How to prevent pigmentation

Q. I am 37 and a nursery teacher, which means being outside a lot. I have mild pigmentation on my cheeks and forehead, which appeared two years ago and I am terrified about it getting worse. I have sensitive and dry skin and am desperately looking for a good day cream with a high SPF. The ones I have tried just make my skin drier.  I would like a budget of about £30 as I am not rich! A.  We started off thinking this would be easy but actually it wasn't simple to find anything over SPF15 under £30.

We think that for your sensitive skin a good one to try would be Eau Thermale Avêne Optimale UV Light SPF20 Protective Hydrating Cream, from a French range which specialises in products for touchy skin.

Avon offer Avon Anew Vitale Day Cream SPF25, for £19.50 for 50 ml, which has some favourable user comments (though some less good too), on the Avon website

Also Neutrogena has Multi-Defence Daily Moisturiser for All Skin Types Fragrance-Free SPF25.

Derma E Evenly RadiantYou could of course combine products to increase the SPF.  In this case, you could try Derma E Evenly Radiant Day Cream SPF15, which is £25.  Then add a mineral make-up over the top, which would camouflage your existing pigmentation and give more sun protection since pure mineral make-up is naturally sun-protective.  (Don’t believe what you hear about not being able to ‘layer’ sunscreen:  adding a physical mineral barrier over a sunscreen does indeed up the protection.)

We suggest you look at the bareMinerals website,, where, for instance, the bareMinerals ORIGINAL SPF15 Foundation comes in 20 shades. You do need a special brush to apply it but the results are fab.  (Yes, it is a bit of an investment but just go to the nearest counter – they’re in department stores nationwide - and see what you think when you have had a play.)

They also offer a hydrating compact foundation, bareMinerals READY SPF20 - but you don't need to buy a brush, and you could wear this over any moisturiser.

Finally, do remember to keep your skin hydrated by sipping lots of still water.  And whenever you are in the sun wear big dark glasses with wide arms, and a closely woven hat.  It’s much easier to prevent pigmentation problems than ‘cure’ them – although they will fade, without further exposure.  So shielding your face from the sun is absolutely the best tactic.

• Avéne Hydrance Optimale UV Light SPF20 Protective Hydrating Cream/£14.50 for 40 ml at - buy here

• Avon Anew Vitale Day Cream SPF25/£19.50 for 50 ml at - buy here

• Neutrogena Multi-Defence Daily Moisturiser for All Skin Types Fragrance-Free SPF25/£7.99 for 52 ml at - buy here

• Derma E Evenly Radiant Day Cream SPF15/£25 for 56 g at - buy here

• bareMinerals ORIGINAL SPF15 Foundation/£25 at - buy here

• bareMinerals READY SPF20/£25 at - buy here


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