I love holidays. I really do. I love sun. Love being by the pool or on the beach. My skin however? Not so much. I am pale, have freckles and am basically prone to burning in about 10mins of British sunshine. Let alone the hot Caribbean sun. So sun care for me is basically more essential for me than a bikini on holiday. Well, sun cream and shade – the combo is vital or else I’ll be like a lobster. So on holiday this time around I took a selection of sun cream options to try out and give them a trial to report back…
Ambre Solaire Dry Mist SPF 50*
Day one and SPF 50 was top of my list for body SPF (I always wear 50 on my face every day on hols) so I opted for this easy to apply mist. It’s designed as a dry mist to be able to spritz all over quickly in a way that applies and dries almost instantly. I love an SPF that is easy to apply as one of my biggest put-offs for skincare is when it leaves my hands feeling greasy (I had an incident with getting sun cream in my eyes once and it’s been a worry ever since…really stung!).
I do love how easy to apply this is, but a little word of caution – as it’s easy it’s all too easy to go too easy on application. So make sure you layer it up or else you can risk not being protected to the full SPF of the product. This same applies for any sun cream product – but I think with products that are spray on and designed to be light you have to be that little bit extra careful.
Ambre Solaire Dry Mist available from Boots (£8.50)
Lancaster Tan Dry Oil Tan Maximiser SPF 50*
On the other end of the texture scale I had the Lancaster Dry Oil – also in SPF 50. Being fully stocked with SPF 50 was vital for me in the intense Caribbean sun as I knew this is what I needed the most of. Whilst I did want the spray option for out and about due to the wanting no greasy afterwards. As a total contradiction, I do like an oil when by the pool as feel it’s the best way to keep my skin feeling soft and hydrated and there’s something about an oil that makes you feel like it stays protecting the skin. Though I would only use a very high SPF in oils.
This one for me is a great option for pool side sun – no risk of sand getting all over when by the pool and skin is left feeling silky soft. As for the tan maximiser side of things, as I don’t really sun ‘bathe’ I can’t be sure but I definitely have a bit of a glow – but hardly deeply tanned. But not as pale as I was, so perhaps if you’re more of a tanned person then reckon this would work a treat whilst still keeping you from burning (be careful – tan isn’t worth the burn!)
Lancaster available from Debenhams (£24)
Ultrasun Face SPF 50 Once A Day*
As I mentioned above, SPF 50 for my body is important to me – to my face it’s an essential. Sure, I’d love to come back from holiday with a glowing tan – but not looking like a leather bag by 40 would also be ace. Plus there’s the added health risks of sun – I always want to take the most care.
So for face, a high SPF plus non greasy formula is the ultimate combo. This Ultrasun ticks all the boxes – thick enough to feel like it’s protecting your skin but light enough to soak in easily. The once a day thing is ace but in all honesty – as much as I’m sure it does a great job – I still apply multiple times when in intense sun just to be double safe which I would assume can’t hurt.
Available from M&S (£24)
Piz Buin Instant Glow Sun Spray SPF 30*
Right towards the end of the holiday I was using generous applications of SPF30 and gave the new Instant Glow spray. Now, first things first – when it says glow my first thing to think was, do they mean glitter? Well, it’s not glitter and it’s not tint. It’s a golden shimmer but very very fine – literally a glow not a shimmer. The liquid that comes direct of the spray though is more yellow/golden than the usual sun cream so be careful if you’re wearing lighter toned swimwear. I found that it did leave some marks on white bits of my bikinis, which will wash out I’m sure, but something to be a little careful with and maybe apply before you pop your bikini on and just go careful on re-applications.
The best part of this is that it creates a really flattering effect on the skin – leaving it with a glow and it sort of manages to even things out a little and just looking all smooth and lovely. So perhaps if (like me) you’re more on the pale side than tanned and don’t fancy faking it this can be a nice little confidence booster.
Piz Buin available from Boots (£8.50)
So there’s a little round up of the tried and tested sun cream product I tested out in gorgeous Jamaica. The one thing I’ve learnt over the years and applies to all of these products is that no matter how high an SPF is, if you don’t apply enough or repeatedly top up then you can still risk burning. As someone who has been burnt in the past more time that I should know better – I can’t say enough how I want to get this right and avoid ever burning again. I want to enjoy the warm sun, but I’m happy to do so from the shade with a decent level of protection. Be careful in the sun this Summer!
*PR sample or gift.