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A Skincare Expert Answers Your Sunscreen Questions

Now that the weather’s warming up it’s time to start thinking about sunscreen. We turned to Clare O’Connor, who has been involved in sun protection research at Boots for more than 20 years.

What’s the most important thing to look for in a sunscreen?

Ensure your chosen product has maximum five star UVA protection as well as a high SPF, as this will provide the best protection from longer term skin damage and aging as well as burning.

How do you know what SPF to use?

Always use an SPF of at least 15. You should be using a higher SPF (30 or 50) if you’re going abroad or have fair skin. Also don’t forget your lips, they are prone to drying and cracking and long term exposure can cause discoloration as well as more serious skin conditions.

I have sensitive skin, what would you recommend using as sun protection?

Soltan Sensitive Hypoallergenic ($20.49, Amazon) range is formulated to prevent irritation in the sun, has been clinically tested to protect against prickly sun allergy and can help to soothe your skin while protecting it with Soltan’s maximum 5-star protection from UVA rays.

How often should I be reapplying sunscreen?

We recommend applying sunscreen 15 minutes before going into the sun, then reapplying again as soon as you go out in the sun. After that, you should reapply every one to two hours, as well as immediately after swimming or toweling. Also, make sure you are using enough product. You should apply a blob about the size of a quarter for each limb and your front and back, as well as a blob about the size of a dime for your face.

Is there any difference in the more premium brands and the cheaper versions?

Always make sure you buy a brand you trust as they may cost slightly more, but you can rest assured that they’ve spent money on research into the latest, safest and most effective skincare ingredients. More expensive, premium products don’t offer anything additional in terms of protecting your skin, but may have more expensive extracts which make them smell nice so it would just be down to a personal preference as opposed to being better protection.

This article originally appeared on our sister site, Yours

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