As you’ve probably realised by now, the past few weeks I have been travelling round Europe, exploring various cities and having lots of adventures! (If you want to read more about my adventure addiction make sure you follow my sister site Flicks and Fancy Free!!)
As a pale skinned Brit, who works closely with a cancer charity, I am always very cautious with my delicate skin in the hot European sunshine- that was until recently. I have to embarrassingly admit that, after two and half weeks of summer sun, I badly burnt and suffered sunstroke.
How did I manage it?! Well, only travelling with a cabin bag meant I couldn’t take much liquid, leaving room for only one 100ml bottle of my absolutely favourite SPF, Piz Buin 1 Day Long in factor 30. Thus meaning by the time we had checked into Rome airport for our last flight to Croatia, I was in desperate need of a new sun protectant.
You’d think purchasing an organic, paraben free, water resistant SPF 30 for 30 Euros would suffice. Apparently not. After a day at the beach, reapplying 4-5 times in 8 hours, and I arrive home to see why the Croatians passing us by were laughing. For the first time ever, my face was redder than my hair. And don’t even get me started on my bust, stomach and bikini line. They looked like I had smeared my signature Ruby Woo lipstick all over them. Yet felt like I had an inferno burning inside me. Unsurprisingly, we didn’t leave the apartment until it was dark enough for our neon glow to appear like a mild suntan!
So the moral of the story always stick to what you know and trust!
But what should you look for in an SPF? What does the SPF number mean in the first place?
Well, the SPF number indicates how many times longer you can stay in the sun before starting to burn. So basically you take the number of minutes it normally takes your skin to burn in the sun with no protection for example 15 minutes. Then, multiply that number by the SPF number, in my case, factor 30. Since 15 x 30 = 450, I should have 450 minutes before I start to burn. But remember in really hot weather our perspiration or jumping in the sea to cool down will really effect your suncream. Which is probably how I burnt so badly this time round!
If you are unsure about how long it would take for your skin to burn, check out this handy chart on the Ultrasun website.
What about UVA and UVB?
UVA are the ageing rays and UVB the burning rays, and it’s essential you check your sunscreen protects you from both UVA and UVB rays. A sunscreen with broad-spectrum protection means it has the ability to protect against the harmful effects of both .
But most importantly! Make sure you apply your sunscreen throughly, ensuring you haven’t missed any bits! Plus, avoid the midday sun and try to stay in the shade when possible.
So learn from my mistakes girls, and choose your SPF carefully!