After yesterday’s holiday post I thought I’d do a couple of holiday beauty posts. Ya know, now that everyone is excited about X Factor, bonfires and toffee apples. Who said blog content had to be seasonally appropriate?!
I jest of course. Plenty of people still have holidays lined up (lucky buggers) and SPF advice is always useful, in my opinion.
So whether you’re going away next week (JEALOUS), planning some winter sun or just want to bookmark this post for next summer/stock up on sale bargains now, these are the five SPFs we took to Gran Canaria…
The chosen hero for my face…
I spent so long researching my facial SPF that I became borderline obsessive. In the end I opted for Clinique’s ‘beach’ face cream in SPF 40. And I didn’t regret it for a second. I tanned, without a hint of redness, and there were no bumps or breakouts even though the odds were very much not in my favour (all the holiday crisps! unfortunate lady time of the month! all the sweat and chlorine!). I did really make sure I double cleansed like cray, even when I was going to bed drunk, but I was amazed by how little damage this stuff did to my skin. It absorbed easily and did the job.
I highly recommend this.
£18. Buy it here. (Or wait til duty free, where I only paid £15).
The chosen hero for ST’s face….
Because I don’t like to share (ahem) and boys have a habit of using an entire tube of something when they only need a smidgen, I had no intention of letting ST use my exciting lovely Clinique. There’s nothing in the marriage vows that specifies having to share skincare. (He also prefers this set-up, as apparently I let bottle caps get gunked up. WHATEVER).
For him we took a sample size of Dermalogica’s SPF 50 Sport. I got it as a GWP I think, but it was the perfect dinky size and he liked it. I asked him if he’d like to add a more specific comment and he said “I didn’t burn so I guess it was fine”. He is not a blogger.
It’s water-proof and it definitely didn’t seem to budge or give him horribly watery eyes the way a lot of sun creams do.
The full size is £30.20. Buy it here.
The chosen hero for extremities (lips, nose etc)…
I have to protect my nose and lips with something stronger, especially with the length of time I spend in the sun. I LOVE Elizabeth Arden’s SPF50 stick as it goes on clear and it really stays put and gives that extra layer of protection. I will always notice if I don’t use this. And nobody wants to be at the bar later in the evening looking like Rudolf.
Again, perfectly little for your beach bag but packs a punch.
£12.75. Buy it here.
The chosen heroes for my body…
Top tip, take a teeny roll of sellotape on hols so when you fly home you can tape up all your lids!
I asked the goddess that is Caroline Hirons if it was ok to buy body SPF from Sainsbury’s/Tesco/Boots etc without stumping up for a ‘big brand name’ and she said that YES, it is.
So I took that as a green light to buy everything in my Sainsbury’s.
In my defence, there was a 2 for £7.50 offer, but these huge bottles are only a fiver each at full price. They’re cheap basically….and cheap is good because you slather it on like crazy. I know that when I’ve splashed out for Lancaster, Dior, Clarins and the like I’ve ended up burning, not because it isn’t good stuff but because I’m stingy with it. I don’t use as much and I don’t re-apply, because hey! It was expensive! That is a mental way to think when it comes to protecting your body from the sun. Obviously.
Of course, not all cheap sun tan lotions are good. I consulted a Which? list and various other reviews though and Sainsbury’s own brand came up top time and time again. There’s a good list of winners and losers when it comes to UVA/UVB here.
And, having used all these various Sainsbury’s lotions over the two weeks I was in 40 degree Spanish sunshine, I can testify that they work beautifully. They absorb easily, they don’t irritate (fragrance free, designed for sensitive skin!) and they work.
I tend to start with a high SPF and ‘move down’ as I build up more of a tan. For this trip I went big guns and used the kid’s lotion for the first two days which was so comically water resistant it was almost embarrassing…I was very chalky. I wouldn’t recommend this one to adults unless you really really don’t want any sun to get through at all, but it would be GREAT for kids. Which is probably why it says it’s for kids on the bottle. And not adults.
As I said, lots of 2 for £7.50 offers in my local Sainsbury’s. You can’t buy it online at the mo so you’d need to go into store to stock up.
I’m pleased I discovered this one.
The chosen hero for ST’s body…
I don’t like spray lotion. ST doesn’t like liquid lotion. So he buys his own Nivea sprays and is a big fan. I’ve used this myself over the years too of course (who hasn’t?!) and I know it works well, I’d just rather not use a spray because I don’t think I apply as much and I inevitably get greasy mid spraying and then can’t do the pump action properly.
Re-applying regularly is particularly important with this one I think, more so than the Sainsbury’s creams I used on this trip anyway.
We packed a 30 and a 10 and ST used up the entire 30 bottle before we left, as well as a lot of the 10.
£6.50. Buy it here.
It’s worth noting that you should run out of SPF on a beachy/pool holiday….if you’re applying the right amount. If you take one bottle between two people for a full week and don’t run out, I can’t imagine you’ve worn anywhere near enough.
I was ludicrously brown by the end of the holiday, so it’s not like you won’t tan with SPF. You might live longer though, which is always nice. (People DO know this in 2015, right?!).
Lastly, sun tan lotions expire after opening (the bottle will say how long after opening on the back). I write on a bottle when I open it so that I know when to chuck it away….otherwise I end up with a crate of half used lotions and no idea which ones won’t work at all and which are worth flinging in the suitcase.