As a beauty editor, it pains me greatly to think how little thought most people give to sunscreen – on their body. Years of having dermatologists sermonizing about the importance of wearing sunscreen everyday regardless of the weather or where you are – at the beach, in the office, on Mars (and especially then) means that most people now know that wearing the stuff on your face is muy importante, particularly if you’re invested in the idea of having the unlined visage of a baby’s bottom at 60.
Meanwhile, body sunscreen has practically been relegated to bi-annual use, only to be brought out and dusted off when the promise of the pool or beach beckons every summer.
I’m here to change that. I fancy myself a bit of a Florence Nightingale of sunscreens, handing out bottles of the stuff to all I meet, touching their lives with my beatific smile and the promise of high SPF.
It's true that body sunscreens of yore used to be a bit of a pain to apply – they were thick, heavy and sticky and took a while to absorb, which meant waiting around for ages before putting your clothes on / jumping into the pool. That's all changed; today, the best body sunscreens are sprays with lighter textures that absorb in a few seconds.
Avene’s Very High Protection Cream SPF 50+ for Sensitive Skin is made for those of you with skin that starts itching, burning, or breaking out upon contact with the sun, or pretty much anything else.
Once on, it forms a veritable shield between your skin and the rest of the world. The white, runny texture is ever so slightly thicker than most spray sunscreens so you’ll have to be diligent about rubbing this stuff in but once you do, you’re guaranteed no tan lines, no tans, and no burning or irritation whatsoever.
Wearing this stuff is the closest you’ll get to being invisible to the sun (which, incidentally, if what mosquito repellent does – make you invisible, not repellent, to mosquitos. Now you know!)
Meanwhile, the mineral formulation deflects the sun’s rays instead of absorbing them but there’s no tacky, whitish cast to deal with, thanks very much.
Bachelor number two is Neutrogena’s Dry Touch Ultra Sheer Body Spray SPF 30. It’s super light, just like it says on the tin, and the one touch spray is pretty handy – one long spray can cover your entire body, if you like.
Keep in mind that since it’s so light, you’ve got to be careful about not missing a spot; I forgot to spray some around my elbows the other day and ended up with a pretty weird circular tan on my right arm.
But what’s really incredible about this sunscreen, other than the fact that it never gets sticky regardless of how much you apply, is that it seems to have some sort of in-built moisturizer.
Neutrogena doesn’t tout this as one of the sunscreen’s benefits, but I’ve noticed super soft skin after each application and so I’ve started skipping moisturizer entirely after the shower, just spritzing some of this stuff on. And much like its counterpart for the face, it’s also non-comedogenic, which means you can use it on your face without breaking out.
So what do you say? Are you ready to let the rest of your body in on the sunscreen partay?