BEAUTY CLINIC: Safe sun for sensitive skin

Jo and Sarah answer real questions from readers: to put your query, go to 

Q My skin seems to have suddenly become very sensitive to the sun. Can you recommend sun protection for touchy skin, particularly my face? I need something with a high SPF and preferably with a bit of colour, which won’t make me come out in blotches.

A We would suggest looking at the Ultrasun range for sensitive skin. Earlier this summer, during a spell of hot weather, a friend of Sarah’s with a similar type of problem tried Ultrasun Face Anti-Age SPF50+ Tinted Honey, £26 for 50 ml, and wrote a delighted email. 

She said, ‘I seem suddenly allergic to the sun and this has made me a little tanned on my face and is just the right colour. A huge thank you. I feel tanned without sitting in the sun and damaging my skin!’ Which is pretty impressive, we think.

There’s also an SPF50 in paler Tinted Ivory for porcelain skins, plus an SPF30 Tinted Honey.

We also like Ultrasun Face Mineral SPF30, £26 for 40ml, which is based on zinc oxide but has almost no ‘ghosting’. For those with sun spots like Sarah (due to horses and gardening), there’s Face Anti-Age & Anti-Pigmentation SPF50+, £32 for 50ml.  

There’s a complementary range of Ultrasun body products too, all at As with all sun preps, if you are out in the sun you should apply liberally before going outside, then regularly during the day, especially after swimming or playing sweaty sports. (See also Beauty Clinic on decoding sun prep labeling here.) 

And please don’t forget that the best sun protection for your face is the shade, a tightly-woven broad-brimmed hat (mandatory to prevent a hair-stack too) and a pair of large Jackie O sunglasses. The bonus is you will look super-glamorous.

Beauty Bible loves… 

L’Occitane Aqua Réotier range, £18-£28. Slurp, slurp. Gulp, gulp. Can you hear our skins, drinking in this new range from L’Occitane? We almost can.

For their latest skincare range, L’Occitane have harnessed a specific mineral-rich water from the Réotier spring, which has a super-high concentration of calcium and magnesium, essential for healthy skin. They’ve formulated this alongside hyaluronic acid and humectant glycerine into five products, any one of which offers a great drink of water for parched skins. (Conversely, however, the texture is lightweight – quenching, but not-too-rich, ideal for this time of year.)

L’Occitane Aqua Réotier range , £18-£28

There’s a quintet of quenchers, actually – Water Gel Cleanser (at £29 for 195 ml, this lightly foams on contact with water; good for young complexions). Fresh Moisturising Mist (£19 for 50 ml) is a good cool-down when you’re over-heated, and can also be used to set make-up. Moisture Prep Essence (£22 for 150 ml)? Not really one for us.

But the real heroes, as far as we’re concerned, are the two moisturisers (priced (£28 for 50ml): Ultra Thirst-Quenching Gel, which is nicely cooling and feels just fab on the skin, and Ultra Thirst-Quenching Cream, if that’s not quite enough moisture for you. (Lovely and softening, this.)

We say: dive right in.