SPF On the Go

Its all perfect to keep talking about how we need to reapply sunscreen every few hours, but what is one to do when you are fully made up and need to step out into the sun during the afternoon? If taking off all your makeup, putting on sunscreen and then reapplying everything is not an option, try one of the new SPF-enhanced pressed powders. While most face powders don’t include too high an SPF (20 is normally the upper limit though some brands are now touching 30), they are sufficient to keep you protected for at least a couple of hours, while being easy to apply over existing makeup. For best results, ensure that you apply evenly all over the face, including the tips of your ears and neck. Some good options:

Understanding Your Sunscreen

It’s that time of the year once again when you either let your skin get burnt to a crisp or actually head out and buy a new bottle of (gasp!) sunscreen. UV protection is the number-one summer health and beauty helper, yet 75% people don’t bother to use any.

It’s a well proven fact that 80% signs of ageing (like fine lines, hyper-pigmentation, wrinkles and sagging) are accelerated by the sun’s rays, which penetrate deep into the skin to attack collagen – the spongy protein that keeps skin supple and firm.

New studies also indicate that regular SPF use allows skin cells to focus on tasks that actually improve skin – such as shedding dead cells and building collagen – rather than on fighting environmental effects. So you not only prevent further damage, but actually get repairing benefits as well.

And no, the bottle from last year won’t do, because sunscreens usually degenerate and lose their effectivity within six months of opening the bottle. Still confused about what all those numbers and rating signify? Here is a quick brush-up 101 to help you choose:

  • SPF: Higher SPFs don’t give better protection; they just allow you to be out in the sun longer without burning. SPF 15 works for approximately two hours, so it’s fine for everyday use, but on outdoor days go for SPF 30 or above to cut down on reapplications.
  • UVA/UVB: Earlier, SPF regulations only measured the product’s efficacy against UVB rays; however, studies have proved that UVA rays are equally damaging to the skin. So, the revised labeling system for sunscreens includes a four-star rating system for sunscreen protection against UVA light – one star represents low UVA protection, while four stars represent the highest protection available in an over-the-counter product.

Had a lousy night? Or partied it away? Now, apologise to your skin

Your skin is paying the price for that all night party/work binge? Bring it back to life with a vigorous scrub that will whisk away dead cells and increase blood flow, banishing sluggishness and instantly brightening your complexion.

Then kick the recovery plan into high gear with a stimulating face mask – anything that contains peppermint, tea tree or citrus extracts will perk up your complexion instantly (personally, I can’t live without Lush’s Crash Course in Skin Care).

Follow with a facial spritzer (Both Evian and Vichy do great ones) to make you feel refreshed and invigorated. Also, keep drinking loads of water to plump up the skin and keep it well hydrated – the easiest way to bust puffiness and fine lines.

And when all else fails, cheat! Choose from among the slew of flash balms, which tighten the skin and add a layer of light reflecting moisture to create a rosy glow (try Clarins Beauty Flash Balm or MAC Strobe Cream).