Slathering on the thick, slightly unfashionably fragrant, sun cream isn’t a task the majority of us particularly enjoy. It’s a necessity, yes, to protect against the damaging sun rays that hit our skin as soon as we step outside into the summer sunshine, but it’s definitely functional. How many of us have been reaching for the same sun brands or bottles we know and love for years on end and just putting up with the sticky, ghostly-white textures that stick to the sand or leave us looking paler than when we stepped on the plane? Thankfully sun protection has moved on a lot in the last few years, and the shelves of our favourite stores (online or otherwise) are filled with useful innovations and luxury textures that actually make the process a touch more enjoyable – and a lot more effective. If you’re busy counting down the days until you jet away, or you’re planning a few days bathing in the British sun, here are seven of my current fave sunshine saviours I think you need to know about before you do.
Vichy Ideal Soleil Anti-Sand Milk (£12.60)
If you’re a bit of a beach bum, but get insanely irritated that as soon as you re-apply suncream you’re covered in flecks of sand, then this could be your holiday saviour. This super light milk combines the best of expert protection and skincare technology (the formula includes mineralizing water to hydrate skin, as well as being able to fight against free radicals caused by exposure to the sun – usually something found in face creams and serums) with a texture that allows sand to be brushed easily off skin in an instant. No more grainy limbs, just beautifully protected skin.
Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Sun Defence Face SPF50 (£23.40)
I’m such a big fan of Elizabeth Arden skincare, so tipping over into their suncare range was a natural progression. I’ve been using this for a couple of years and love the high protection it provides, without clogging skin or causing it to feel really greasy; although I wouldn’t apply it underneath my makeup, it’s an absolute essential for me when I’m on holiday. It absorbs well and is non-irritating, meaning it’s suitable even for those of you with sensitive skin, while the expertise that has gone into it ensures that your complexion will remain bright and glowing without being parched.
Philip Kingsley Swimcap (£18.70)
Originally developed by Philip Kingsley for the first US Olympic Synchronized Swimming Team (how cool is that?!) Swimcap is more than just a must-have for swimmers. It helps protect against the damaging effects of the sun (which can lead to hair breakage and colour fading,) but also protects against the drying, discolouration and damaging effects of both chlorinated and salt water. This combination makes it perfect for the water babies among you! All you have to do is apply a small amount of the cream through the hair, brushing to spread evenly, and then pop it up or style as normal. You don’t need to slather it on, but it’s a good idea to top it up if you’re out all day.
Soltan BB Face Suncare Cream SPF50 (£6.00)
A cheap and cheerful way to keep it simple on holiday, this BB cream combines the best of sun protection with a touch of colour too. Although it’s not as magical as some of my usual BBs, it’s a great holiday multi-tasker that helps to protect skin without making you feel like you’re wearing your face naked; it helps to gently even out the complexion and add a touch of radiance, while providing high protection from the sun. Don’t be fooled into thinking the SPF in your usual makeup is enough while you’re in warmer climates, because it isn’t; swap it over for something more hardcore and you’ll be thankful in the years to come.
Clinique Virtu-Oil Body Mist SPF30 (£25.00)
Fed up of sticky and gloopy white sun creams? Want a touch more luxury and a sprinkling of body care at the same time? This lightweight mist is a great alternative, offering nourishing skincare combined with SPF30; it even helps skin to glow, thanks to the slightly reflective nature of the fast-drying finish. Suncare doesn’t have to be boring and this turns the process into a luxurious experience, just like any other skincare or body ritual – sure it’s a bit on the pricey side, but I guarantee you’ll enjoy every spritz.
Soltan Protect & Repel Lotion SPF15-50 (£9.50)
I’ve no clue why I’m apparently such a tasty option for mozzies and insects when I go abroad, but I’m always the one battling as much with bites as I am with patches of sunburn. It’s irritating as hell when my bits and pieces are irritating as hell, which is why I’m usually the first one in the resort shop buying up all the repellent I can muster. This innovative suncare product could be just what I need for my honeymoon, as it actually includes insect repellent within the cream – but you don’t get that usual citrus scent. To be honest I’ve yet to put this to the test to know if it works effectively, but it’s sure as hell top of my list for my trip to Bali!
Aveda Sun Care Protective Hair Veil (£22.50)
Another great product for an area of our bodies we tend to forget, this lightweight water-resistant UV defense mist forms an invisible screen to help protect hair from sun exposure for up to sixteen hours. It helps to minimise colour fading, damage and dryness when spritzed onto wet hair before styling, but can also be spritzed onto dry hair for a top-up throughout the day – making it a great beach bag buy. With ingredients that include green tea extract, sunflower seed oil, shea butter, coconut and palm oils, as well as organic essences of neroli, ylang ylang and wild-crafted cistus, this is as delicious as it is effective.
Have any of my picks caught your eye? Have you any other sunshine saviours that are genius, really effective, a touch luxurious or simply must-haves?
SHOP THE SUNCARE
SIGN UP TO MY MONTHLY NEWSLETTER HEREEXCLUSIVE NEWS, GIVEAWAYS & INFO ON WHAT YOU’VE MISSED!
Features PR samples unless otherwise stated. To read my full disclaimer, click here.