Beauty Without Fuss

Tuesday 6 July 2010

Guest Post: Esthederm Suncare

If you don't read MakeupbyKaty, you should!  She's a font of some amazing knowledge, and she's a lovely person to boot, I love her, and you will too.  Today, she's talking some sense about suncare:



I recently came back from 10 days in sunny, glorious Greece. Great food, white beaches, hot sun. Perfect. Except that me and the sun, well let’s just say that it’s a one way love affair.

I’m happy to admit that I enjoy the sun, that I embrace the sun, that, shock horror, I like to tan. It is an area that is controversial to say the least! As the sister of someone with Albinism and the daughter of a Dermatological secretary, I am educated in all matters of sun-damage. So when I do get the chance to see some sun, I take every precaution to protect as well as get some colour to my skin.

I like to think about my tan levels in terms of Biscuits. I generally never get darker than a Digestive…and that’s fine with me… I don’t hanker after russet brown skin. I just don’t have enough melanin. And I’m ok with that.

My husband on the other hand, with his half Greek genes, goes roughly the colour of a Bourbon biscuit within the first week. And that’s with no trying. I think that somewhere along his genealogy, he has an ancestor that was a mahogany table.

 All jokes aside, I do have to be very careful as I am prone to easily burning and the pink wafer is neither delicious, nor an attractive look. 

So how do we get a balance between over exposure and Vitamin D deprivation?

I am a huge believer in the good that the sun can give us. I treat the sun with respect, knowing that it’s just as likely to harm me as to help me.

I first discovered Esthederm Sun care when working as a visitor in Space NK a year or so ago. There was a huge buzz about it with the staff, and that for me is a very telling sign. Space NK staff are usually very skincare/sun care savvy and if they’re excited and purchasing, my ears tend to prick up.

My usual holiday sun care purchases are an SPF30 for the first few days, an SPF15 for the rest of the holiday. I have also used Tan stimulating creams and also tablets (with disastrous effects, I may blog about it another time). So when a friend suggested I could take just the one and it would suffice, I took the leap.

At £38, it’s not cheap. And I’m also going to have to simplify the technology to explain why. 

The one I opted for was the Adaptasun Body Milk for Extreme Sun. This is how the levels work at Esthederm. You choose your sun care by your skin sensitivity levels and the sun level of your holiday destination. Hence, I went for Extreme. The Website states the Result as ‘Optimal Tanning quickly and safely’

It also ‘Ensures a suitable protection under extreme exposure (glaciers, tropics, prolonged exposure to the sea or high altitude).

Here is what Esthederm have to say about their ‘different’ approach to the Sun.

•  Overexposure to the sun is dangerous, as is its absence
Sun is essential to life because of its heat, its light and its natural anti-depressant action.

•  Tanning does not age skin
Photo Cellular skincare protects cells from the attacks of free radicals.

•  Tanning is the best protection
On the skin’s surface, melanin pigments absorb some of the solar radiation.

•  Adaptation to sun rather than over protection
Completely depriving the skin of sun exposure makes it lose its ability to adapt to the sun, which is tanning.

•  Inequality of the skin’s behaviour under the sun is not inevitable
With Photo Cellular Skincare, fair skin tans; intolerant skins bear the sun.

•  SPF is not a reliable or sufficient indicator
SPF measures the risk of sunburn but not the risk of ageing, nor of photo-sensitisation.

My take on this? Instead of totally blocking my skin from the sun, I’m using the positive aspects of it to help my skin to adapt. I have no burnt skin. I have no peeling. I feel great. I’m tanned, safely.  Of course, we still have to take responsibility and be wise in our sun exposure. I don’t lay out in the sun for hours at a time. I religiously re-apply every two hours, sometimes more often. I apply it liberally, DO NOT SKIMP!! After swimming I re-apply, as I do before swimming, on my shoulders and forehead.

I tend to skulk off either under an umbrella or to a bar between the hours of 12 and 3 and I never fall asleep with bits sticking out of the shade, (anymore….).

I cannot really do the technology justice, I’m not a scientist, but I will tell you this. I will never go in the sun again without my Esthederm.

Here is a gratuitous picture of me on holiday. 

Yours, deep in post holiday blues



  1. I'm always so careful about protecting my skin on holiday. In England, however, not so much... I think my general contempt for the weather makes me into some kind of tanning daredevil, 'Burn me then! Go on! I dare you!!'

