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Sunscreens, Decoded

Sunscreens, Decoded

Lotions, oils, sprays, mists, gels - We get it, the choice is overwhelming. Here's what you need to know before choosing the right sun protection for you.

1. Dry or sensitive skin
If your skin is dry or sensitive, opt for a cream texture and look for formulations specifically aimed at sensitive skin types. Thicker creams will keep your skin moisturised and comfortable, and often contain nourishing ingredients such as aloe vera and glycerin. Sunscreens usually protect the skin in two ways - with chemical filters that act like a sponge and absorb UV rays, or with physical filters, usually made from minerals, that reflect the rays before they can do any lasting damage. Mineral-based creams are usually much more suited to sensitive skin types as chemical filters often cause inflammation and irritation is sensitive skins. Therefore, it's a wise idea to look for zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, two mineral filters listed in the ingredients. If yo uhave dry or sensitive skin, try the UV Perfect Aqua Essence sunscreen by L’Oréal Paris. The lightweight formula of the sunscreen gets quickly absorbed into the skin and protects you from the UVA abd UVB rays of the sun. Also, try to avoid products containing fragrance and preservatives.

2. Combination skin
Sunscreen lotions are best suited to normal, combination and oily skin types as they're lightweight and don't leave a thick, greasy film on the skin. Try a spray version if using on your body. Look our for formulations that are listed as oil-free or non-comedogenic, this means that they won't block your pores.

3. For instant lift
When considering suntan oil, don't even think about reaching for the monoi or olive oil; these will leave the skin burnt, as they offer no SPF protection whatsoever. Instead, think about trying a nourishing oil with an SPF already built in. As well as protecting the skin and adding some much-needed moisture, the added bonus is that wherever you apply them, you'll look glossy and lithe.

4. To refresh and protect
Sunscreen sprays and mists shower the skin with tiny droplets of SPF lotion, very refreshing in hot weather. They often have a dry texture that leaves skin protected and moisturised but without a clammy or sticky feeling. Sunscreen gels have a similar effect as they contain water that freshens and hydrates the skin while penetrating quickly.

5. For sensitive spots on the face
The solid texture of sunscreen sticks makes them easy to apply to sensitive areas of the face, such as the nose, cheekbones, ears and lips. They're perfect for water sports, skiing and mountain hikes.

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