The sudden heatwave that’s sweeping the UK caused us all to leap in to our vest tops and shorts, and spend the weekend in the garden. After the long dark months behind us, it’s wonderful to not need to put the heating on at night anymore, and to be able to sit out in the garden sipping a cold glass of prosecco. So many of us are guilty, however, of not treating the sun with enough respect, and I have seen so many people this Monday experiencing the after effects of a pub garden weekend: namely, sunburn.
We all know the dangers of sunburn by now, not to mention the unappealing after effects of peeling skin and dodgy tan lines. It’s so important to protect yourself from the sun and not to burn. I’m just as guilty as others and have put myself at risk from sun damage on many occasions. I totally understand the wish to tan quickly, but there is a way to do it that doesn’t involve baking yourself after smearing on a tanning oil with an SPF of 2, or, worst still, with no SPF at all. On my recent trip to Lanzarote I got a good golden tan without the burn factor, and I’ll share my favourite sunshine holiday products here.
A pre-tan accelerator
I started using a tan accelerator a week before I went on holiday, and also used it every night while I was there. This year I used the EcoTan Accelerator Max that I bought from Amazon. This golden gel sinks in quickly and can be used under other body products. Using it before you get in the sun preps the skin for tanning by helping to trigger the natural tanning process in the skin. Using it after sun exposure boosts the pigment production for a deeper tan, quicker.
A high SPF
This year, instead of dipping into low SPFs, I stuck to SPF 30 for the whole holiday. Once upon a time I believed this actually prevented tanning. Silly girl that I was. It actually just ensures that you don’t burn, and you develop a longer-lasting tan as a result of not damaging the skin. We had a particularly active holiday this year, climbing up the volcanic hills of Lanzarote, cycling along palm tree-lined roads, and wandering through vineyards. I used the EverStride Sunscreen Lotion with Active 5*, which has an SPF of 30 and is designed for more energetic sunseekers. It sinks in quickly, provides a long lasting and sweatproof barrier against the sun, and smells nice too. This was perfect for both Sean and I and we didn’t burn at all using this, even on the windswept hills. This was definitely a must-have and I would use this again as it just didn’t budge no matter what we did.
Hair and lip care
I used some products from Malibu which I ended up loving; the Clear Hair & Scalp Protector and the Lipcare sticks which are a bunch of delicious flavours and contain SPF 15. It’s important not to neglect the hair and scalp, as a burnt scalp is not very nice at all. And burnt lips are just plain awful.
An in-sun accelerator
I have used many different accelerators designed to be used in the sun. They sit on top of your SPF and, like the EcoTan, they boost the tanning process so you get a deeper tan in less time in the sun. This year I used Carrot Sun which is like a dry oil in a pot.
Your tan will only last if you use some deeply moisturising lotion afterwards. I chose the L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Tan Optimiser.
There’s also the option of topping up your tan with sunless products too, of course. My favourite this year, and the one I took away with me, was the Dove Summer Glow gradual tanner, which gave me a boost when I wanted a deeper tan.
What are your must-have tanning products?
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