Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Beach Body Blitz Part 2 - The most effective anti-ageing cream on the planet

A pretty big claim to make, but I believe it.  Spend hundreds on all the fancy serums and potions you like. At the end of the day prevention is better than cure and if I can convince one of you to believe that and not make the mistakes I did, I'll be happy.

(I'd be way happier if you all acted on it of course, but you get my drift!)

You guessed it... I'm talking about sunscreen.  A couple of years ago a dermatologist told me that using the correct high factor spf on my face 365 days a year will prevent a huge percentage of the ageing process by slowing the breakdown of collagen (the stuff that keeps our faces looking fleshy and youthful, rather than wizened and droopy).  I really sat up and took notice when he said the same amount of skin damage via UVA light (the ageing rays) occurs on a cloudy day in the UK as on a Mediterranean beach in high summer! This is why we need sunscreen 365 days a year.


As a child I was ordered outdoors in sunny weather.  I literally was.not.allowed indoors.  There was only so much a kid could do outdoors, so I sunbathed. I spent all day on a sun lounger, turning every half hour, slathered in factor........ 4.  How ridiculous that sounds, but it's the truth. If I went on holiday (talking mid teens by this stage) I'd go crazy and use factor 6 or 8, for the first few days only, then straight down to factor 2, or oil, or nada. It sounds so utterly absurd to me now - and thank God a lot of people's attitudes have changed over the last 20 odd years, but in many, many cases, not enough.

I love a suntan as much as the next person, but I'm living with the damage I did to my skin when I was younger - and no, it's really not worth it. I have lines where I don't want to have lines, thin, sensitive skin where I've been repeatedly burnt and pigmentation marks. Nice, huh? It's taken me a loooong time to learn this lesson and it'd be beyond cool if some of you learnt it sooner.

*climbs off soapbox* ;-)

My face, neck, decolletage and hands are the main areas I focus on protecting, as they are the most exposed areas and the ones that show signs of ageing the earliest. For several months I've been using Ultrasun spf30 anti-ageing formula for face.


 I was first drawn to this range because of my children, especially my son who suffers from eczema. Ultrasun products are suitable for very sensitive skins, contain no nasties and best of all, only need to be applied once a day. For real! We used Ultrasun spf 30 on the whole family in a scorching hot summer in France last year and none of us burnt, at all, including my then 2 and 5yr olds.  You can read the full list of ingredients if you click on the next picture to enlarge it.
Ultrasun ingredients - click to enlarge

The formula is light, non greasy and easily absorbed.  The non aerosol bottles are light too and work in a pump motion, by pressing down the top (see pic). Plus the formula stays good for 24 months, a bonus if you don't use it all up (most should be dumped after one year).

I've tried to show in these pics that it doesn't leave that awful white/blue tinge on the skin. The facial lotion in particular is very quickly absorbed and moisturising, suitable for use under make up.

Ultrasun is not cheap, working out at around £15 per 100ml bottle, but the fact that it only needs one daily application makes it work out rather economical in my opinion. I bought the facial one from www.ifsogo.com (click link to see the full range) and you can often get good deals on QVC or Amazon.  

Despite my love of Ultrasun (and I'll probably stock up on the body range for our hols) I'm always on the lookout for other great products, which led me to La Roche Posay.  This company creates a huge array of products for numerous skintypes, so I was very appreciative when a representative took the time to advise me exactly which one to choose.  

La Roche Posay Anthelios XL SPF50+
 I wanted a product that would be easily absorbed, moisturising and suitable for wearing under make-up. Anthelios XL SPF50+ Fluide Extreme Face was exactly what I was looking for - and I'm loving it (yes I even get excited about sunscreens - they are skincare in my eyes!). 

La Roche Posay ingredients - click to enlarge
 This really light lotion pours easily from a fine nozzle, allowing you to use just the amount you need. It's easily absorbed, and while I usually apply before brushing my teeth or something that takes a couple of minutes to allow absorption, I reckon make-up could be used immediately after. At the moment I'm using this over a serum, no moisturiser and my normal to dry skin feels absolutely fine. Again I've tried to show how it doesn't leave any white mask effect on the skin in the following pics. 





La Roche Posay Anthelios XL SPF50+ Fluide Extreme Face is available from Escentual.com for £16.50 - you can see the full range of products here. Oh I almost forgot to add that this also comes in a tinted version, which I'd also love to try! And since I'm now using sunscreen daily, no doubt I'll get around to it! :)

As most of you already know, I'm a huge fan of self tan - perhaps some of the above explains why.... I'll be telling you about some of my current favourites later this week. 

Which sunscreen are you using this summer? The other one I'd love to try (after recommendations on Twitter) is Alpha-H spf50 - has anyone tried this?  Please tell me your thoughts in the comment box below and stay safe! :) 

9 comments:

  1. Brilliant post Nic, I also use the Ultra sun for the body, its so handy. Have not tried the one for the face yet though. I am a terrible sun worshipper. I always start off with factor 20 for my body but work down to a 4 *hangs head in shame*. I really need a reality check. I do however wear a sunfactor on my face every day, so im not all bad. I actually love the Dior Bronze Suncare range. They have a fab SPF30 for the face, its really light and hydrating and it smells fab, this is what i sue on my skin. XX

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  2. Excellent post! I was the same in my teens! now though I realise that high SPF doesn't mean no tan! Try telling that to the younger generation though... But I'm doing better now and looking for great alternatives. Skin cancer is real! X

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  3. Excellent post! I was the same in my teens! now though I realise that high SPF doesn't mean no tan! Try telling that to the younger generation though... But I'm doing better now and looking for great alternatives. Skin cancer is real! X

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  4. Great tip! It's always nice to remind people to use sunscreen even when it's cloudy.

    And you look amazing, so it must be working!

    :))

    xx

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  5. Thanks for your comments :)

    Jenny that's really good that you wear sunscreen on your face every day. We had Ultrasun for body on hols last year and it was brilliant!

    Nikki, exactly - I was afraid to use the 'C' word incase people though I was being preachy, but it's the reality for so many people.

    Le Beauty Group - that's so kind of you to say, thank you!

    Nic x

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  6. Oh, fabulous post hun! I'm gonna bow my head down, and confess I don't wear any SPF, unless I'm sunbathing, and I know, I know...that's a health sin! After reading everything, I really must reconsider that!

    xoxo

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  7. Great post. I have been known to climb onto that particular soap box quite a lot, too! I wear Clinique City Block on my face every day, all year round. And Ultrasun on my hands. I'm going to look like a teenager when I'm 80 .... I hope .... LOL

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  8. Awesome post Nic! I used to wear high SPF as my daily moisturiser years ago but have been slacking lately lol Really should get into it again. xx

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  9. Great post - can't wait to try La Roche Posay on holiday this year. I had a sample of Alpha-H's SPF 50 and thought it was fine texture wise - quite moisturising etc. However, I had it on during that hot spell around easter this year, just sat in the garden for a couple of house and I got a burnt forehead! Didn't trust it after that!

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Please leave a comment - I love to read them & hear what you think! Nic x

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