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Sun days... time to take your sun protection seriously

Glorious or gloomy, you still need SPF, says Sarah Caden, who has five winners

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Use a high sun protection factor (SPF)

Use a high sun protection factor (SPF)

SkinCeuticals Advanced Brightening UV Defense Sunscreen

SkinCeuticals Advanced Brightening UV Defense Sunscreen

Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 40

Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 40

Avene Eau Thermale Tinted Mineral Fluid SPF 50+

Avene Eau Thermale Tinted Mineral Fluid SPF 50+

Nimue Sun-C Environmental Shield SPF 50

Nimue Sun-C Environmental Shield SPF 50

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Use a high sun protection factor (SPF)

Let's start by saying it doesn't matter if you're not getting out foreign this summer. Nor does it matter if it's gloomy for the staycation, or even the WFH in the garden. You still need sun protection. Maybe it's boring, but give it a month and you'll see a difference in your skin.

Seek broad-spectrum protection in all your sun-shield products. They protect from the ageing UVA rays,

as well as the burning UVB. And even if you have dark skin, you need some protection to avoid hyperpigmentation and uneven tone. Then, remember that a mineral or physical product goes on at the end of your skincare routine, as it literally creates a protection barrier; while chemical products go on under your moisturiser, sinking into the skin for a biological buffer.

Email thepanel@independent.ie

 

Best Overall

SkinCeuticals Advanced Brightening UV Defense Sunscreen, €45, selected salons nationwide, see skinshop.ie

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SkinCeuticals Advanced Brightening UV Defense Sunscreen

SkinCeuticals Advanced Brightening UV Defense Sunscreen

SkinCeuticals Advanced Brightening UV Defense Sunscreen

 

We love SkinCeuticals for sun protection and highly rate this new mineral shield. The brand majors in treatment products such as retinol and glycolic acid, which can increase light sensitivity, so they also put a lot of energy into sun protection. This has mineral shields, and ingredients that promise to reduce dark spots and uneven skin tone. "This is a great base for make-up and it could double as moisuriser, too," a panellist said.

Best All Bases

Nimue Sun-C Environmental Shield SPF 50, €30, selected salons nationwide, see nimue.com

This creamy product pulls everything out of the bag in terms of protection, covering everything from broad-spectrum UV defence to infra-red, blue light and pollution. Zinc functions as the barrier to damaging rays, so this is your last layer of skincare before make-up, and it's creamy enough for dry skin and suitable for sensitive types. "This seems quite white and opaque on first application, but it sinks in nicely," said one panellist. "It's not at all greasy and has a nice dry-to-the-touch finish."

Best Tinted

Avene Eau Thermale Tinted Mineral Fluid SPF 50+, €21, pharmacies nationwide

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Avene Eau Thermale Tinted Mineral Fluid SPF 50+

Avene Eau Thermale Tinted Mineral Fluid SPF 50+

Avene Eau Thermale Tinted Mineral Fluid SPF 50+

 

Sometimes our aversion to daily sun protection is based on a reluctance to add yet another layer to our skincare regime. For that reason, a tinted product can be just the thing. In terms of ray defence, this shields against both UVA and UVB as well as the damaging light that emanates from electronic devices. Then, the light tint provides sheer, summery coverage that is matte in finish. "This sets the skin up beautifully," said a panellist, "in terms of protection and a bit of polish."

Best Gel Well

Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 40, €18.30, see cultbeauty.com

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Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 40

Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 40

Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 40

 

This is the kind of product that was once only accessible if you were going on holidays to America, coming home with a drugstore haul. These days, as lockdown demonstrated, there's little you can't get your hands on with a few clicks. This product lives up to its unseen name. It's a clear gel with a slightly disconcerting dry feel, that smooths on over your skincare, with no sinking-in time. "This is more like a posh make-up primer than a sun product," a panellist said. "I forgot I had it on - the ultimate compliment."

Best Cream Dream

Dermalogica Invisible Physical Defence SPF 30, €59, for stockists, see dermalogica.ie

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Dermalogica Invisible Physical Defence SPF 30,

Dermalogica Invisible Physical Defence SPF 30,

Dermalogica Invisible Physical Defence SPF 30,

 

For a bit more creaminess and a slightly lower SPF, try this zinc-oxide-based product. Some experts argue that an SPF of 30 is sufficient, in terms of returns and in terms of overtaxing the skin. Keeping out of the sun, of course, is what they really recommend. This is moisturising enough that oily or combination skin types could use it as a summer moisturiser, and it won't clog pores. "I really love this product," said a panellist. "It feels nourishing, with a slightly dewy finish."

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