from both UVA and UVB, and has the texture of a glossy, silky oil. Infused with skin-nourishing lipids, vitamin E and grapeseed oil, it looks as amazing on as it feels and can be used on the face, body and even hair. With a finish this flawless, reapplication is no problem at all.
Ok, so when you’re out and about with a face slick with carefully applied make-up, it’s highly unlikely that you’re going to wipe it all off when it’s time to reapply sun protection. Here’s the solution: La Roche-Posay’s new Invisible Face Mist has an ultra-light formulation which offers broad-spectrum SPF 50 with a weightless feel. It doesn’t need to be rubbed in, so can be sprayed directly over makeup without disturbing foundation. Genius.
Yep, the biggest one of them all. Bad news for bronzing addicts: there is no such thing as a healthy tan. Tanning, sadly, is simply our skin’s reaction to sun damage. The good news is, Vita Liberata’s latest launch offers the best of both worlds. Marula Dry Oil is a revolutionary product combining eco-certified DHA tanning agents with broad-spectrum SPF 50. It’s a rich, shimmering oil that goes on with a subtle tint – so looks great from morning to night – and imparts a gradual, long-lasting tan. With a subtle coconut fragrance to boot, this is definitely one you’ll have to hide from your friends.