About three weeks ago I was kicking it at the French riviera and oh my, it was wonderful. #TAKEMEBACK. Now if there’s one thing you should know about the Côte d'Azur during the Summer it’s that it gets really hot and sunny.. from early in the morning on until the last rays of sun. I don’t ever really go on super sunny holidays, so it’s the first time that I’ve actually been able to thoroughly test some of the sun products I was sent. It’s super important to protect yourself against the sun and reapply often, especially when you’re heading to a much sunnier climate than you’re used to as you might underestimate the sun’s strength. So don't think you're the exception to sun damage and don't pretend you can escape it - invest in sun protection!
On my face I use at least an SPF30, but when I’m headed out for a while and I know I might forget to reapply often enough, I go for an SPF50. When I'm wearing makeup especially I will wear SPF50 as it's difficult to top up SPF when doing so. You can use a powder or a spray though - I am testing the new Bioderma Eau De Soin soon and will keep you posted on how I like it. If you have drier skin I can wholeheartedly recommend Darphin’s Soleil Plaisir Anti-Aging Suncare with SPF30. It’s formulated with antioxidants & a blend of oils to nourish your skin while also protecting it from that harsh sun. This was my boyfriend’s weapon of choice - his skin is drier than mine so he’s the perfect judge. One for all skin types is ROC’s Soleil Protexion+ Anti-Ageing Fluid 2 in 1, I’m almost finished with this one and I’ve really enjoyed using it over the past year. Formulated with a high concentration of hyaluronic acid, this one has a high SPF50+ to ensure that your skin won’t suffer from any sun damage. If you’ve got acne skin and you’re afraid that sun protection creams might cause you to break out, you can take a look at Avène’s Cleanance Sunscreen with SPF30 as well as Apivita’s Antispot Face Cream with SPF50. I’ve really enjoyed using both and haven’t experienced any new breakouts with these.
I always use at least SPF30 when I know it's going to be a sunny day. On regular work days and for testing purposes I do sometimes apply an SPF20 to protect myself on my way to work & back (I reapply at the office), but that wouldn't generally be enough for me as my skin is quite pale. I generally always purchase products with at least an SPF30. My favourite all-round body SPF that I've used pretty much everywhere has been Aveeno's Protect+Hydrate lotion sunscreen with SPF30, it feels very hydrating, kept me sunburn free in New York City and now it's unmissable in my work bag.. So sad it's almost finished! I'm also a fan of Clinique's Body Cream with SPF40, I used it two Summers ago in the South of France too and I still love the creamy texture. This year I've also tried out a few Nivea sun products which my boyfriend & I both really enjoyed using. The Nivea Sun Protect & Bronze Oil with SPF30 is great for days at the beach or pool as you can reapply it often and it does make you look a little more tan than you really are. This does sort of turn a little milky on your skin after about an hour in the sun, so I wouldn't wear an oil for actually going into the city in clothes that you don't want stained. The Nivea Sun Protect & Refresh Milk with SPF30 on the other hand does sink in quickly and leaves no residue or sticky feeling. And it really is refreshing on the skin!
HAIR SUN PROTECTION
Onto sun protection for your hair.. I hear you thinking: do I really really need this? I think that your hair will definitely benefit from using these when you're out on a sunny holiday, although of course you could just stick to using your regular hair mask more frequently. I primarily use these type of products because I don't like the red hues in my brown hair to surface too much, and we all know how the sun does lighten your hair. But these products don't only do that, they also protect your locks against salt and chlorine. My hair turns into an awful crispy state of blah after having been in either sea or pool water, so I really need to amp up my hair care routine to battle that effect. Kérastase's Micro-Voile Protecteur is a very finely diffused spray that will protect your hair from photodegradation and will keep keep it nourished too. It didn't make my hair particularly greasy which is great and on top of that it especially smells really good and made my hair really soft! At night I used another oil by Redken, their Color Extend Sun Reflective Glow Spray. This one was definitely too greasy to use during the day for me, but it was perfect for a night time treatment. I also used the accompanying shampoo Color Extend Sun After-Sun Shampoo and the mask Color Extend Sun After-Sun Mask, which were both great for holidays. I wash my hair daily when I go to the beach or pool, so it was actually great that both are a bit heavier thanks to the mango oil in the formula.
Not to be underestimated.. the powder of after sun products. These will rehydrate your skin as it's repairing from being out in the sun, will also cool the skin down and if you have a sunburn will take away some of the pain. I've particularly enjoyed using Byron Bay's After Sun which is a very soothing and cooling gel with added aloe vera. It also absorbs pretty quickly so there's no super sticky feeling when you're slipping into fresh clothes after a day in the sun. Nivea's After Sun Bronze is a good after sun that promises your tan to stay around longer, although I haven't particularly noticed this myself. I just really like the cooling and moisturising effect, plus how quickly it absorbs into the skin. And don't forget to soothe the skin on your face as well! You could purchase a targeted after sun product for the face like the Diego Dalla Palma After Sun Face cream (formulated with snail slime!) or you can just as well grab your favourite moisturising mask such as Caudalie's Moisturizing Mask. It's all about restoring moisture levels!
Product availability information:
Avène, Apivita, ROC, Darphin, Caudalie: in pharmacies or online pharmacy webshops such as Farmaline
Nivea and Byron Bay: in supermarkets and drugstores
Diego Dalla Palma: in beauty salons working with the brand
Redken, Kérastase: in hair salons working with these brands
Aveeno: Boots in the UK or Ulta in the USA