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SPF: Protecting yourself this Summer

by Lorna Oakley

Even though some of us may not be going further afield this Summer, we are now more aware of skin damage than ever. Last year saw a warmer than ever July and August and as most of us all stayed home, there was a big shift in self love and learning about skincare. Weather reports are suggesting a heatwave is on its way, and for some of us the whole SPF thing is getting more confusing than ever, with new reports published daily on how safe they actually are. Myself, however has always been a supporter of SPF ever since my mother covered me in a thick coat of Boots Soltan as a child. Thankfully we have both become a little more sophisticated since then and I’ve got a lovely selection what I personally think are great products. I also, where I can, look for Vegan products, and at least check for animal testing policy (I can’t believe I even typed that in this day and age!).

Eve Lom

First to try was Eve Lom’s dual-action protective, brightening, anti-ageing sunscreen formula. “This contains powerful UV shields plus antioxidant Vitamins C and E. It doubly shields your skin: firstly from harmful UVA and UVB rays, but also from ageing free radicals and daily environmental damage”. I found this fast-absorbing and ideal for my combination skin, it didn’t feel greasy at all, it’s Protection SPF 50+ and it “actively brightens, nourishes, firms and regenerates”. I used this on my face instead of my moisturiser in the morning nonstop for a week, this for me was a gauge of whether it was going to block my pores, sounds a bit disgusting but sometimes suncream and greasy skin does not fare well. This wasn’t the case, in fact I was really impressed, I used this under Helios Make up.

Helios 50 spf Makeup

I’m converted, this was fluid cushion compact for light, buildable coverage with a beautifully dewy finish. Perfect for topping up your foundation coverage and protection on the go, available in beige and bronze. Dare I say it, but this makeup and the consistency was a close contender for the Chanel healthy glow bronzing cream, would 100% recommend it. And that’s my face covered (pardon the pun) the following creams I concentrated on were for my body.

Skinny Tan

So, before I start telling you about this product, I love Skinny Tan products, so the thought of being able to protect your skin from the sun whilst building a natural looking gradual tan sold it to me there and then. Protect and Glow Lotion has UVA and UVB sun protection, PLUS a gradual tanner built in, so as you add protection every 4 hours you build up a beautiful natural glow  without the damage from the sun.  I did try it on my face, and as much as I love the product, for me it felt a little sticky (but it doesn’t clarify not to use it there) once again, they are a vegan product which for me is a massive positive too.


This was created by Andrew and David, two friends who met in Africa, they set out with a vision: to reduce the incidence of skin cancer by enabling more people to use more sunscreen. Together with the help of the best scientists in Europe and BASF they created an exceptionally high quality sunscreen at the lowest possible price. My mother intercepted this parcel, so I thought only fair she tried some of the Altruist products, for fair and sensitive skin. This is an absolute winner. As with all the products, I never check the price until I’ve tested it and I’m writing about it so this does not change my opinion of them, and this does not feel like the cheapest product of the group by a long shot.

Organic Pharmacy 

As well as having a fully biodegradable and safe formula they are also committed to cleaning the ocean and to show our support we have partnered up with 40cean charity and are committed to ending the ocean plastic crisis. The limited-edition collection includes Cellular Protection SPF 50 for instant protection from damaging UVA and UVB rays, the Limited Edition Glow Serum to visibly enhance skin’s radiance with Hyaluronic Acid and a soft bronze shimmer. My go to tinted moisturizer is always the Organic pharmacy one, I’m also obsessed with their Carrot Butter Cleanser (this is perfect for removing residue from layers of creams in the summer, and it’s calming formula looks after your skin also). They also have new and powerful Advanced Retinoid-like body oil to repair the skin from oxidative stress and restore balance after sun exposure. This whole range is a perfect mid price selection that I would highly recommend.


The Mineral UV Shield SPF 30 uses a highly effective combination of mineral sunscreens, to provide SPF 30 UVA/UVB broad spectrum protection. Non-comedogenic, light-reflecting minerals also blur imperfections and provide a matte finish. This to me felt like a beautiful primer before your make up with all the benefits of an SPF. Straight away (ignoring the fact that the packaging itself was stunning) you could tell this was a high end quality product. There’s one thing that stood out, that I wish other skincare companies would consider, and that is the scent. Please note, not all of us want to smell like a lemon or a coconut. I’m not sure if it was purposely done, but the warm hints of cinnamon and spices were such a USP, it smelt incredible. I know one is limited when it comes to suncare in that respect, but that for me was a game changer

Balmain SPF for Hair

I’ve been a fan of Balmain hair products for almost two years, so I can safely say this is a genuine love here. Their Hair protection spray is enriched with protective UVA and UVB filters helps to nourish and condition sun, sea or chlorine exposed hair and prevents hair colour fading and keratin damage. This does exactly what it says on the bottle and is a hardworking multi tasker, it not only does the whole SPF thing, it creates great shine and detangles whilst acting as a conditioner for dry hair; a must for your makeup bag this summer.

As you can see by the above, I was rather lucky to use each of the SPF products, some I was familiar with some were new to me.Each one excelled in different ways, but I’ve (without trying I may add) been able to cover all budgets above, but still being confident enough to say they all do an amazing job regardless of the price. So make sure you wear SPF this summer to protect your skin for many more summers to come.

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