Expert of the Month: Paul Banwell FRCS on Safe Summer Suncare


Mr Paul Banwell FRCS (Plast) is a fully-accredited Consultant Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeon and expert in skin cancer, skin care and anti-ageing.  As well as his cosmetic surgery work he is also Head of the Melanoma and Skin Cancer Unit in East Grinstead. Paul helps and treats patients with skin cancer and unwanted moles and performs regular mole checks. Here, he gives us his top 5 tips to keep safe in the sun this summer.
1.  Get your Daily Dose of SPF
Through education we are all becoming more sun-aware, but unfortunately the incidence of skin cancer is still rising (this has doubled over the last five to ten years).  My recommendation is to use a sun protection factor of 30+ when out in the sun.  Whilst it is good to get some rays, be sensible and safe – the crucial thing is not to burn. Sun beds are a big no-no too, so don’t be tempted to top up that tan!!!  Vichy Capital Soleil Milk Skin Cell Sun Protection SPF50+, £18.50 is a good sun care product for the body,  and La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL SPF50+ Stick  for Lips, £15.00 is fantastic for protecting the often neglected delicate lip area.

2.   Don’t Bake It – Fake It
If you are really keen for a golden tan, I am a big fan of self tanners. With such a brilliant range of products out there there is no excuse not to fake your way to a gorgeous bronzed body.  There is even some scientific evidence to suggest that the Chromophores in these products help guard against the damaging effects from visible and ultraviolet light. He Shi, St Tropez, Lancaster Sun and Clarins all have award-winning self tanning products.  However, do remember they are not a substitute for SPFs. For a good dual action tanner with protection, my top pick is the new DIOR Bronze Beautifying Protective Suncare Body Tube SPF30, £22.85, as it gives you ample protection whilst allowing you to develop a longer-lasting tan.

3.  Quench & Drench Inside & Out
Skin hydration is key for the hot summer months.  Rehydrate on the inside by drinking plenty of water (great for your skin) and drench skin on the outside with a good facial spritz such as Avene Thermale Spring Water Spray from £3.03, La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water Spray £7.50, or Vichy Purete Thermale Spa Water Spray £7.50.

4.   It’s OK to Be a Diva!
Your choice of sunnies is not only important in the fashion stakes but also for the health of your eyes.  By choosing sunglasses with decent UV filters in the lens you can help protect your eyes from skin cancer.  Rates of skin cancer around the eyes are increasing, so sport shades at every outdoor opportunity.

5.  Face Facts
You should always use a facial SPF, even when you are not actively sunbathing.  Your face is the most exposed area of your body and even being out in the sun for even half an hour shopping, walking or dashing to your next meeting leaves your skin at risk of the effects of dangerous UVB rays. Remember – SPFs are not only for protection against the sun, they are anti-ageing too!  I recommend Clarins Sun Wrinkle Control Cream For Face Very High Protection UVB 50+, £13.60 and Vichy Capital Soleil Cream Face SPF50+, £14.50.

Take a look at all of our sun products right here at, from fake tanners to sun protection.

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