Before You Soak Up The Sun, Enlist These Summer Skincare Heroes

With a focus on protection, prevention and repair, Viva’s Julia Gessler road-tests the age-conscious range from La Roche-Posay

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Invisible Fluid SPF50+ 50ml. Photo / Supplied

If there is anything that has determined what I cut and keep in my beauty arsenal over the years, it is how healthy something makes my skin feel. What, exactly, “healthy” has meant has had everything to do with what stage my skin is in, and the kind of nurturing it has needed to be supple and glowing.

While that used to mean a small cast of basic products, it’s changed as I’ve gotten older and entered the next, important phase of my skincare routine — the protective and preventive one — which needs to be proactive, ticking the necessary boxes to meet my penchant for plump skin, while acting as a fortifier for my skin barrier, restoring moisture and helping to repair any environmentally induced damage along the way.

As the skin ages, many of the visible changes are caused by the sun. Overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can penetrate deep into the skin and cause changes at a cellular level, can result in dehydration, uneven skin tone, and photoaging, accelerating the formation of wrinkles and pigmentation, and the loss of elasticity. Daily application of sunscreen is non-negotiable, and La Roche-Posay’s popular Anthelios Invisible Fluid is a great broad-spectrum option that delivers — its lightweight formula perfect for all skin types. At 26 years old, my crow’s feet, et al, aren’t deep by any means, but my skin has felt more tired and dry, and small lines and sunspots have begun cropping up.

Enter the powerhouse trinity: vitamin C, hyaluronic acid and retinol. It’s the recipe La Roche-Posay’s range is formulated with to support skin as it ages encouraging hydration, minimising fine lines, and addressing pigmentation — and the best time to start this kind of regimen is yesterday.


La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5, Pure Vitamin C10 and Retinol B3 Serums. Photo / Supplied

My skin has some stipulations: It’s sensitive and frequently prone to adult acne. But La Roche-Posay’s products are non-comedogenic (meaning they won’t clog your pores), allergy-tested and generally gentle, are attuned to that. It’s why the dermatologically loved French brand has taken on cult favourite status, not to mention the efficacy of its products — several years ago, on holiday in Athens, Greece, I veritably dragged my partner across the city to find them.

Happily, you can find La Roche-Posay at selected local pharmacies, including Life Pharmacies and Chemist Warehouse, and online at Summer is a great time to reassess your skincare regimen and look to the future, and La Roche-Posay’s targeted range is a good place to begin.

How it works: It’s no secret that sunscreen is a highly effective way of protecting skin from potential sun damage. This broad-spectrum, fragrance-free option bolsters against both UVA and UVB rays.
What it’s like: While facial sunscreens can often veer on the greasy or ashen side, this ultra-light offering is neither: an easy-to-apply formula that leaves no film or residue, and nixes shine. It also sits beautifully under makeup.
When to use it: Apply every day 20 minutes before sun exposure, re-applying every two hours and more frequently after swimming, towelling or perspiring.

How it works: This lightweight serum touts a potent 10 per cent dose of pure vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, to promote collagen production, improve signs of photodamage and protect against skin-stressing free radicals from such environmental factors as UV rays. Salicylic acid, a powerful humectant, blasts skin with moisture, while vitamin E heals skin damage and helps keep the skin’s lipid barrier intact.
What it’s like: Packed with La Roche-Posay’s special thermal water, this supercharged formula is silky and fast-absorbing, and leaves skin feeling nourished after the first application. A little goes a long way.
When to use it: Apply once-daily in the morning or evening after cleansing.

HYALU B5 SERUM, $74.99
How it works: This hydrating serum boasts two types of hyaluronic acid (one with a larger molecular weight, one with a smaller molecular weight) so moisture penetrates skin at various layers. Coupled with vitamin B5 and madecassoside, a compound found in the medicinal plant Centella asiatica, also known as gotu kola, it knocks out dryness (preventing future fine lines) and restores plumpness.
What it’s like: The formula instantly leFT my skin looking dewier without being sticky. It absorbs quickly (meaning less product is lost) and doesn’t pill under makeup.
When to use it: Use twice daily in the morning and evening after cleansing.

How it works: Comprising a combination of pure retinol and a gradual release retinol, both derived from vitamin A, this exfoliating serum with brightening vitamin B3 (also known as niacinamide) and moisturising glycerin, slowly improves skin’s appearance by resurfacing texture, lightening sun-induced brown spots and lessening visible lines.
What it’s like: As someone with sensitive skin, choosing the right retinol — one that doesn’t cause my skin to peel — has been something of a topical roulette. This featherweight serum has been an anti-irritant superstar: smoother skin come morning, sans the redness.
When to use it: Once a day at night time. It is recommended to use Anthelios Invisible Fluid in the mornings following the nights you used Retinol B3 Serum for protection.

La Roche-Posay is available at selected local pharmacies, including Life Pharmacies and Chemist Warehouse, and online at

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