Now that we are well into UK summer time(ish…sort of…), it is time to talk SPF! The choice each year in beauty stores and pharmacies is enough to make your head spin, but there are some good guides out there whatever your needs or budget, recommending products from high street to luxury. (Check out my favourites from Caroline Hirons here and here and Lisa Eldridge here and here)
It is high time to dig up the remains of last years sunscreen from the depth of your bathroom cupboard and give it a boot. Yes, they do degrade, they are not much use to you anymore, so stock up with fresh ones. This year I decided to go mostly high street and splash the cash on retinol, acids and skin boosters. Here’s what I got:
La Roche-Posay Anthelios AC SPF 30 Fluid (Anti-shine)
I am a big fan of French pharmacy brands, they will always be staples of skin care routine one way or another they are high performing products at a very affordable price, so what’s not to love. It’s hard to beat LRP when it comes to sunscreen. This lightweight, non-greasy fluid is very comfortable to wear and it provides protection from both UVA and UVB rays. I am not particularly oily, but SPF makes me really shiny all over so this anti-shine formula will do for me and my boyfriend too who has an aversion to anything greasy on his face.
La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL SPF50+ Invisible Nutrive Oil
I don’t like heavy sun creams, so this lightweight body oil is perfect, easy to use, non-greasy. It helps to protect against sun-induced pigment spots and provides protection from UVA/UVB rays.
Nivea Sun Protect SPF 30
Up until recently, I haven’t given much thought to wear sunscreen on my lips, this year I thought I give it a try. I went for a classic Nivea stick with SPF 30. This is a very decent lip moisturiser and it is enriched with antioxidants like Vitamin E and Sun Flower extract that is a bonus. It is creamy on the lips and doesn’t feel heavy at all. I will definitely keep this as part of my routine in the future.
It’s hard to find a place for your SPF when you’re out and about on a normal day: What formulation should I go for? Should I use sunscreen as the moisturiser? Primer? Should I get it from make-up? How and when to re-apply? I burn quite easily even if I just take a short shopping trip to Brighton centre, so it took time to experiment what to use because I don’t like layering too many products. Now if I’m just out for a shorter period of time I get my SPF from my make-up. Bobbi Brown’s BB Cream with antioxidants and an SPF 35 has worked for me for the last two years. It has decent coverage and stays on well. Re-applying sunscreen is always hard and not sure how many people can be bothered when not on holiday, but it’s very important. Since Bioderma recently came out with their Hydrabio Eau de Soin SPF 30 spray, it is so much easier. This handy 50ml spray bottle is a perfect city companion. Just a quick spritz or two over your make-up a bit before you’re going out, job done. La Roche-Posay is coming out with a similar spray in SPF 50 soon, I cannot wait to try it! If you don’t want to resort to a spray try the Peter Thomas Roth powders with SPF 45 and touch up your makeup with that. It is perfect when you’re in and out of the office during the day.
This Liz Earle Aftersun Gel was a gift and thought I add it to this post. Now let me stress first and foremost, wearing SPF and preventing sun damage is the most important thing we all should do. Ideally you wouldn’t need the healing powers of aloe. If you do, that is not great news for your skin. However if by accident you get a little burn or just want to give a quick hydration fix to your skin after sun exposure, this lightweight cooling gel with aloe, cucumber and vitamin E is just a lovely addition to your routine. I used it on my body only so far, and followed it with a rich body moisturiser.
(originally published 28/06/2016)