For your reading pleasure I’ve written a summary of my investigative findings about sunscreens (here). But if you’d rather cut straight to my top 3 SPF products this summer, read on.
Before I get down to the nitty gritty I thought I’d share what’s recently prompted me to write, not one, but two posts on sun protection.
Me, myself and the sun
As someone who’s about to enter her (*cough*) late 30s I often find myself thinking way more about my skin than I did in my 20s. And let’s not even mention the time I regularly applied factor two(!) tanning oil (??! OMHG) during the middle of the day whilst on a gap year in Argentina aged 19. No, let’s not. Suffice to say I’ve not been the strictest of sunscreen wearers over the years.
Excuse me, there seems to be a brown splodge on my right cheek
I first noticed The Mark shortly after returning to London following a three year stint in Melbourne and Madrid (long story). I guess being back in Blighty enabled my skin to return to its natural hue and as I got paler the sun spot became more obvious. I’m convinced it’s because I didn’t wear enough sunscreen.
An old friend of mine (thanks CK) recently commented she thought it had got bigger which has prompted me to make an appointment with my GP to see if I can be referred to a consultant dermatologist. At this stage I’d rather not tackle it with any pigmentation creams until I know what’s what (although there are plenty on the market).
If I had a penny (or preferably a pound) for every time an older lady has told me there are two things that give away a woman’s age: her face and her hands. Well, I’d be MINTED.
I’m starting to notice I have one or two ‘bigger’ freckles on the tops of my hands (otherwise known as age spots….euuush. Actually, how does one know when a freckle is a freckle and not an age spot? Answers in the comments box below please!)
There’s a simple solution to this folks. It’s called SPF. But in winter, who remembers to apply SPF to the backs of their hands? NO-ONE. Shall we start?!
My décolleté (or décolletage)
I’ll save you an image of my chest (you’re welcome) but I’ve noticed there are slightly more freckles on it than there were before (and some of those larger freckles I was talking about). A sign perhaps that I need to be protecting it more?
And we’ve all seen it…the ‘creypeyness’ that befalls the best of us. Well it’s gonna happen ladies…and that’s totally OK! But the longer we can stave it off the better.
3 SPF products I’m using and loving this Summer… (drum roll)
I have lots of other SPF products in my bathroom but these are the ones I keep coming back to.
1. Estée Lauder Sheer Tint Release Moisturiser (SPF15, pictured above)
I need to say something here….<long pause>
This is one of my best makeup purchases.
I know. HUGE.
I first came across Estée Lauder’s Sheer Tint Release during a stint working for Chantecaille in Fenwick, Bond Street. The EL counter was then bang opposite the Chantecaille counter and it wasn’t long before I started noticing women coming up to the counter to enquire about something and then leaving practically wailing in despair. Turns out the product they were after (you guessed it) had been out of stock for ages. Well I’m pleased to report it’s very much back IN stock and is bl*ody marvellous.
What is it?
It’s a type of tinted moisturiser but very sheer. The genius of it is that when rubbed into the skin (it first comes out a very strange pale grey colour) it develops into a warm tint. In the summer I use it to warm up my skin (I have to blend a little down my neck because I’m so pale) and then if I feel like I need a little extra coverage, I’ll go in with one of my regular tinted moisturisers (e.g. Chantecaille Just Skin) or a light-weight foundation, blending across chin, cheeks, nose and forehead (t-zone basically).
Who’s it for?
Estée Lauder say everyone but I’d say if you’re olive or deep skin-toned it’ll feel more like a radiance primer. It’s brilliant for light skin tones which err on the paler side. I’d also say it’s more suited to normal to dry skin types as it feels wonderfully hydrating (I can imagine it feeling ‘a bit shiny’ on combination or oily skins).
- SPF 15 and broad spectrum (protects against UVA and UVB)
- Non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores)
- Radiance boosting (evens out skin tone)
- Anti-oxidant protection (helps fight free radicals which can cause premature ageing)
RRP: £38-40 for 50ml
2. Chantecaille Ultra Sun Protection (SPF 50 and +++)
I learnt a lot about this product working for Chantecaille and it really is fantastic for several reasons:
- It’s a chemical sunscreen. The principle ingredient is avobenzone (one of the better SPF chemical ingredients out there. For more info on mineral versus chemical sunscreens, click here).
- It leaves skin beautifully matte which is UNHEARD of in the world of sunscreens. (Because it’s chemical, and not mineral, it doesn’t leave your skin with a white finish or flash back in photographs). When I’m wearing it (like in this photo) I barely feel like I’ve got anything on and it leaves my skin feeling quite velvet *purr*.
- It’s an anti-glycation primer (a what now?). Glycation is the process by which sugars attack proteins in the skin ultimately affecting the production and quality of collagen and elastin. This product protects against that.
It ain’t cheap. In fact, so spenny is it (£76) I’ve been eeking out the samples I was given a while back. But I know it’s only a matter of time before I buy.
RRP: £76 for 50ml
3. Piz Buin Ultra Light Hydrating Sun Spray (SPF30)
The smell, oh the smell!! I’ve never been to Barbados or the Seychelles but THIS IS WHAT I IMAGINE THEY SMELL LIKE.
I used to wear whatever sunscreen was in my mum’s cupboard at the time but a trip to Australia a couple of years ago prompted me to invest in some ‘decent’ sun protection and this was the one I’d always wanted to buy.
I highly recommend the cream formula if you’re prone to dry skin (this is a broad spectrum chemical sunscreen; key ingredient is Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine which protects the skin by absorbing UV rays).
I can’t seem to find the ‘Ultra Light’ product anymore which leads me to think they’ve changed their formula but I’m now a convert to their range so I’d definitely invest again.
RRP: between £5-£20
How about you?
What’s your go-to SPF? Have you changed brands over the years and if so why? Has anyone tried Institut Esthederm? I keep reading really good things but will need to wait for the big bucks to come in before I can invest (come ON big bucks! :))
Image credit: H&M campaign