It's only over the past year or so that I really started to appreciate the importance of SPF. My mum would constantly shout at me to slap on the sun cream before I left the house but due to me forever wanting to be a bronzed goddess, I'd ignore her requests and return home a couple of hours later resembling an actual lobster. Needless to say, I spent so many of my teenage years in the kitchen whipping up some homemade 'cooling cucumber mist' - special thanks to Shout magazine for the recipe.
You'll be pleased to know (you too, Mum) that I've accepted that I'll never be as tanned as Beyonce. I'm now a million percent more cautious when it comes to protecting my skin in those harmful rays. In fact we're all pretty good at slathering our bodies in sunscreen but when it comes down to it, are we taking good enough care of our face?!
I want to start by giving a simple explanation as to what SPF is as there's nothing worse than browsing the skincare section staring at the little numbers on the packaging, getting all flustered and taking a random guess at what you think would be the perfect fit for you.
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. Sunscreen is used to block out the sunlight's harmful Ultra Violet rays which cause us to age, burn, increase our chances of skin cancer and all that other nasty stuff. The numbers on the package refer to how effective the product is at blocking out UV rays but no SPF will block out 100% of rays. In essence, the higher the SPF number, the more effective your sunscreen will be, though this isn't always the case as a lot of people don't apply the correct amount of product.
I want to talk to you about some products I was kindly sent by House of Fraser. The Clinique SPF 40 Super City Block retails at £18 which is actually pretty generous for 40ml of product. When it comes to primers and foundation, I can't stand anything sticky. I just had visions of City Block making me look like a greasy ghost (think back to those days on the beach when you were 5 and your mum would apply lashings of bright white sunscreen to your rosy red cheeks! Shudder).
I'm delighted that this product actually has a nude colour to it which once rubbed in leaves a slight, barely noticeable tint to the skin. My favourite part about City Block is that it feels completely weightless and oil free - result! You can obviously use it on it's own to prevent you from ageing and burning but I choose to use City Block as a primer underneath my foundation. I even use this at work which may sound a bit daft but truthfully, our skin is constantly exposed to the sunlight whether it be through windows, that 15 minute stroll you go for on your lunch break or when you pop outside to hang your washing on the line.
I was lucky enough to also be sent the Clinique Superdefense SPF 20 eye cream which retails at £30 for 15ml. I'm going to be brutally honest now - eye creams are something I tend to forget about as I never really noticed any difference in my under eye area after wearing them. I've recently been suffering from dark circles though which I never used to get, EVER...does this mean I'm officially getting old? so I was actually pretty excited to see whether Superdefense made a difference.
This eye cream is completely fragrance free meaning that it won't sting your eyes, thank goodness. For the first time in my life, I can actually see that my eye area is distinctively brighter and my dark circles are less prominent. All in all, I think this is a pretty wonderful all rounder product...SPF, brightening effect, anti-ageing, suitable for all skin types and fragrance free?! What more could you want in an eye cream?
House of Fraser currently have an offer on where if you buy two full size Clinique products, you receive a free gift! Check out all the Clinique goodies here.
How much do you know about SPF? What are your SPF tips?!
*post in collaboration with House of Fraser*