    I accidently burnt my back during a picnic on the common the other day and it was so painful. Reminded me of childhood holidays where my mum couldn't use enough cream on my brother and I to protect us from the 8 hours we wanted to spend in the pool each day. We were the kids swimming with the t-shirts on.

    I'd like to try Esthederm if it wasn't so prohibitively expensive. For £38 I'd expect to have my own lotion-applying pool boy complete with cocktail fridge, magazine selection and palm leaf to fan me with.

  2. I've heard a lot about these products lately, I think I may have to pick some up.

    On another note, I really want to eat some biscuits now.

  3. hahahhaa! That's funny and really hit home, because I'm half Turkish.
    When I was younger I had that color of tan, since I had so much time to obtain it.

  4. Hi,
    Don't mean to be a downer but I think a dermatologist would argue with most of Esthederm's points. Dermatologists from websites like 'the skin guru' and ' the derm blog'(where I've learned a lot about skincare)would absolutely cringe if they read Esthederm's product info.

  5. Not being a downer, there's always room for counter arguments. However, I'm lucky enought to have a direct line to dermatologists as my Mum is a secretary for one of them. I ran this past them as we're a very sun conscious family and they agreed it gave really fool-proof protection. It IS a different take, but, from what I've been told, a safe one.

    K x

  6. While I have to respectfully disagree regarding the deliciousness of pink wafers (are you mad woman? They're amazing!) I agree with the other points.

    The rating system for the Estherderm, rather than SPF seems interesting. I've heard quite a lot in the press about SPFs and their effectiveness recently, so it's nice to see a product that uses another method well.

    I have fair skin that burns ridiculously easily and never tans. My cousin recommended me the Clinique body spray. It's SPF 25, which is probably the lowest I've ever used, but it seems to do the job. I survived a full 9 hour day at Alton Towers two weeks ago burn free!


  7. SPF is the measure of protection from UVB. PPD is the measure of protection from UVA. They are specific standards.

    Sounds like this company is playing to people's ignorance for marketing purposes. Their rating system is meaningless without any data as to the level of UV filtration provided.

    Having watched someone I love die a horrible death from skin cancer, there is no way I'd be willing to be a guinea pig for a company that uses a bunch of completely silly waffle to sell its ridiculously priced product.

  8. I presume both Anonymous people are the same reader. So, before you dismiss it entirely, I was in no way a guinee pig. How very presumptious of you. Secondly, in my previous comment I pointed out that the dermatologists I spoke to gave it their backing. It still offers protection but instead of relying on numbers for people to figure out what protection they need, it uses skin type and sun type.

    I'm sorry you lost someone to skin cancer, it is a horrible disease, one I would not wish on anyone. And that is exactly the reason I use this cream because for me, it gives me maximum protection and I don't suffer from vitamin D deprivation because I never see sunlight.

    Just because something is different, it certainly doesn't mean it is silly waffle.

    I was by no means advocating over exposure of the sun, in fact the opposite. This was the first time I didn't burn at all. Institute D'Esthederm is a very well established, highly regarded skincare institute, I doubt they could get away with it if they were all cuckoo.

    Yours etc


  9. Let's start with the fact that a tan does not provide the protection that naturally dark skin does. Did you know that there are two different types of melanin and they offer different levels of protection from the sun? And that melanin from a tan is not placed to protect the nuclei of surrounding cells is the same way that intrinsic melanin is? The myth of the healthy tan is just that--a myth.

    If dermatologists are saying this product is fine, then it must have UV filters in it the same as any other (cheaper) sunscreen. What UV filters? What wavelengths do they protect aginst? What is the ACTUAL protection they give, as opposed to some scale they made up which is meaningless unless it is explicitedly linked to scientific data.

    The interaction between UV radiation and human skin is complex and has wide-ranging effects, including suppression of the immune system. Of course the average lay person is not, or should not, be expected to understand the entirety of that complexity (the whole vitamin D panic is now being seriously questioned, but of course there's money to be made if you can scare consumers). But if you don't understand the issues, don't promote your own theories on something as serious as sun protection.

    And let me restate: if this product is safe, it is because it contains UV filters, the some as any other sunscreen, just hidden in a load of marketing nonsense.

  10. According to the ingredient list this contains the common UV filters Octocrylene, Methoxydibenzoylmethane (better known as Avobenzone), and Octyl methoxycinnamate (Tinosorb OCM). These are found in a vast array of bog standard sunscreens.


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