Time for a sunscreen rethink?
We all know the benefits of wearing a hat and sunscreen, but SPF can irritate skin.
There's an inescapable fact about sunscreen. Make that two. You need to wear it every day if you care about your skin. But it can be ghastly to wear so you don't want to and you don't. SPF formulas have improved even in the years since Beauty Beat began, but the ghosting, the smothering and the heating of the skin persist. Sunscreen makes you feel like you're wearing a mask and it just doesn't sit well with make-up - which most women wear every day. And dermatologists and cancer campaigners don't want me to mention this, but sunscreen can irritate the skin (just ask the kids). Time for a radical solution.
Cancer Council Victoria is pointing out the bleeding obvious radical solution. ''Clothing is one of the most effective ways of preventing skin damage and consequently skin cancer,'' says Jen Makin, manager of the skin cancer control program. Covering your neckline with a summer scarf, wearing long sleeves and nothing backless and shading your face with a dramatic hat is quicker and easier than applying - and reapplying - sunscreen. If you don't expose your skin to the sun you don't have to wear sunscreen.
The trick is to find a sunscreen that looks and feel like a primer so that you can wear it happily and automatically - none of those early-morning debates with yourself based on the weather report.
Stay inside. Or in the shade. Carry a parasol that shades your face (isn't that catching on?). Wear wraparound sunnies. It was Madame Helena Rubinstein who said: ''I have but this to say, sunburn is beauty suicide.''
The Duchess of Cambridge stepped out with a parasol in Singapore - would you embrace the look?
Of course the Cancer Council wants you to also slop on 30+ broad spectrum sunscreen and reapply it every two hours. It would be remiss of me not to mention that. Use your common sense. If you are out and about do this. But if you are merely skulking from train to office and return every day consider just covering yourself when necessary. Don't be complacent. But does sun sense clothing stifle style?
The Cancer Council wants to show that being sun smart can also look fashionable and with Melbourne designer Jason Grech it has released a ''savvy chic'' dress. ''We are asking young women to send us their own sun savvy chic pics to be in the running to win this dress,'' says a spokeswoman. ''The competition is open for entries over the next month and we will announce a winner on November 13. We will award some weekly spot prizes along the way but ultimately select one winner who will receive the dress.'' Email pics to email@example.com.
Sunscreen can be a daily no-brainer if you find one that works for your lifestyle as well as your skin. Most women who work do so indoors so don't need the full-on greasy waterproof sunblock. The trick is to find one that looks and feels like a primer so that you can wear it happily and automatically - none of those early-morning debates with yourself based on the weather report. They are out there. You just have to try a lot to find them. Believe me. Expect some new and interesting sunscreens on the market when SPF50+ gets the go-ahead in Australia next month. And in the meantime, try these everyday sunscreens that I think work under foundation or bare-faced in a non-beach/pool setting: SunSense Daily Face ($13.99), Clarins Sunscreen Control Cream for Face SPF15 ($35), Le Tan SPF30+ Kids Roll-on - yes, really ($7.99), Dermalogica Super Sensitive Shield ($68.50).
Have you found a good daily sunscreen? Or are you prepared to embrace covering up and keeping out of the sun? Is that sustainable or even feasible in Australia? And would you carry a parasol? I seem to be getting some funny looks.