Less than half of us use sun cream daily and yet experts agree it's the most important step we can take to protect our skin from damage. Could Dr Sam Bunting's new Flawless Gossamer SPF change your habit?
The reason why we get excited about anything new from GTG expert and top dermatologist Dr Sam Bunting is that we know that it's what real women with real skin issues have been asking for. Following on from her recently-launched day serum Flawless Brightly comes a new daily sun protection cream Flawless Gossamer SPF 50, £33.
In a poll of more than 450 women on Dr Sam's Skincare Club Facebook group, less than half said they stuck to a daily SPF habit. "There’s clearly a problem," says Sam. "Sunscreen is the one anti-ageing product everyone should be using on a daily basis. It’s now proven to not only prevent future premature ageing but to actually improve existing wrinkles, pigmentation and texture. Because it turns out if you free skin up from the ‘distraction’ of needing to protect itself from UV rays, it gets down to the business of repair."
When she asked the women what type of sunscreen they preferred, mineral filters (ie a natural physical sun barrier from zinc oxide and titanium oxide rather than a chemical one) came out top. "I had to listen to that feedback," she says. The drawback to mineral sunscreen is that it can look a bit 'cross-channel swimmer' with an unsightly white cast that's particularly ashy for darker skin tones. It can also be sticky and pore-clogging. Dr Sam challenged herself to make something lightweight that overcame all these issues, to help us stick to the SPF habit year-round.
What does Dr Sam's Flawless Gossamer SPF 50 look and feel like?
Flawless Gossamer comes in two tints: 01 and 02. I have quite fair skin with the residue of a tan so 02 is working well on me right now. I'll be asking my colleagues with darker skin to give their verdict though too. I'm impressed with how sheer it is – it goes on in a veil-like way and made a great base for my makeup. I like Dr Sam's existing Flawless Daily Sunscreen SPF 50 in her basics range, but it's in the thicker side and not something I'd wear in winter. The Flawless Gossamer goes on over moisturiser (although see below for dosing) and under makeup and does indeed create a habit that's easy to stick to.
How much should you apply?
A lot! As with any sunscreen, you need about half a teaspoon for the face to get the coverage level promised on the packet. Dr Sam says "six pumps for the face, the rule for any SPF" after moisturiser but before foundation. I did have to spend more than my usual time working it in but it does sit very nicely when you make the effort. If the tint shade is right for you, you likely won't need foundation, perhaps a little powder to set.
The moisturiser you put underneath it is key, however. I would avoid anything with silicone (dimethicone) which can create pilling when you work in other skincare on top. If I'm honest, I won't be putting this much on every day. I'm happy with a couple of pumps for less protection in winter, although it's an I important consideration when you're in stronger sunlight.
What's in the formula?
Dr Sam mission was to create mineral sunscreen that looked like a glowy 'second skin' and that didn't trigger breakouts.
Alongside the mineral sun filters (11.8 per cent zinc oxide, four per cent titanium dioxide) for braod spectrum UVA and SPF 50 protection, the formula has three moisturising and hydrating powerhouses: shea butter, sodium hyaluronate (hyaluronic acid) and squalane .
Our verdict: a great daily sunscreen especially for winter that goes well with makeup. Just remember to use enough!