French girl beauty has had a hold of us mere mortals for some time now. Admittedly, one of the things that makes those tousled tresses and barely-there makeup so covetable (and infuriating) is how unbearably elusive the whole process is to achieve it. That's why you should have seen our faces when we stumbled across French drug store favourite, La Roche-Posay.
Favoured for their effectiveness, simplicity and accessible price tag, over the years its products have lined our bathroom shelves, cementing their place as the workhouse in our skincare routines. And while we're fans of the face cream and the Redermic Pure Vitamin C10 Serum, it's the La Roche-Posay face sunscreen that we keep coming back to. In fact, the sunscreens have amassed somewhat of a cult following. That's why we reached out to Penelope Thornett, who oversees La Roche-Posay as the Managing Director of the Active Cosmetic Division at L'Oréal Australia, to dig deeper into the brand and the sunscreens that we have owe so much to.
Find our interview with Penelope Thornett below.
What makes La Roche-Posay sunscreen unique?
In my opinion it is the combination of very high protection together with the incredibly lightweight texture, which makes it so wearable. That is hard to achieve.
What is the most popular La Roche-Posay sunscreen?
La Roche Posay Anthelios Invisible Fluid 50+.
Do you have any sunscreen tips?
Think of sunscreen as part of your skincare routine, apply after moisturiser but before makeup. Wear it daily. I think we all know how important it is to protect our skin — but what may not be as top of mind for everyone is how much UV damage contributes to aging. I wish I'd started that daily practice in my 20s!
Why do you think La Roche-Posay sunscreen has such a cult following?
I believe it is the experience it provides our brand lovers — very high protection but with that incredibly light, wearable feel. I think it also helps that La Roche Posay is a brand steeped in dermatological heritage, our products are dermatologically tested for sensitive skin, is fragrance-free and non-stinging.
What do you wish more people knew about La Roche-Posay?
La Roche-Posay is the no.1 recommended Dermo-cosmetics brand worldwide, the only brand recommended by 90,000 dermatologists worldwide. We are a brand that is built from proven scientific efficacy, with over 500 clinical studies worldwide. We aim to provide life-changing dermatological solutions to all people who have skin conditions - from acne & allergic skin, to eczema, sun irritation and beyond.
How much sunscreen should we be applying to our face?
I think it is always good to reference the experts here. According to the TGA, "Regardless of the type of sunscreen you choose, you should apply liberally every two hours — at least a teaspoon for each limb, front and back of the body and half a teaspoon for the face, neck and ears."
How often should we apply face sunscreen?
Sunscreen should be applied liberally and reapplied every 2 hours after.
Can you run us through the differences between a chemical sunscreen versus a physical, mineral-based sunscreen?
Basically, these are references to the actives within the sunscreen and the way in which they protect your skin. A chemical sunscreen protects you by absorbing the sun’s rays. A physical sunscreen protects you by deflecting the sun’s rays. Some sunscreens use both types of active ingredients.
Either way, the most important step is to wear sunscreen. We recommend using sunscreen with SPF50+ to ensure your skin has the highest level or protection against harmful UVA and UVB rays.
What do you think people get wrong about sunscreen?
I'm not sure that it is something people get wrong, but I do think there can be a perception that sunscreen has to be sticky or greasy. I've had people say to me that La Roche Posay Invisible fluid is the sunscreen you wear which doesn't feel like you are wearing sunscreen! This is great news because it goes back to helping people stick to that habit of protecting their skin daily. I think everyone knows, but just remembering you can still get UV damage even if it is cloudy — so again, going back to that message of applying daily.
Looking for a new sunscreen? Here are our favourite sunscreens for your face.