This month we extolled the virtues of coconut oil - Click here if you have acne or problem skin, many people swear by it.
Brush on Block is a patent-pending, non-greasy, non-sticky sun-block and post treatment product that has been created to help encourage everyone to wear invisible, yet effective, sun protection on a daily basis.
Left - Brush on Block - Simply brush on high protection factor to face and bald spots
Offering instant SPF 30 broad spectrum protection, the Brush on Block is a fast and convenient way to defend against the sun's harmful rays and environmental damage. Plus unlike chemical sun creams which work by being absorbed into the skin, Brush On Block features naturally-occurring active mineral ingredients that sit on top of your skin and reflect the sun’s rays away from your body.
It contains green tea leaf extract, a natural antioxidant; safflower seed oil which functions as an emollient that moisturises and protects the skin and chamomile extract and honeysuckle that help to prevent skin inflammation and irritation that may be caused by sun exposure. Since it is not absorbed into the skin and does not contain any chemical ingredients, Brush On Block is less likely to irritate the skin or clog pores, making it ideal for people with acne-prone or sensitive skin.
Susan Posnick is an accomplished beauty professional and skincare expert. She did not come to realize her true calling, however, until she was diagnosed with skin cancer in the late 90’s. It is then that her life work came clearly into focus and early research for Brush On Block commenced. Susan first began experimenting with mineral powder skin products over a decade ago. She was quickly attracted to the natural components, ease-of-application, instant coverage, and non-irritating attributes of mineral formulations. After developing a line of high-end mineral powder cosmetics, a mineral-based sunscreen that was suitable for the entire family seemed like a natural encore.
Brush On Block is perfect for thinning hair or bald spots, and can be taken anywhere and reapplied with ease throughout the day.
Brush on Block - £23
The penny has finally dropped, the future isn’t orange. And while some areas of Britain are finally coming around to the idea that sun beds are a bad thing and looking deeply tanned isn’t the secret portal to beauty, other areas are carrying on regardless and opening up a Great British tanning divide.
According to research by Kantar Worldpanel, in Scotland, the number of grooming treatments bought by men has risen by three quarters, the biggest increase anywhere in Britain and a fifth of these were sessions on the sunbed. Meanwhile Welsh men combined a fondness for tanning and waxing with hair removal accounting for nearly half of all male treatments while in London men favoured massages and skin treatments over other pampering. Tanning was out of fashion in the capital, accounting for just 6% of all treatments.
Another example of London leading the way and waiting for the others to catch up? Or is this a disparity between regions that will continue to grow? Watching programmes like Geordie Shore or TOWIE and you see guys who are very much into a tanning regime. The dark, permanently tanned look goes hand-in-hand with over blown muscles, heavage revealing T-shirts and over zealous manscaping.
Charlotte Fionda, Development Director, of the The Karen Clifford Skin Cancer Charity (Skcin) & Skin Cancer UK says “With regard to trends in tanning and it potentially becoming more provincial, it is a difficult one as there are so many variables, but what we would say is that there have been a lot more awareness campaigns focussed on London (e.g. Our spoof campaign Computertan, targeting those desperate for a tan – fooling over 2m people into thinking they could get a tan from their computer screen, was advertised on the London underground and in London cabs, more so that anywhere else, event though it was a viral campaign! http://www.computertan.com). Also, there is a more cosmopolitan community in London and traditionally Brits in the north are perhaps seen as more pasty white and thus have more desire/social pressure to change the colour of their skin?? There is of course the potential that with the Eurotunnel, etc sunnier climes can be more frequently accessible to Londoners, where 'Northerners' may choose to top up their tans at the tanning salon when not able to get away??”
This new gulf isn’t simply a choice between tanned and pale. This isn’t saying everybody should be pale or try to be pale, it’s about maximising your natural colour. The colour of your skin is one of your main characteristics, along with eye and hair colour, it creates your aesthetic balance. Change one of these factors and you start to alter nature’s balance.
A survey by OnePoll for Confused.com in May 2012 found that 10% of men surveyed from London say Botox treatment is a vital part of looking good. Meanwhile, 22% of men in the West Midlands believe a fake tan is a crucial part of sprucing themselves up - the highest of any region.
Tanning expert James Read of www.thetantalist.com says “London is now all about the natural looking tan, it's about looking healthy with golden glowing skin but no one can guess what you have had done. This is called the Miami Tan , tanning inspiration from the TV show Miami Vice, where the skin was golden as if you had been away but it looked real and in keeping with your skintone, think Don Johnson and you are on the right track. Liverpool and Manchester still lead when it comes to dark tans.”
