As I write this column, it’s June in London and the rain is cascading down my windows like a British version of Niagara Falls. Summer in the UK is the most unpredictable of seasons. Don’t even bother packing away your winter wardrobe, you’ll probably need it in July! However, whatever the weather, there is one thing that you should consistently have in your skin care routine, SPF. Yes, my friends, this is not just a holiday product. The skin damaging UVA and UVB rays aren’t afraid of stormy skies. They are always there, which is why we should always protect our skin, whatever the weather. So, I have put together my top sun protection tips and my favourite SPF’s to date.
The Difference Between UVA and UVB
Sunlight is made up of these two harmful rays. UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin, causing skin damage. UVB rays damage the superficial layers of your skin causing sunburn. SPF (sun protection factor), measures the amount of protection you get from the sun’s UVB rays. The higher the number, the more protection you get. This is why, I always use an SPF 50 and would never consider choosing an SPF below 30. You may tan quicker with a lower SPF, but you are also more likely to burn and cause long term damage to your skin.
The Best Time To Apply
Apply your sun cream after your skin care and before your makeup. You should re apply at least every two hours when you’re in the sun. And always after swimming.
SPF In Your Makeup
Most base products now include an SPF. Do not rely on these. Yes, they have an SPF, but they also have a lot of other ingredients in them that won’t protect you from the sun. You tend to have to apply 14 times more makeup to get the effects of an actual SPF. That’s one heavy foundation!
Areas To Remember
Your lips and ears usually get forgotten about when applying sun cream. The skin on both these areas are extremely thin so they’re prone to burning – fast. A separate SPF lip balm is a must to help prevent dryness and dreaded cold sores.
My Firm Favourites:
There are so many amazing sunscreens out there these days, but here are some of my all-time faves that I return to time and time again…
Kate Somerville UncompliKated SPF50
This product is genius. It’s a setting spray and an SPF in one. It’s perfect for topping up your protection throughout the day. It’s super lightweight, leaves no residue and helps to keep your makeup in place. This is a kit essential for me. I always wear a liquid SPF under my makeup, but this is fab for on the go.
Piz Buin Allergy Lotion SPF50+
Developed for sensitive skin, this suncream is super moisturizing as well as having very high protection. A reliable option if you’re unsure on your skin type.
La Roche Posay Anthelios SPF50
This product was specifically developed for sensitive skin. It is seriously light weight and non-greasy. It works beautifully alone or under your makeup.
Ultra-Sun 50+ Tinted Face Sun Cream
This brand is one of my go-to’s. I once swam in Lake Geneva in a relay for over 30 hours and I didn’t burn once because I used their Sport SPF. This tinted face version is gorgeous. It’s basically an SPF and a tinted moisturiser. Meaning you can avoid foundation on your holidays and still have even, bronzed looking skin. I tend to wear this throughout summer.
Vichy Ideal Soleil Mattifying Face Dry Touch Sun Cream SPF50
This product is amazing if you have oily skin. Not only does it have a high spectrum of SPF, it also removes any excess oil on your skin.
Kiehls Activated Sun Protector SPF50
This is an amazing water light lotion for your face and body. Not only does it have a broad spectrum, it also feels refreshing and cooling on the skin which is a real treat in the sun.
It’s never too late to start including an SPF into your skincare routine. The difference it can make to your complexion is remarkable. So, give it a go. You can thank me when you get mistaken for someone 10 years younger :)
Love & Lipstick,