Now that the weather's warming up it's time to start thinking about sun cream. We turned to Clare O'Connor, who has been involved in sun protection research at Boots for more than 20 years.
What’s the most important thing to look for in a sun cream?
Ensure your chosen suncare product has maximum 5 star UVA protection as well as a high SPF, as this will provide the best protection from longer term skin damage and ageing as well as burning.
How do you know what SPF to use?
Always use an SPF of at least 15 - you should be using a higher SPF (30 or 50) if you’re going abroad or have fair skin. Also don’t forget your lips, they are prone to drying and cracking and long term exposure can cause uneven colouration as well as more serious skin conditions.
Are those ‘once a day’ sun protection products any good?
Well, the great thing about the Soltan Once range is that it eliminates the need for frequent re-application. One application of Soltan Once suncare products gives you up to eight hours of sun protection and 5-star protection from harmful UVA rays, perfect for a day out to the seaside. Plus, the formula is designed not to block pores and is dermatologist-approved.
I have sensitive skin, what would you recommend using as sun protection?
Soltan Sensitive Hypoallergenic range is formulated to prevent irritation in the sun, has been clinically tested to protect against prickly sun allergy and can help to soothe your skin while protecting it with Soltan's maximum 5-star protection from UVA rays.
How often should I be reapplying cream?
We recommend applying sun cream 15 minutes before going into the sun, then reapplying again as soon as you go out in the sun. After that, you should reapply every one to two hours, as well as immediately after swimming or towelling. Also, make sure you are using enough product. You should apply a blob about the size of a two-pound coin for each limb and your front and back, as well as a blob about the size of a pound coin for your face.
Is there any difference in the more premium brands and the cheaper versions?
Always make sure you buy a brand you trust as they may cost slightly more, but you can rest assured that they’ve spent money on research into the latest, safest and most effective suncare ingredients. More expensive, premium products don’t offer anything additional in terms of protecting your skin, but may have more expensive extracts which make them smell nice so it would just be down to a personal preference as opposed to being better protection.
Our favourite SPF make-up
Try Benefit's Hello Flawless foundation, £23.85/30ml, which has SPF25 and comes in a wide range of skintones.
Lipbalm with SPF
Maybelline's Baby Lips Lipbalms, £2.99 each, caused a storm when they were first released and have continued to sell well ever since thanks to their low pricing, entincing colours and flavours and the fact that they protect your lips with SPF20.
Primer with SPF
Try Rimmel's Instaflawless Primer, £6.99, which has a subtle tint to give you a radiant complexion - use underneath foundation or on its own. It has SPF15.