Men in London are finally realising that you need to lighten the dark areas instead of darkening everything to have great looking skin. One of the main problems skin suffers from is hyperpigmentation, the darkening of an area of skin usually caused by sun damage, inflammation or scarring from acne. Excess production of melanin causes these darker areas but there are products, ‘skin brightening’, proven to lighten these areas to give your skin a more uniform colouration.
Dr. Michael Ingrassia,Group Leader, Research and Development Worldwide, Lab Series Skincare for Men says “Men natural have more melanin in their skin, they undergo a more intense tanning process after sun exposure and retain it for a longer time than women.” Which makes skin brightening products even more important for men to combat the over exposure to sun and UV rays.
The deep, fake looking tan has become dated. It’s finding itself along with too much hair product and tattoos in the box marked ‘bad taste’. If you want to continue to look like a contestant on Take Me Out then read no further, otherwise try the products below and always use SPF:
Clinique’s Even Better range has introduced Skin Tone Correcting Lotion SPF20. Developed for combination and oily skin types, this new lightweight and oil-free formula improve skin’s tone and uniformity. Designed to combat dark spots and discolouration while also providing protection from the number one cause of hyperpigmentation.
Clinique - Even Better Skin Tone Correcting Lotion SPF20 - £35
An instant revitalizing and energising serum, enriched with youth-boosting nutrients and peptides that visibly brighten skin after only one application. OSKIA’s unique dual approach actively illuminates and firms, evens skin tone, smoothes the appearance of fine lines and protects against everyday environmental, seasonal and lifestyle damage, while also providing essential cell nutrients
Oskia - Get Up and Glow - £64.50
Lab Series Power Brightening helps to reduce current skin discolouration by brightening the skin, corrects skin by working to stop barely visible dark spots that have already formed under the skin surface from becoming more visible and helps to prevent future discolouration by helping stop dark spots from forming.
Power Brightening Water Lotion - £29
Power Brightening Serum - £46
Power Brightening Eye Balm - £28
A light day lotion that diminishes the appearance of dark spots while helping protect skin against environmental aggressors.
Aveda - Enbrightenment Brightening Correcting Lotion - £45
May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Skin Cancer is becoming more common with our love of the sun and foreign holidays, but we do seem to be getting better, albeit slowly, at getting our heads around the dangers and how to reduce our risk.
Men are particularly susceptible as we use less products than women containing protective SPF and thinning hair or balding makes the top of heads more exposed. In the late 1970s fewer than 400 (1.5 per 100,000) men died from melanoma but that figure has now risen to over 1,100 (3.1 per 100,000) - (figures from 2010). About 90 percent of nonmelanoma skin cancers and 65 percent of melanoma cases are associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. Regardless of skin colour, men should make staying safe in the sun a priority and incorporate sun protection measures into their daily life.
We often think of suncare as a warm weather issue but it's important we protect ourselves all year around by buying face moisturisers that contain SPFs. What we do need to think about now, during the Summer months or on holiday, is our bodies. It can be a confusing issue with all the different numbers and symbols but remember - 'lots and often' - when applying sun protection. Always buy a product containing protection from UVA and UVB rays. There is no such thing as 'sunblock' it's about minimising exposure and being safer in the sun.
Here are a few other helpful tips;
- Avoid being in the sun when it is at its strongest between 10 am and 4pm. Remember - If your shadow is shorter than you are, the sun's harmful UV radiation is stronger.
- Do not burn. A person's risk for melanoma doubles if he has had five or more sunburns at any point in his life.
- No cheating. Give tanning salons and sun-beds a wide berth.
- A cotton T-Shirt gives you protection of SPF 4, which is low, so think about adding sun protection under your clothes or clothes which are more densely woven or have UV protection.
- Apply the cream or product 30 minutes before venturing out. Re-apply every hour and more if sweating or swimming.
- Try to wear a hat and sunglasses as much as possible. See TheChicGeek's favourite high-street hats - Click here
- Examine your skin. Anything unusual or changed, seek professional advice.
Kiehl's - Light-Weight Body Lotion SPF 30 - £27.50
Put this on as soon as you get out of the shower. A body lotion with SPF 30 means you're protected before you get outside and under your clothes.
Vichy - Capital Soleil Anti-shine Dry Touch SPF 50 Emulsion - £16
No more shine - A new ground breaking texture ideal for oily and combination skins, leaving skin dry and matte with a high protection.
