I recently went on holiday to one of the scorching Greek islands. It was a whopping 42degrees for the last few days of the holiday and at least in the mid 30s for the rest. So for a pale person like me, sun cream was vital (as was lots of shade).
I took quite a wide selection of products, as one thing I have finally managed to learn is that one bottle of suncream is not enough for a week. The amount of times I have taken one, run out half way through and then had to fork out for the inflated tourist prices when on holiday….(I saw Nivea Protect and Bronze on sale for a whopping 25euros… when I bought two bottles in the UK for £14).
Nivea Sun Protect & Bronze SPF30
In pretty much every way this feels, applies and absorbs just like a standard suncream lotion. But what makes this one special is that it promises to enhance your skin’s natural tanning ability. Without any fake tan. I tried to persuade my boyfriend it did have fake tan in it, so he wouldn’t use it all up by the second day of the holiday, but no luck. Unfortunately he isn’t gullible (and can read) so he wanted to use it too.
Soltan Lotion SPF15 (with insect repellent)
It was the boyfriend who used this one mostly as the SPF was too low for me. But he definitely got bitten far less than I did!
Soltan Once Invisible Spray SPF25*
This was really easy to use, but felt quite greasy. I felt confident that I wasn’t going to burn with this. But there is something slightly more reassuring about rubbing a lotion into skin. However, I do like the fact that it takes the chore of rubbing sun cream in out of the equation..
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist SPF30
I bought this when I was in America earlier in the year and really liked it. More of an aerosol spray than the Soltan Invisible Spray, and so didn’t feel as heavy/greasy. Really easy to spray on, I really hope this one is released over here in the UK.
Clinique Face SPF 30*
This applied and absorbed really easily, without making the skin greasy. No break-outs or burning to report so I’m a happy beauty junkie.
Clinique Targetted Stick SPF 35*
This was really good for targeted protection of areas like ears and lips. This kept my lips from going all dehydrated as they normally do on holiday.
St Tropez Face SPF 30*
This is another one, like the Nivea Protect and Bronze that promises to help your natural tanning ability at the same time as protecting you from damage. For that reason alone this one stood out over the Clinique face cream. In terms of absorption and finish, they are very much on a par. So if you aren’t bothered about tanning then go with the Clinique, if you want to develop colour go for the St Tropez.
My favourite of the lot was definitely the Nivea Protect and Bronze. As I said above, it doesn’t contain ANY self tan but special ingredients to help maximise your skin’s natural tanning ability. It’s not going to give you a deep olive complexion if you’re an English rose, but for me (naturally pale, with blonde hair) I have definitely seen a difference.
On the average Summer holiday I will get a bit of colour, if I burn I will turn a bit golden. But this time round I have a bit of colour around the chest area plus I have developed a load of new freckles – all over. Especially on my upper arms and the back of my calves. I’m most impressed by the fact I have any colour on my calves because this is an area that’s normally so devoid of colour that my skin almost looks transparent.
The thing I should really note here is that the colour I have didn’t come from sunbathing/worshiping at all. I know how quickly I burn, so stayed in the shade almost religiously and wore factor 30 (or at least 25) every day.
Whatever you choose though, make sure you use something. Sunburn is not cool kids.
Products marked with * provided as PR samples. All others bought by me.