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Maximum benefit, minimum effort: the hectic nature of city life calls for skincare that perfects and protects. These are the products to invest in.

Words by Jourdana Abrahams.
Still-life photographs by Richy Leeson.

When poolside we act sun-smart, opting for full-spectrum sunscreens with the highest SPFs and the fastest drying times. Yet when it comes to summer in the city we’re not quite so well versed in protecting our skin. Yes, we know we should be slathering on SPF daily and blocking out those UVA, UVB and infrared rays as they penetrate glass, bounce off buildings and sneak through cloud cover. In truth, the combination of sticky sun cream together with heat, humidity, work-ready make-up and public transport is too heady a mix for us to bear, leaving the majority of us on a sustained fast track to skin damage. Until now, as a new generation of innovative, anti-ageing daily defenders boasting light liquid layers, make-up friendly formulas and anti-pollution technology come to the rescue.

If the addition of extra protection seems too time-consuming for first thing in the morning, turn your attention to Dr Russo’s pioneering, and frankly rather genius, SPF cleanser. The focus here is not so much on what is removed, but rather what is left behind, as the globally patented formula combines clever cleansing with exclusive wash-on technology. After rinsing and ridding skin of impurities, the Sun Protective Day Cleanser (therejuvenationclinic.co.uk) shrewdly deposits a protective (yet completely undetectable) skin-binding sunscreen onto the face and neck, ensuring you are shielded from the get-go with no extra effort. As I said, genius.

From left: Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Foundation SPF40, Skinceuticals Phloretin CF

Traditionally, the downside of going chemical-free meant a slip-and-slide skin texture that was unwelcome in the heat, and even more so beneath make-up. Forget all connotations of mineral sunscreens as cloying, leaving skin with a white cast, and meet the new breed of mineral-based protectors. Boasting a whole host of symbiotic formulas that ensure your skincare and serums continue to work just as they should, the new sunscreens not only protect but also perfect, brighten and support the skin’s texture for both the short and long term. Infused with translucent colour spheres that help to even out skin tone while boosting brightness, Skinceuticals Mineral Radiance UV Defense SPF50 (skinceuticals.co.uk) acts like a souped-up, lightweight primer. Radical Skincare Skin Perfecting Screen SPF30 (beautybay.com) also combines non-chemical sun shields with a diamond powder ingredient for a flawless, skin-blurring finish akin to liquid Photoshop.

Although opting for a base with built-in sun care benefits won’t ensure full protection when worn alone, it will boost the efficacy of any SPF layered beneath. When it gives as good a glow and as natural and dewy a finish as Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Foundation SPF40 (bobbibrown.co.uk), the added sun protection comes packaged as a rather effective beauty afterthought.

A new generation of innovative, anti-ageing daily defenders boasting light liquid layers, make-up friendly formulas and anti-pollution technology come to the rescue.

When it comes to summer in the city, it’s not just the UV rays we have to protect ourselves against. With a rise in temperature comes an increase in pollution – a gamut of skin-destroying environmental aggressors that city dwellers see reflected by way of dull, sensitised skin and accelerated ageing. Clarins UV Plus 50 Anti-Pollution Day Screen (clarins.com) is a clever plant-powered easy-absorbing formula created to target these very concerns. The anti-pollutant sunscreen balances broad-spectrum protection with an exclusive, antioxidant-based, organic Alpine sanicle extract that readily mops up any skin stress caused by pollution, smog and other urban aggressors. It’s these potent antioxidants that hold the key to a dermis-deep defence system, which is why I’ll be applying a couple of drops of Skinceuticals Phloretin CF (skinceuticals.co.uk) to clean skin each morning. The daily-use vitamin-C serum helps to shield skin from damaging free radicals created by both pollutants and the sun’s infrared rays that aren’t blocked by even full-spectrum SPFs, while at the same time strengthening the skin’s natural internal protection. Consider your summer-in-the-city skin well and truly sorted.

From left: Clarins UV Plus 50 Anti-Pollution Day Screen, Radical Skincare Skin Perfecting Screen SPF30, Dr Russo Sun Protective Day Cleanser
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