Let me be a tad serious for a moment…

I hope this doesn’t come across as a lecture in any way, but I have something a bit serious I want to talk about for a moment so please do keep reading.

The serious thing is taking care of your skin in the sun. Ok, so the sun isn’t exactly beating down on us in the UK at the moment, but it is the start of Spring/Summer and holiday season so slapping on the SPF is becoming more and more important. I have started getting the usual emails from PR companies with the usual ‘sun burn = skin cancer’ message, and this isn’t one to be scoffed at but the thing I really don’t get is why there aren’t more companies focusing on one of the main reasons it is so important to look after your skin in the sun:


No joke, this is something really close to my heart at the moment – actually, it’s less heart and more back and shoulders. I made the mistake of not applying enough high SPF sun cream on my last day on holiday (it’s always the last day isn’t it) and got extremely badly burnt. The pain of the burn left me in tears – no joke, it was so painful that every move hurt. I had to lie face down on the bed whilst my ever so kind boyfriend alternated between gently applying after sun (ouch) or laying towels soaked in cold water onto my scorched shoulders. I then had the joys of a nine hour flight to enjoy, cramped into an airline seat whilst moving still hurt.

It is now Sunday as I write this and I got burnt on Tuesday, it was just yesterday that it stopped hurting and now I have some extremely un-attractive peeling going on. If there is anything to ruin a post holiday glow, it’s shedding crusty skin. Yes, that is as disgusting as it sounds.

Personally, I was extremely annoyed to get so burnt – although day to day I don’t tend to use SPF in the UK, when on holiday there is one thing that I am good at and that is being careful in the sun (having been burnt before, I know how much it sucks so I keep my pale skin in the shade and slather on the SPF 30+). The easy mistake to make is either thinking your skin has gotten used to the sun, or the normal  ‘sod it, I have to go home with some colour…’ (lobster coloured shoulders isn’t the colour you want, trust me) or one too many cocktails can make a hoola hoop contest seem like a better idea than slapping on some more cream… it’s not.

So anyway, enough lecturing/waffling. The point I want to get across is to PLEASE look after your skin in the sun, wear a decent level SPF, slap on a lot and re-apply regularly and especially after swimming/showering. It’s not fun, but there are tons of formula’s around to choose from – from clear sprays, to creams, to mousse… all sorts. So find one that suits you and use it. I promise you, the long term damage is one worry, but the short term pain alone makes the burn not worth it at all.

Lecture over, normal service will resume shortly.



  1. May 10, 2010 / 7:09 am

    I totally agree, sun protection is so important – I think companies also need to get the sun damage = wrinkles and horrible leathery skin message out there more too!

    Hope your shoulders get better soon, that does not sound like fun at all. x

  2. May 10, 2010 / 4:58 pm

    I feel your pain. Don’t be too hard on yourself. We’ve all done it. I have been badly burned at least twice even though I am usually careful. Once was in Florida because I didn’t realize how much stronger the sun is than in Europe and I didn’t wear high enough SPF. The other time I hadn’t expected to be outside so wasn’t wearing cream. I got so badly burned that my skin blistered and scabbed. I worry about the long-term damage it has done. My skin has never been the same since. One of my friends has skin cancer. Despite all this it feels so nice to sit in the sun that it’s hard to resist temptation. I try to be sensible.

  3. May 25, 2010 / 7:47 am

    There was actually a post on someone’s blog about how to find your spf factor and how long it will keep your skin type protected for…I used it for this weekend (those in the UK know we had a scorcher!!) spf 15 and I got a tan but not a single bit of sunburn!! I have on the odd ocassion not applied sun lotion, when I hadn’t planned on being in the sun for half an hour and got burned so the fact I was in the sun for a good few hours shows that spf 15 is all I need, obviously it differs for everyone, but I was glad I still got a healthy glow to my skin 🙂

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