Words by Nicole Thomsen
May 9th, 2019
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in Ireland with a reported 1,000 new cases of melanoma, a potentially serious type of skin cancer, diagnosed each year. With our naturally fair Celtic skin, Irish people as a rule of thumb are more susceptible to skin cancer, leading to cases of melanoma almost trebling in the last 20 years. The good news is melanoma can be completely cured if it is identified and removed early. But of course, prevention is better than cure so, in honour of Melanoma Awareness Month, we’re taking a look at our favourite SPF products that help to protect the skin from the sun’s harmful rays.
A seasoned beauty reader will know that wearing broad-spectrum SPF every day — particularly on the face — is non-negotiable, even on cloudy, overcast days. But do you know why it’s so important? It can be so easy to get up in the morning, look out the window and think, ‘I don’t need sunscreen today’, especially if you’re in a rush. But if you knew the science behind why SPF is so important you’d think again about skipping this necessary step.
SPF works by defending the skin against UV rays from the sun. These rays can be split into two categories: UVA and UVB. UVB rays are what cause the skin to burn — remember, B for burn — as they attack the surface of the skin and are more prominent on warm, sunny days. UVA rays, on the other hand, are present all year round and can penetrate deeper into the skin, causing premature ageing. While both UVA and UVB rays can play a role in the development of skin cancer such as melanoma, UVA rays can have a more significant effect and have the ability to pass through water, glass and clouds which is why it’s so important to protect your skin against them year-round, no matter the weather, by wearing ‘broad-spectrum’ (meaning both UVA and UVB protection) SPF.
So there you have it; applying SPF daily is the best form of defence for your skin against possible skin damage and premature ageing. Now the hunt for the perfect SPF is on. Discover maven46’s top five favourite sunscreens that will keep you covered from head to toe below.
P20 has long established itself as a beauty cupboard staple with its range of long-wearing SPF products that the whole family can use. Now, that same range has been extended to include a dedicated sun cream for the face with the same long-lasting, transparent formula you’ve come to love and expect from the brand.
With just one application, P20 FACE SPF 30 offers trusted protection for the skin against both UVA and UVB rays for up to 10 hours and helps to prevent the visible signs of premature skin ageing associated with UV-induced skin damage. With its lightweight, non-greasy consistency, it’s perfect for use under makeup while the highly water-resistant formula means it’s ideal for days spent on the beach, in the pool, or playing sports.
The lips are one of the most overlooked areas when it comes to sunscreen application but they’re also one of the more important parts of your face to protect due to the fact that the skin is extremely thin, making them more prone to sun damage. People unwittingly skimp on sunscreen in this area but according to leading dermatologist, Dr. Dennis Gross, “Skin cancers on the lower lip are particularly dangerous because they can spread internally into the chest via the lymphatics vessels.” Which is why it’s important to safeguard your mouth with a lip balm that’s specially formulated with SPF to protect against harmful UV rays.
Shiseido UV Lip Color Splash is a hydrating lip balm infused with a hint of natural-looking, sheer colour that helps to protect your pout thanks to the innovative Clear Defense Technology and SPF 30. It gives a clear, glossy finish that does not leave a white cast on your lips and can be used under or over lipstick so you can reapply throughout the day. This is a great one to have in your bag whether you’re heading to the beach or just strolling about the city.
When it comes to sunscreen, Lancaster is the gold standard; the Monaco-based brand is synonymous with high-quality protection thanks to its range of best-selling sunscreens. If you’re looking for something luxurious that will be a treat to apply (and reapply), Sun Beauty Velvet Fluid Milk SPF 50 ought to be top of your to-buy list. This lightweight, quick-absorbing body milk defends against the four different types of sunlight, ageing UVA rays, burning UVB rays, visible light and infrared, making it a must-have for sunny getaways.
For mornings when you want lighter coverage, or you’re simply short on time, a tinted moisturiser is a perfect alternative to foundation. This daily facial moisturiser by IMAGE evens out skin tone and gives the skin a gorgeous, healthy glow with a subtle tint and the added benefit of SPF 30 sun protection, cutting out the need for individual moisturiser, SPF and foundation products.
The great thing about using a tinted moisturiser with SPF is that you’re more likely to apply it all over to ensure your complexion has even coverage thus making sure that your entire face and neck are protected.
Bondi Sands Everyday Gradual Tanning Milk SPF15 is a daily gradual tanning body lotion with added sun protection to give you a year-round glow. The formula contains Aloe Vera to soothe skin, Vitamin E to heal and hydrate, plus anti-oxidants to combat free radicals that can cause premature ageing. It imparts a subtle hint of bronze that slowly intensifies with daily use to leave the body with deep, long-lasting colour. As an added bonus, it also offers a low-medium level of sun protection in the form of SPF 15. While we wouldn’t recommend relying solely on this as your only source of sun protection for a day at the beach, it’s a great alternative way to build a streak-free, natural-looking tan without the need for sun-bathing.
The biggest reason this product is a favourite of ours — apart from the gorgeous golden glow it gives — is the fact that you’re more likely to apply it daily in order to maintain said tan which means you’re also helping to protect your skin every day without even meaning to thanks to the added SPF in the formula. Win!
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