Let's talk about sun protection
We've spent months clinging to our summer holiday dreams but let's be realistic - it's not happening! On the plus side, the sun is shining in the UK so who needs to go abroad? We are seeing temperatures rivalling that of the far-flung destinations we have been day-dreaming about. Whilst your suitcase can stay in the loft we can instead talk about other 'staycation' essentials, specifically sun cream.
Reduction in air pollution over lockdown has left us with cleaner air but it means that higher levels of ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can penetrate the air. These UV rays cause skin damage that can ultimately lead to skin cancer. Sun cream helps to block out these damaging rays so we can enjoy the sunshine without getting fried.
Sun cream comes in a variety of Sun Protection Factors (SPF or Factor for short). The higher the factor the greater the sun protection. A factor 15 might be suitable for daily to protect against lower levels of UV rays whereas SPF 50, the highest factor, is what you might need for fair skin or children.
Other things to consider are:
- Water-resistance – If you are going to be going swimming then you need to make sure you have water-resistant or water-proof sun cream.
- Speed of activation – Sun cream usually takes a little while to start working once applied. If you're not great at planning then faster activating cream might be better.
- Method of application – Sun cream comes in a variety of forms including sprays, creams and roll-ons. At the end of the day, it's down to personal preference.
It might sound complicated so we’ve had a look through our hundreds of great suncare products and here are our top picks.
Easy Application - Riemann P20 SPF30 Continuous Spray
Riemann is a premium sun care brand offering creams with photostable 5*UVA & UVB protection against burning and ageing. The continuous spray is easy to apply, quick-drying and transparent. It activates within 15 minutes so you can make the most of those impromptu sunny spells.
Lasting up to 10 hours this spray is perfect for UK summers and it is highly water-resistant so you can take a dip in the paddling pool (and not have to worry about re-applying if there's a sudden downpour!)
The Riemann motto is ‘Seriously Reliable Suncare’ and we have to agree, this product ticks all the boxes.
Best for Children - Nivea Sun Kids 50+ Protect & Care Cream roll on
Aside from getting sand in your picnic and a seagull stealing your chips, there's one thing every parent dreads when the sun comes out – getting sun cream onto the kids. There’s nothing more frustrating than finally coating the excitable little humans in a thick layer on suncream only to notice red areas that you missed a few hours later.
Nivea has created a solution, an easy to apply roll-on with blue cream so you can see exactly where you have applied it. Don’t worry it dries clear, you won’t have little blue Smurf children running around. Children seem to prefer the roll on to the spray and it’s so easy that they can even apply it themselves.
Nivea sun cream is activated immediately so there’s no waiting around, you can get straight out into the sunshine for a full day of fun. Available in a powerful factor 50+ this choice is perfect for children’s delicate skin.
Environmentally friendly and Zinc free - Badger Clear Zinc Sunscreen
Sun cream is often thick in consistency and can leave your skin feeling a little greasy. Whilst it serves its purpose when you're out in the sun, it can feel a little too heavy to apply daily or as a precaution. Badger has taken a whole new approach with this light, antioxidant-rich sunscreen with a Sunflower Oil base. It's gentle on even the most sensitive of skin.
Their zinc-free and organic formulas are free from any harsh or artificial substances making it the perfect for daily use over summer. At SPF 30 this sunscreen is strong enough to protect you if the sun suddenly makes an appearance so you don't have to dart into the shade or carry a bottle on sun cream around.
Anti-Ageing Face Cream - Ultrasun Moisturising Anti-Ageing Sun Protection
The sun's UV rays cause your skin to age drastically. Everyone knows a sun worshipper who slathers on oil instead of the sun cream and let's be honest, they look more like a leathery handbag than they do a sun-kissed Goddess. Your face is generally exposed to sunlight more than the rest of your body and even on a cloudy day, the UV rays are causing damage.
To combat this issue Ultrasun has specifically designed this factor 50 sun cream for your face, neck & décolleté. Unlike most sun creams it is light, silky and won't block your pores, so it is perfect to use instead of your daily moisturiser for all-day sun protection. Enjoy the sunshine and stay looking 21? Sounds good to us!
Already feeling the burn? – Snake Brand Prickly Heat Cooling Powder
Prevention is always better than cure but even the best of us get caught out in the sun sometimes or suffer the burning itch of prickly heat. Unlike after sun lotion or Aloe Vera gels, this soothing powder doesn't leave you feeling sticky but still offers instant relief for multiple ailments.
Whether you forgot your sun cream (naughty naughty) and got burnt, you’re plagued by prickly heat or you’ve got a bit of chafing this powder is handy to have around.
Right, that’s it - get your sun cream on, get outside, soak up some delicious vitamin D and enjoy the sunshine!
- Kim Wilson