We all know the importance of wearing a sunscreen if we are out in the sun or sunbathing, gone are the days of laying in the sun and actually wanting to burn! Gosh how naive we were in our teens! But do we really understand why and what all the different sun protection options mean? I love a tan but there is a big difference between looking sun-kissed with a healthy glow and having sun damage - and a tan is sun damage. Being outside in the sun is so good for us - do not under estimate the benefits of Vitamin D on our general well-being, immune system, mental health and bone, muscle and heart health. BUT the safest way to get a tan is slowly and through sunscreen! And that is why a facial SPF for the sensitive skin on our face is non-negotiable. Wear it every day, summer and winter.
But most of us want to wear make-up and slathering any old sunscreen onto our face doesn't quite cut it! So I asked ERA Skin & Laser Clinic in Thame to explain to me what it is all about and how to choose an excellent all year round facial SPF that gives us the protection we need and works well under or instead of make-up.
ERA Skin & Laser Clinic in Thame is owned by Emma Rothery and Emma got in touch with me to ask if I would like to come along to the clinic to try out a course of hyrdafacials and learn about the latest in skincare, how to look after my skin in midlife and share this knowledge on my blog.
What is pro-ageing?
Some of you may have noticed a new word for getting a bit older ... out is the term anti-ageing and in is pro-ageing. It is the new positive term to define midlife and beyond, the idea being that no one age is better than another. And that each phase in our life brings a new knowledge and perspective. So we are not anti the ageing process ... rather we are embracing who we are and choosing to value every age.
For me, well I want to look the best I can NOW, yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift! I do look back and wonder what on earth I was thinking though! My outfit choices and beauty regimes were certainly questionable. But it doesn't matter - today we can choose better.
Which is why I was delighted to meet Emma and Paige, ERA's Aesthetic Practitioner and the very skilled therapist who has been carrying out my hydrafacials. I am really enjoying learning about skincare and how to look after my skin - and my skin has never looked and felt better! I was made to feel so welcome at Emma's gorgeous clinic in a the pretty Oxfordshire market town of Thame. it is easy to get to - right off the M40 and they have their own parking spaces.
4 reasons why you should always wear a facial SPF
What facial SPF should I choose?
Always choose a stand alone facial SPF / broad spectrum sunscreen.
Make sure you wear a minimum of SPF30 every day.
Do not rely on the SPF that is added to make-up or everyday moisturisers as they are usually only an SPF10.
My daily skincare routine using a broad spectrum sunscreen / facial SPF from ZO Skin Health
As part of my collaboration with ERA Skin & Laser Clinic and to complement my course of hydrafacials, I am trying out a new skincare routine with ZO Skin Health.
ZO Skin Health is a range of medical grade products which use prescription strength active ingredients to improve your skin health and tackle the signs of ageing or other common skin concerns such as acne, rosacea, pigmentation, dull or dry skin. Only registered clinics are able to prescribe and sell ZO Skin Health products.
I start every morning and every evening with the ZO Exfoliating Cleanser. It works really well on removing make-up and leaves my skin feeling clean and smooth.
Twice a week I am using the `ZO Exfoliating Polish. I apply to damp skin, scrub for 1-2 minutes then rinse off. It feels amazing, it is a very fine consistency, easy to wash off and I really feel it smoothing my skin.
Next I use the ZO Complexion Renewal Pads, these are pre-soaked wipes to exfoliate and prevent clogged pores, Emma advised I can cut them in half as I do not need to use a whole one. I use morning and evening, I sweep once over my face and leave to dry.
Once my skin is dry I apply one pump to my face and neck of the ZO Daily Power Defence.
And finally, every morning, I apply the ZO SPF30 Sunscreen+Primer before starting my usual make-up routine. This is a non-greasy, quick drying broad spectrum sunscreen with a sheer matte finish, it has a universal tint and a silky feel that helps disguise any minor imperfections. It feels light and easy to apply and has a 12-hour time release complex.
ZO have a choice of four different broad spectrum sunscreen products to choose from. I chose the Sunscreen+Primer as Emma was keen for me to stick with all ZO products and as I favour a primer this one made sense. But they also offer a Sunscreen+Powder, a Sunscreen with a Tint if you prefer not to wear foundation on holiday for example and a Daily Broad Spectrum SPF50. A broad spectrum sunscreen protects from UVB and UVA and is always the best choice of facial SPF.
The first 6 weeks of my routine with the ZO products will help normalise my skin and restore it to the right levels of hydration.
My skincare routine in the past has always been a bit hit and miss and I worry it is too late to make any difference - but Paige reassured me it is never too late to get a healthier complexion and with the right routine and attention to good skincare, you will notice a difference!
I am already really impressed. Emma said that after my course of hydrafacials I will feel confident enough in my skin to post a no make-up selfie on Instagram! I have always felt my skin looks uneven and scarred from teenage acne and although I have been lucky enough to have anti-ageing treatments and regular facials I have never been so impressed as I am so far with the two hydrafacials I have had and the already obvious benefits of the ZO Skin Health products.
Paige explained that many customers report their skin 'feels alive' again!
And the best advice - be consistent! Choose a range of skincare that you love but stick to the same brand, don't chop and change or have one product from one brand and another product from another brand. I will talk more about this on another blog post - coming soon!
Do I need to reapply my facial SPF throughout the day?
If you are on holiday and sunbathing then yes, try to reapply every 2 hours or so. If you are working indoors away from windows then probably not. But if you are spending more time outside then it would be a good idea to top-up. If you choose a ZO sunscreen+primer then it has a 12-hour time release formula, otherwise choosing which product is best for a top up is personal choice. The ZO sunscreen+powder can be worn over make-up so it is easy to top up!
I hope you find this useful! I do have to own up though, with the arrival (suddenly) of amazing weather, I sat in the garden over the bank holiday weekend and promptly burnt my arms, not realising just how strong the sun was already! Reminder to self, practice what I preach and use sunscreen!
I can thoroughly recommend a trip to Thame to browse the shops, have lunch and get a treatment at ERA Skin & Laser Clinic!
Outfit details: My sandals are the Sport Wedge Flatform Sandals from Next (aff link).
Disclaimer: Emma at ERA has gifted me a course of hydrafacials and a starter pack of ZO Skin Health products so I can really assess and review the results of a proper skincare routine. I have not however been paid to write this series of blog posts and all words and opinions are my own.
Welcome to Fifty & Fab, a lifestyle blog to inspire you. I am a blogger with a passion for writing about style, beauty, health and fitness with a focus on the over 50's. I am based in Marlow but work across London and the South East.
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Hi, I’m Michelle and my blog Fifty & Fab is all about my journey into and through my fifties. I share style tips, health and fitness inspiration, I talk about my holidays and days out and I tell you about my beauty regime and my lifestyle. I hope you might pick up a tip or two and get some inspiration!
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