Saturday, 21 March 2015

A guide on SPF

On Wednesday I came back from a weeks holiday in Fuerteventura, the sun was hot but the winds where high so it felt a lot chillier than it actually was, the result: a lot of sunburnt holiday makers!
I watched as some people where drowning themselves in Carrot Oil (why, oh why would you do this to yourself) while others decided to completely forgo sunscreen altogether quickly managing to resemble one of these:

While soaking up the sunshine by the pool, I was subjected to a presentation by the hotel resident "sun care advisor" my first thought was: who the hell trains these people?
She took 10 minutes to explain that both oil and water based sunscreens are bad for you as the texture is to light and will rub off on your towel or come off in the water and that the much thicker cream she was selling where better because they will stick to the skin and are made of angel tears and unicorn saliva. 
My second thought was: where's her tan? I mean nada, not even the slightest bit of one, great way of selling your products.

So naturally when I got back to the hotel room I felt it would be fitting to write a post on SPF.

1. Use SPF30 as a minimum and reapply every 2 hours, if you get wet reapply as soon as you're out of the pool/sea. On the face I would use an SPF50+ especially if like me you use a lot of resurfacing acids on a regular basis, they make your skin a lot more photosensitive and you want to protect your skin as much as possible. 

2. You will tan no matter how high your SPF is, the way SPF is meant to work is that it multiplies your skins natural sun protection by the number on the bottle. For example lets say your skin would naturally burn after 15 minutes in the heat with an SPF30 your skin is protected for 30 times longer which in theory would protect you for 450 minutes of sun exposure, that's 7.5 hours! Obviously that is impossible as it will rub or wear of way sooner than that so don't think you can buy an higher SPF and use it less often, you can't.

3. Try and limit sun exposure between 12pm and 3pm, it's when it's at it's hottest and when most people burn.

4. Don't skimp on the amount of sunscreen your using, you need to be able to feel the product on your skin, otherwise it's doing nothing. If you don't like a greasy or tacky feel go for a sports spray as these are generally lighter and more easily absorbed.
Also make sure you apply SPF underneath any straps and the banding of your swimwear, ideally apply your fist application of suncare in your hotel room while your naked, that way if your bikini moves a little your skin is still protected.

5. Don't forget SPF for you lips, trust me if you burn those you are going to be in pain for the rest of your holiday. The best one I've found is the Piz Buin SPF30.

6. Don't forget your scalp. I completely forgot on day one and while I luckily it wasn't sore it started flaking a few days in.
Try wearing your hair up and avoid a parting as it's asking for trouble.

7. Take an antihistamine if you are prone to prickly heat, my sister suffers from it badly and it can ruin your holiday if not kept under control.

8. Drink water like your life depends on it, lol. Well hydrated skin will keep its tan for longer and remember that you body will loose water far faster in an hot climate so make sure your getting your 2 litres a day, and no alcohol doesn't count.

9. Use an aftersun that will help boost the melanin in your skin, they work a charm. You skin will appear darker quicker and it will keep you moisturised and stop you peeling. The best one on the market is the Lancaster Tan Maximiser.

10. If you don't get a tan fake it! It's far better for you to use self tanner when you get home from you holiday than to lie in it for hours on end and damage your skin.

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