I packed a few of the suncreams I featured in my ‘Youth in a Tube’ sunscreen film on my recent holiday - which were much needed as the weather was hot! Lots of you asked me for body sunscreen recommendations and as I said in the video, many of the brands I mentioned (Avene, La Roche-Posay, Institut Esthederm) have great sun protection lotions for body. However, I've noticed a big trend towards body sunscreens with oil formulas this summer. I'm sure that for some people (myself included) the thought of a sunscreen oil conjures up images of baking in the heat in SPF4, but these new-gen oils have high SPFs of 30 and 50, so they’re perfect for anyone who wants to keep their skin protected but prefers the texture of an oil to a cream or gel (plus improvements in formula means that most of these oils have lovely light, non-greasy textures). Many contain emollient moisturisers so they're a good sunscreen option for dry skin and, as they’re colourless, they work on all skintones and won’t leave you looking white or ashy. You can also use them on your hair, too.
If you want to try one, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. When I spoke to some dermatologists about sunscreen oils, one of their concerns was, like other oil-based skincare products, there is a risk that they could be comedogenic (i.e. pore blocking), so if you have oily or acne-prone skin, look out for ones that are listed as non-comedogenic. And like all sunscreens, make sure you apply all over sun exposed skin and allow the oil to fully dry before you go into the sun (around 20-30 minutes) to make sure it's properly binded to your skin - if it remains fluid and oily it's not giving you a stable barrier from UV rays.
I've spotted lots of new ones around - here are four that I've been testing at the #HouseofEldridge…
La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Nutritive Oil SPF50+ sinks in quickly to a satiny finish, though it's still important to wait for around 20 minutes before you go into the sun. It contains triazones (so isn’t available in the US unfortunately), as well as L'Oréal’s patented active sunscreen Mexoryl XL, listed as drometrizole trisiloxane on the bottle (I talked about Mexoryl SX in my sunscreen film - it's water soluble, whereas Mexoryl XL is the oil soluble version of Mexoryl). This one is also non-comedogenic.
Garnier Sensitive Advanced Nourishing Protective Oil SPF50+ has similar actives to the La Roche-Posay sunscreen above, triazones and Mexoryl XL, but it feels a little richer so some people might find it slightly greasy. However, it’s very fluid so easy to work into skin and feels nourishing, so it’s a good high street option.
Supergoop! Sun-Defying Sunscreen Oil SPF50 uses the sunscreen active avobenzone and is available worldwide. It's non-comedogenic, however, it contains some plant essential oils, so not the best option for sensitive skin. The formula, which is rich in moisturising and antioxidant oil extracts including meadowfoam seed, argan and coconut oil, feels really nourishing and absorbs quickly into skin.
Decleor Aroma Sun Expert Summer Oil SPF30 is another sunscreen that uses triazones. It's also rich in monoi oil, which is made by soaking Tahitian gardenia petals in coconut oil, so it’s like a souped-up version of coconut oil. It's incredibly moisturising and less greasy than other oils, so has a lovely texture. The spray applicator can make it a little tricky to apply all-over, so take time to make sure all of your exposed skin is evenly covered before heading out in the sun.
Let me know if you’ve tried any of the above, or any other high protection sunscreen oils, in the comments. What is your sunscreen texture preference - do you like creams, gels or oils?