People often ask me what is the best skincare product, or the key product to include in an anti-ageing skincare regime. Without hesitation I always say that a good quality SPF is the single most important product you can use and the one which has the most direct anti-ageing benefits. We all know of the dangers of excessive sun exposure, ranging from sunburn to skin cancer. However, wearing a quality sunscreen every day is one of the best ways to preserve younger-looking skin. Over time, sun exposure has a tremendously ageing effect on our skin. Investing in the right product will not only screen out UVB rays, but a product certified as “broad spectrum” will also screen out a lot of the UVA rays, which can be the most damaging in the way it ages ours skin.

I wear SPF 30 all year round and rest-assured my skin never feels sticky or greasy – nor do I worry about blocked pores. SPFs are often unloved but there’s a wide range of sunscreens out there with ever-evolving formulas, improved technology that feel just as great as a light moisturiser. And do a whole lot more.

Having spent a few years living in Australia where sunscreen protection is the daily norm, I’ve become extremely particular about what I use on my face and body. A simple SPF isn’t enough and I also demand broad-spectrum protectors to minimise free radical damage and environmental damage. And so, I only stock the best in the Zen salons.

All day products in the Murad range contain moisturising, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant ingredients, which all help to protect and correct the skin throughout the day. Try Murad Essential-C Day Moisture SPF30, rich in Vitamin C and other anti-oxidants to protect the skin and fight free radical damage from the aging effects of UVA.

I also really like Murad’s  new  City Skin SPF50 (£55). This lovely, ultra-light 100% mineral broad spectrum PA++++ and SPF 50 sunscreen with Environmental Protection Technology shields skin from the 5 main causes of damage that accelerate signs of ageing. The lightweight formula absorbs quickly into the skin with no ashy residue and leaves a luminous, pearlised finish. A soft peach tint helps colour correct skin to immediately boost radiance and even tone while Vitamin C helps brighten skin, even tone and correct sun damage. (Also look at the Vitamin C range which is amazing).

And make sure you use an eye cream with SPF – this is one area of your skin prone to dehydration and wrinkles, so it’s vital to make sure you protect it. My favourite is Murad’s Essential-C Eye Cream SPF15. (£55).

Elizabeth Arden PRO is another brand with a fantastic multi-tasking sunscreen. The Triple Action Protector SPF 50 is an ideal multipurpose product offering three levels of skin protection: a protein antioxidant complex to diminish signs of ageing, a DNA Enzyme Complex to support skin’s natural repair system and potent moisturising ingredients to reinforce the skin’s natural barrier.

The Heliocare SPF range  is a must for anyone needing maximum protection, from those with vulnerable skin such as anyone who has recently had IPL, laser or resurfacing treatments to those with sensitive skin. Also for anyone who is prone to pigmentation, this is the ultimate barrier for photo sensitive skin.

When it comes to application, it’s important to apply the recommended amount of sunscreen for optimal protection and at least 15 minutes before you head out. After all, there’s no point investing in a great sunscreen if you’re going to leave yourself exposed. The rule of thumb is a handful for body – children are approximately 20ml and adults 40ml. Always re-apply after swimming, if you’re perspiring a lot or have used a towel.

And remember, the best and safest tans can be found in a bottle – or by getting an in-salon treatment. Look after your skin with the right products and let Zen look after your colour with our lovely whitetobrown Spray Tan.

For guidance on the best products for individual skin, please pop into one of Zen’s two city centre salons for a free consultation. Spray tans are available at our Hanover Street with Bruntsfield offering a Cream Tan application.

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Fiona Fowley is the beauty expert and entrepreneur behind the Zen Lifestyle salons. Originally a beauty therapist, Fiona realised there was a gap in the market to create a unique kind of customer experience in the UK beauty and spa industry. She created Zen Lifestyle to provide discerning clients with an exceptionally high standard of therapies in luxurious, beautifully designed surroundings. she has led the business to 18 national beauty awards, as well as being voted UK Salon of the Year 5 times.