This Heinrich Barth sunscreen is perfect for people who hate sunscreen

WHEN it comes to testing sunscreens, there are certain issues which will almost inevitably arise. Chief amongst those are; how greasy is it, and also how wearable? Despite it now being a universally acknowledged truth that sunscreen is our greatest defence against the visible signs of ageing (not to mention our greatest weapon in the fight for great skin health) most people I know still refuse to wear it even on the sunniest of days.

You could put that down to the English mentality of wanting to be a tanned as possible, or the (entirely untrue) sentiment that the British sun simply isn’t as strong as it is abroad, therefore you don’t need SPF over here. Newsflash – even on a cloudy day you should be wearing at least SPF30. Personally, I think its a combination of these things. Until I was converted, for me it was the scarring experience of growing up as a child in the British summers, having poorly designed sunscreens slathered on me by my parents before heading out to the park or beach, only to be left reeking of eye-watering chemicals and feeling itchy and greasy in my clothes. Not a fun experience.

All this to say, a lot of people really hate using sunscreen. If you are one of those people, read on, for Glass has found your SPF saviour. Heinrich Barth was a famous 19th-century explorer and traveller. The brand named after him took his life as inspiration to create a range of products that are “designed for a traveller who wants to feel comfortable in his environment without leaving a trace”.

To this end, the products are impressively neutral, genderless and scent-free in a way that doesn’t scream of cynical marketing strategy, but instead displays a genuine desire to create products to suit everyone, no labels necessary.

Heinrich Barth Sunscreen Broad Spectrum High Protection, £13 at Wolf & Badger

Fragrance in skincare has now been identified as one of the key components most likely to cause irritation in users, and although it doesn’t personally bother this intrepid beauty editor, I’ve heard enough horror stories of severe skin reactions and increased sensitivity over time to know it to be true. For those with sensitive skin it can be a particular issue.

The Heinrich Barth range employs an excellent method of combatting this. The core line, consisting of products such as face and body wash, shampoo and conditioner, moisturisers and more, is entirely fragrance-free. Not only that, but the products are also formulated to varying degrees without parabens, SLES, PEGs, silicones, mineral oil, animal derivatives or artificial colouring. Ask any cosmetic formulator – creating effective products without those things is not an easy task.

On top of this is the Destination Line – comprised of Mykonos and Dakar, these two small additions to the range offer a couple of products to add that sensorial experience that scent undoubtedly provides. Dakar is my personal favourite. Fruity and sharp, it’s a delectable combo of sweet and bitterness that feels refreshing and enlivening. Plus, the colour of the Skin Softening Body Cleanser really is quite the thing of beauty, and since you’re rinsing the product off, you’re getting minimal contact time with the fragrance, so it shouldn’t irritate the skin anyway. A win win!

Heinrich Barth N.04 Dakar Skin Softening Body Cleanser, £22 at Wolf & Badger 

From what I’ve so far tested of the brand, my hero product of the core range is hands down the Broad Spectrum High Protection Sunscreen (although they bizarrely don’t disclose this info, my only gripe with this product, after contacting the brand I can confirm it’s an SPF30 sunscreen. The more you know.) Here’s where it differs from most sunscreens I’ve tried in the past – and for the record, I have tried A LOT.

First off, the smell. Unlike most sunscreens, it doesn’t have that nasty chemical-y smell that often makes me tear up upon application. A lot of the time companies will put fragrance into products merely to mask smells like these, not to add a scent per say, so the fact Heinrich Barth have formulated a scent-free sunscreen without any masking agents is impressive.

This is in part down to the sunscreen agents used in the product, diethylamino hydroxybenzoyl hexyl benzoate for UVA protection and ethylhexyl triazone for UVB. Both these filters are odourless, and fantastic for fragrance-free formulas. Secondly, the product has no white cast whatsoever – none. Now, I don’t generally award chemical sunscreens points for this as its mineral filters such as zinc oxide which are responsible for the dreaded white cast, but it’s worth mentioning anyway.

Thirdly, the finish. I have never before tried a sunscreen that, after rubbing in, looks like I’m just not wearing anything at all. Not shiny, not matte, not inbetween, just … invisible. It honestly is like having completely bare skin. Again, I cannot stress how rare this is for an SPF.

If you, like so many, are one of the sunscreen-haters, do yourselves a huge favour and try out a bottle of the Heinrich Barth Sunscreen Broad Spectrum High Protection. It comes in two sizes, 75ml and 150ml, both of which give you more than the general allowance of 50ml for an SPF product. They’re accessibly priced, fantastically formulated, nicely packaged and would be a god-send for even the most sensitive-skinned amongst us. Add this as the last step in your daily routine, and your skin will thank you greatly.

by Thomas Marrington

Heinrich Barth products available at Heinrich Barth and Wolf & Badger