If you’re like me and you’re in your twenties, anti-ageing may not be top of your list. But, seeing as you clicked this edit, it may be playing on your mind (like it is mine). First off, don’t go wasting your money on a fancy anti-ageing cream if you haven’t got the basics down yet.
It’s important to remember that in our twenties, the skin is still in the early stage of ageing where wrinkles and fine lines can be prevented with the use of SPF and protective formulas.
Our genetics are out of our control, yes – however, our lifestyle, diet and skincare are not. The modern world presents a whole host of environmental factors that all have a hand in our skin’s ageing process; whether that’s blue light from too much scrolling or binge-watching our favourite Netflix series, pollution in the city or UV rays from the sun.
With all this to consider, it can be tricky to find a product that does it all, while being suitable for your skin type. So, for this edit, I’ve selected a variety of my favourite high-performance protective formulas that help shield your skin, while suiting a multitude of lifestyles and preferences.
#1 For Everyone (Even the Eco-Conscious)
Your skin is faced with so many ageing factors every day, but the main culprit for premature skin ageing are UVA rays; not all SPFs will protect you against them. If you’re looking for protection, you need to get a formula with either broad spectrum or a high PA, because in short, they are the same thing (they both contain a high level of UVA protection); plus the higher the factor rating, the better – ideally, SPF50 or PA++++.
Skin type: All skin types, especially sensitive and acne-prone skin.
• Broad Spectrum (UVA and UVB rays)
• Blue light (HEV rays)
• Anti-ageing enzyme: ectoinan
• 100% natural ingredients
• 100% Mineral filters
If you’re looking for an eco-friendly sunscreen that protects marine biodiversity; delivers high protection against infrared light and blocks out 98% UVA rays, then look no further than Ultrasun Ultra-Light Mineral SPF50. Your new best friend if premature ageing is your main skin concern; the ultra-light cream contains an innovative anti-ageing enzyme, named ectoinan that smooths and reduces wrinkles caused by UV induced stress (i.e. natural light). And, did you know that it’s made from all-natural ingredients and mineral filters? So, there’s no chance of irritating sensitive and blemish-prone skin types either. How it wears is another bonus; it’s so comfortable, I barely notice I’m wearing this sun cream because it’s so light, considering it’s a high protection SPF50. Honestly, I can’t sing it praises enough, with no white cast and pilling to speak of, it is exceptional in every aspect of its formulation.
#2 For the City-Based Commuter
As I explained above, one of your skin’s main causes of ageing is harmful UVA rays, and not all SPFs formula protects you against them. So, when you’re shopping for a sun cream that fights signs of premature ageing, an SPF with high PA or broad-spectrum rating should be at the top of your list. Some of you may avoid wearing SPF protection because of common problems like makeup pilling, shine and white cast. What if I told you that you didn’t worry about these things anymore, and your makeup could still look flawless while being protected? Read on, to find out…
Skin type: Normal, dry, oily and combination
• Broad Spectrum (UVA and UVB rays)
• Blue light (HEV rays)
• Moderate PA of 2
• Light to medium coverage
• Lightweight formula
• 24-hour hydration
• 24-hour wear (looks great after 10 hours)
GIVENCHY Couture City Balm combines the best of both worlds with a broad spectrum SPF 25, moderate PA++ with a flawless foundation formula, and the result is a modern feat of beauty technology as far as I’m concerned. Not only is your skin protected against ageing UVA rays, but the effects of urban free radicals like pollution and blue light from your digital devices. The around the clock care doesn’t end there! It’s packed with hyaluronic acid for 24 hours hydration and a formula that is waterproof to boot.
Aside from the extensive list of skin-protecting benefits, the creamy coverage is just as impressive; it has flawless high-performance sheer coverage that is also buildable. With balm in the name, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was a thick consistency, but the texture is nothing like this. The thin creamy consistency feels light on my skin and the finish looks like my skin but better. City Balm works well as a natural day foundation, ensuring my skin is protected for my 8+ hours of screen time when I’m working from home.
Don’t take my word for it, see why team member, Elisabeth considers it one of her makeup staples, here
#3 For the Night-Time Instagram Scroller
The digital age is well and truly here, and while that comes with the benefits of fast internet and incredible technology, it poses new challenges for our skincare. Although you’d be 100% right in using a high UVA SPF every day to protect yourself against premature ageing, there’s another ray you may not be aware of that can get to you in your house and even just as you go to sleep. HEV rays – produced by your TV, computer and mobile can lead collagen to breakdown causing skin elasticity and firmness (none of which you want), and while these types of effects may not be visible now, they will show in later life.
Skin type: All skin types
• Blue Light (HEV rays)
• Doesn’t contain UV protection
One way to reduce the effects is to limit our screen time, but for most of us who sit in front of a screen at work or use it to chill out, it’s not an option. That’s where NIOD Survival 0 comes in, and in terms of anti-ageing, this serum does wonders. Different to your regular serum, it’s designed to be used before bed and doesn’t contain protection against UVA and UVB rays (you don’t need it in the evening because there is no natural light). Instead, it tackles a new set of ageing free radicals present in home life such as cleaning chemicals, stress, cigarette smoke, pollution, infrared and of course, blue light from double screening sessions on your mobile device and TV.
But that’s not to say you can’t use it in the day; I like to double up, applying this in the evening to fight my midnight Instagram scrolling, and in the day alongside my, every day SPF50 to ensure my skin is also protected against environmental damage.
Note: Want the benefits of this serum and SPF protection all in one? The NIOD Survival collection also features a variety of SPF factors for use in the day time.
Confused by any of the suncare terms in this edit?
Read our full guide for all the answers here.