Holidays in the sun are brutal, right?
- The stress of choosing all the cute outfits but “travelling light”;
- The workout of squeezing it all into a suitcase that’s under 20kg;
- The careful selection of a friend to look after your cat, water your plants and put your bin out;
- The frustration of the early morning queue at the EasyJet bag drop, AFTER you’ve already checked in on line but BEFORE you’re properly caffeinated;
- The tedium of the long wait in an over-stuffed airport lounge where it’s too noisy to read and too uncomfortable to nap.
- Let’s not even mention the absence of legroom for anyone over 5’5′ and the boundless joy of the middle seat.
But hey – it’s your annual holiday, you’re heading to the sun, so who cares about all that?
Have a little thought for your skin though. Yes that’s right – the skin that you spend a fortune on all year round desperately trying to hold back the years. Layering up the double cleansers, the miracle serums, the deep glow face masks, and the anti ageing moisturisers. Yes, THAT skin.
You can plan for a holiday – be prepared and pack all the stuff. But your precious skin has no idea. Suddenly it’s catapulted from it’s happy home on the ground, to an air pressured cabin 7 miles in the sky, and then right back down to a different timezone that’s 70% humidity and 20 degrees hotter than home.
So what do we do? Slap on a bit of factor 15 – the one we grabbed at the airport chemist with no time to even look at the label? Shame on us.
WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?
When we’re in our 20s, we don’t think about ageing skin. I remember thinking that sun block would stop me getting a tan, and what could be worse? Surely ageing is an issue to think about in our 40s?
Here’s some cold hard skin facts ….
If you’ve reached the grand old age of 25, your collagen and hyaluronic acid levels are already depleting, and the signs of ageing are arriving faster than most of us would like. This is simply because our bodies have stopped growing. We don’t need the same amount of collagen for growth so we stop producing as much.
- By 30 it’s thought we are losing up to 2% of our collagen every year.
- At 40 we’ve lost up to 20% of our collagen
- By 50, we’ve lost up to 40% of our collagen
Nothing can stop the “ravages of time’ as my Mother kindly calls it, but MUCH can be done to slow it down.
Here’s what I’ve been trying
Tropic Skincare has very thoughtfully produced a Sun Care Discovery Kit. It’s a travel-friendly collection of sun care essentials – great for a weekend away or for daily, handbag sized, on-the-go protection from the sun. It’s £50 with the pot of sun balm and £40 without, and an ideal way to try out the products before you invest in the larger sizes. The Kit includes:
- Skin Shade SPF 50, 100ml
- Skin Shade SPF 30, 100ml
- Sun Soothe, 100ml
- Sun Balm, 20ml
Tropic’s sun products are all high quality, broad spectrum, chemical free, cruelty free, plant based product.
I’m truly convinced and here’s why …
IF YOUR SKIN COULD TALK, WHAT WOULD IT ASK FOR?
It’s starts at home, of course, but let’s talk about our the effects of our 2 weeks in the sun – shall we? I’m in a little Costa Brava beach village right now in 30 degrees so it’s a great time to talk about sun care.
TOP TIP 1: Choose “Broad spectrum” Sun Protection
If you just grab a bottle of suncream in the airport or 3 for 2 at your local chemist – you’ll probably end up with either UVA (ageing) or UVB (burning) but not both.
You need both to stop you burning and ageing. Unless you’d like to choose?
We’ve all burned in the sun at some point. The redness and hot skin is caused by increased blood flow to the skin’s surface. The soreness and peeling is the damaged layers of epidermis and dermis falling away.
Sunburn hurts for a few days, but it will fade.
Sun damage, though, is a different matter.
Here’s the shocker – so listen up.
There is 500x more UVA (ageing) in sunlight than UVB (burning). So for every time you’re burned in the sun, you’ve exposed your skin to premature ageing 500x more. That’s 500x more wrinkles, 500x more long term damage – all of which is strongly and reliably linked to skin cancer.
I started using Tropic Skin Shade last summer and won’t be going back. It’s 100% broad spectrum and looks after my skin just as well for my 2 week sunny holiday as my other Tropic goodies do all year round.
TOP TIP 2: Choose mineral sun care not chemical
This is a game changer not just for your skin but for the environment. Oxybenzone is the main chemical in most sun creams and it’s linked to the bleaching of around 10% of the world’s coral reefs. We’ve all seen the documentaries.
Around 6000 tonnes of sunscreen. a lot of it sold as “water resistant” is washed off us humans every year straight into our oceans.
So if Oxybenzone is potent enough to bleach damage swathes of beautiful coral reef, imagine what’s it’s doing to our sensitive skin. The skin that is the biggest organ of our body, and that we have for our entire life.
Tropic Sun Shade and Sun Balm use two natural minerals – Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide combine to give complete sun protection with no need for any other nasty chemicals. It’s also ideal for sensitive skin types, less likely to irritate.
You’ll find it’s quite white on the skin, great to see the bits you’ve missed, and needs a good rub in, so you don’t actually look white on the beach.
TOP TIP 3: Choose gentle and plant based sun care
You might not think you have “sensitive skin” but consider for a moment the shock you’re putting your skin though on your annual holiday – heat and UV exposure, humidity, dehydration, change of water, change of diet, and lack of exercise.
Tropic skincare is all about plant power. Their sun products are antioxidant rich plant goodness. Things I’d never heard of like Kakadu. Illawarra Plum, Kahai Oil. Then there’s Roucou Oil which apparently is 100% richer in beta carotene than carrots.
If you choose the tinted skin shade, a handbag essential, you’ll benefit from the amazing wild hibiscus flower or “the botox plant” which actively slows down collagen breakdown and combats ageing.
Your skin will thank you, I promise.
TOP TIP 4: Don’t forget your eyes
If there’s one place we notice the ageing effects of the sun first it’s round our eyes. That “oh so delicate” skin that’s easy to miss when slathering up for the day.
Here’s some startling facts you may not have heard.
Eyelid cancer accounts for 10% of all skin cancers – including basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma .
Macular degeneration, a major cause of vision loss in the over 60s, is a result of cumulative UV damage to the retina
10% of all cataract cases are attributable to UV exposure.Statistics from Skin Cancer Foundation
A protective pair of sunnies is essential holiday kit. Make sure they’re high quality UV block lenses. Wear them often, even when cloudy, and even when travelling in the car or on a bus.
This is an easy one for me. I suffer from photosensitivity which often leads to headaches so you’ll see me wearing sunglasses right through the winter.
HERE’S THE THING
A good bottle of sunscreen is not just for your summer holiday, it’s for all the other days too. Skincare experts will tell you that moisturiser containing SPF will never have a high enough percentage to properly protect you. You really need to put a separate layer of SPF over your moisturiser. When I’m home and away from the Spanish sun, I’ll be trying to do this every day. I’ll let you know how I get on.
If you have concerns or want to educate yourself more about the links between sun exposure and cancer, I recommend the Skin Cancer Foundation‘s Sun Production Guide. I found it enlightening. Go read it.
Mr B and I have introduced a new word into our poolside chat. It’s “to slather” “to be slathered” or “to get slathering” – in reference to the suncream, of course. I’m sure Carline Hirons, the Skincare Expert, would approve. She reckons 1 x 200ml tube of suncream with cover 1 adult 6 times.
Excuse me while I just get slathered up for the afternoon.
If you enjoyed this blog and found it helpful for keeping your skin safe in the sun, I’d love you to share it and help spread the word.
That’s all for now,
This post contains products which were gifted to me by Tropic Skincare. All views are my own and I do not receive any payment or affiliate commission if you chose to purchase anything.