Smart Girls Stay Safe in the Sun

15 July 2015


So I've scheduled this post for the most miserable day we've had in weeks. Good one Kirst... I've never been the biggest slave to the sun, so I'm always super careful to keep myself protected. Whilst I've found my holy grail body SPF (the Hawaiian Tropic Dry Oil Spray), I always struggled with facial options for my oily skin. However this year (coincidentally the one year I'm not going away) that has all changed. I always find high-factor SPFs on the thick and sticky side, even those specially formulated for the face. However recently, oodles of revolutionary lightweight formulas have come on the market. You really are better off looking at the skincare brands for your SPF here, as they are miles ahead of the tradition sun protection brands when it comes to the face.

The first, and most readily available, is the La Roche Posay Anthelios XL SPF 50+ (£16.50). La Roche Posay has fast become one of my favourite skincare brands, and this product is no exception. A beautiful lightweight cream, with a thin, runny texture that absorbs into the skin instantly. It's hydrating enough to use sans moisturiser on my oily skin and doesn't disrupt my base. Good stuff.

But the good stuff gets better. A few weeks ago, I did a beauty box swap with my lovely blogging friend Aria from India. Having the same skin concerns just added to the list of reasons why we clicked, and we'd spoken about the next product at length. She kindly sent me a tube of the Lotus Herbals Safe Sun UV Screen Matte Gel (Rs. 395). Specially formulated for oily skin (there is a god!), as soon as the words 'matte' and 'gel' were uttered, I was sold.

This is a lovely thick gel that feels beautifully soothing and cooling on application. It disappears straight into the skin and leaves a matte base with no sticky residue. Despite being very lightweight, it isn't drying, I can still get away with skipping the moisturiser step.

Sadly Lotus Herbals isn't available in the UK, although some of their products are available through Amazon. I did find the UV Screen Matte Gel on there, but at £24 when the RRP is the equivalent of less than £4, it's well worth making friends with a local (Hi Aria!). I love the look of some of their other products, so I'm going to have to put an order in soon! I feel I'm going to get through a lot of the UV Screen Matte Gel this summer. You know a product is good if you're half tempted to travel halfway round the world just to stock up!

Onto the body now, and for some context, I'm always on holiday with factor 50 in tow and I'm the one that comes back paler than when I left. I'm very careful to SPF up, to ensure my white bits don't turn to pink bits. My shoulders and chest need special attention with the factor 50, as do any larger moles, but I'm a bit more lax about my limbs. These don't tend to burn so I can get away with a lower SPF.

One thing I suck at is reapplying sunscreen. Yes, it's a faff, and when you're off having fun in a hot country, it's hard to remember to do it. I also find it hard to understand the sun abroad. In the UK, I feel like I know when it's right to use SPF, but the sun is so different abroad. Thankfully Smartsun have come up with a revolutionary new idea. The UV Indicator Wristbands* (£4.99 for 5 via Amazon) are yellow when you put them on, and you simply pop a bit of your sunscreen on the band when you are doing your body. The wristband changes to beige (see above) when it's time to reapply SPF, and when the sun gets too fierce it turns pink to warn you to stay out of the sun. These are a brilliant idea, especially for children when it's paramount they enjoy the sun safely. I'll be putting a pack or two of these in my suitcase for my next holiday abroad.

What are your suncare essentials?

*Post contains PR Samples kindly provided by Smartsun. All views are my own. 

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