The most – and least – ef­fec­tive kinds of sun­screens on the mar­ket

Friday - - Beauty -


Ever pop­u­lar, lo­tions and creams are an ev­ery­day clas­sic for sev­eral good rea­sons. Fast-ab­sorb­ing, they are safe for the en­tire fam­ily, with a mul­ti­tude of brands on the mar­ket to suit any bud­get. Per­fect for both face and body, they usu­ally con­tain a mix of chem­i­cal and phys­i­cal sun­block­ers for a high level of sun pro­tec­tion.


A relic from child­hood, zinc sun­screen still has a place in your fam­ily’s beach bag. Ap­ply a stripe of this brightly coloured stick down your chil­dren’s noses, across their cheeks and on their ears to give ex­tra pro­tec­tion (in ad­di­tion to their usual sun­cream). There are now clear zincs avail­able, but we love the retro blast-fromthe-past neon green, orange and pink.


Re­formed beach bun­nies who used to slather on olive oil to tan (but now know bet­ter) will love us­ing a sun­screen oil. Wa­ter-re­sis­tant and hy­drat­ing, they are great for sweaty hu­mid days, play­ing sport, and hit­ting the beach or pool. Just avoid us­ing on your face, as they can leave al­ready oily skin types with an un­wanted shine.


While you can dust a zinc-in­fused SPF pow­der over your foun­da­tion to help it set, or to top up your sun pro­tec­tion just be­fore leav­ing the of­fice for the day, it’s not the long­est-last­ing or high­est-pro­tec­tion avail­able.

As it will also wash or sweat off eas­ily, use SPF pow­der as ad­di­tional pro­tec­tion rather than your base.


It’s prob­a­bly not enough to use mois­turiser with SPF as your only pro­tec­tion, says Tony Matthews from the Can­cer Coun­cil. ‘It’s not as ef­fec­tive as an ac­tual sun­block; it could be an SPF30-rated com­pound, but by the time it’s di­luted with other in­gre­di­ents, the SPF value is closer to SPF 10/12.’ He sug­gests ap­ply­ing mois­turiser un­der your sun­cream.


Pills that claim to prevent sun­burn and boost tan­ning have hit shelves re­cently, but the Can­cer Coun­cil says that such prod­ucts have yet to be proven to of­fer any level of SPF. Fea­tur­ing as­tax­an­thin, an an­tiox­i­dant found in wild salmon, they may of­fer a vi­ta­min boost to sup­port skin and hair health, but can’t be de­pended on to pro­vide ad­e­quate sun pro­tec­tion.

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