All you need to know about facial SPFs
Roasting on the beach and slapping on the sunscreen is an essential part of our holidays. But skin protection isn’t just for a week in Ibiza; UV rays are present even when it’s not sunny. So to really protect yourself, from cancer and premature ageing, you should be wearing a facial SPF – sun protection specially formulated for the face - all year round.
With 90 per cent of skin ageing reportedly caused by UV exposure, and penetrating UVA rays, which even travel through glass, wearing an SPF should be your first port of call in the fight against looking younger for longer.
Sunbathing is the obvious type of sun exposure we all guard against, but although it may be cloudy outside, you still need to protect yourself from the kind of casual daily exposure to ageing UVA light when out walking or shopping.
With moisturiser and make-up to factor in, it may seem like a lot of product to wear on your face. But the latest facial SPFs range from moisturisers with added protection to moisturising sunscreens so there’s something for everyone, especially those worried about breakouts. Here’s our guide to protecting yourself from premature crinkles, wrinkles and the Big C.
It’s got to have the SPF30 factor
Don’t go for anything less than SPF30 on your face. In general we don’t reach the factor stated on the packaging because we don’t apply enough product, and we rarely re-apply every two hours as recommended. In general most experts don’t think an SPF of 15 is high enough but moisturisers combined with sunscreen count as long as they have an SPF of 30 to 50.
Wear a proper sunscreen with a minimum SPF30 on a daily basis like Zelens Daily Defence Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30, or NeoStrata Sheer Physical Protection SPF50, a lightweight oil free sunscreen with SPF50.
Make your sunscreen work hard
Choose a moisturising sunscreen over a moisturiser with added SPF. Moisturising sunscreens are often better formulated, while moisturisers with sunscreen tend to weaken a lot over the course of the day, reducing much-needed protection. Foundations or BB creams with added SPF are also less effective, as we just don’t apply the amount needed for proper sun protection.
Moisturising sunscreen Bioderma Hydrabio Eau de Soin SPF 30 Moisturising Anti-UV Mist hydrates and protects the face from ageing. While Epionce Ultra Shield Lotion SPF50, is a lightweight cream which sinks in quickly without leaving an unflattering white cast or oily sheen, making it the perfect base for your make-up.
Apply sun protection before foundation
Sun protection should always go on just before foundation. And if you’re worried about breakouts, you needn’t be. There are plenty of new products available which are lighter, hydrating formulations that sink into the skin quickly and without leaving an oil slick behind. Look for products using terms such as “mattifying” or “dry-touch” to ensure your carefully made-up face doesn’t slide off during the day. SkinCeuticals Mineral Matte UV Defense SPF30 is a lightweight mousse that dries to a powder finish and is great to wear under make-up.
And if you suffer from acne or spots, look for a light, oil-free formula such as Physical Protectant by Jan Marini or Heliocare 360 Mineral SPF 50, or Anthelios XL Ultra Light Fluid SPF 50+ from La Roche-Posay, a non-greasy fluid that’s suitable for use on fair and sensitive skin.