24th July 2012

Which SPF?

The sun has finally got it’s hat on – but before you go outside to play, you have some covering up to do. The sun’s rays can be very harmful to your skin. The twin danger of UVA and UVB rays cause damage to the body which may lead to skin cancer and other serious complications later on. The sun is also known to be a key culprit in the degradation of collagen in the skin, which causes premature ageing.

Fight this by applying SPF protection daily (UV rays can penetrate clouds, so you really should apply it daily!), and making sure that you’re well covered up, hydrated and that you avoid the sun at the hottest part of the day.

Whether you have sensitive skin, oily skin, dry skin or skin that needs a little help with fighting ageing, we’ve put together some handy information and some product suggestions to make sure that you enjoy the sun safely…

Sensitive skin
It can be a nightmare trying to find products that will respect the sensitivity of ultra reactive skin.  Choosing appropriate SPF protection is particularly difficult, as the formulas can be thick and laden with many different ingredients. Opt for a streamlined formula such as the Ultrasun Ultra Sensitive Extreme Formula SPF50+, an air-light sunscreen that provides all-day, waterproof protection. The non-greasy, oil-free, perfume-free, emulsifier-free and preservative-free formula is contained in an airless pump dispenser which prevents the product from contamination.

If you know that chemical sunscreens are a cause of concern for your skin, then the Avène Very High Protection Mineral Cream SPF50+ will be right up your street. It uses mineral sun filters to shield the skin from UVA and UVB rays, and is excellent for both adults and children. It is protective, calming and nourishing, and will deeply moisturise without overburdening the skin.

 

Oily Skin
Formulas with an SPF in them tend to have a slightly greasier consistency, which isn’t ideal for those with oily skin. It’s easier than ever to find sunscreens specifically formulated to combat this, however, with plenty of products now catered to caring for oily skin in the sun. My favourite is the Vichy Capital Soleil Mattifying Face Fluid Dry Touch SPF50+, a lightweight fluid packed full of oily-absorbing silica microspheres that leave the skin feeling really fresh and soft to the touch.

If you’re looking for a foundation with SPF protection, look no further than the Clarins Ever Matte Foundation SPF15.  The balancing formula is made up of detoxing tanaka powder, regulating carthusian pink, and pore tightening chrysin, with a wealth of natural mineral filters and antioxidants. Compete protection and beautification in one simple step.

 

Dry skin
When it comes to selecting appropriate skincare for dry skin, SPF protection is often the last thing on your mind – you’re probably more concerned with the texture and nourishment that your cream is going to offer you. Those with dry skin may need to pay more attention than most to the ageing effects of UV rays, as their skin already has a depleted lipid count, which leads to fine lines. Fight premature ageing with the L’Occitane Shea Butter Ultra Moisturising Day Care SPF20, an intensely nourishing formula that is concentrated in emollient shea butter, and is made up of gentle mineral sun filters.

If you suffer from dry lips, then you’ll need a formula that won’t just add a layer of shine to your lips, but will actually tackle the source of the dryness for long-lasting protection. The Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm does just that, with a moisture-rich shea butter and avocado oil formula together with antioxidant green tea. Fragrance-free, colourant-free and with an SPF of 25, it’s the ultimate protection for lips.

 

Ageing Skin
Adequate sun protection is a big concern for those looking to preserve the quality of their skin, particularly those who are of an age where wrinkles and fine lines are becoming an issue. Using an SPF is only half of the battle – opt for products that aim to firm, tone and plump the skin, with some added antioxidant protection thrown in for good measure. A fantastic all-rounder is Trilogy Age Proof Daily Defence Moisturiser SPF15, a hard-working formula made up of moisture balancing hyaluronic acid and pure plant oils, together with photo stable sunscreens that absorb, scatter and reflectUV rays.

It’s not just the complexion that needs protecting from the sun – the hands are among the first places to show the effects of ageing. Dark spots, wrinkles and sallow skin are big concerns, the effects of which can be stalled with a good quality hand cream like the Clarins Age Control Hand Lotion SPF15. The easily absorbed cream softens, smoothes the skin and lightens the skin, and deeply moisturises for youthful looking hands.

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