Life

Beauty: Let's play with the new kids on the sunblock

The days of thick, gloopy white sun cream are long gone, but here's the rub - so much choice makes it hard to keep up. Katie Wright runs down this year's suncare essentials

It's important to apply suncream during the summer months
Katie Wright

WE all know, whether we're jetting off somewhere scorching or staying local, sun protection is vital.

But with so many new SPF-laden creams and concoctions on the market every year, it can be hard to keep up.

Are all these new products really necessary?

"Ultimately, we create product variations as part of our focus on encouraging everyone to be responsible in the sun," explains Abi Cleeve, MD at Ultrasun UK.

"Product innovation is first and foremost about delivering protection, but also additional skincare benefits. We've been able to respond specifically to our customer requests: targeted protection for hands and eyes, a tinted body option, higher SPF in our popular Glimmer and Tinted Face formulas... We've delivered everything on their wish list!"

And they're not the only ones – this summer sees a bumper crop of launches, meaning the days of battling with a bottle of thick, chalky lotion are long gone.

From make-up with benefits, to protective mists, these are the sunscreens to stock up on now...

TAKE A TINT

Rather than layering a high-factor sunscreen under your make-up, a tinted cream will provide the complexion-boosting coverage and SPF in one.

Ultrasun's new SPF50 Tinted Face formula is available in two shades, and there's a body version too to perk up pasty limbs, while Eucerin's CC Cream has just a hint of colour and SkinCeuticals Mineral Matte UV Defense is formulated with absorbent minerals to eliminate any oiliness.

:: Ultrasun Tinted Face SPF50, £28 (www.marksandspencer.com)

:: Eucerin Sun Face CC Cream SPF50, £18 (FeelUnique.com)

:: SkinCeuticals Mineral Matte UV Defense SPF30, currently reduced to £30.95 from £40 (FacetheFuture.co.uk)

GET RID OF INFRARED

Infrared was the big story in suncare last summer, and now pharmacy brands are making protection from IR-A rays (which target that all-important collagen) more affordable.

LloydsPharmacy has launched the UK's first own-brand sun spray with infrared protection and Superdrug has unveiled Solait Enhanced, to shield against UVA, UVB and IR-A rays.

:: Solero SPF15 Moisturising Sun Spray, £7 (www.lloydspharmacy.com)

:: Superdrug Solait Enhanced Sun Lotion SPF30, £8.99 (www.superdrug.com)

GO AU NATUREL

If you have sensitive skin that often reacts to fragrances or preservatives, or if you'd rather use natural products that are kinder to the environment, there are plenty of sunblock options available.

Lavera's new organic range is infused with sunflower oil and calming calendula, while Organii creams use karanja oil blended with mineral sunscreens to protect against UVA and UVB rays.

Green People's newly reformulated range includes a Sun Lotion with Natural Tan Accelerator which uses carob tree extract to stimulate melanin, so you go golden faster.

:: Green People Sun Lotion SPF15 with Natural Tan Accelerator, £20 (www.greenpeople.co.uk)

:: Lavera Organic Sun Spray SPF20, £13.94 (Pravera.co.uk)

:: Organii Sun Milk SPF20, £17.90 (SoOrganic.com)

ROLL WITH IT

It's not just sunscreen formulas that are getting better – how you apply them is evolving too.

Nivea has introduced its first ever roll-on SPF50 for kids, making it easier to ensure even coverage on little ones' limbs, and you can now get P20 SPF20 and 30 in a continuous spray can, cutting down on the old spritz-and-slather process you have with regular pump sprays.

:: Nivea Sun Protect & Moisturise Roll On SPF50, £4.99 (www.superdrug.com)

:: Riemann P20 Once a Day Sun Protection Continuous Spray SPF30, currently reduced to £19.99 from £24.99 (www.boots.com)

SPRAY AWAY

If you've ever faced the problem of what to do when you want to reapply sunscreen on your face without disrupting your make-up, the answer to your conundrum is here.

Bioderma has launched a world first with Eau de Soin, an invisible facial mist with inbuilt SPF30 that can be applied over your make-up.

Vichy's new hydrating mist is available in SPF30 and 50 too, and La Roche-Posay will soon be adding an SPF50+ mist to its ever-popular Anthelios range.

:: Bioderma Hydrabio Eau de Soin SPF30, £9 (www.boots.com)

:: Vichy Ideal Soleil Invisible Hydrating Mist SPF50, currently reduced to £14 from £16.50 (Escentual.com)

:: La Roche-Posay Invisible Face Mist SPF50+, £9.50 (available July; www.boots.com)

TRIED AND TESTED

:: Katie Wright tries out the new personalised facial menu from Murad.

A personal appointment with the famed Dr Murad himself in LA has been my skincare dream for years, so I'm very excited to try out the new bespoke concept that's bringing the doc's expertise to a wider audience. Rather than choosing a facial based on the purported results, my visit begins with a thorough consultation with a therapist, where we discuss my concerns and which to focus on.

Spots are my skin's nemesis (I breakout around my jawline every month without fail) and the residual scarring takes a long time to fade, so we decide on a Blemish Enzyme Treatment, a professional strength peel that's satisfyingly sting-y (that's how you know it's working), followed by Hydro-Dynamic Quenching Essence and a Clarifying Mask to restore moisture.

My skin feels – and looks – fantastic afterwards, and thanks to the dreamy neck, shoulder and arm massages that are part of the protocol, I'm thoroughly relaxed too. It turns out going bespoke is totally blissful.

:: The Murad Method Facial System, from £70 for 60 minutes. For salons, call 0844 472 7050

BUY IT NOW

It's long been a make-up hero brand, now BareMinerals has branched out into skincare with the Skinsorials collection. The star of the range is the Skinlongevity Vital Power Infusion, £45, a groundbreaking serum packed with Long Life Herb, a mysterious ingredient harvested on Okinawa, the Japanese island where women live longer than almost anywhere else in the world. Apply before your moisturiser to infuse skin with the nutrient-rich, life-giving wonder herb (www.bareminerals.co.uk).

BEAUTY BULLETIN

:: HOW MANY MANIS?

UK women collectively spend 128 million hours a year on their nails, together forking out a total of £161 million on their talons, according to research by nail wrap brand Jamberry. Kylie Jenner is the top nail idol for 16-24-year olds, while over-45s rate Rita Ora's manis most highly, the survey of 1000 women also found. As for the nation's favourite nail polish; pink took top spot, with 20 per cent of the vote.

STEAL OF THE WEEK

Buying enough sun cream to last the length of a holiday can be expensive, but the Solait Family Pack, £13.99, Superdrug, represents excellent value for money. Comprising three levels of SPF protection and a tube of aftersun, the four-pack will keep the whole family protected (www.superdrug.com).

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