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I was an SPF eejit and you might be too

By June 5, 2020June 7th, 2020No Comments

spf eejit

According to Louise McSharry, if you’re not using SPF correctly, you might as well throw the rest of your skincare out the window. Plus, five black-owned beauty brands to check out this week…


I’m obsessed with SPF.

I think it may be in response to the fact that for years I just about washed my face in the morning (having slept with my makeup on, or maybe, on a good day, lashed a makeup wipe over my face) and lashed on some moisturizer, never giving skincare any real consideration. I think I have SPF guilt. I have SPF regret. I neglected SPF, and therefore I neglected my skin and I neglected myself. Okay, I may be getting somewhat carried away, but I was definitely an SPF eejit. Now that I have seen the light, I simply must ensure that everyone else sees it too. You need a decent SPF and you need to be wearing it every day.

When friends ask me for skincare advice, I always ask if they’re using an SPF, because I honestly believe that if you’re not, you might as well throw all your other products out the window. Research indicates that the sun is responsible for eighty percent of the skin’s ageing, and while none of us want to avoid the sun, we can protect ourselves from a lot of the potential damage by using the correct products. Otherwise, we could be pouring hundreds of euro worth of creams and serums onto our face every night and it would be essentially a waste of time.

SPF, as we know, stands for Sun Protection Factor, and these days specialist skincare products which include SPF are widely available. Expert advice indicates that we should be wearing broad spectrum SPF 30, all day every day. ‘Broad spectrum’ means that the product protects from both types of UV light emitted by the sun. UVA rays are responsible for premature ageing via fun stuff like wrinkling and age-related pigmentation, where UVB are the pricks responsible for sun burn.

We don’t want either of those, so we want a nice broad spectrum product, and we need it every day because those rays come right through our beautiful Irish clouds. We want it to be SPF 30, because that means our skin is protected from 97% of UVB rays. (The difference between factors 30 and 50 is only one percent in terms of protection, so 30 is perfectly appropriate.)

At this point you’re probably sold on a broad spectrum facial SPF of 30, but we still need to talk about application. There is a myth going around that you need to reapply SPF every two hours throughout the day. That’s not necessarily true, and I’d hate for that to put people off. For most Irish people, who spend a significant amount of time indoors, a decent application in the morning as the last element of your skincare routine will be sufficient.

‘Decent’ varies from product to product, but half a teaspoon to a teaspoon should be sufficient. If you want to be extra careful, you could also layer products which include SPF, like foundation and powder. SPF is broken down by sun exposure, so if you spend a lot of time outside or in direct sunlight through a window, then it would be wise to reapply every couple of hours.

So, let’s talk product!

Image Skincare’s Prevention+ range (€47.50)  is fantastic and includes a matte option if that’s your bag. Personally, I love the Image MD Restoring Daily Defence Moisturiser (€53) which is SPF 50, is a gorgeous moisturiser and sits beautifully under makeup. Irish skincare genius Jennifer Rock’s range Skingredients includes the super Skin Shield SPF 50++ (€42), or if you’d like something lighter, Glossier’sInvisible Shield (€24) is light in texture and disappears into the skin with an SPF of 35.

Avéne’s Anti-Aging SunscreenSPF50+ (€24.99) is excellent, and works well on sensitive skin, as does LeRoche Posay’s Anthelios Range, which includes a facial mist with an SPF of 50 (handy if you need to reapply throughout the day, although must be applied liberally).

Really, there are countless options these days, so there’s no excuse for being an SPF eejit anymore. Obviously there’s no shame in ageing, but even if you’re not trying to stave off wrinkles, the skin is the body’s largest organ, and it’s worth protecting. Get onboard!

This month, in lieu of recommending individual products I’m enjoying, I’d like to recommend some black-owned beauty brands. You probably already know about Pat McGrath and Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty, but here are a few more to check out:

Danessa Myricks Beauty


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Danessa Myricks is a makeup artist with years of experience at the absolute top of her game, which she used to develop and launch a range of product in 2017. The products are innovative and artisanal, true tools for creativity. Each formula is designed to be multipurpose, so there are no limits with what you can do. Aside from that, Danessa has the most beautiful voice, and her tutorials are deeply, intensely relaxing.

Ace Beauté


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If you’re into colour, then these absolutely bangin’ palettes are for you. Rich in pigment and with brilliant colour selections, you only need to check out some of the incredible makeup looks on their Instagram to see the payoff. Ace Beauté started out making mink lashes, but they are now entirely cruelty free and have expanded their offering.

MDM Flow
spf idiot

MDM Flow is the baby of cosmetic scientist Flow, who launched the British brand at the age of 22. The brand was initially about lipstick, but has expanded into multi-use pigmented glosses and has a reportedly game-changing mascara on the way.

Josephine Cosmetics

spf eejit

Sholayide Otugalu launched Josephine Cosmetics in 2005, when she saw a gap in the market for a luxe line of natural, vegan cosmetics. Five years on, the brand is known for its ‘won’t budge’ liquid eyeliner and glowy highlighters.

Range Beautyspf eejit

Range Beauty combines skincare with cosmetics in a line which promises to deliver when it comes to shade options and skin health. According to the brand, women of colour are exposed to ‘twice the amount of toxic beauty products with few clean alternatives’, so they set about to be an excellent option.

Photo by Autumn Goodman on Unsplash