PROTECT YOUR SKIN. Just do it, promise?
With all the fun of the lovely weather in the summer, whether that's on a tropical beach on your summer holiday or in good ol' England during the heatwave, it's so easy to get caught up and forget to slather a bit of SPF on your skin. You wake up the next day burnt to a crisp, your skin peeling and well, let's face it - in a lot of pain - and it's at that moment, you vouch that you'll never forget to not wear sun cream again. I want you to remember that moment, I'm remembering that moment - let's not let it happen again, okay? It's not blooming worth it.
So now you want to get your hands on some SPF that's actually going to do something, but with so many on the market - which do you go for?
Budget Friendly Sun Cream
Can you really be protected with budget SPF? Yes, of course you can. It might not feel as luxurious and as comfortable, but at the end of the day it's protecting your skin so if you can't afford to spend on your SPF this year I'd recommend looking at Soltan, Solero or Nivea.
When it comes to sun care, I remember using the Nivea SPF as a child. I remember having the blue coloured one and slathering it all over my skin. It felt fun but it was actually doing it's job. The whole range is great for the body - but if you're looking for something to keep in your bag to top up on the go, the Nivea Sun Protect & Moisture Roll on SPF30*, £4.99 is my go to. It's small enough to squeeze into your day bag and with the roll on, the application is incredibly easy and you don't run the risk of the sun cream exploding in your bag. Mess be gone.
Solero is another great option and can be picked up super cheap. It's available from Lloyds Pharmacy and is well worth a visit to check it out. My pick is the Solero SPF 30 Moisturising Sun Spray*, £7. With it's spray formula and packaging, it makes application incredibly easy. If you want a higher or lower factor, they are available too but SPF 30 is usually my go-to, though I do generally alternate it with SPF 50 as my skin is pretty damn fair...
Solait is a great budget alternative too. My pick of the brand is the Solait Pouch SPF30*, £1.99. It's perfect for popping in your bag to top up if you're on the go and won't be hitting the sun too much or great to have around in case the sun comes out to say hello and you didn't quite realise you'd need it. It takes up no space and reminds me of the similarly packaged drinks I'd have as a child - though I'd recommend not drinking this one.
Soltan is a great brand to have a look at if you've got specific concerns and want a targeted sun cream. They are still budget friendly but will give you a few more options than Nivea, Solait or Solero. They have ones for your face; the Soltan Protect and Moisturise Face Cream in SPF 50+, £5 ones for sensitive skin; the Soltan Sensitive Hypoallergenic Suncare Spray SPF 30*, £6 ones with insect repellent; the Soltan Protect and Repel Spray SPF 30*, £6 invisible ones that you just need to apply once; the Soltan Once Invisible Pump Spray SPF 25* £10 and so many more. The best bit? I find that they actually work. They feel alright against the skin, but for the price, they really are just truly incredible.
All of these brands are pretty affordable, but they're always on deals so I'd recommend keeping your eyes peeled for those and you can get your hands on some of them at an even better deal. Ready to save those pennies?
SPF For Your Face
This is one thing that really grinds my gears. I swear by using a different SPF for my face. I mean, you'd never put your body moisturiser on your face would you? And I'd say this very much is the same thing. If you're reading this, you're probably with me on this but if you have been using the same one, I'd recommend picking something more specifically for your face and you'll really notice the difference. And don't worry, they don't all have to be uber expensive - I mean take the Soltan one for example.
I have quite a few favourites in this region, but I think that probably goes along with my skincare addiction.
If you're looking for something on the lighter side, the AVEDA Daily Light Guard SPF 30*, £34 is perfect. It's a lightweight liquid that applies perfectly before your makeup application and you really don't notice that you're wearing it. The packaging is lightweight just like the formula and is perfect for popping in your makeup bag should you need it again. This is also a great option for all year round SPF coverage.
If you struggle to remember to reapply, I'd recommend giving the Ultrasun SPF 30 Face Sun Lotion*, £20 a go. It's a once a day application and after applying, it'll protect you all day long. I've given this a good go and can say it does, though I was sitting directly in the sun for the entirety of the day once and felt the need to apply - though whether I really did was another story. It's perfect if you've got sensitive skin as it's non-irritable and it's extremely comfortable on the skin. I remember using a small sample years ago and falling in love with it and now I've got my hands on this one the love affair is very much starting again.
The Body Shop Skin Defence Multi-Protection Essence SPF 50*, £16 is also a great option, especially if you find that you get on with other The Body Shop skincare. It's a high protection that's great for protecting your skin when in the sun but also, I'd recommend using this one all year round. It's a little heavier than the AVEDA alternative above, but it works similarly and with a higher protection.
If you'd rather have your face SPF from a skincare brand that you trust already, Dermalogica is great. Their Dermalogica Solar Defence Booster SPF 50, £38.90 is a great lightweight alternative with a high SPF but if you're after something that your makeup will sit better on and with a little less coverage that would work all year round, then I'd recommend giving the Dermalogica Skinperfect Primer SPF30*, £38.90 a go.
Luxury SPF Alternatives
If you're looking to treat yourself however and spend a little more, I'd recommend giving the DNA Defence SPF 50+*, £55 a go. This SPF not only protects you on the go, but it works to 'undo' the sun damage that is already there. It feels incredible against the skin and works a treat.
Okay, so this one isn't an SPF and you will need to make sure you apply an SPF with it but if you're the kind of person who won't apply SPF because you want to tan, then you need to give this a go. The Institut Esthederm Bronz Impulse UV In Cellium Face and Body Spray*, £38 a go. This is a pre-tanning treatment which activates the skins natural pigmentation process and that gives you a deeper tan and makes sure it lasts longer. So don't skip out on SPF, give this a go alongside your SPF and you'll really notice the difference.
An SPF That Cools
Sometimes, I know, you're feeling super hot and the last thing you want to do is slather more cream on your body to leave you feeling hot and sticky. That's where the Piz Buin Protect and Cool Refreshing Sun Mousse SPF30 comes in. Now I actually have SPF 15 of this, but I wouldn't usually opt for this low coverage on my fair skin but as this feels so blooming great against the skin, I need to get my hands on a higher factor. This is a mousse in texture and it provides an immediate cooling sensation when applied to the skin. This is perfect for your summer holiday when on the beach as it'll allow you to cool down at the same time as having protection. Now just let me book a sunny holiday to go alongside my new favourite poolside SPF.
A Sporty SPF
Exercising in the sun? You need an SPF that'll last. The Dermalogica Protection 50 Sport SPF 50*, £30.20 is perfect as it sticks around whatever you're doing. Whether your hiking in the heat or just playing tennis in a bit of sun, you need to give this one a go. Plus it doesn't irritate the skin and won't affect your skincare regime.
The SPF I Keep Going Back To
Now I'm not quite sure, but my most-used SPF is definitely the Ladival Sun Protection Lotion SPF30*. This sun cream protects against UV-A, UV-B and also Infrared-A rays. The formula is non-greasy and feels great against the skin. I rarely tan that quickly but when using this I've found I have and it really does protect at the same time. It lasts well and it really doesn't irritate my skin at all. With all of this, I've found myself going back and back to this time and time again.
I always burn, but when using a mixture of these I've genuinely not burnt at all this year but have managed to get myself a bit of a tan.
Being protected in the sun is so important, I really can't stress that enough and I know it's all great to joke about the pain of a sun burn but let's not forget that the damage is lasting...
Now let's hope for heatwave round two so I can give this lot a bit more attention again...
What's your go-to SPF?