Monday, December 8, 2014

Top of the blocks: getting serious about sun


Finally we’re seeing a little sun of late, which for me is a reminder that summer is - maybe? - on its way and new sunscreen needs to go on the shopping list. Whenever I’ve asked beauty experts – be they dermatologists, make up artists or cosmetic surgeons – for their pick when it comes to anti ageing skincare, they all agree that the most important thing you can do to keep your skin looking good well into old age is wear a sunscreen. Daily. No arguments, no forgetting on a cloudy day, no saying, “my olive complexion is a sunblock in itself”! Most last twelve months max after being opened too, so if you’re still got some sitting around in your beach bag or glove box from this time last year then chuck it - ASAP!
The warmer days also mean I get a few new sunscreen formulas coming across my desk, but one that I go back to year on year is Osmosis Shade SPF 30 Sunscreen/Moisturiser. Designed for daily use, it is a broad-spectrum physical sunscreen that protects against the damaging effects of both UVA and UVB rays whilst providing great hydration. All natural, it works by utilizing micronized and coated zinc oxide and titanium oxide, making it a safe sunscreen option that provides transparent coverage while ensuring that your UV protection remains harmless and non-toxic. The high-performance, luxurious sunscreen-meets-moisturiser is ideal for all skin types and can be applied under makeup or after a shave, and has a vanilla, grapefruit and coconut scent that brings the tropics inside even on a cloudy day.
I couldn’t cover suncare without reiterating once again how awesome the COOLA brand is. This is the baby that I recommend to anyone who asks me advise on sun protection for their whole family, and that fact that their products are a seemingly effortless mix of high perfomance and beautiful to use formulas makes them loved by everyone who tries them. A beautifully packaged collection of organic sun essentials produced out of Southern California, the COOLA range includes a plethora of yummy products that are high performance yet delicate and kind on the environment. It is produced in limited quantity batches in California (where the company is based), meaning that the range can be reformulated often, taking advantage of new developments in sun science and labelling regulations almost as they happen.
The COOLA range has three distinct organic sunscreen collections to choose from: Plant UV, Mineral, and Classic, each based on different active ingredients. The Classic Sunscreens use organic active ingredients (commonly referred to as “chemicals”), while the Mineral Sunscreens use mineral (“physical”) active ingredients like Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide to scatter and reflect UVA/UVB rays. The mineral sunscreens are effective right after application, making them perfect for the whole family, whilst the Plant UV collection protects the skin with naturally protective plant cells that contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Their newest offering is the Sport SPF50 Continuous Spray Sunscreen, which is a clear, continuous spray in an all-new SPF 50 unscented formula. It offers Broad Spectrum SPF 50 protection, and will nourish, repair and hydrate skin with 70%+ certified organic ingredients like Cucumber, Algae and Strawberry extracts, and thus far I am in love with it. It has 80 minutes of water resistance too, which is amongst the highest I have seen.
French beauty brand Guinot have also launched too - naturally - beautiful sun-focused formulas for the new season, the first being the Guinot High Protection SPF30 Spray, which is a sun-protecting spray with full broad spectrum protection that also happens to smell like pure vanilla. Seriously! It is a paraben free formula and the light formulation doesn't leave white marks or a sticky residue, and an added bonus is the 360-degree spray nozzle for covering off those hard to reach places. As befitting an award-winning skincare brand, its ingredient list include the likes of Heliotropine - a molecule which helps to prevent the appearance of brown spots - and Litchi extract, which is derived from a tropical fruit found in southern China and helps to protect the skin against photo-aging. Horse Chestnut and Seaweed extract are there to soothe and combat redness, whilst Hydrocyte Complex is a blend of sugars that help to deeply moisturise the skin.
The second Guinot offering is the very French Glamour Sun Gel SPF15, which is a gel formulation with a light and silky satin oil finish that works to protect against UVA and UVB rays as well as promoting even tanning. It leaves skin smooth and nourished, while light-reflecting particles leave a gentle gleam… this baby really makes you glow!
Lastly, on the supermarket front, Garnier Ambre Solaire Sensitive Advanced is the popular European brand’s newest offering, and features Sensitive Advanced Adults SPF 50+ for those that find many suncare options too harsh for their skin. As well as absorbing more than 90 per cent of total UV rays, it is hypoallergenic, with no perfume and no colourants and dermatologically tested. It is available as a water resistant lotion or spray, and they also offer a lotion and a spray in this range for kids whose skin is too sensitive for their traditional Resisto range.


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