I was asked AGES ago to do a sunscreen post and have finally gotten around to it. Living in Australia, sunscreen in Summer really is a must, especially if you have fair skin. Unfortunately I didn’t inherit my Nanna’s beautiful golden Swedish/German skin, instead I got stuck with the pale, pink toned, prone to pigmentation English/Welsh complexion instead. Needless to say I stay out of the sun where ever humanly possible, however even if I’m just popping out of the house for half an hour I will burn if I don’t apply sunscreen.
Coupled with my paleness, I’m also super sensitive to itching and breakouts – isn’t that great? Most sunscreens break me out or itch like no one’s business, but over the years I have found some that work really well for me and I thought I’d share them with you.
1. Kit Cosmetics SPF 30+ Face Sunscreen – $31.95 (75g) This Broad Spectrum cream is non greasy, non whitening and super lightweight and gentle. I never get breakouts from it and it sinks right in, not leaving a slippery or sticky film on my skin. The cost means I don’t feel guilty using it on my decolletage, arms or anywhere else on my body, which means sun protection without the usual itchiness I get from most Supermarket sunscreens.
2. Mecca Cosmetica To Save Face 30+ Hydrating Facial Sunscreen – $45.00 (100g) Again Broad Spectrum, this lotion is perfect for the face as again it’s non greasy and non whitening. It’s packed full of hyaluronic acid which means it hydrates the skin beautifully. Oilier skinned people may even find this is great in place of a daytime moisturiser. I feel a little more conscious using this on my body as it is a slightly higher price point, however Mecca now make a body sunscreen as well (I haven’t tired it personally but hear it’s great) so you could use that on your body instead. Makeup sits really nicely on top of this guy and being so lightweight it’s perfect for even the fussiest of people who hate the feel of sunscreen on their face.
3. Shiseido Gentle Sun Protection Lotion 30+ – $52.00 (100mL) This last Broad Spectrum sunscreen is a physical blocker as opposed to a chemical one, so it will leave a slight white film on the skin, however it really is minimal. Formulated for Babies and Sensitive skin this lotion is lightweight and gentle leaving no greasiness on the skin. Again price wise for me means it’s a too expensive to slather over the body but for those who chemical sunscreens don’t agree with, this is a great alternative.
What’s with all the technical jargon? Bascially, broad spectrum sunscreen offers protection from both UVA (the aging rays for arguments sake) and UVB rays (the ones that cause burning). It’s really important have both covered as not only can sun exposure burn your skin, it also speeds up the aging progress like crazy. None of us want to look older than we are!
And SPF? In Australia, the highest SPF you can buy is 30+ This means it will keep you from burning at least thirty times longer than if you were without sunscreen. In other continents (Europe, USA, Asia etc) you can buy Sunscreen with a sun protection factor of up to 100. Even though that seems like it would be much better, the truth is if the same product was sold in Australia it would still have to be marketed as 30+ at most. There is no such thing as an SPF of over 30 here currently, as we have the hottest sun in the world (damned hole in the Ozone layer!), and the highest standards for sun protection in the world. The Shiseido sunscreen I talked about above is sold as an SPF 50+ pretty much everywhere else in the world – it’s exactly the same product, but Australian standards dictate that it has to be labelled as SPF 30+
Anyway, enough with all the science talk, just wear sunscreen when you’re out in the sun this Summer, okay? Your skin will thank you!