Strivectin - Age Protect SPF 30 - £45
Anti-Age. Ultra light cream which not only protects but rebuilds the skin's natural protective barrier.
Clarins - Sun Control Stick For Sun-Sensitive Areas - £15.50
Protection. Delicate areas like eye-lids and tops of ears need extra attention.
Sunsense - Ultra SPF 50 Roll-On - £8.40
Application. The easier and quicker it is to put on, the more you'll use and the better it is for you.
Liz Earle - Mineral Sun Cream SPF 20 - £19.25
The all-rounder. The everyday skin protection with natural anti-oxidants.
This was genius. A clear sun protection spray in an aerosol can which covered the body in seconds. A decent factor - 25 - the coverage was good and simple bit of rubbing and you're good to go. It is more important than ever to be protected from the sun so anything which makes it less of a chore to apply and reapply must be a good thing. This should be in everybody's holiday bag in 2010.
A few facts first. In the UK, the number of reported cases of skin cancer has more than quadrupled since the 1970s and over 2,600 people die from skin cancer each year. Research states that 80-99% of the ageing seen in adult skin is the result of exposure to daylight. Genetics only account for around 10%. Men are particularly vunerable as they are less likely to use sunscreen or products that contain an SPF. Sun care is often seen as a femininising activity which it shouldn’t.
We are getting better. Well, we probably couldn’t have been any worse but as we become more conscious of the negative effects the sun’s rays are having on our skin. We’re finally realising the long-term damage prolonged sun exposure can have on the appearance of our skin and inside our bodies too. Sun protection can be quite complicated but once you get the hang of it, it should keep you in good stead year after year. We’ve had a pretty bad track record when it comes to being safe in the sun. The hardest thing to get your head around is doing this 365 days a year - this is what will keep you looking younger and healthier for longer. With the help of The International Dermal Institute, I’ve compiled this list of bullet points to guide and advise, particularly at this time of year, and make us all ‘Sun Smart’.
- ‘Daylight’ is the term scientists use not sunlight, meaning the sun doesn’t necessarily need to be shining to cause skin damage, this is particular relevant to the colder months of the year so look for a day moisturiser which contains an SPF and use everyday all year round.
- Daylight contains UVB rays - which is the burning ray - B for burning, a shorter ray. UVB rays can also destroy the skin’s immune system and UVA - the ageing ray - A for ageing, a longer ray which penetrates deeper causing most long term damage. Look for protection from both on the side of the sunscreen.
- The mantra of applying sunscreen is LOTS & OFTEN. Repeat after me.
- It takes around 20-30 mins for the sun protection to start working, the best advice is to put sunscreen on as soon as you come out of the shower in the morning, before you leave the house. Re-apply ever 2 hours throughout the day for average skin and don’t be stingy with it as they recommend you throw it away after 6 months. Don’t use last year’s as it wont give you the same protection.
- The best creams are usually the ones with the most stars or ratings. The more expensive creams have usually had the ingredients micro-nised which means it goes on better and they usually contain more of the positive ingredients. But check the packaging for this.
- Don’t take comfort in clothing either, a cotton T-shirt will give you a SPF protection of 4 so you need to apply sunscreen underneath your clothes.
- Exfoliate regularly. Before going in the sun have a facial or a body rub this will help protect your skin more.
- Perfume reacts with the light, so spray onto you clothes not your skin, particularly avoid perfumes that contain Bergamot & Lime.
- Never ever use sunbeds. Promise me.
We all love the sun, but there is something distinctively annoying about applying and continually reapplying sun tan creams and lotions. As men, we’re not used to putting on body lotions and find the whole thing an awkward and monotonous chore. Sun care experts recommend applying, regardless of factor, every two hours so we welcome anything that makes the whole process simpler and quicker.
This summer sees the introduction of sun protection in easy-to-use cans and spray bottles. Now all those hard-to-reach areas can be easily covered and unsightly and painful pink areas will hopefully be a thing of the past.
Clinique Body Spray SPF 25 - £15 – www.clinique.co.uk
Hampton Sun SPF 15 Sun Tanning Gel - £30 – www.spacenk.com
Methode Jeanne Piaubert SPF 25 Sprayable Sun Body Milk - £36 – www.beautique.com
Lancaster Sun Sport Multi-Protection Express Mist SPF 30 - £20 – Stockists 0800 376 0688
Clarins Sun Care Spray Oil Free Lotion UVA/UVB 15 - £16 – www.clarins.co.uk
Korres Sweet Orange Sprayable Sunscreen SPF 25 - £16 – www.korres.com