Safe in the sun: Time to put sunscreen on the shopping list

By Elfreda McGowan

With the sun due to make another appearance this Bank Holiday Weekend, Beauty Editor Elfreda McGowan joins us today with some sunscreen product suggestions. 

Most people start thinking about sunscreen at this time of year, when the sun starts peeping through the Irish clouds once again. Technically though, you should be wearing sunscreen every day of the year, sunshine or not, to protect yourself from the UV spectrum. Generally speaking, you should lather on more than you think, about half an hour or so before you leave your house for the day, reapply after swimming, showering or sweating, and avoid the midday sun.

Regarding UV rays, it’s the UVA that ages the skin, and UVB that turns the average Irish person into a lobster on those sunny days. Dermatologists recommend wearing a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher, and there is an informative sheet on sunscreen and the labelling of SPF on the Health Products Regulatory Authority website to help guide you through the general symbols you should look out for when purchasing any kind of spf regardless of the type or price of the product you choose.

While trawling through the various sunscreen lotions and potions available, I couldn’t help notice that a lot of those widely available across supermarkets and pharmacies contain a whole heap of chemicals, so I’ve gone on a search for some at the lower end of the chemical scale and more ‘clean’ beauty brands so to speak. Here are some options I found.

Trilogy Daily Defence Moisturiser SPF15 €30.95 This one is perfect as a daily facial moisturiser and as a makeup base.

Green People Day Solution Cream SPF15 50ml €15.50 85% certified organic. Available from and ideal for use on all skin types and both face and neck.

Aloe Pura Organic Aloe Vera Sun Lotion SPF25 200ml €16.89 Available from

Jason Mineral Natural Sun Cream SPF30 113g This is an all mineral sunscreen that is chemical and fragrance free. €16.75 from, it’s safe to use on babies over 6 months and doesn’t leave a white residue.

Surfers Skin Organic Sunscreen Lotion 125ml SPF50 €13.25 This is water and sweat resistant, and protects both in and out of the water.

Phyt’s Sun Cream SPF30 75ml €39 This spreads easily in a vegetable oil base. It’s suitable for babies and children and its waterproof. 100% of the ingredients have a natural origin.

Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defence SPF 30 90ml £29.00 There’s free shipping to Ireland on all orders over £40. I have mentioned Drunk Elephant before here on Happy Magazine. The products are amazing, the packaging is amazing. This sunscreen is packed full of antioxidants and because of the sheer formulation, it doesn’t leave a white veil. There can be a waiting list on some Drunk Elephant products, but they are worth the wait.

So now you have a few sunscreens to get you going, all that’s left, is to book that well-deserved break or soak up the Vitamin D on our beautiful island (I’m thinking positively here!). Be safe, and have fun in the sun.

By Elfreda McGowan, Beauty Editor, Happy Magazine.

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