The five ultimate sun defenders

Cosmetics have never worked so hard. Today's generation of super-skilled multitaskers do our skin good while making it look even better - all while loading the dishwasher. If only. And one of the hardest working areas in skincare (often overlooked for most of the year) is sun protection. 


Image courtesy of Clarins

These are cosmetics that not only help repair damage but unlike many others, can help prevent it occurring in the first place. With this in mind, we’ve rounded up some of the all-time best and most scientifically advanced sun protection products available this summer, which can keep your skin protected long after autumn arrives.

1. Best for face

“Almost all of the signs of ageing are caused by photo damage through ultra-violet exposure,” explains consultant dermatologist Dr Adam Friedmann. “The worst being the damage that UV does to collagen fibres, which results in wrinkles.” Prevention is always better than cure, but we want both. With its heavy duty UVA/UVB protection, Ultrasun’s Face 30SPF Tinted sun protection (50ml, £26) offers an excellent filter against damaging rays. Meanwhile, the formula contains anti-ageing enzyme ectoin and boron nitride, which help reduce the appearance of fine lines and plump the skin, while light-reflecting particles and a hint of colour brighten the complexion.

Available at Fenwick Bond Street, Brent Cross, Canterbury, NewcastleTunbridge WellsWindsor & York

2. Best for body

Hands up who pays as much attention when applying sunscreen to their body as they do to their face? Thought not. But with easy-application formulas, there is no excuse. One of the best all-rounders is Sun Care Oil Spray SPF30 (150ml, £19.50), which launched last year from bodycare specialist Clarins. This oil has been formulated to offer protection and repair for both body and hair. Potent UVA/UVB filters have been combined with nyamplung fruit, which is rich in omega oils and fatty acids to nourish skin and hair; as well as a combination of botanical extracts that protect skin cells from changes caused by UV, and fend off damage from free radicals.

Available at Fenwick Bond Street, Bracknell, Brent Cross, Canterbury, Colchester, Kingston, Leicester, Newcastle, Tunbridge Wells, Windsor & York.

3. Best for sensitive skin

Sufferers of sensitive skin often have enough to contend with simply by being in hot climates. To minimise the potential for further irritation and inflammation, it’s worth investing in a sun protection formula that uses high quantities of naturally derived and organic ingredients. French beauty brand Melvita has been researching and developing natural and organic skincare since 1983, with all of its products adhering to Ecocert standards. The brand’s Prosun High Protection Sunscreen SPF30 (40ml, £19) is a very gentle formulation that uses minerals zinc and titanium to reflect UVA rays and protect against burning UVB respectively.

Available at Fenwick Newcastle

4. Best for single application

Partaking in a triathlon? Running around after the kids all day? (Same thing?) Even if you’re just someone who isn’t great at remembering to reapply sunscreen, the emergence of single-application formulas is life changing: This is maximum sun protection with minimum fuss. One of the most established single-application sunscreens is P20 whose Medium SPF20 (200ml £24.50) is great for everyday use. This alcohol-based transparent lotion is intensely photostable, meaning its broad spectrum UVA/UVB filters don’t budge for up to ten hours. On top of this, the formula itself is active after 15 minutes and extremely water resistant.

Available at Fenwick Kingston, Newcastle

5. Best for after-sun care

Just as critical as protecting your skin while in the sun is treating it afterwards. “The sun depletes the skin of moisture through dehydration and photo damage,” explains Dr Friedmann, “so I really recommend moisturising after sun exposure.” The best kind of after sun moisturiser will support and aid the skin during its overnight repair cycle. After Sun Repair (100ml, £30.50) from Dermalogica is one such product. This balm-like formulation draws on the brand’s 25 years of research and innovation to cool sunburn, reduce redness, soak up free radicals and repair UV-induced damage thanks to high-tech botanicals including Japanese alder leaves, Szechwan pepper and yucca.

Available at Fenwick Brent Cross, Kingston & Newcastle.


By Fleur Fruzza