In your 20s: Keep breakouts at bay
Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Gel SPF50+/PA++++, $18.90, Lancome UV Expert XL-shield Fresh UV Aqua Gel SPF50/PA++++, $75, Dr Young Aqua Sun Care Mist SPF32/PA++, $33.90
Your oil glands may still be in overdrive from your pubescent years, resulting in clogged pores and breakouts. “If you have oily, acne-prone skin, opt for a waterbased sunscreen or one that has less oil, like a gel or lotion,” advises Dr Eileen Tan, founder of and dermatologist at Dr Eileen Tan Skin, Laser & Hair Transplant Clinic. These are less likely to clog pores.
Dr Georgia Lee, medical director of the TLC Lifestyle Practice Clinic, recommends using one formulated with lactic acid, known for reducing acne breakouts and the look of fine lines. “[Lactic acid] also acts as an exfoliant [and has] moisturising properties,” says Dr Lee. “Look out, too, for ingredients such as salicylic acid and niacinamide to stimulate cellular turnover and prevent acne,” suggests Dr Tan.
In your 30s: Fight free-radical damage
L’Oreal Paris UV Perfect Aqua Essence SPF50+/PA++++, $20.90, Clarins UV Plus Antipollution Day Screen Multi-protection SPF50/PA++++, $74, Shiseido Perfect UV Protector SPF50+/PA++++, $59.
“Signs of photo-ageing and pollution will start to show on the skin when you hit your 30s,” says Dr Tan, so boost your skincare regimen with an antioxidant-packed sunscreen that protects skin from environmental aggressors and blocks free-radical damage, which leads to wrinkles.
Pigmentation such as age spots and sunspots will start to show up too, so “choose a sunscreen with ingredients such as mandelic acid and green tea extracts, which help to minimise UV damage,” says Dr Tan. “Vitamin C and niacinamide can also prevent pigments from forming,” adds Dr Lee.
In your 40s: Counter the signs of ageing
Sisley Super Soin Solaire Facial Sun Care SPF50+/PA++++, $210, Cosme Decorte AQ MW Extra Protection SPF40/PA++, $115, Chanel Sublimage La Protection UV SPF50, $170.
As you enter your 40s, you may find that your skin is increasingly dry. Blame it on hormonal changes – as you start to experience premenopausal symptoms, oestrogen levels drop but testosterone levels stay the same. During this time, avoid using a sunscreen with drying ingredients such as salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. “You’ll want a formula that hydrates and reduces the signs of ageing, so look for one with ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, ceramides and peptides,” says Dr Tan.
Also, consider a multipurpose formula. “Opt for a sunscreen that also prevents pigmentation and stimulates collagen production for firmer skin. Go for one with antioxidants such as vitamin E and flavonoids,” says Dr Lee.
This story was first published in HerWorld Magazine June 2015.
Do you know how much sunscreen to apply to get maximum protection from UV rays? Find out the right amount to apply to both your face and body here!