Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Kick-Ass SPF50 Sunscreens For Annoying Skin

SPF50 + fake tan + Spain = enormous compulsion to WERK

You wouldn't know it to look at my pink and white battenberg cake of a face, but I used to tan like an absolute bastard. I love that outdoorsy feeling of being bronzed. Years ago, in an attempt to stay more Nicole Kidman and less battered handbag, I stopped sunbathing and started wearing SPF50, and now the only time I colour is when I fork out for a spray tan or cover myself in the utterly foolproof glory that is St Tropez bronzing mousse

Sunscreen for people with sensitive or oily skins is a complete headache. So many make you either break out or look like you've covered yourself in a light coating of Dulux. For something which is supposed to be keeping you healthy, and encouraging regular use this is not good.

Here are a few that I really do rate. And one that I don't really, but threw in because why not? All these sunscreens are available in lower factors and for different skin types, so have an explore and see what you get on best with.

I'm addicted to Sali Hughes' beauty columns in the Guardian, and while she errs towards products for dry skin, this was recommended for oily skins. Sunsense is an Aussie company, so know their onions when it comes to skin protection. I've been using this for the last year, both as a daily moisturiser and when I go running, and while it's definitely not matte - you'll need powder for your T-zone if you're that way of face - it's got quite a nice sort of golden sheen to it. No break-outs, no white sheen, and it's rich enough that a small amount goes a long way. You can buy Sunsense daily face for £18.50 from John Lewis.
The Times recently ran an article about beauty editors' favourite sunscreens, and this bad boy from La Roche-Posay was one of the most-mentioned. Anthelios XL 50+ is great for sensitive and oily skins, and has magical French thermal waters in it - although, really, you can put two litres of magical French thermal waters in yourself for a quid from your nearest supermarket. You can get it from Boots for £16.50 (hi Advantage Card points), but if that sounds fairly reasonable for a high-end, incredibly well-researched product it is because the bottle is TINY. I mean, physically minute. Never has 50ml looked more like a dab of something you got on a beauty counter from a particularly grumpy assistant.

The problem I find with Anthelios XL 50+ is that it's quite milky, so you need to splash it on (which requires a bit of rubbing in to get rid of the white sheen). It also bobbles your make-up. And the worst thing is that because I'm aware of this being posh sunscreen, I go into "Arrgh! I own posh slap!" mode which basically means I hoard it like Smaug. This is not the point of sunscreen. You need to be able to slap it all over your face so your face doesn't go red and then turn into a handbag when you're 40. But if you are less of a Smaug than I, and can be trusted to use nice things properly, then have a go. They also do a version for dry and sensitive skins for £14.50.


Before you do go and spend a fortune on sunscreen, I am THRILLED to say that my absolute favourite sunscreen of the moment is half-price in Boots (£6.49 instead of £12.99). I bought this cream before I went to Devon a couple of weeks ago, and it hasn't left my face since. My skin feels supple, comfortable and looked after, as though I were using a really good moisturiser.

This is from Ambre Solaire's new sensitive advanced range, and while like the La Roche-Posay it comes in a mimsy 50ml tube, the texture is so different that I feel absolutely no compunction about throwing it all over my face with abandon.
The sensitive range also does a body spray, but I'm not interested in that. The absolute king of body sunscreen as far as I'm concerned is Ambre Solaire's Clear Protect SPF50. I moisturise my body quite enough, I don't want to be faffing around with rubbing in white cream when I'm out and about - and besides, sun in sand cream is one of the worst feelings ever.

This spray is a total legend. Just spray it on, give it a vague rub if you must and er, that's it. No marks, no fuss, no bits of beach sticking to you. It's £14.49 usually, but is £7.24 in Boots.

 Happy sunning!

22 comments:

  1. I love the smell of Ambre Solaire creams but I'm useless at remembering to reapply it and thus still end up looking 'rosy'. I'm incredibly pale - rosy is not becoming. And so I turn to my trusty Ultrasun - it's spendy but you only need to put it on once a day, the face one is a good base for make-up and the bottles last 3 years compared to the usual 1.

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    1. I ADORE the idea of a once a day cream, but anything like that makes my face scream. It really is ridiculously sensitive. I might steal some of a random next time I see it and have a go - and thanks!

