Mind your back … and your face, and your body, and all those little crevices like under your arms and between your toes, once the sun comes out – it’s time to get smart. Once upon a time, sun care was thick, white, syrupy stuff that was endured. Things have changed, big time. Now, staying safe has more than UV protection benefits; products also enhance, tint, blur, mask and glow, while formulas have become feather-light and invisible.
Sunscreen and Sun Block
The first thing to know here is that there are two types of sun protection – chemical and mineral, or physical screens. Chemical are just that, a scientific formulation containing organic, carbon-based compounds such as oxybenzone, octinoxate and octisalate, which create a chemical reaction, converting UV rays into heat, and then releasing that heat from the skin.
Mineral, or physical sunscreens contain active, mineral ingredients such as titanium dioxide, or zinc oxide, and work by sitting on top of the skin to deflect and scatter damaging UV rays from the skin. They are often referred to as physical blockers.
To work effectively, chemical sunscreens must be applied at least 20 minutes before sun exposure, mineral products protect from the sun as soon as applied. Mineral screens are usually longer lasting, and less likely to cause skin irritation or clog pores. Historically, they have left a white-ish cast on the skin, appear chalky and opaque, and can be hard to wear under make-up, although formulas are improving. Chemical screens need to be applied more often, ideally every two hours.
Which works better? It’s really a personal choice, but in truth, the sunscreen that works best is the one you wear properly, apply liberally and top up frequently.
Some of our favourites…
1. La Roche-Posay Invisible Face Mist, SPF 50+, €14
Ultra- light, utterly transparent and refreshing on the skin; simply spray on, no rubbing, and you’re sorted.
2. SkinCeuticals Mineral Eye UV Defense SPF 30, €31
A nourishing treatment and budge-proof sunscreen that shields this delicate area well.
3. Sisley Super Soin Solaire Milky Body Mist SPF 30, €101
An indulgence, but a beautiful, really effective one.
4. Murad Luminous Shield SPF 50, €69.50
A powerful sunscreen for the face that simultaneously evens out skin tone and boosts luminosity and clarity.