Even if you've sworn off nights out for January, it's important to get out of the house. By night, feel free to light the fire and snuggle up in front of the telly, but by day, let's get outside. Exercise is the natural companion to any dieting resolutions you're attempting to maintain, and the endorphins it brings are a great mood-booster and positivity-enhancer. Getting that exercise outside is by far the best option, as even the short hours of daylight we get at this time of year are good for body and soul.
The January sun may be weak and watery, but it can still do damage to your skin. The skin-burning UVA rays aren't much to worry about right now, but the ageing UVB rays are sneakily putting years on you. Which just might undo some of the good done by getting out for a walk, run, cycle or even a swim. And just because it's January, don't kid yourself that whatever SPF is included in your moisturiser or make-up is sufficient. Any expert will tell you that we don't apply enough of these products to our skin for the protection to have any real impact. Instead, you need a dedicated sun-protection product either over or under your skincare or cosmetics. And we have some for you.
Image Skincare Prevention + Daily Hydrating Moisturiser SPF 30+, €44.50, for stockists, see millies.ie, or see renaissance-skincare.com
Bear with us, because it might seem like there's a contradiction afoot. This is a moisturiser with sun protection. In fact, though, it might be more accurate to call it a sun-protection product with added moisturising properties. Protecting from UVB rays as well as UVA, it also includes very pure physical sun-barrier ingredients, which don't leave a white sheen on the skin. "This is really nice to use, and it's not at all white-mask-like," said a panellist. "It's surprisingly non-greasy under make-up, too."
SkinCeuticals Redness Neutralizer, €82, for stockists see skinceuticals.co.uk
This is the only product on the page without any sun protection, but it is one to protect you from the winter elements. A side effect of cold weather, particularly combined with centrally heated houses, is that one can get a little ruddy. And not in a just-exercised or just-been-kissed kind of way. We mean simply red-faced. This product majors in various peptides, which are commonly used in skincare to repair and restore damage. It also has a discernible cooling effect. "It's oh-so soothing," a panellist said. "Immediately and in a cumulative cheek-calming way."
Estee Lauder DayWear Advanced Multi-Protection Anti-Oxidant & UV Defence SPF 50, €44, Estee Lauder counters nationwide
If you love the sweet-cucumber scent of the DayWear range, then you'll like this sun-protection product. It has a selection of antioxidant ingredients, as well as broad-spectrum sun protection, so it promises to help to neutralise any environmental assault, too. Helpful if you take your run by a busy road, for example. "Great for my dry skin, as it's a little bit moisturising and gives my day cream a boost," said a panellist.
Guinot Newhite Brightening UV Shield SPF 50, €46, Guinot salons nationwide, or see feelunique.com
There is a whole line from Guinot aimed at people with hyperpigmentation and plain uneven skintone due to age or over-sunning. When using all 'brightening' products, it's important to be aware that the skin is more sensitive to the sun, so use of broad-spectrum protection is crucial. Helpfully, this companion sun product exists for that reason, with great ray-ban and radiance-boosting ingredients. "This is light and dewy and brilliant for sun or ski situations," one panellist said.
Eucerin CC Creme SPF 50+, €23.76, available nationwide
This brand does very good sun protection, particularly for sensitive skins, and this is one of their standout products. It's light and dewy and natural-looking, but it also really packs a sun-protection punch. The protection is broad spectrum, but they don't make the coverage look ashy. "Silky to use and nicely subtle for this time of year," said a panellist. "Good for a gentle, non-exerting walk when you want to look OK if you bump into someone."
Sunday Indo Life Magazine