Beauty Editor SARAH HALLIWELL on the importance of wearing SUN PROTECTION every day – even when it’s overcast …
At a recent beauty event on a sunny day, the make-up doyenne Trish McEvoy, who’s been in the business for several decades, started off her masterclass by asking the assembled editors, bloggers and make-up artists if they were wearing SPF. There was a sheepish silence and much mumbling and looking at the floor, but it transpired that very few actually wore it every day, in spite of regularly urging readers to. McEvoy was horrified, particularly as Irish skin is so fair. It was a surprise, not least because every skin expert you ever meet emphasises how essential it is to protect your skin from UV rays, particularly the deeply penetrating UVA rays, and that this isn’t only vital on sunny days, but on overcast days and when driving or sitting by a window too. The trouble is, you don’t see the effects of sun damage until later in life and so it’s easy to feel invincible. But post-45, the impact of your earlier sun behaviour starts to show on your skin. “Eighty to ninety per cent of skin damage and premature ageing is sun-related,” warns Dr Tom Mammone, Vice President of Skin Physiology and Pharmacology, Clinique Worldwide. There’s really no point doing anything else for your skin if you’re not going to prioritise protecting it from the sun’s damaging rays, the cause of skin cancers and premature skin ageing from lines to dark spots. If you don’t do it, you need to start now; it’s never too late.
It’s understandable that we aren’t enthusiastic about wearing SPF. Buying a decent one is like handing over your hard-earned cash for those unsexy building jobs – think damp-coursing a room, or rewiring a house – rather than something fun and glamorous. Your money disappears, with invisible benefits. It’s so much more appealing to buy a new lipstick instead of boring skin protection. Also, if you have carefully layered serums and lotions to create a lovely blowy base on your skin, the last thing you want to do is then cover it up with a thick white cream.
But solutions now are so much more high-tech, and there are options in every price range, so there’s no excuse. And the long-term benefits are myriad: if I’m wavering in the morning, I think of my aunt, in her 70s, who has always kept out of the sun and been diligent, bordering on neurotic, about SPF, and honestly has the skin of a 30-year-old. La Roche-Posay is a dermatologist-recommended brand, with affordable options for sun protection including Anthelios Fresh Invisible Mist SPF50 (€14), a really diffuse mist that you don’t even need to rub in. The lazy person’s suncare, for sure. Murad’s Invisiblur Perfecting Shield Broad Spectrum SPF30 (€69.99 at Littlewoods) is an incredible gel formula, and though it doesn’t work brilliantly as a primer, as it claims to, it’s certainly an innovative way of wearing skin protection. Expect to see more of these invisible gel SPFs being launched: they’re an appealing choice. Lancôme is justly renowned for creating formulas that make skin look better while protecting it: the latest is Renergie Multi-Lift Ultra Full Spectrum Anti-Ageing Fluid SPF25 (€81 at Arnotts). Yes it’s expensive, but it’s a multitasking super-light lotion that packs in all your firming and glowing skincare benefits too so you only need this one thing. I also really like their Soleil Bronzer Sun BB Cream SPF50 (€30), as it’s really moisturising and gives skin a tint in a really subtle way, and is the perfect size for travel. Finally, Clarins is my failsafe for a really trustworthy facial SPF: Sun Wrinkle Control Cream for Face UVA/UVB 50+ (€26) is easy to wear every day.
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