There are two golden skincare rules I follow: Cleanse at night and wear a sunscreen during the day. Your best skincare investment is a good quality sunscreen, whether you’re heading to the beach or the office.
I’ve put together a few of my favourites.
What I look for in a good sunscreen
A high SPF. Anything between SPF 30 and SPF 50. And sorry, using a face cream or a foundation with an SPF is simply not enough – you should be using roughly one teaspoon-worth on your face and neck, so the little bit in your cream and foundation isn’t enough.
Broad Spectrum Protection. That means your sunscreen protects you against both UVA and UVB rays – so against burning and long-term damage. Most sunscreens on the market do offer this, but make sure it is stated on the packaging.
No Fragrance. I’m not a fan of sunscreen with a fragrance, since perfume can make your skin more sensitive to pigmentation. I’m less picky when it comes to my body, but I am super selective about what I put on my face.
Anti-oxidants. They push up the price in your sunscreen but antioxidants help to fight off free-radical damage and protect your skin against sun-damage and photo-aging. Vitamins E and C are particularly potent. You can also apply an anti-oxidant day serum for added protection.
These are the ones I’ve been loving:
The powerhouse: Exuviance Sheer Daily Protector SPF 50
Want a physical sunscreen but hate that white residue? This newbie from Exuviance is an ultra-fine transparent mineral sunscreen, so yes – zero white film!
Aside from your physical sun filters, it contains anti-oxidants Vitamin E and Lactobionic Acid that further protect your skin against free-radical damage, as well as a PHA/Bionic complex that helps to prevent collagen breakdown, thereby reducing photo-aging, and Green Tea extract to protect your DNA for healthy skin. So it’s an overall superstar.
It’s also fragrance free, oil-free, paraben free and it won’t clog your pores. It gets top marks from me, go check it out.
Ocean respect: Eau Thermale Avène Anti-Aging Suncare SPF 50
R299,95 for 50ml, Clicks & Dis-Chem
Most of us don’t think about what our sunscreen is doing to the ocean. Many ingredients found in sunscreens, particularly chemical sunscreens, can be harmful to marine life. With that in mind, Eau Thermale Avène is working to reduce their impact on the marine environment with improved biodegradability, no water-soluble sun filters, and no silicones.
You get UVA and UVB protection, while Ascofilline and Pre-tocopheryl (a Vitamin E derivative) protects against free-radical damage and photoaging.
For sensitive skin: Dermalogica UltraCalming Super Sensitive Shield SPF 30
R780 for 50ml, dermalogica.co.za
I have a temperamental skin and some sunscreens will cause breakouts and irritation. I absolutely love this super sensitive sunscreen from Dermalogica and I wore it non-stop this year.
It contains physical filters Titanium Dioxide and Zinc oxide but it is completely sheer – no white residue. They’ve also added encapsulated Vitamins C and E to fight free-radicals, hyaluronic acid to hydrate your skin, and a powerful blend of soothing ingredients to calm inflammation.
It’s lightweight, completely sheer, doesn’t feel heavy or greasy, and it works well under makeup.
Beat the shine: La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Anti-Shine Dry Touch Gel-Cream SPF 50
R245 for 50ml, laroche-posay.co.za
This is a great choice for those struggling with combination to oily skin. It protects your skin with UVA and UVB filters, while micro-fine particles absorb shine.
With the mattifying effect, this is a good choice if you’re looking for something to go under your makeup.
Sheer, matte defence: SkinCeuticals Physical Matte UV Defence Sunscreen SPF 50
With 100% physical sunscreen provides effective UVA and UVB protection, with a matte finish and an oil-absorbing base to beat that shiny finish.
It has a lightweight, mousse texture that smooths over your skin, leaving a slightly powdery finish, making it ideal under makeup. Despite being a physical sunscreen, it has no white effect on the skin.
Dermaceutic Sun Ceutic 50 SPF 50
This physical sunscreen contains micro-mineral filters that are completely transparent but still give your a physical barrier against UVA and UVB rays. They’ve also added hyaluronic acid to firm and moisturise the skin, and aloe vera to sooth inflammation.
I found it non-greasy, moisturising and it works well under makeup.