Looking at the title of this post one may think that this is pretty poor editorial planning – “Why on Earth is she talking about sunscreens in September? This more of an early summer topic!” Bear with me here, there is some sense to my madness!
Firstly, sunscreen shouldn’t be a product you only reach for in the summer, it should actually be part of your daily skincare routine all year round (and I am talking to you as well gentlemen! I even dedicated a little section to you below so keep reading). It is common knowledge that UV damage is the main reason for skin ageing, so sunscreens are basically the Fountain of Youth! Secondly, last time I wrote about sunscreens was back in 2016 (hello early days of blogging!) so an update was overdue. Finally, while the Northern hemisphere is preparing for darker and colder days, the Southern hemisphere people are dusting their summer clothes. See, SPF is a very relevant topic all year round!
I have been thoroughly using sunscreen as my day cream since 2015 and at 30-something I can already see that the discipline is paying off. I have very few fine lines on my forehead and my eyes still show no signs of wrinkles. So if you too want to ‘Benjamin-Button’ yourself, I have gathered below the list of my favourite 2018 SPF products.
Sunscreens for the face
I have used all the below products as my daily face creams this year. I apply these after my serum and hydrating lotion and before my makeup.
This has been a favourite of mine since I got a few tubes in Japan. It is light, has a gel texture, absorbs quickly with zero white cast. Japanese sunscreens are some of the best in the world and Biore UV Aqua Rich Essence SPF50 is the proof of it. A real dream to use for combination skins and any skin tone.
This one is my winter go-to as the SPF is lower which in a city like London where the sun sets around 3:30pm in the middle of the winter is fine. Avene Hydrance Optimale Light UV SPF20 is more hydrating than Biore and creamier but it is still light which makes it great for any skin type.
This is my latest discovery! It was gifted to me by another Asian skincare passionate. Missha Safe Block Essence SPF50 is light, leaves no white cast and is a perfect base for makeup. My skin feels velvety soft when I apply it which doesn’t happen often so it was given prime estate on my top shelf!
Sunscreens for the body
Before anyone comments, let me just explain my preference for mists this summer. I know that most dermatologists recommend against these as just spraying it on will not fully protect your skin. Indeed with mists, it is VERY IMPORTANT to use them like regular lotions – spray it on generously AND rub it in, otherwise you may end up with patchy sunburns.
Biore UV Spray
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find it online anymore in Europe… Not even Amazon has it. I purchased mine in Japan, so if by any chance you are visiting, grab a couple of bottles. The SPF is strong at 50 and the mist so light it is unnoticeable, which can make it less protective if you don’t follow my advice to thoroughly rub it in.
This mist is more hydrating than the Biore one so it is perfect to showcase smooth glowing legs! Ambre Solaire Dry Mist SPF30 comes out white so you will have to rub it in but it absorbs super quickly so it should only take you a few minutes to apply to your entire body. It is great if you are in a rush as you will be able to put clothes on straight after application.
Sunscreen for gentlemen (or oilier skins)
Both Andrew and I can have oily skin, I in warmer climates and Andrew most of the time. I am also trying (and succeeding) to educate Andrew on the importance of a simple and consistent routine which will make him look like a silver fox in 20 years. I kept it very streamlined for him: hydration + retinol + SPF; and below are the ones he has been enjoying using.
We actually both used this one over the summer has it helps prevent breakouts, which, in a polluted and stuffy city like London, are very easy to get! Avene Cleanance High Protection SPF50 goes on a bit white so you have to work it into the skin but it does dry matte and keep the shine at bay for a good while (not the entire day, but have yet to find any mattifying product which does).
Another great option for oilier skin and/or warmer climates. It came with us to Barbados and did the job nicely. We were very well protected from the rays and it left our skins velvety for most of the day. Andrew liked it so much that he kept using it as a day cream back in London. Eucerin Sun Fluid Mattifying SPF30 is super light and liquidy and doesn’t leave any white cast so it is great for any skin tones!
So the good news is that I found the Fountain of Youth, and it doesn’t require getting a creepy portrait to hide in a cupboard, bath in goat milk or drinking the blood of innocent animals. You can actually find it online or in drugstores. Pick your favourite and I promise, with daily use, you will see results in a couple of years!