Lifestyle & Recipes

Health and beauty: Essential sun care

A lot of things get branded ‘essential’ these days. Most aren’t, but sun protection is.  A bit of sun is great for your skin and your spirits, and the right products can help you to enjoy it without negative side-effects.

How we age is largely determined by our genes. But, once you’ve been dealt your genetic hand, the rest of skin aging comes down to how you look at what you’ve been given. One sure way to speed up premature aging is those low factor, dedicated-to-tanning holidays that I took in my early 20s.  As my skin has matured, so has my approach to sun protection. Here are the products I trust, tried and tested at the end of last month in (sometimes) sunny Pembrokeshire.

1. Eucerin Sun Fluid Anti-Age SPF30 to face

High factor face creams can coat you with a thin layer of white. Not this little beauty. It combines outstanding UVA and UVB protection with Hyaluronic Acid (a moisturizing active that supports skin’s own ability to bind in water) to prevent dryness and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. It also contains Licochalcone A (an extract of Liquorice root), an antioxidant which works against free radicals to reduce inflammation and redness.

Eucerin Sun Fluid Anti-Age (£20 for 50ml) comes from the same research labs as Nivea which remains my favorite brand for family sun care, not least because their regular packaging innovations help to take the sting out of applying cream to kids. This year’s family favorite is the Nivea Sun Kids roll on 50+ (£7.99 for 50ml).

2. Clarins Sun Care Oil Spray SPF30 for body and hair

All the feel-good factor of an oil with no compromise on UVA and UVB protection.  This dry oil (£21 for 150ml) glides onto skin, doesn’t feel remotely greasy and smells like sunshine in a bottle − at once both fruity and woody. Rich in all the plant extracts we’ve come to expect from Clarins, it promises to reinforce skin’s natural defenses with nourishing Omega 6 and 9 fatty acids and Senna which helps to protect cellular DNA from the effects of UV rays.

If you prefer a cream texture try Sun Care Cream SPF20 or 30 (£21 for 150ml) or for a lotion try Sun Care Milk-Lotion Spray SPF20 or 50+ (£21 for 150ml). There’s a comprehensive range of different textures and SPF for the face too.

3. Clinique virtu-oil body mist SPF30

The latest addition to the fabulous Clinique sun care range is virtu-oil body mist SPF30 (£25 for 144ml). Another non-greasy, dry body oil, it comes with a no-mess chemical filter approach to UVA and UVB protection and an instant zingy and cooling effect which takes me back to days when I used their Clarifying Lotion to help wake me up in the morning.

Pair this one with Clinique’s new anti-wrinkle face cream SPF30 (£18 for 50ml) which combines robust filters with antioxidants such as Cucumber Fruit Extract and Vitamin E to strengthen and repair skin’s barrier function and protect against environmental aggressors such as pollution.

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