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I am not joking when I say that I pack a lot of sun protection. My hair colour and skin mean that laying out in the sunshine and tanning deeply are a no go, and in fact, I try and avoid getting sunburned at all if I can help it.
Image by Gerd Altmann
I am fairly strict about sun protection whilst in the UK dealing with normal weather, then I hit it hard when we go on holiday to places where the temperatures and sun exposure are increased.
People tend to not apply as much sun protection as they should, or re apply it when needed, and cost is always a factor, because, lets face it, it’s not cheap buying good quality sun protection creams and lotions but it is worth finding what works for you and your family and investing in that. I prefer to buy what we need before we go, and not get caught out spending money abroad in the shop on sun cream products.
I am not a proponent of slathering on sun cream as soon as the weather perks up in Spring, and I do think we over use sun protection and there is a link between that and the lack of vitamin D that many people suffer from (and I am not just being woo about that, you can go look that up) but I do believe that if you are out and about or somewhere with hot sun, you should protect your skin as much as possible. A touch of sun is good for us, but gone are the days for me, where baby oil and baking my skin were a thing and now I prefer to either be pale or have a gentle tan that isn’t damaging my skin or putting me at risk of skin cancer.
On a day to day basis I use a broad spectrum sun screen before I apply make up and my foundation usually has an SPF in it too. If I am out and about, and the weather is hot and sunny, I usually have a small bottle of SPF 30 to apply, although recently I have found this make up finisher with SPF that sprays on gently and covers efficiently, which means no rubbing of make up, handy as someone who gets hot and sweat anyway. I also use a self tanner that comes with an added SPF that doesn’t make you go orange, which I highly recommend.
I tend to buy sun protection for the whole family and add mine on, as an extra. Over the years I have tried and tested a fair few and some have worked better than others. I tend to find that I react to certain ingredients in sun creams and sun protection, so when I find one that doesn’t make me come out in a rash I stick with it.
For general use on a day to day basis during the summer months or when out and about I use a once a day high SPF sun screen. I used SP20 for years, until I discovered Calypso also do a version which is just as good but a bit less hard on my budget. It works well and goes on easily as a spray. It does stain clothes, so I put it on before I get dressed to minimise that.
I recently discovered Child’s Farm sun protection range, when buying some for the children, and tried it out on my arms and to my joy realised it didn’t make me itchy, so this is my go to high protection factor for swimming and beach time now for my arms, neck, legs and back etc.
My scalp tends to burn, the joys of being a fair skinned, prone to freckles type, so I also use a hair spray that has a protection factor, and this one from Aveda doesn’t make my hair too greasy.
When I was a child I frequently got sunburn on my nose. I probably didn’t listen to my mother and wear my hat when I should have, or wiped the sun cream off she made me apply, and often I would end up with a very sore nose that would peel and scab and that I used to pick at. (again, not listening to my mother to not do that)
Now, I not only slap on sunscreen and keep it on, I use a basic strong zinc on my nose, ears and anywhere else that is vulnerable. It leaves a tint but nothing that bothers me, and it means my nose isn’t burned and sore.
My tween has inherited what some call charmingly “English rose skin”, and is rapidly learning like I did that sunburn is not fun and that whilst a tan may be trendy, looking after her skin for the long term is more important, and also has very sensitive skin, prone to eczema so she has started to use some of my sun care products. This means more cost wise, but needs must. My small son has his father’s goes a a lovely shade brown as soon as the sun comes out from the clouds skin, and doesn’t burn easily so for them, I generally pull out a more generic but high SPF so they are protected.
See, I wasn’t joking about lots of sun protection, was I? Sunburn is just not worth it.