Sunscreen would be it" (Mary Schmich, 1997)
I've been and bought some sunscreen today, and probably jinxed the weather in the process. Oh well. I'm sure the sun will stick around for a bit this time (optimistically ignoring the weather forecast for Sunday).
I have this constant battle with sunscreen. I'm pale. I like being pale (apart from my legs which are paler than the rest of me and therefore require gradual tanner just to bring them to the same colour as my body), and whilst I like sitting out in the sun, I don't like tanning. I don't like the risk of cancer (I'm naturally very moley but was relieved to read the chart in the Drs the other week that told me my misshapen moles are nothing to be worried about). I've seen what cancer does to people and I don't want that for myself or my loved ones.
So I have always been fairly religious about wearing sunscreen. Even as a teen when it was cool for my friends to sit out in the sun wearing nothing but baby oil. I was always chasing after them with a bottle of SPF. Nothing has changed. I still nag my friends about sunscreen.
Anyway. As I've got older and more attached to my paleness (I do tan quite nicely if I want to, I just don't), I have ramped up the level of protection I use. As you may know if you're a regular reader, I'm a bit of a hippy when it comes to my skin products and like them as natural as possible. My skin doesn't really tolerate mineral oils at all, and silicones are a bit of a no no unless it is in make up in which case it has a barrier underneath.
Unfortunately finding natural mineral sunscreen at factor 50 is hard. Impossible would be the best way to describe it. I know there are good reasons for this, and there is an ongoing debate as to whether factor 50 is actually worth it or not. Still, for me, SPF50 is a must.
Piz Buin used to make an oil free sun screen that went to high factors, which both my dad and myself swore by (prickly heat sufferers unite!), but I don't think they do it as high as I want.
However. My saviour has appeared in the form of the 'invisble' spray sunscreens that have hit the markets in the last couple of years. Last year I used Banana Boat's spray which worked quite well, although was quite sticky. This year I have opted for Boots Soltan Invisible Spray in SPF50. The plus point to Soltan is that as well as being a high SPF (which protects against UVB and stops you tanning) it also has a 5 star UVA rating (the bit that protects you against cancer). There aren't many brands out there that do that, although Soltan is not the only one (it was at one point).
A quick spray on my arm has confirmed that it does indeed have a dry touch, but there is a smidge of grape seed oil in the ingredients that gives it a bit of moisturising. The smell is not unpleasant, just like sunscreen. I'll come back and tell you how I get on with it once I've tried it out properly (hopefully tomorrow on the beach), and I'm hoping that it will work ok on my face to wear under make up, because as much as I love the MAC Prep and Prime Protect SPF 50, it is an expensive way to protect my face. Still, needs must at times I guess!!