Burning Question - Do I need sunscreen in winter?
WORDS | Lisa Armstrong
The short answer, if you live in Britain, is no. This will come as a blow to thousands of women who have diligently taken on board advice doled out by sunscreen companies over the past decade. In our very office this week, one of our team proudly announced that she’d finally acquired the Year-Round-Factor- 50 habit.
She needs to ditch it, according to growing opinion among skincare gurus with no vested interest in selling SPFs. “There are so many chemicals in the average suncream,” says Sharon McGlinchey, “that any perceived benefits are vastly outweighed by the negatives. You do not want that toxicity on your skin.”
McGlinchey, whose organic oils are prized by Emma Watson and beauty editors alike (plus many women with serious skin problems), is zealous on the subject – and she lives in Sydney. “Unless you’re at high altitudes or on water, where rays reflect, it’s best to keep SPF usage to a minimum. Wear a hat and sunglasses and benefit from some vitamin D.
She’s not alone. Dr Michael Prager, who, as a wizard of injectable treatments, might be expected to take a more laissez-faire approach to chemicals, counsels moderation. “Given the levels of toxicity your skin is exposed to in most major cities,” he says, “why add any more than necessary?”