We’re having a much needed heatwave here in the UK. I can’t remember the weather being this consistently good for years and years! It makes such a difference – people in the centre of London today seemed happy and relaxed. So relaxed, that of 11 of us sitting in an underground carriage this afternoon, 6 were asleep! I do vividly remember a summer a few years ago that was nothing but rain, week after week. It’s hardly a surprise that at the first opportunity to see some sun, everybody heads straight outdoors.
30 degree heat in the UK should be treated with the same respect as it would be abroad. Sunscreen seems to be overlooked by some people, and it’s important that it isn’t. I said to a friend the other day ‘I think you’ve burnt’, he replied ‘I was trying to, I haven’t seen the sun in months, it will turn into good colour.’ Yes it will, after you’ve damaged your skin irreversibly in the process.
You can still tan through sunscreen. In fact if your skin is skin that is meant to tan, it WILL still tan through sunscreen.
Another thing that people seem to struggle to grasp – some people will not tan – people with darker skin that tans easily have a higher level of melanin. If your level is low in the skin and you are pale – the amount of melanin that you do have may not be adequate to protect you- which results in burning. You are also at a higher risk of skin cancer if you aren’t respectful to a fair skin type – your skin isn’t as capable of protecting itself from damage as the melanin level is too low. I heard one girl telling people that she used to be as fair as you can possibly be, but one time she went away – got burnt – and has tanned beautifully ever since! No, sorry, that scientifically does not happen.
Sometimes a healthy glow, is just quite simply sun damage.
I am a sunscreen advocate. I have been using sun protection on my face ever since I was 14 years old – every single day. It may sound bizarre, but come rain or shine, I am using SPF.
UV rays hit us daily – whenever it is light. UVA rays, I think of as the ‘ageing’ rays. UVB rays, are the ‘burning’ rays. With the current heat wave we need to particularly protect from UVB rays, however we constantly need to protect from the ever present UVA rays.
Think of UV rays entering the skin in the same way money enters a piggy bank. If ever single day we put 10 pence into it – which feels like nothing – by the end of the year we have £36.50. By the end of 10 years those small 10 pence pieces have become nearly £400- something noticeable and significant. That’s how the skin ages – when day after day we let in those little bits of UVA daylight.
Of course not everyone will want to follow my daily, steadfast protection rule! People may find it extreme and unnecessary, but just to really stress this, I wouldn’t even do a quick dog walk or run to the supermarket without it on!
As for sunbeds – they are just a huge no for me. 90% of sunbeds in the UK have unsafe levels of UV. If you’re pale, just don’t do it to yourself. You are never going to tan on the sunbed like your dark skinned friend who recommended that you try it.
A recent Australian study, conducted over 4 years of 900 adults, found that those who applied SPF15 at least once daily – as opposed to those who used sunscreen whenever they felt the need, saw 24% less skin ageing.
Sun Tip – You have to put enough of a product on to get it’s full SPF value. If you are relying on SPF in your foundation – how heavy a layer do you/can you really apply??
SPF 15 is the minimum protection that dermatologists recommend. Always be generous with the amount you use. Reapply as necessary -particularly when sunbathing – swimmimg and sweating. Look for the UVA star rating on the back of sunscreen bottles. Boots’ Soltan range for example has 5 stars.
Sun Fact – 60%-80% of UVA Rays pass through the clouds, 50% pass through window glass
The Hot List –
Here are some of my favourite face products with sun protection.
Some are heavier than others, some have more protection than others, but over time I have used all of these –
1) ARK Anti Ageing Skin Protector Primer SPF 30
Oh this is just gorgeous. Extremely light- I apply in the mornings over my moisturiser. Contains Vitamin E, Shea Butter and extracts of Sunflower, Mimosa, and Jojoba. This is an extremely trustworthy product, and ideal for those who don’t light the weight of sunscreen. It’s also the perfect make up primer and you can get 15% off using the code SUSIE15 as I’ve talked about the range so much I’m now an ambassador!
2) Clinique Super City Block SPF 40
Clinique’s City Block was the first sunscreen I ever used as daily face protection- from 14 years old! I think the first version that I had was SPF15- these days I use both their SPF25 and SPF40. Apply over moisturiser in the morning.
3) Clarins Wrinkle Control Cream for Face SPF 50
I use this when I am actually sitting out in direct sunlight – particularly on holiday. I wouldn’t particularly put this underneath make-up as it is a little heavier, I think of it more as a sunscreen.
4) Dermalogica Dynamic Skin Recovery SPF30
I’m crazy about this moisturiser. My skin looks so healthy when I use it. It is moisturising but not heavy on the skin. Use as your day cream. It’s part of their age smart range, so if you are a 14 year old – as I was – go for a different option.
5) Skinceuticals Sheer Mineral Defense SPF50
For serious protection – this formula is paraben free – and mattes the skin – for those who hate to shine. It is the best mineral sunscreen on the market. It dries quickly, and is extremely reliable. Ideal sunscreen for after face peels or laser.
6) Eucerin Even Brighter Day Cream SPF30
I tried this product originally as part of a sponsored post, and I can’t tell you how many people I have since recommended it to! It targets pigmentation, and uneven skin, whilst protecting from further damage with SPF30. If you just want one reliable skincare step to moisturise and protect all year round, try this.
7) Dermalogica Daily Defense Block SPF15
This moisturiser that I used for years, was designed for men, but loved by both sexes. Anyone male looking for some daily protection, that is non-greasy or chalky, give this a go. Don’t forget to apply to ears and the back of the neck, as well as the face.
8) Shu Uemura UV Under Base Mousse
This is in the kit of most make-up artists. It’s completely lightweight, it preps the skin for make up, and offers SPF30. There are lots of Shu Primer Mousse’s available – BB versions that conceal, pink toned, brightening, limited edition packaging. Love this light as air formula – although I worry I haven’t spread it evenly or generously enough.
9) Dermalogica Clean Start Matte/Brightening SPF15
Dermalogica’s Clean Start range has been designed for younger skin, or for those who don’t enjoy heavy products. This range is ideal for teenagers. I used the Clean Start ‘Brighten Up SPF15’ today, it has a slight tint. I love it, and I am no teenager!! I wish it had been around when I was younger.
10) Superdrug Vitamin E SPF15 Radiance Moisture Cream
I use this as my handbag, back up cream. I may apply it to the back of my hands during the day. Or top up my face with it. Or I dab it over make up later in the day, for a bright refreshed look. There is a ‘non radiance’ plain SPF 15 version in this range that comes in a tub. It has been out of stock for months, I see that it is now back on their website. Free delivery on all orders until 31st July.
11) Dermalogica SkinPerfect Primer SPF30
I wrote a post about this incredible velvet primer recently. It preps the skin for make up – or creates a lovely even base if you don’t want to wear make up. contains Hydrolysed pearl powder evens out the texture of the skin and significantly improves its overall appearance. It has a neutral tint that is suitable for all skins. This smooth velvet texture is my very favourite. Read my post on this product HERE.
Have a lovely few weeks in the sun – and remember to… wear yo’ sunscreen!!!!