How to Choose the Right Sunscreen

Baz Luhrmann released a song in 1999 called ‘The Sunscreen Song’. The song contained many great pieces of advice but the most important was the one in the title – wear sunscreen! I know I don’t need to tell you this, who wouldn’t wear sunscreen? The alternatives are awful – skin cancer, skin damage, premature aging – I don’t want to depress you, just make sure you wear sunscreen, ok?

What is required?

OK, lecture over. Now we have all agreed we need to wear as much sunscreen as possible, which are the best, where and when? It’s important to protect with a sunscreen that is “broad spectrum”, which means it protects against UVB and UVA rays. You also need to choose your SPF – Sun (or solar) Protection Factor. The SPF must be an absolute minimum of 15, but most dermatologists recommend SPF 30 or higher, all day, every day, everywhere that is exposed to the sun.
The general rule is that the fairer your hair, skin and eyes, the more at risk you are. Blondes, redheads and people with freckles need an SPF of 50. Any skin condition you might have also means protecting with 50 or higher. Then there are waterproof sunscreens, which will protect you whilst swimming or sweating, but must be reapplied every 40 – 80 minutes as they do stop working after this time.
One of the most awesome, glamourous ways to protect against the sun is by wearing a hat and sunglasses, which also makes you look like a mysterious movie star – bonus!

So many products, which is better?

So, there are so many sunscreen products out there – so many different textures – which one is best? Well, contrary to popular belief, the texture does not seriously affect the SPF qualities in most cases, and is more a case of preference. I know I dislike heavy creams as they make we sweat and feel uncomfortable, but there are many excellent alternatives – sprays, oils, mists, milks, creams and sticks. So, lucky for us, the choice is there and we can get protected with products that suit us!
I don’t want to take any chances so I like an SPF 50, such as Natura Bisse Diamond White Oil-Free Brilliant Sun Protection Broad Spectrum SPF50 / PA+++. It contains the depigmentation action of Pomegranate Extract and protects against UVA/UVB rays. It delivers great luminosity and leaves skin velvety to the touch. You can use this under your makeup or on its own and it is powerful enough to use on a sunny day out to the beach. 

Double up on your cover

Being beautiful girls, we all know that many of our makeup and skincare products already contain an SPF. Our moisturisers, foundations and powders often contain an SPF factor. So, is this enough? According to those dermatologists again, the answer is “not really”. We should be wearing an additional SPF other than that contained in our makeup and moisturiser. The best way, is to apply your SPF first, under your foundation. It is a good idea to let it settle for a few minutes before applying foundation. We also need to remember to apply the sunscreen to places we don’t wear foundation – such as ears and the front and back of our neck. Then there are arms and hands as well that can be easily forgotten.
Yes, let’s not forget the rest of the body! Especially as we wear skimpy summer fashions in the heat! I love Exuviance Multi-Protective Day Creme with Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF20. It is a body butter that gives your skin a refined texture, is anti-aging and soothing and makes the skin on my body look healthy and glowy, while protecting. But if outdoors it needs to be re applied every two hours. 

So, look up the sunscreen song, heed all the great advice but most of all – wear sunscreen!

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