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SPF For Sensitive Skin

 SPf for sensitive skin

Sun protection is a topic that most of us are guilty of not knowing enough about, and if we're honest I  bet we're even worse at wearing SPF on a regular basis. I know I've been pretty bad in the past anyway! Having sensitive or acne prone skin makes the whole issue a little bid more complicated, as a lot of sunscreens can make matters worse. The key I've found is making sure you're using the right formula for your skin type and also using it every day. But where do you start?

Many of us don't wear SPF daily, but will pile it on for our beach holidays. Even if it's looking a little bit cloudy or you're not going to be out in the sun that much, you should be protecting your skin every day. If you have sensitive skin it's important to protect it as much as you possibly can. 90% of skin ageing is attributed to the sun which kinda says it all for me.

And it's not just the sun that damages the skin either. Free radicals destroy skin cells, causing sagging and wrinkles. And they're everywhere, in our favourite wine, fried food and are caused by UV exposure so they're lying in the wings waiting to cling onto our skin and wreck havoc.

Pollution is also pretty damaging, and the particles are 20 times smaller than our pores, so it can easily get in and cause further sensitivity, dehydration, fine lines, dark spots and inflammation. It's in many household cleaning products and paints too, so not limited to just going outside - sorry!

There's research that suggests that people who wear a minimum of SPF15 every day show 24% less skin ageing. If you're taking time to apply your skincare every day, treating any skin concerns and wanting to help prevent ageing then the best thing you can do is wear sunscreen daily and prevent sun damage in the first place. I used to have to remind myself that its just one extra set in my routine, just like a serum - easy.

If you really struggle to wear SPF regularly, Glossier Invisible Shield SPF 35 is a sure winner. It's a breathable, lightweight clear gel formula that has a faint citrus skin and is absolutely undetectable on the skin. This broad spectrum chemical sunscreen also fights free radicals with a powerful cocktail of antioxidants like vitamin E, vitamin P, broccoli and aloe leaf extracts and it also includes fermented yeast and vegetal extract matrix to protect against pollution. This has fit seamlessly into my skincare routine and I find it to be a great base for makeup as well.

Glossier Invisible shield SPF35

When choosing an SPF it's essential to go for a broad spectrum product which protects against both UVB and UVA waves. For example, car windows can only filter UVB rays and not UVA! The majority of SPFs protect against just UVB rays and that often includes makeup products that have SPF included.

UVB are long rays cause sun burn, the damage we actually see. UVA rays, on the other hand, are short rays and penetrate deeper into the skin, causing long term damage such as ageing and pigmentation. Both are carcinogenic unfortunately.

Probably the most confusing factor when buying a sunscreen is whether to go for one that's physical (mineral) or chemical. And annoyingly there's no right or wrong in both but it really depends on your skin and your personal preference.

Physical sunscreens usually consist of natural ingredients like zinc and titanium oxide and they block out UV rays by reflecting them away from the skin. They're often thick and greasy and can leave a white cast - the ones you had smothered on you as a kid as you tried to leg it away! So not the best for oily or acne prone skins. On the flip side mineral sun products are effective as soon as they're applied, there's no need to wait before going outside.

Avenue Very High Protection Clearance Sunscreen SPF50+* is a physical sunscreen designed with oily and acne prone skins in mind. The dry touch formula benefits from monolaurin which regulates sebum production and mattifies the skin, and zinc gluconate to help heal blemishes. There's also thermal water in there as you would expect from Avene, and this helps to soothe and heal the complexion. It comes out of the tube as a white cream, but when massaged into the skin it soon disappears to nothing. It's enough hydration for me to use on its own with no moisturiser underneath.

Chemical sunscreens are more readily available and they work by absorbing UV rays and releasing them as heat from the skin. They often offer higher levels of protection and the formulas are more comfortable to wear. Chemical products need at least 20 minutes to get to work so they need to be applied well in advance of going out in the skin. As the skin absorbs the sunscreen they can cause irritation to the skin, although personally I'm yet to find one that has upset my sensitive skin.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Fluid is hybrid of the two (just to be ultra confusing!). It also comes in a cream but I love the ultra light emulsion. This is the one I use when I'm out in the sun for long periods. It sinks into the skin quickly, leaving my complexion hydrated and comfortable. La Roche-Posay is the possibly the best brand I've found for sensitive skin so they've formulated their sun range, Anthelios, with the most sensitive skins in mind. Every product contains their well known thermal spring water as well.

SPF for sensitive skin

Simply put, wear the highest protection level you can. I wear at least SPF30 every day, which blocks 97% of UVB rays (SPF50 blocks 98%). SPF also doesn't accumulate, so if you apply SPF50 directly to your skin and then pop a foundation on top that also includes SPF15, you'll only have a protection level of SPF50 and not 65. When applying your sunscreen in the morning, apply it as the final step in your skincare routine, before makeup and at least 20 minutes before you go out in the sun. One teaspoon is the right amount to cover your face and neck. When out in the sun all day, top up every two hours.

But what if you're wearing a full face of makeup? The newly launched La Roche-Posay Anthelios Anti-Shine Invisible Fresh Mist Spray SPF0+* is perfect for on the go top ups. It's a fine spray that gives the skin the highest level of protection available and is formulated for even the most sensitive and intolerant skins and it's matte so great oily or acne prone skin types. It's completely transparent and dries immediately on application. The small can fits into my hand bag easily and it's a super fuss-free way of protecting my skin from both the sun and pollution when I'm out and about and it doesn't mess up my makeup. Sorted!

How well do you protect your skin against the sun and do you do it every day?


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