So. Here it is, the lowdown on why you don’t look 19 anymore.
I know, no one wants to hear it! Believe me I know! But guys, we don’t wear enough sunscreen and it is probably the main reason for our skin losing that fresh, “I can go out drinking five nights in a row, what do you mean you’re hungover? I’ve never had to moisturise” bounce and clarity. You know what I mean, because I can’t be the only one who looks back at photos and thinks “who is that baby face china doll with the ad-perfect skin?”
The vast majority of Australians live by the coast, and those that live further inland and in rural areas all still cop a lot of sun exposure; most before they’ve even hit their 20’s. Now I don’t know about you but I was pretty slack with applying SPF as a kid and teenager, and growing up in the 90’s meant I developed a binge relationship with the sun. By the time I was a teenager Brittany, Christina and Beyonce ruled the world and I wanted an MTV tan; never mind I have the complexion of a glow worm in the middle of the night!
What’s the big deal you say? Well all that cumulative sun exposure over all those years resulted in me hitting 24 and developing not only pigmentation to rival that of the crustiest truck driver, but also a Basal Cell Carcinoma. Yep, Mama got a skin cancer on her face at the ripe old age of 24, and boy did cutting that thing out hurt! The thing is with a BCC you might not even know what it is until it has to be removed, I thought it was a bit of dermatitis, but after it hung around for four months I went to the doctor and he didn’t hesitate to tell me off for not Slip, Slop, Slapping!!
After that I became fanatical about wearing my SPF30 everyday, and I tried everything. Having an oilier skin meant that some didn’t work for me, but they might be great for you so here are some of the sunscreens I’ve tried and loved, or tried and friend-zoned.
- Invisible Zinc Facial Moisturiser SPF30+ – This was my first line of defence, however I could never get my skin completely clean after so it became a beach time only sunscreen.
- Ultraceuticals – A slightly thick cream for a facial sunscreen, I definitely needed to double cleanse, but good for wearing outside if you are playing sport.
- Eve Lom Daily Protection SPF50+ – I love this cream! Not only is it great on it’s own but I can wear it under make up and it never feels too heavy. Its also packed with antioxidants and vitamins as well as pigmentation fighting ingredients. Sadly though, its not available in Australia yet.
- Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Face Lotion SPF50+ – A great lotion for outdoor activities but not amazing under make up as it has a slightly chalky feel. I love it for being by the pool or at the beach, and it is great for first thing in the morning walking the dog in the bright Perth sunshine.
- Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser (Groenland) – Love this juicy tint! Very light and sheer, we all know Nars make great complexion products but this skin tint is a great secondary sunscreen. Because our SPF regulations are so strict though, they can’t label it with an SPF number, so don’t rely on it for your daily protection. It will make your skin look super radiant and juicy though!
- Banana Boat Baby Spray SPF50+ – Currently living in our nappy bag, I love this spray! So good on the Beb’s milky skin and doesn’t cause any irritation. It also washes off in the bath super easily and her skin doesn’t feel greasy and gross.
- Banana Boat Sport SPF30+ (large pump bottle) – This is such a permanent fixture in our bathroom over summer I feel like I probably buy it more often than bread! Melts into skin and super easy to reapply, it also doesn’t leave that white streaky residue after swimming.
- Banana Boat Sport Clear Spray SPF50+ – Lives in the beach bag and the car. Fantastic product!!
- Mecca Cosmetica To Save Face SPF30+ – My absolute favourite facial sunscreen! This cream smells devine, applies just like a moisturiser and can be worn under make up without a hitch! Even my husband uses it. I have re-purchased this so many times I couldn’t even count and would be hard pressed to find something I love with equal fervour!
- La Roche-posay Anthelios XL SPF50+ Ultra Light – This is my latest purchase, I really like how milky the liquid is and that I can wear a tinted moisturiser or light foundation over the top, or just leave it on it’s own.
This list is definitely not every single sunscreen I’ve ever tried, but the ones that I thought worth mentioning. The most important thing with sun protection is that you actually wear it! Make sure it is broad spectrum (catching both UVA & UVB rays – A for ageing, B for burning) and at least an SPF30+ otherwise you’ll end up with more than just a tan, no one wants ‘crepe paper’ as a descriptor for their face!!