Skin cancer is still a force to be reckoned with. The British Skin Foundation says that 100,000 new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the UK each year, 10,000 of which are malignant melanomas. And it isn’t just an older disease, more than two 15-34 year olds are diagnosed with malignant melanoma in the UK every day.
I take the above as a reminder to myself (a seasoned beauty writer who’s had sun safety drummed into her for nigh on 20 years) as much as a reminder to you, dear readers. I have a burnt collar line. The result of sitting on the sidelines, sun beaming down, glued to the words of lit-boff, Sam Leith on the art of rhetoric (compelling he was). It was at Port Eliot, a literary and arts festival last weekend. Thought I’d put on my sunscreen, obviously not enough. And there it is.
Sunscreen lures us into a false sense of security, especially if it’s high factor. The difference between SPF15 and SPF30 is less than you think, in other words, you’re not getting double your money for double the SPF. The important thing is to apply enough and regularly. The British Skin Foundation recommends 30-35ml per full body application (extra for your face). That’s just shy of a small egg cup. I know. That’s a lot and it is expensive stuff. But there are offers around, Boots is doing 2 for 1.
So, I’m glad that Garnier has launched a campaign to get us using enough sunscreen, with Lorraine Kelly at the helm. The cynical among us will see this as a disingenuous ploy to increase sales, but actually, that’s not how I see it. For now, sunscreen is the most accessible way to protect skin from sun damage. If you gib at using more, then, I urge you, stay out of the sun between 12 and 3 (longer in er, sunny climes) and wear a hat. But if in broad sun, please do use it.
For children: Green People Organic Scent Free Children’s Sun Lotion SPF25, £15.95 (one young friend couldn’t tolerate other sunscreens, they made her skin sting. This didn’t.).
For those who hate grease: Ambre Solaire Clear Protect Sprays (ideal for men).
For luxury lovers: Guerlain Terracotta Sun Protection Cream SPF15 or SPF30, £28 (heavenly scent, lovely texture, divine).
For fans of retro 70s sunbathing: Piz Buin Tan Accelerating Oil Spray SPF30 (modern sun protection know-how plus tanning booster, old style sun screen oil format without the oil slick feel).