Wednesday 28 September 2016

Beauty panel: Sunny side up

The sun can do you sneaky damage at this time of year, so get smart and suss out some SPF

Sarah Caden

Published 04/05/2015 | 02:30

Pictured, from left, Shiseido Expert Sun Age Protection Cream SPF30; SkinCeuticals Mineral Eye UV Defense SPF30; Creme de la Mer The Reparative Skintint SPF30; Erborian Korean Skin Therapy CC Creme HD SPF25; Riemann P20 Sun Protection Spray SPF30
Pictured, from left, Shiseido Expert Sun Age Protection Cream SPF30; SkinCeuticals Mineral Eye UV Defense SPF30; Creme de la Mer The Reparative Skintint SPF30; Erborian Korean Skin Therapy CC Creme HD SPF25; Riemann P20 Sun Protection Spray SPF30

The heatwaves of recent years have kicked off soon, which means that while it might seem too early to start talking sun protection, it's really not. Even if the sun isn't splitting the rocks, its rays are hitting your skin and they do damage even if you don't look burned, or the freckles aren't suddenly out in abundance. Before you start groaning about the annual SPF lecture, bear in mind that not only is skin cancer the most common cancer in Ireland, but sun exposure will also add years to your complexion.

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Obviously, if it's sunny, slap on the sun protection, please. Farmer's tans and scalded skin are not attractive, and, really, even if we only get one good day all summer, it's no reason to fry yourself while it lasts. Also, if you're one for exercising outdoors, you need to get the SPF on. Even on a dull day, you are getting far more sun than you think and that attractive, outdoorsy appearance can turn into a leathery look quickly. Needless to say, we could all do with bit of vitamin D, but if you won't wear your sun cream, then catch some quick rays and then get in to the shade. You could even try introducing the parasol as summer 2015's must-have accessory.

Best Overall

Shiseido Expert Sun Age Protection Cream SPF30, €36, Brown Thomas; Arnotts, D1, Debenhams; selected pharmacies nationwide

There are features of most SPFs that are hated by even the most devoted users, namely the white residue, the stickiness, the greasiness. This is one of the nicest face-suitable creams we've tried on all of these fronts. It also has this WetForce technology that claims to improve efficacy if you swim or sweat. "No burning, and no yuckiness when I wore this to go running during the mini-minor Easter heatwave," said one panellist. "It feels and smells like a very nice face cream."

Best Eye Protection

SkinCeuticals Mineral Eye UV Defense SPF30, €31, for stockists, see skinceuticals.co.uk

If you like the high SPF, tinted Sheer Mineral Veil from this brand, then you'll love this. It's a summer multi-tasker for around the eyes, where it's hard to offer high protection without irritation. With this little tube, you get skin care from moisturising ceramides, mineral-based SPF designed for thin, sensitive skin and a bit of concealing tint. "I used this as a souped-up concealer and eye-shadow base, because it can be used all over, above and below the eye," a panellist said. "And it works well as both."

Best Tint With Bonuses

Creme de la Mer The Reparative Skintint SPF30, €90, Brown Thomas

Obviously, fans of Creme de la Mer will be all over this, a tinted moisturiser with the sea-algae-rich Miracle Broth and all the attendant promises you get from the moisturiser. It's a transparent but skin-enhancing tint, available in five shades, with no white residue. "As an introduction to the brand, this is nice," said one panellist, "because you get two products for the price, which isn't cheap, but the product feels luxurious and it's a pretty way to protect."

Best Tint for Everyone

Erborian Korean Skin Therapy CC Creme HD SPF25, €44, Space NK, Dundrum Town Centre, D16; Grafton St, D2

CC cream is a cousin of BB cream, both of which were born in Korea. BB cream was designed as a skin-kind cover-up for after cosmetic surgery, while CC cream has a less powdery finish and more colour-correcting properties. Two women, one French and one Korean, are behind Erborian, a brand that claims to combine luxury and science. This high-SPF tint squeezes out white and chalky from the tube, but adapts to your skin tone and blends to a sheer finish. "Amazing glow but no greasiness," said a panellist. "It gave a no-make-up look, while providing both cover-up and sun protection."

Best Spray

Riemann P20 Sun Protection Spray SPF30, €32.99, available nationwide

This brand is tried, tested and loved by anyone who dislikes applying and wearing sun protection but appreciates that it has to be done. The selling point of this sun product is that you have to put it on only once a day, even if you're swimming or sweating, and this spray makes it even more painless to apply. "It feels dry on the skin in record time and never gets sticky," one panellist said. "You put it on and you forget about it, no wonder it's an all-time favourite."

Email thepanel@independent.ie

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