According to Clinique’s Guiding Dermatologist Dr David Orentreich, the sun is responsible for as much as 80% of skin ageing. A fact, if we’re honest, we kind of knew, and one that has been proven in this week’s news . So why don’t we all use sunscreen everyday?
One word: texture. Gloopy, sticky, suffocating. About as appealing as coating your face in Cookeen. Well, NOT ANYMORE. Like Posh’s wardrobe and mobile phones, they’ve had a gigantic overhaul. Thanks to million-dollar investment, UV shield systems now contain NASA level wizardry that makes them more efficacious than ever. Not only that, but “Patented revolutionary technology has made zinc oxide transparent,” says Mr Paul Banwell, leading UK plastic surgeon and sun expert, which mean sunscreen is “much more appealing” as products look invisible and feel lightweight.
In other news, there’s been a breakthrough on blotchiness. Scientists have now identified the existence of long UVA rays (penetrating deeper than standard UVA). These rays are thought to be “responsible for over 90% of skin reactions” says Soltan sun care expert and scientist Clare O'Connor, so Boots and Garnier have counteracted them with face-friendly filters, meaning less burning, breakouts and blotchiness. You’re welcome…
The sunscreen basics
- Your sunscreen needs to promise UVA and UVB protection; as Banwell says, “The sun’s rays consist of UVA (ageing), UVB (burning/skin cancer) and UVC (inconsequential).”
- Replace SPFs every year. Unless it’s been exposed to heat (e.g.in the glove box), in which case buy new right away.
- Apply lotion before sun exposure. “The UV filtering ingredients in chemical sunscreens take time to be absorbed,” says Banwell. “Allow thirty minutes before you go outside for it to sink in properly.”
- Wear SPF every day. Even cloudy ones. UVA can penetrate cloud and glass.
- Your moisturiser/foundation with SPF within it isn’t enough for anything beyond a short walk to the shops. For prolonged exposure you need a stand-alone product.
About face: new generation SPFs to protect, perfect, and prettify
Elemis Liquid Layer Sunblock SPF 30 , £26, is a miraculous polymeric spheres/titanium dioxide combo that provides weightless protection that endures swimming, sweating and rain. Lancôme UV Expert GN-Shield SPF 50 PA +++ , £32, repels not only the sun’s rays but 30% of carbonic pollution. And scientists at Chanel’s research labs have created dual action UV Essentiels SPF 50+, 30+, 20+, from £38. Their sunscreen/anti-pollution formula keeps out external aggressors, whilst actives work deep within the skin to protect precious complexion stem cells.