I am so rarely in the proper heat of the sun that it’s taken me a while to get round to reviewing any suntan creams or lotions. I do know that for my Northern Hemisphere readers, currently wrapped in scarves, Uniqlo HeatTech and thermal knickers, the thought of suncream is a little far off right now. But I have a lovely bunch of readers Down Under & on the West Coast and, of course, people take winter sun holidays. Like me in Morocco last week (sob – my head is refusing to compute that I was in glorious Marrakech ten days ago), where I took the above photo on the side of the wonderful pool at Les Deux Tours in the Palmerie (new favourite hotel).
I am obsessed with sun protection – and I’m living proof that using sun protection doesn’t just stop you getting skin cancer, it stops you getting wrinkles. I barely have any, because I have never gone in the sun without cream, sunglasses or a hat. (I’m a natural blonde with a morgue-like pallor under the fake tan. I burn. Fast. Ouch.)
Anyway, I didn’t apply a lot of thought to my suncreams, as I wobbled on a stepladder fishing bottles out of my holiday lotions & potions stash in a cupboard in my office. I just lobbed the first ones I pulled out in the direction of my cases and hoped for the best. (Packing? Meh.) These are all high factor, and suitable for super fair skin, as well as those lucky enough to have a darker complexion.
Ole Henriksen Protect the Truth, 50+£35
Lovely smell of oranges, great texture. You could easily wear this during the day in the city, as well as by the pool. Needs to be rubbed in, but absorbs really quickly and doesn’t turn your face white at all. It’s oil-free, paraben-free, doesn’t clog and contains loads of anti-oxidants. Not cheap but definitely worthwhile.
La Roche Posay Sun Protection, 50+ £16.50
I ADORE this stuff. I buy bottles and bottles of it every time I go to France, although you can now buy it in England and America too, and make sure I have it in the car, handbag and bathroom. It comes in a tinted and in an un-tinted version. I like the tinted for holidays as it just evens out skintone, and I certainly don’t want to wear foundation by the pool. This is also the stuff I use everyday in sunny cities and in London in the summer. It’s very liquid so you don’t need to massage it in, and you can wear foundation over it. I’ve also used it over my make up when out and about to no ill-effect. One of my hero products.
St Tropez High Protection For Face with Tan Enhancer, £15
I’m not so fussed about the tan enhancer part – my tan comes courtesy of St Tropez’s brilliant self-tan products, but I do think this face sun cream is excellent. (I always pack a lot of face protection because I get through a lot.) Again, no residue and quite thick (but melts into skin) so my skin felt very protected.
Piz Buin Ultra Light Sun Spray, Was £15,99 Now £5.98
I do like spray lotions, much easier to rub in and a fair chance of covering the bits you can’t reach if you are on your own. I particularly like Piz Buins as they never feel heavy on the skin, and don’t leave a white residue.
Melvita Prosun, Was £22 Now £13.20
A more natural choice for those wary of chemicals that penetrate the skin. Contains some organic ingredients, and I have never burnt using this. It does take a bit of rubbing to get rid of the whiteness on the skin (it uses Titanium and Zinc as its main sunblock) and I found that it stayed on in the water too.