Face it, sunshine!
Q. I am confused about facial sunscreens. I use a day cream with SPF25, but most articles I read say this is not high enough. Can you tell me what SPF I should use and also, if I use a sunscreen as well as a moisturiser, which should go on first? A Dermatologist Dr. Stefanie Williams of European Dermatology London (www.eudelo.com) recommends using an SPF30 to 50. ‘SPF25 is a good start if you are only outside for short periods in Britain. But research shows that most people don’t apply enough – certainly nothing like the amounts used in laboratory tests to determine the SPF. So using a higher factor gives you a bit longer protection. Anyone who has very fair skin or suffers with hyperpigmentation [brown patches] or rosacea, both of which can be made worse by UV rays, should definitely choose SPF30 to 50,’ adds Dr Williams.
For sunny holidays, she advises SPF50. Reapply it top to toe every two hours, and always after swimming, even with waterproof products. Most good facial sunscreens provide enough moisturisation, so you do not need to wear a moisturiser as well. However, if you do want to use separate products, Dr Williams advises applying your moisturiser first.
Some experts believe that the slight extra protection from an SPF over 30 is outweighed by extra toxic chemicals. Dr. Williams recommends sun protection based on a physical barrier (zinc oxide or titanium dioxide) rather than a chemical screen. ‘You can buy great sheer mineral filter products these days, without the ghostly look,’ she says.
Dr Williams recommends Jan Marini Physical Protectant SPF45 (around £28), NeoStrata Sheer Physical Protection SPF50 (around £28) and Skinceuticals Sheer Mineral Defence SPF50 (around £26, all from www.amazon.co.uk). (Please note, these may not suit darker complexions.)
If you wear foundation and want to top up your sun protection during the day without disturbing it, Dr. Philippa Lowe of London’s Cranley Clinic (www.drnicklowe.com) recommends BareMinerals SPF30 Natural Sunscreen £25 at www.bareminerals.co.uk) a brush-on powder in three shades.
SUNSCREEN ON THE BEACH
Consultant dermatologist Dr. Nick Lowe advises using eight teaspoonfuls of sunscreen for each application (1 tsp = a 10p-sized blob):
• 1 tsp each for your face, neck (don’t forget the back) and backs of hands • 2 tsp for torso, front and back • 2 tsp for legs • 1 tsp for arms
THE HOLEY GRAIL
My usually unflappable husband had his calm ruffled recently when he discovered an invasion of moths in his clothes cupboard, leaving his jerseys looking like holey cheese. Fortunately, a colleague had discovered The Moth Decoy, which is used by The Royal Opera House and other heritage bodies to protect costumes, clothing and fabrics. The Moth Decoy uses synthetic female moth pheromones (sex hormones) to confuse male moths and disrupt the mating cycle. Both my husband and my colleague are now evangelical about the system, although they advise taking time to read the instructions carefully. The active part needs replacing every three months. The Moth Decoy/from £15, from www.totalwardrobecare.co.uk.
BOOK OF THE WEEK: For Dog’s Sake! by Amy Luwis
Subtitled ‘A simple guide to protecting your pup from unsafe foods, everyday dangers and bad situations’, this handy paperback was judged an ‘invaluable resource’ by Kath Dunning who looks after trainee guide dog puppies. Written by Californian Amy Luwis, co-founder of North America’s largest non-profit pet adoption service, www.Adopt-a-Pet.com, it is full of helpful information on keeping your dog safe and healthy, plus a section on first aid. ‘A great gift for dog-lovers everywhere, humorous but essential,’ says Kath. It could save your vet bills – and your dog’s life. For Dog’s Sake! is published by Andrew McMeel Publishing, price £9.99.
With summer holidays coming up, the barefoot brigade is on the move, spreading contagious conditions such as verrucas, warts, athlete’s foot and nail fungus. Pharmacist Shabir Daya welcomes Excilor 3 in 1 Protector Spray/£9.99, which provides a water-resistant barrier to protect feet, described as an ‘invisible sock’ that lasts for a minimum of eight hours. Shabir also recommends Excilor Fungal Nail Infection pen/£18.99, both www.victoriahealth.com), which delivers acetic acid to kill the fungus.