Coming from a girl who gets burnt on a cloudy day, in Ireland nonetheless, I have prematurely given up on the idea of ever gracing a naturally bronzed facade and to be honest after seeing first hand through clinical experience, the aftermath of sun damage, I’m happy to designate some of my time to faking the healthy glow.
Say no to the beds
For the most part, I follow the good old “live and let live” motto but to be honest the one thing that really “irks” me is when people harp on about how great sunbeds are and I find myself quick to judge their thought process when they deliver the whole “my skin cleared up after one” and “I haven’t burned since” tangent.
It’s important to realise the association of UVA with sunbeds, which emit these rays increased twelvefold to that of the sun itself. It’s no wonder that sunbeds are accredited with increasing the risk of melanoma following first exposure by 75%.
The right SPF for me
Most people are satisfied with the range of sun protection available for the body but due to their traditionally heavy composition, the potential for facial breakouts remains a cause for concern. Thankfully, as people become more sun savvy, companies are consequently presenting us with an infinite selection of SPF products specifically for the face.
While a lot of moisturisers provide a standard SPF15, as approved by the FDA, many sources suggest, including the American Academy of Dermatology, that SPF30 should be considered at the very least. Still, I feel obliged to reiterate the importance of SPF for everyone no matter what your skin tone or whether you get burnt or not. While sun damage does appear to fade after lathering on some aloe vera, this superficial damage is probably the least of your worries, with premature aging, inevitably on the cards, not to mention the more sinister risk of developing skin cancer.
Products to look out for
– A personal favourite of mine is Your Good Skin’s SPF30 Antioxidant day cream which not only protects your face from the sun but also has the ability to calm down redness and brighten your complexion. It’s a steal for €10 in Boots, which from experience is interchangeable with the more expensive alternative from Image Skincare.
– Maybelline Dream Urban Cover SPF50 foundation- I think this must be the highest factor available in a drugstore foundation. With raving reviews, twenty shades and a reasonable price tag (€15 in Boots), it’s bound to become a holy grail.
– Bondi Sands Gradual Tanning Milk with SPF- get the tan while keeping your skin smooth, hydrated and most importantly protected from the sun!
– And if you’re a true eco-friendly warrior be sure to check out what Lush has to offer. With beneficial and natural ingredients, as well as ZERO packaging, they really do know how to create a win-win situation!
And just as a final note, take care for the less obvious places such as the lips and ears. The sun does not discriminate.