SPF Essentials: How to protect your skin from the sun


Thomas Barry, Field Training & Events Executive at Shiseido reveals all the steps you should be taking to properly safeguard your skin from UV rays this summer

Shop women's holiday edit

REISS: Why is protecting your skin from the sun so important?

Thomas: The sun gives off ultraviolet UV radiation which actively affects the appearance of the skin. UVB is the chief culprit behind sunburn, while UVA rays, which penetrate the skin more deeply, are associated with ageing. It only takes 20 minutes of sun exposure for unprotected skin to begin to burn. Blotches, dullness, fine lines, freckles, wrinkles and broken and dilated blood vessels are all known to be side effects of sun damage which is why it's so important to apply an SPF before you step outside. 

REISS: Should you treat your face differently from your body when it comes to sun protection?

Thomas: Sunscreen products for the face are often formulated differently than those for the body. Facial skin is generally more sensitive to irritation and as such, most facial sun protection formulations are designed to cause less irritation and are usually non-comedogenic. At Shiseido offer suncare products that are suitable for use on both the face and body, so you can pack less in your beach bag. 

"To ensure your skin is completely protected, i would recommend applying sunscreen 15 minutes before sun exposure and then re-applying your SPF at regular intervals throughout the day. ideally, you should be topping up your SPF every 2 hours for optimal UV protection."

REISS: Why is it important to choose an SPF that also has skincare ingredients?

Thomas: If you can purchase a suncare product with added skincare ingredients, it will only be beneficial to your skin. Often these products contain added benefits that aren’t already in your moisturiser. Shiseido’s Urban Environment UV Protection Cream, for example, has SPF50, moisturises your face and also protects the skin against external aggressors such as dryness and air pollution. Both of which can lead to early signs of ageing. 

REISS: What’s the best way to layer your sun protection with make-up and other skincare creams?

Thomas: I’d recommend that you apply your skincare creams first and then apply your sunscreen over the top. Follow with a primer and your chosen make-up products to complete your look, but remember to keep your beauty regime waterproof if you plan on staying poolside this summer. If you need to top up your SPF throughout the day, use a product like Shiseido’s Wetforce Clear stick UV Protector, which can be applied under and over your make-up, so you don't have to worry about disturbing your products. 

REISS: How important are after-sun products to your tanning routine?

Thomas: After-sun products are key when it comes to maintaining your tan. These products replenish vital moisture and prolong the look of bronzed skin. Apply after a day at the beach to retexturize the skin and give you a dewy, fresh, sun-kissed glow.


REISS: What accessories should you always pack to help shield your skin from the sun’s harmful rays?


Thomas: Pack a large pair of sunglasses, a wide-brimmed hat, and a lightweight summer scarf. Pair these accessories with a sunscreen of SPF50 and shelter under a nearby palm tree for optimal protection from UV rays.

REISS: UV rays from the sun can cause accelerated signs of ageing. Apart from using suncream, what else should you add to your skincare routine to help slow down the ageing process?

Thomas: Harmful aggressors such as pollution, stress, blue light from phones and tablets and even air conditioning and central heating can all speed up the ageing process. Shiseido’s award-winning Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate strengthens the skin's natural powers of defense and is specifically tailored to help combat environmental and lifestyle aggressors. Apply it prior to a serum to enhance your skin's defences.