It ain't over til it's over. We're still grasping on to the last few weeks of summer and with a blinder of a bank holiday ahead there's still time to work on your tan before the inevitable onset of autumn come the first of September...
Suncare is undoubtedly a minefield, with dozens of brands and hundreds of products and price points; while it's easy to reach for the bargains, it's always worth looking into reviews and formulas as it's as much personal preference as anything else. Some love a lotion, while for others a spray formula is the only way to go. I recently packed my suitcase for an action-packed week in the Caribbean (I know, I hate me too...) meaning I needed top tier sun protection that would last without being annoyingly greasy or sticky. Read on for my top three...
I always start off the week with SPF30, particularly if my pasty Saxon skin hasn't seen the sun for a while. Garnier Ambre Solaire Ideal Bronze Tan Enhancing Spray SPF30
(£8.99, 200ml) is enriched with a melanin-boosting complex to support the natural production of melanin, ergo leading to a better tan. I loved this formula, a super simple spray delivering a mist of light coverage and a handy handbag size, it's not at all greasy and offers water resistance meaning you don't need to reapply every time you go for a dip. www.boots.com
Towards the end of my trip as my skin gradually got used to being in the sun again, and for my subsequent week in the south of France following it, I took my SPF down to 15 and opted for the Riemann P20 SPF15 Pump Spray (£24.99, 200ml, available at Boots). An incredibly lightweight formula, this is a quick-drying, clear spray with photostable UVA and UVB filters and five star UV protection. It offers 10 hours sun protection and is highly water resistant for up to 80 minutes; using this for a whole week in France, I didn't burn an inch. I've found some sprays in the past to either be extremely greasy, rather strong smelling or very drying; this was neither, a pleasingly delicate formula that was moisturising and lasted the day.
For the face, it was [b]Clarins
all the way, specifically the Dry Touch Facial Sun Care SPF30
(£20.00, 50ml www.clarins.co.uk
). A lightweight cream enriched with botanical extracts, it's water and sweat resistant and has matte finish - essential when you're in the heat. It feels like an indulgent moisturiser rather than a sun cream - the benefit of buying from a skincare brand and investing in a product specifically designed for the face. This has become a handbag essential, not just for holidays; it might just be the product that convinces me to include SPF in my everyday skin regime.