The Skin Nerd: The best sun creams for all the family, from granny to baby

The Skin Nerd: The best sun creams for all the family, from granny to baby
Make sure you choose the best sun protection for your family.

When we get those glorious three and a half days of good weather in Ireland, it’s a sudden rush to get the sun cream out and get slathering yourself and the minis so you can picnic with peace of mind. As the world becomes slowly more sun-savvy, questions arise. Can a family of tots to parents use the same sun cream? What’s the best option best to opt for for sensitive skin? Does formulation matter?

As an SPF aficionado, I come to you with the knowledge you require. There are types of SPF that can be used from newborn up, and will pose no problems for adults to use either. When you’re applying SPF all over multiple bodies, using the same SPF is just easier and more economical.

Firstly, for newborns and for little ones, a high-factor, broad-spectrum sun cream is the way forward. Broad spectrum means that it protects from both UVA and UVB, with UVB rays being the type that reach us in heated sunlight and are associated with sunburn, and UVA rays being the kind that reach us all year round, no matter the weather. Both causedamage to our skin, so it’s important to always protect from both.

What I’m going to suggest for the full family is a mineral SPF. There are two types of SPFs in the world: chemical and physicalmineral. Chemical SPFs work to absorb the UV rays and convert them into heat, whereasmineral SPFs predominantly work to reflect the rays away. Sensitive or delicate skins tend to fare better with mineral SPFs because they aren’tinviting as much heat into the skin, which can be irritating. Just to note here: I’m absolutely not against chemical SPF filters, and frequently use them myself. However, for skin that is easily annoyed by SPF,mineral SPF is often the solution.

MooGoo Natural SPF 30 (€16.50, moogoo.ie and selected pharmacies) uses zinc oxide, providing broad-spectrum protection, and rubs in clear. This natural of a zinc formulation can be a tad trickier to apply — it requires a rub or two — but it dries clear and doesn’t feel greasy. It’s also waterproof for up to 40 minutes, so a paddle can be on the cards.

If you’re looking for a higher factor, Elave Sensitive Paediatric SPF 50+ (€25, selected pharmacies) is another mineral SPF suited to the whole family. This contains nano zinc oxide, which doesn’t absorb into the skin, meaning longer-lasting protection.

If you find a cream to be a bit of a hassle with squirmy little ones, a spray is the way. The Avène Very High Protection Spray SPF50+ (€22, selected pharmacies) contains what’s known as a hybrid UV filter, partially reflecting and partially absorbing. It provides broad-spectrum protection, is formulated with sensitive skin in mind, and contains antioxidants and soothing Avène thermal water.

Your application is important, too. You need to get everywhere, all the nooks and crannies and forgotten spots, and you should top-up at least every two hours. Remember to use a liberal amount of SPF. For adults, you need to use half a teaspoon for your face, neck and ears, according to the Irish Cancer Society, and they recommend a measurement of half a teaspoon per arm, and a full teaspoon per leg, torso and back. Don’t underestimate the value of a big cotton t-shirt and a big large hat either, and make sure you don’t stay in the sun forexcessive amounts of time.

The Nerdie Pick

Murad Nutrient-Charged Water Gel (€65, theskinnerd.com and selected stockists)

UV exposure can dehydrate our skin, and when its warm and humid, many of us don’t want a thick layer of moisturiser sitting on top of us. This is when lightweight formulations like water gels shine. The Murad Nutrient-Charged Water Gel contains a combination of B vitamins plus vitamin E to reduce wrinkles and soothe skin, with peptides galore to boost the skin’s barrier.

It’s a refreshing blast of moisture full to the brim with skin goodness like vitamins, ceramides and amino acids, and it’s suitable for all skins but particularly great for oily skin as its oil-free.

Murad Nutrient-Charged Water Gel (€65, theskinnerd.com and selected stockists)

More on this topic

The Skin Nerd: How to counteract the effects of 'Mask Face' on your skinThe Skin Nerd: How to counteract the effects of 'Mask Face' on your skin

Skin Nerd: Skincare for men 101 - cleanse, serum, SPFSkin Nerd: Skincare for men 101 - cleanse, serum, SPF

The Skin Nerd: How to re-apply SPF over makeup like Kim KardashianThe Skin Nerd: How to re-apply SPF over makeup like Kim Kardashian

The Skin Nerd: Let's start the conversation about acneThe Skin Nerd: Let's start the conversation about acne


More in this Section

Niall Breslin talks about losing his uncle to coronavirusNiall Breslin talks about losing his uncle to coronavirus

Podcast corner: Three new podcasts from Irish women that you should listen toPodcast corner: Three new podcasts from Irish women that you should listen to

How to attend the Galway Film Fleadh from the comfort of your own couchHow to attend the Galway Film Fleadh from the comfort of your own couch

The best fiction books for the beach and beyond this summerThe best fiction books for the beach and beyond this summer


Latest Showbiz

The TV presenter said he wrote the first line when he was 14.Phillip Schofield says he has written ‘honest’ book about his life and career

The actress is the subject of a new documentary, Olympia.Olympia Dukakis: I hope sharing past drug use and suicidal thoughts helps others

More From The Irish Examiner