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  2. Looking gorgeous, Kat!

    As someone who burns at the mere thought of sunshine (and is completely unable to tan) I love a good recommendation for sun block. Thanks for this, I'll be heading to Boots this week!

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  3. I confess, I am a terrible sunscreen buyer. I usually buy SPF30, but as long as it's in a spray bottle and not a million pounds, I don't think about it as much as I should.

    I should carry a tiny bottle in my handbag, huge sunglass panda face is an issue...

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    1. Yes! The Ambre Solaire face one comes in a bunch of different factors and is perfectly handbag-sized. I have it in mine as we speak. And you can smear it everywhere else too.

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  4. I need an everyday body sunscreen in the summer and I love Ambre Solaire's new Golden Protect one. It's a bit shimmery, so it makes my legs look slightly less horrific when I am forced to bare them, and it smells lovely and sinks in like an ordinary moisturiser. No stickiness at all!

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  5. Aldi skincare do a range of suncreams now and they're half the price of even the half price boots ones. I only used the aerosol spray ones when I went away recenrly (because I'm super extra lazy) but given their moisturisers are so highly recommended by a lot of experts I reckon their creams should be good. For about £3.50 you can't go wrong really.

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  6. As a zitty middle-aged grump who has tried an awful lot of suncreams and had breakouts or a face like an oil slick thanks to them, may I recommend Alpha H 50+ Essential daily moisturiser? It is approved by the great Caroline Hirons over on Beauty Mouth, as it protects against both UVA and UVB and while it's a bit spenny, you can just use it as a facial moisturiser and sunscreen combo. And I will also vouch for the Anthelios for not making you break out.

    Final point: according to Mrs Hirons, one reason we get breakouts from sunscreen is because we're not cleansing properly at night. She says we have to really scrub the stuff off. I'm a slapdash slut, but I have been more careful about actually washing of an evening and I have to admit that I haven't had a breakout so far this summer. Dagnabit. Pesky hygiene wins again. In case you want to go read the hilariously frank Mrs Hirons, she's here: http://www.beautymouth.com/2013/04/spf-cheat-sheet.html

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  7. Lovely recommendations, thank you!

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  8. Ahh,do I know the joys of being pale - we were away in the States recently and I was overwhelmed by the choice of SPF's - we only get a fifth of the choice they do. I got two Neutrogena ones, one SPF 50 for the face which is anti breakout (Clear Face) and then an aerosol SPF 70 Ultra Sheer body mist which was phenomenal considering the heat and strength of the sunlight. I wish I'd stocked up! I believe I'll be able to get them on Amazon, but it's a shame they're not more easily available.

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  9. Clear protect 50 - Amazing product.
    Applied it ONCE, absorbs super quick, no greasy residue. Not one spot of burn anywhere.
    Def my new go to.

    Pale, freckled, red head

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    1. It's my summer jam. Apart from actual jam, obviously!

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  11. Thanks for this: most sunscreens except ones for children get into my eyes and HURT (because I am a princess of allergy). So your guide is very welcome.

    But what I REALLY want to know is -- WHERE did you get your bathing suit????

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    1. Isn't it AMAZING? It's by For Luna. In true supportive Sluttière fashion, I read about it on DS and then bought it immediately: http://www.domesticsluttery.com/2010/06/shop-in-spotlight-for-luna.html

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    2. It's by the late, great Esther Williams. For Luna is just the stockist.

      Sorry to be the Sluttery pedant. But she is a legend ;0)

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    4. I have the same swimsuit - also after reading the Sluttery post. And it's really flattering on my much shorter figure too, so I highly recommend.

      Gemma, if you have one too it means that a third of Domestic Sluttery are styled by Esther Williams which is a pretty fabulous thought. If only I could swim like her!

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    5. I have a red bikini, bought it about 3 years ago. Absolutely LOVE it.

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  12. Elizabeth Arden does an 8 hour cream with SPF 50 which is great - like a moisturiser, sinks in fast, fine for oilier skin.

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  13. Elizabeth Arden does an 8 hour cream with SPF 50 which is great - like a moisturiser, sinks in fast, fine for oilier skin.

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