Meet my favourite screen stars

The new for­mu­las fo­cus on much more than keep­ing the rays at bay

Irish Daily Mail - YOU - - EDWINA INGS-CHAMBERS -

Sun­screen of­fer­ings so of­ten seem to be the pre­serve of big com­pa­nies (Vichy, La Roche Posay, Clar­ins – the list could go on and on). Of course, there’s noth­ing wrong with that at all – it pro­vides us with a wealth of choice. But lately there’s been a rise in what I call niche sun­care: smaller brands edg­ing their way into the mar­ket and bring­ing more per­son­al­ity into the mix.

Take Saltee. This is one of my favourite new lines. Its sun­screen for the face has shot to the top of my must-buy charts be­cause it feels like re­ally lux­u­ri­ous skin­care.

Now we all know that pro­tect­ing our faces from the sun is part of our skin­care regime, but this lo­tion also leaves skin look­ing dewy while pro­vid­ing a great base for make-up; plus it’s su­per light­weight. I love the Face Sea & Sun For­mula SPF 50 (€31.90, saltee.co.uk). There’s no white cast to this fin­ish be­cause it’s what’s known as a chem­i­cal sun­screen – ie, one that ab­sorbs the sun’s rays, as op­posed to a min­eral sun­screen that sits on top of the skin and re­flects the rays.

So why did Saltee de­cide to take the chem­i­cal route? ‘The most im­por­tant ad­vice to con­sumers is that they use a higher SPF (30-plus) with very good UVA and UVB pro­tec­tion,’ says brand co-founder Sam Richard­son. ‘With min­eral ver­sus chem­i­cal, the weight of ev­i­dence sug­gests that it’s the in­di­vid­ual for­mu­la­tions of sun­screens rather than just the UV fil­ters (which ac­count for ten to 20 per cent of the to­tal in­gre­di­ents) that de­ter­mine their suit­abil­ity for in­di­vid­ual skin types.’

So Face Sea & Sun con­tains nat­u­ral nour­ish­ing in­gre­di­ents such as Nordic pine bark to help pre­vent pig­men­ta­tion and cu­cum­ber ex­tract to hy­drate. It’s also ve­gan and paraben-free. The ac­com­pa­ny­ing Body Ac­tive Sun Lo­tion SPF 30 (€35) is great too and reef-friendly – ie free of oxy­ben­zone, the chem­i­cal that bleaches coral.

Os­kia SPF 30 Vi­ta­min Face Cream (€64, os­ki­ask­in­care.com) also comes with a skin­care fo­cus, fea­tur­ing snow al­gae and vi­ta­min E to help pro­tect col­la­gen – it also combats the ef­fects of pol­lu­tion – and glacier wa­ter to hy­drate. This feels more like a sun­screen thanks to its creamy tex­ture, but also be­cause it’s a min­eral ver­sion con­tain­ing zinc and ti­ta­nium diox­ide.

Although this gives a slight white cast when ap­plied it does seem to dis­si­pate and feels good on the skin.

On to the body and Sun Bum, an in­de­pen­dent US brand cre­ated by a group of friends that has re­cently launched here. This stuff looks cool and smells great with a sig­na­ture ba­nana fra­grance that’s sweet and yummy in that de­lec­ta­ble hol­i­day-fun-in-the-sun way. And the

Pre­mium Mois­tur­iz­ing Sun­screen Spray SPF 50 (€22.99, boots.com) is ex­cel­lent: it’s a chem­i­cal screen (the brand also has a min­eral line), in­cludes vi­ta­min E in its for­mula, and gives a re­ally light veil of wa­ter-re­sis­tant cover with an easy-to-ap­ply aerosol.

Tropic skin­care is not ex­actly a niche brand but nei­ther is it a be­he­moth. Founder Susie Ma con­tin­ues to head it up and it still feels very per­sonal.

New ad­di­tions to the col­lec­tion in­clude Great

Bar­rier Sun Lo­tion SPF 30 (€31, trop­ic­skin­care. com), which mixes chem­i­cal sun­screen with min­eral (zinc and ti­ta­nium diox­ide) to give a very smoothly tex­tured prod­uct that feels mois­tur­is­ing; it also nour­ishes with vi­ta­min E and smells de­li­ciously of co­conut.

All of the above are reef-friendly. The ex­cep­tion in my line-up, and not so niche, is Shi­seido Ex­pert Sun Pro­tec­tor Face Cream (€35, shi­seido.com), although the com­pany is look­ing at cre­at­ing an oxy­ben­zone-free ver­sion for next year. This de­serves a men­tion thanks to its Syn­chroShield re­spon­sive UV pro­tec­tion. In other words, the tougher the con­di­tions – whether heat, wa­ter or sweat – the harder the for­mula works to keep skin pro­tected. And it’s all wrapped up in a light­weight tex­ture that’s barely vis­i­ble on the skin. We’ve pic­tured the SPF 30 ver­sion here but it’s also avail­able in SPF 50; plus there’s an ac­com­pa­ny­ing body range.

Like lux­u­ri­ous skin­care, this also leaves skin

look­ing dewy

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