How to cover yourself in SPF from head to toe

By Alice Sinclair, 20 June, 2016

It's summertime, and while that usually means gazing enviously at Instagram pictures of other people's beach holidays while the cloud cover and um, being inside, means that our skin doesn't get a glimpse of sunshine, we're all about being prepared.

Allowing yourself to get burnt is so last decade, as awareness of the sun's dangerous effects continues to grow (though you would think we'd have twigged by now), and as we've realised that not only does too much sun exposure means skin cancer but – gasp! – wrinkles, dark spots and premature ageing. Which are obviously far more serious.

To avoid looking like a fairytale crone, you must slather yourself in SPF from head to toe as soon as you might go near the sun. And luckily for you there are plenty of products to help you out.

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For your head:

You may not consider your scalp, as it's mostly just innocently sitting there, protected by your hair, but it's pretty easily burnt – and it hurts. A lot. Either plonk a hat on yourself (I'm a fan of & Other Stories' straw fedora, £17), or top up regularly with a scalp sunscreen, like Malibu's Hair and Scalp Protector, £3.49. Otherwise you definitely won't be blowdrying your hair anytime soon.

For your face:

I'm often reluctant to put yet another product on my face, particularly when suncream is notoriously heavy and greasy. Thankfully modern beauty science means that you can get formulas which don't make you break out. Sure, they're not cheap, but this is your skin. Look after it now and save the eyelift surgery later. Roche-Posay's Anthelios range is my go-to, but I've heard good things about Aveda's Daily Light Guard, £34.

For your eyes:

If you've ever got suncream in your eyes, you'll know it stings like holy hell, and if you're picky about what you put on your face, you might want to go for something specially tailored for the skin around your eyes. Step forward Clinique's Superdefense SPF 20 Age Defense Eye Cream, £30, which brightens as well as protecting.

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For your body:

There are shelves and shelves of suncream for you to pick from at your local pharmacist, so go wild with the choice. I like Riemann's P20, £13.99 which is reliable – though you should probably ignore the "once a day" recommendation if you're actually out all day and swimming. Be on the safe side and reapply.

I've also just bought myself Garnier's Ambre Solaire Transparent Spray, £7.50, which is nice and easy to apply without streaking. Just be sure that the clear formula doesn't mean you miss bits.

If that all sounds like too much faff, buy a big parasol and stay in the shade all summer. Your skin will thank you. 

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