Saturday, 21 May 2011

Sun Protection

As a pale skinned Scot, I have learned the importance of good sun protection through some very painful experiences: one of which resulted in my back and shoulders blistering and the skin eventually splitting (it was really painful and really disgusting) and the other resulted in being in a lot of pain from the actual burn and in an excruciating headache, vomiting and dizziness, both of which happened in the UK and I didn’t even tan (although I wasn’t trying to).

In light of the abnormally hot weather we have had in the UK and we are being told to expect this summer (although we are often told it will be a barbeque summer to get rained on from June to September), I have invested in some sunscreen. In choosing this I have considered a couple of factors, namely: my skin colour/type, the SPF, UVA/UVB and do I want to tan.

As I have very light ‘Celtic’ type skin, which always burns and never tans, I always choose the highest factor I can lay my hands on (usually SPF 30 or 50).

Sunscreen tends to irritate my face but I have found on that doesn’t seem to cause any problems (Soltan Once Face SPF 30, £9.99 from Boots) and I also got the Soltan Invisible Spray (SPF 50, £ 11.99 from Boots) for my neck, chest and arms (I don’t sunbathe and I keep well covered). Soltan has been the stuff I have used the longest (first started buying it after watching Dude, Where’s My Car? as the name was like Zoltan and it was amusing to do the Z hand signal and ask for it when out with my friends-sad I know) and most consistently and this is the brand which I find to be least sticky and most effective (I tend to stick to the mid-price range- not usually sunny enough to justify more here).

Boots are also selling solar sports dry sunscreen for “scalp and skin” (£5.10) which is apparently very good for spraying on hair partings to avoid burning (as happens every single year). I am really keen to see how effective this one is, as it is the part of the body which gets the least protection (unless you wear a hat) and if you are outside walking around it gets the most direct sun.

Also bought the Nivea Sun Protect lipbalm (£3.16), which I’m not too keen on as it turns lips whitish and doesn’t feel especially nice but if in a hot environment it might be better.

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