I’m always vexed when I run out of suncream on a beach holiday and end up having to nip to one of those shops that sell floats and lilos to shell out for an exorbitant bottle of Hawaiian Tropic. To avoid this, I always pack more suncream than I think I’ll need. And aftersun, come to think of it – I apply it both when I get out the shower and before bed because my skin is high maintenance on account of having been spoiled.
This time, I got it just right – three suncreams for the body, two for the face (neither finished so I’m now using them in London daily – SPFs have a short shelf life so keep using yours once you’ve opened it), and two aftersuns may seem excessive, but factor in that they were shared with my sister and mum, and you’ll understand why all but the face creams finished. Here are the reviews… //
The Body SPFs / Three went into my bag. I started with the Shiseido WetForce 30 Lotion – as it doesn’t wash off it’s ideal for early days when skin is sensitive to even the slightest bit of sun and it doubles up as a face cream too if you need it to. If creams generally make your skin break out, try this – I found it kept my skin moist without ever tipping it into greasy/spotty.
I then moved onto Soleil Des Iles SPF 50 as my skin became more dry – the oils kept it from feeling tight when in the sun and the SPF 50 didn’t stop me from picking up colour (that myth needs to go away).
Finally, during the late afternoon or when I needed a top up, I misted on Lancaster Sun Sport SPF 15. This is a very clear mist that all but disappears on contact with the skin. I wouldn’t use this as my main SPF as I like a bit of a moisture hit, but if you’re out playing sport or hate the feeling of product on your skin, this may be the one for you.
The Face / I’ve written a more in-depth review of the Sisley Tinted Sun Care SPF 30 here, but should you not need any coverage on the beach and just want the biggest whack of moisture and care possible, the Sisley Super Soin Solaire Facial Sun Care SPF 30 is brilliant. A little note on SPF 30 v 50 on the face – it’s a complex one that dermatologists war over all the time. Lisa Eldridge summarises both sides of the argument as well as throwing in some other SPF info here.
The Touch-Up Stick / I always pack a stick to top up coverage more often around my eyes, lips and on the tops of my cheekbones where I’m prone to pigmentation. The newest drop from the Fresh gang – Fresh Sugar Sport Treatment SPF 30 – was my pick this holiday. It’s a good egg: firm (so won’t melt in the sun and then distribute the entire stick onto your face in one gloopy mess) and with a smell reminiscent of fizzy cola bottles, this didn’t irritate even my sister’s usually-sensitive eyes.
The Aftersuns / That Lancaster Tan Maximiser is an old favourite (and I believe I am in good company – beauty editors and A-listers alike often cite this as their go-to aftersun). It moisturises and takes the sting out of redness without overpowering the skin. Tip: grab it now – this stuff sells like hotcakes over the summer.
The Liz Earle Botanical Aftersun Gel is more lightweight and therefore won’t offer as much hydration as the Lancaster number so I’d always suggest packing a proper moisturiser or thicker aftersun should you need some extra oomph. Its strength lies in soothing and cooling, so I like using this after my shower when it’s still warm outside to take the heat out my skin.
The Haircare / Most my efforts go into shielding my highlights from being damaged by the sun and drip-feeding it moisture. For protection, I relied on my usual Phyto PhytoPlage Protective Hair Veil spritzed all over my dry hair in the morning. If swimming underwater, I’d take Olivia Palermo’s advice and wet my hair first to stop it from absorbing too much chlorine/salt water before slathering it with John Frieda Beach Blonde Kelp Help Deep Conditioning Masque and tying it up with an Invisibobble.
After a day at the beach, I’d wash with Aussie’s Beach Mate Shampoo and Conditioner (impressive: inexpensive, softening, removes all salt/sand/suncream effectively, comes in just the right size for two to share over ten days), before spraying with Tigi Bed Head Breach Freak Detangling Spray*. I tried to let my hair air dry as much as possibly to minimise damage, though I find my hair can look a bit frizzy when I do this so I’d pull some MoroccanOil through the ends to help smooth.
* If you get just one of these, make it this one. It’s BRILLIANT.