I recently participated in a skincare-themed Q&A for k-beauty blog Very Kemi. When I was asked what skincare advice I would give my younger self, my answer came immediately: wear sunscreen! Although my skin does retain a hint of my Italian heritage and awards me with a decent tan at the end of summer holidays, I should’ve been more consistent with applying sunscreen in my teens and twenties, rather than rely on the typical excuses:
- I have a tan now, my skin is ‘protected’
- It’s cloudy, it’ll be fine
- I’m in England, the sun isn’t strong here
- I spend all day in an office, I must grab every opportunity to get my vitamin D intake up
Sound familiar? Thankfully the last 10 years or so have seen a move away from the tanned-at-all-costs look in preference for a radiant and sun kissed complexion. And with education around the dangers of tanning beds, celebration of the English rose complexion and more sophisticated fake tan options, the lobster look should be a thing of the past. Aesthetics aside, SPF is a key step in any skincare routine not just for its protection against harmful UV rays and the obvious sunburns, but because it lowers your risk of skin cancer (the most common form of cancer in the US). It also slows the development of signs of aging (think fine lines and uneven skin tone). Need any more convincing? If you’re not sure where to start or need to refresh your stock of sunscreen lotions, here are five recommendations.
It’s no secret that I’m a Caudalie fan, with their suncare and Vinoperfect ranges being my favourites. Last year I swore by their SPF50 Anti-Wrinkle face cream, and now with this SPF30 option I can switch between different SPF factors depending on the time of year. I would always start the summer with a high SPF50 cream to protect my sun-starved, emerging-from-darkest-winter skin, then as summer progresses and the sun rays become less aggressive, switch to SPF30. This light and creamy, non-sticky texture moisturises and soothes and consistently keeps my skin sunburn-free. 50ml RRP £18.00
I reviewed this suncare oil this time last year as a summer essential. Due to it being an oil I see this product as a great holiday option or to use at the height of summer, when a satin sheen on the skin looks glowing and healthy. The formula sinks quickly into skin so you can get dressed soon after application, and it’s alcohol-free so there’s no stinging sensation for sensitive skins. It also helps that it smells of summer – that tell-tale frangipani, coconut beachy scent that makes me want to whip out my flip flops every time I apply it. 150ml RRP £21.00
I love French pharmacy skincare for the no-nonsense, does-what-it-says-it’ll-do approach with the science to back it up. Which is probably why Caudalie is a regular feature on Fresh Beauty Fix, but I have to admit it’s only recently I’ve properly re-discovered Nuxe. Apart from its iconic Huile Prodigieuse I couldn’t name a single other product from the brand, and I was only vaguely aware that they offered suncare. Well it turns out they’ve got quite an extensive offering – 14 different products to be precise, ranging from facial sunscreen to tanning oils and after sun haircare. This super light water-resistant fluid sinks straight into skin and hydrates, protecting skin from dehydration thanks to Water Hyacinth extract and calming overheated skin thanks to Kau Pe Flower extract. 50ml RRP £18.50
Mineral sunscreens can be tricky: whereas chemical sunscreens penetrate the top layers of skin and absorb UV rays, mineral options form a barrier on the surface of the skin to reflect UV rays. typically resulting in a white ‘mask’ on skin and thicker textures that take a while to sink in. You’ll find children’s sunscreens are mineral rather than chemical as they can be more appropriate for sensitive skin. I regularly use my child’s sunscreen when we’re out and about to top up my SPF protection throughout the day, and haven’t been offended by the tell-tale white film, but admittedly on my face I tend to go for chemical versions. This Clinique sunscreen does take a little more rubbing into skin but I can’t say that I noticed a glaring white effect. It’s fragrance-free so although it has a slight hint of marzipan about it (which I’m very much in favour of and is much less obvious than other creams), if you tend to avoid fragranced bodycare, this one is for you. 125ml RRP £26.00
This is my preferred option for makeup days. It’s all about the texture: this super light milk to water essence is so lightweight and non-greasy, I can apply makeup straight after without it slipping off or looking shiny. Vegan, high protection SPF50 and non-comedogenic, this is my weekday city go-to, especially as it helps protect against pollution. And the added bonus? It contains vitamin C for a brighter more radiant complexion. The only negative point for me was the instant smell of alcohol when opening the tube, so anyone with sensitive skin may want to do a patch test first. 40ml RRP £18.00
What sunscreen do you trust and go back to time and again? Please leave a comment below to let me know.
Features gifted products.