For years, I have been an avid reader of beauty blogs, not being content with just writing one myself. One thing that is always a common theme with blogs is the influx of travel and sun care related posts during the summer months but there’s a serious lack of them during the UK winter time and especially over Christmas.
But why is that? Granted there are the most holiday makers during our summer but there are so many people who jet away for a little winter sun too and on WhatLauraLoves, I want to remember those lucky people! It makes sense really, to go away while its freezing here, not to mention those who opt for a skiing holiday where the sun can be really bright and powerful.
I know that so many of you have been away this winter as you’ve tweeted me while I’ve been freezing my socks off, sat in the cold over the new year! Mr WLL and I have been to many destinations during the wintertime over the years from Bruges to Amsterdam, Kenya to the Mauritius and the Maldives and from Egypt to Tenerife, so we’re quite used to packing now.
The one area of my suitcase that I don’t compromise on is my suncare. Protecting your skin in the sun is of the upmost importance and while it has always been important to me, as I am getting older, I am finding that it is something that I’m becoming more and more focused on when I’m packing for my holidays.
Having a tan for vanity reasons is not worth sacrificing your skin health for, in terms of both the risks of skin cancer and premature skin ageing. I LOVE to look tanned and I do love sun bathing but nowadays I wear a far higher factor than I ever have because I really don’t want to burn my skin and i’m a lot more careful of what I’m doing when I’m in the sun too; making sure I apply enough sunscreen and often enough, moving into the shade or wearing a top in the pool when the sun is too hot and bright, etc.
I’ve tried out so many different brands of SPF over the years and I definitely know what my favourite types of products and formulas are. In the photo above, you can see which products I took away to Dubai with me on my most recent winter sun holiday.
First of all, I always pack a bottle of the Soltan Head & Hair SPF 30 which is an invisible sun protection spray that is specifically designed to protect your hair and scalp. I spray this all over my hair, along my hairline and right into my roots to ensure that my scalp is well protected from the sun. With being so blonde and having such fine hair, its really important that I protect my head with SPF and a hat as it does have a tendency to burn which is so painful and then peel which looks unsightly!
The Soltan Head & Hair is also designed to prevent hair damage and colour fade but I use it more for its SPF 30 properties. To protect my hair against damage, I have been using the Kérastase Soleil CC Crème on holiday for the last year. At first, I didn’t like it as I thought that it made my hair feel dry and crispy and I was just using it up but when I was in Dubai, I used less and brushed it through my hair and it did feel better than it had done before. It is a multi purpose cream that protects and repairs the hair while adding shine and radiance, which I definitely think that it does. Its antioxidant UV filters protect the hair from sun damage.
Next up is sun protection for the face and I’d always recommend using an SPF thats specifically designed for the skin on your face and a separate one for the body. While in Dubai, I did sunbathe but I also went out and about during the day and sat outside at brunch so I opted for the La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Tinted Dry Touch Gel Cream in SPF50. This is a very high SPF within a tinted formula that is similar to a lightweight foundation.
It is a gel cream formula that smooths onto the skin and once applied, it feels as though it really sticks to the skin which makes it perfect for both oily and dry skin types. It is also very water resistant which is great if you’re a sunbather who likes to be in and out of the pool or if you tend to sweat somewhat while you’re in the heat.
It has a dry touch, non greasy texture and it is actually great at improving the appearance of the skin, if you’re someone who is a bit self conscious when not wearing makeup. Personally, I’m fine with going makeup free but the coverage is lovely for days where you’re in the sun and at a party such as the brunches in Dubai, etc.
Regardless of whether you’re looking for something with a tint to it or not, SPF50 is fantastic at preventing you from burning and protecting your skin in the sun. Whenever I go away, I always take at least an SPF 30 or 50 with me.
Another essential to protect your skin on a winter sun holiday is an SPF lip balm. I always opt for the highest one that I can find and at the moment, I’m using the Caribbean Breeze SPF50 lip balm. I’ve used lip balms from so many different brands in the past; as long as it has a high factor, I’ll try it out! I love the Ultrasun Lipbalm the most.
For protecting the skin on my body, I tend to opt for spray oil formulas. I don’t really like a white cream because I find it a bit of a faff on, although worth it! I tend to take a dry oil spray like the Garnier Ambre Solaire Dry Mist with me in an SPF 50 for days where I’m actually going out and about, perhaps on a trip, because it doesn’t leave any residue on the skin and doesn’t stain or mark my clothes.
When sunbathing, I like to use an oil, again with a high SPF. I’m only really interested in SPF 30 and 50 these days. If I go to a destination that isn’t too hot then I might drop down to a 20 but that’s it really. Remember, the high factor doesn’t stop you from tanning, it just stops you from burning!
The SPF oil that I took to Dubai with me was the Clarins Sun Care Oil Spray in SPF 30 with UVA/UVB protection. This is absolutely gorgeous because it feels like a luxurious, nourishing treat for the skin all the while it is protecting it from burning.
It has a none greasy formula that spritzes effortlessly onto the skin. It contains Vitamin E, Aloe Vera and Nyamplung Oil to soothe and nourish the skin. It leaves my skin feeling hydrated and very well protected. I love that its clear because it means that I can just spritz a load on to ensure my body is covered but I don’t have to spend too much time rubbing it in (great for if you’re spritzing your own back too!). I absolutely adore Clarins sun care and have used many of their products in the past. I’ll be picking up another couple of bottles soon ready for my next trip away and a tube of the face SPF too.
I much prefer using oil formulas compared to lotions. I know that they’re all great at protecting the skin but I like using an SPF oil formula because I never burn with an oil. I find that I get a deeper tan without burning or noticeably damaging my skin. I think its because my skin still feels moist with the none-greasy oil on it. I’d highly recommend giving one a try on your next holiday.
Regardless of your preferred formula, make sure your skin is adequately protected if you’re going on holiday this winter, or summer for that matter! Opt for the higher factors available in your preferred SPF and make sure that they offer both UVA and UVB protection. Reapply more often than you think and always after you’ve been in water.
I’d suggest taking a big t shirt or cover up with you too for the pool should the sun be particularly hot. You’ll always be more susceptible to burning more in water because of the glare and reflection off the water so while a t shirt might not look glamorous, it will save you from burning to a crisp. I’ve experienced this over the years and it really is ridiculous. Don’t do it!
Be sure to take a wide brimmed hat with you and sunglasses to protect your head, face, eyes and shoulders and make sure to take some shade when the sun is at its highest and hottest during the day.
You can achieve a beautiful bronzed glow without burning your skin and causing premature skin ageing and risking skin cancer.
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What are your favourite sun protection products?