Should you be applying SPF to your eyelids?

19th Mar 19 | Beauty

A new eyeshadow contains SPF in the hope of protecting this delicate area.

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Even if you have no interest in skincare, you’ll probably know the golden rule; you should be wearing sunscreen every day.

It’s essential to protect your skin from UV rays, reducing the risk of cancer and preventing wrinkles. You might be used to slathering it all over your face, but what about your eyelids?

The skin around your eyes is some of the most delicate and sensitive on your body – it would make sense that it needs protection, but you might not fancy pulling at the thin skin by rubbing cream all over it.

However, this means that a lot of us are missing out on a key area which needs to be protected. Research done by the University of Liverpool in 2017 reveals the most commonly missed area when people apply sunscreen is the eyelids. Dr Kevin Hamill calls eyelid skin “highly cancer prone”, meaning you should really be paying a lot more attention to it.

Founder of beauty brand Supergoop! Holly Thaggard also thinks this is a problem, and wants us to give our eyelids a bit more love. She’s created Shimmershade, an eyeshadow containing SPF, so your make-up will be on point, while also protecting the skin around your eyes.

“I’ve found in my conversations, people purposefully avoid the eye area [when they’re applying sunscreen], because they’re concerned about itching and irritating,” says Thaggard – and she’s hoping Shimmershade will change this.

All of Supergoop’s products include SPF – Thaggard set up the company after a close friend was diagnosed with skin cancer. It’s important to note that she’s all for the layering approach, and recommends putting on an eye cream with SPF, as well as Shimmershade, to make sure you get the best protection possible.

Shimmershade comes in four different colours and is currently available in the US for $24 (£18). The brand’s other products are stocked by Free People in the UK, so hopefully the new release will be available here sometime soon.

Dr Ross Perry, medical director of CosmedicsUK, is pro the idea of SPF on your eyelids, saying it’s “sensible in theory”.

For Perry, the potential problem is not with your eyelids, but your eyes. “The issue is that it can run into your eyes and irritate them, so use sparingly,” he explains. “In my opinion, eyeshadow containing SPF is a good idea, but at the same time, I would still advise wearing protective sunglasses when in the sun.”

Like Thaggard, Perry is all for the layering approach – you shouldn’t just rely on one thing to protect your skin, but you should look to use various types of SPFs, as well as sunglasses and hats when you’re in the sunshine.

© Press Association 2019

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