I will always tell my friends that the most important skincare product to invest in is a good quality sunscreen. When it comes to anti-aging, it is crucial that you protect your skin against the damaging effects of the sun, which include early ageing and pigmentation, as well as cell mutations that can become a danger later on.
You should always look for a broad spectrum sunscreen, in other words one that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. This means you’ll be protected against sunburn but also against long term damage to your cells.
We recently attended an event where Dr Willie Visser, head of Dermatology at the University of Stellenbosch, advised you buy the best quality sunscreen you can afford, but also one that you find aesthetically pleasing to use. If you don’t like the smell, texture or colour then chances are you’re not going to apply it as frequently as you should. Don’t overspend on a sunscreen either – if you feel it’s super expensive you might be stingy with your application. Sunscreen should be applied liberally and frequently.
Personally I go for sunscreens that contain UV filters as well as antioxidants that help to protect your cells against free radical damage.
I have put together a couple that I have been enjoying.
Sorbet Salon Skin Sun Protection Face Cream SPF 50
R199,95 for 50ml, Clicks and Sorbet Salons
I found this sunscreen absorbed quickly and had a lightweight feel on my skin. It contains sun filters as well as Vitamins C, E and A, which all help to fight free radical damage and protect your skin against early aging.
I am a little bit worried about the fact that this contains retinyl palmitate, which isn’t a very stable form of Vitamin A to use during the day. It is, however, in a very small quantity so I am thinking it shouldn’t be a problem. It also has a soft botanical fragrance that I found very attractive, but take care if you have very sensitive skin.
Eucerin Anti-Age Sun Fluid SPF50
R219 for 50ml, Clicks and Dis-Chem
This new sunscreen from Eucerin combines sun protection with the hydrating benefits of Hyaluronic Acid. It contains two types of hyaluronic acid – long chain and short chain. Long chain HA works on the skin’s surface and is a highly effective moisturiser. Short chain HA penetrates deeper down, stimulating your skin to produce it’s own Hyaluronic Acid and helps to plump up wrinkles from within.
This sunscreen has also been formulated with Licochalcone A and Glycyrrhetinic Acid, natural ingredients that help to protect your cells and DNA from UV damage. These work alongside the UVA and UVB filters for optimal sun protection.
SkinCeuticals Ultra Facial Defense SPF50+ Broad Spectrum Moisturizing Sunscreen
This is probably my favourite and a really stunning product if you can afford it. It absorbs quickly and completely, with a weightless texture. It contains high-quality UV filters that fight sun-damage, as well as Alpha Tocopherol (a pure form of Vitamin E) and Glycerin to hydrate your skin.
Bioderma Cicabio SPF 50+
R179,95 for 30ml, select pharmacies
This sunscreen has been formulated particularly for damaged skin that is exposed to the sun, for instance if you’ve had a chemical peel. Even if you haven’t, though, I think it is still awesome. I would recommend it if you have sensitive skin, if you’re exfoliating or you’ve had a bad burn.
Nivea Anti-Age Face Sun Cream SPF50+
R119,99 for 50ml, nivea.co.za
This sunscreen has a weightless feel and absorbs quickly without leaving any white residue or oily film. It provides UVA and UVB protection from the moment it is applied, so you don’t have to wait before going out, and it is water resistant so that you’re still covered when you go for a swim. Just remember to reapply as soon as you’re back under the umbrella.
Environ RAD SPF 15
R224 for 100ml, environ.co.za
You might be thinking that SPF 15 is super low for a facial sunscreen. I asked the Environ team why they decided on such a low sun protection factor and they explained that they want to encourage people to reapply more frequently rather than use a high SPF (which also means more chemicals on your skin).
I like it because apart from containing UVA and UVB filters it is also packed with antioxidants like Vitamin C and E that help protect against free-radical damage.
If you are hitting the beach or poolside and you’ll be in and out of the water every 20 minutes anyway, then this is definitely a goodie. Just reapply frequently.
Heliocare Advanced Gel SPF 50
R320 for 50ml, select salons and dermastore.co.za
This is an oldie but still one of my all-time favourites. All Heliocare products contain Fernblock (extracted from a fern in Central America), which works as an antioxidant to protect your cells from UV rays that can damage your cells, causing early aging and increasing the risk of cancer. It is a little greasy though so I recommend you set it with powder to keep shine under control.
Do you have any favourite sunscreens? Or anything else you would like to share? Pop it in the comments section below, I would love to hear from you.