Sunscreens to Try Out This Summer / by Didier Young

A few days back, I was walking back to my apartment when I noticed something that caught the corner of my eye: The magnolia trees were starting to bloom. Often one of the first ones to show their buds at the beginning of the season of renewal, magnolias are a far better indicator of the coming of spring than groundhogs are. Spring is a season of regrowth, with trees starting to coat themselves in a bright green duvet of young leaves and all the flowers start to bloom. As it is often the case in the law of the universe, when you get more of something you are meant to balance it out with less of something else. The more flowers start to bloom, the less clothing we seem to wear. With the higher percentage of exposed skin surface to the dangerous UV rays of the sun, it is time to start thinking about sun care.

Of course, one should be wearing SPF products all year long. Even in winter, our skin is vulnerable to the harmful rays of the sun and we tend to forgo sun care because we do not experience the same immediate short-run effects as we do during the warmer months of the year. Due to the lower amount of sun exposure during the colder months, I do tend to simply use a moisturizer that already includes an SPF 30 or my trusted BB cream/water from Smashbox as they do include the added benefit of a light coverage. However, in summer I make sure to add an additional step to my skincare routine and I’ll layer sunscreen on top of my moisturiser. I’ve always had a hard time finding the right sunscreen for me both in terms of scent and texture. I find them to be often too thick, which is quite horrible when I sweat, and let’s not talk about the traditional coconut scent that every company insisted on making their products smell like.

In today’s post, I shall focus on two of my favourite skincare brands that offer fantastic sun care products: Vichy and Clinique. As someone with sensitive skin, I always have to make sure to find skincare that works for my skin type (combination) and that are relatively fragrance free as I have been known to incur some skin irritations from scented products. Even if you do not have the same level of skin sensitivity as I do, it is best to get sunscreen sans fragrance and I am happy to say that both skincare lines are devoid of additional scents. 

Vichy recently added Idéal Soleil Sport SPF60 to their line, a face and body sunscreen that is perfect if you’re planning on going for a swim or if you are performing in any type of outdoor sport. Boasting a high SPF and Mexoryl technology, Sport is water and sweat resistant and makes sure that your skin will be fully protected for up to 80 minutes under those conditions. If you are looking for a product meant to be worn on a more casual level, the Idéal Soleil SPF50 is meant for the face and other highly exposed areas of your body and comes in a smaller format which is far easier to carry around. Both products are very fluid which is great if you are planning on using them as an additional layer on top of your moisturizer.

Clinique also included a brand new set to their roster; all-mineral sunscreens. Available in SPF50 and SPF30 versions for face and an SPF30 for body, the new line makes use of the Invisible Shield Technology which protects you from the harsh UVA and UVB rays while creating a breathable second skin. Both products have a thicker texture than their Vichy alter-egos but still far lighter than most of the other ones on the market. They are both great for layering on top of your usual daily routine but you could also use them as a substitute for your moisturiser. The blendable formula in the Clinique products also means that they leave your skin without any chalky or oily residue which is always a plus in my books.

While it’s great to keep your skin protected, I do understand the desire to look like a golden God/ Goddess. I know I can always count on Vichy’s Capital Idéal Soleil Self Tanner and Clinique’s Self Sun Body Tinted Lotion (in light-medium) to help me achieve a streak-free bronzed look. They both offer rapid results and may be used on both face and body. For those ofyou who might be a tad worried about getting dark too fast then the Charlotte Tilbury Overnight Bronze and Glow Mask is a fantastic option for you. It is far less potent than the above mentioned self tanners but it will still give you a nice healthy glow.

Voilà! Those are my current favourites in terms of sun care and remember to keep on applying those babies even in winter. You might not see the effects of the sun right away, but you’ll be thankful in your later years. Tanning is great but it is definitely not worth the rapid aging or skin cancer that may result from the process especially when you can achieve the exact same glow sans risks.