Tuesday 9 July 2013

The SPF Quartet

Alpha-H Daily Essential Moisturiser SPF 50+ / Nivea Sun Invisible Protection Transparent Spray SPF 50
Soltan Head & Hair Dry-Touch Transparent Suncare Spray SPF 30 / Balmi Mint Lip Balm SPF 15

Something I am very passionate about is the use of sun protection products. I don't think I've ever shared this with you before but in November 2005 my dad was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, more commonly known as skin cancer. He never wore sun tan lotion even when we went on holiday and would often sit in his room with a little tanning lamp. One day he noticed a tiny lump on the top of his head which he stupidly kept picking at. It developed into a huge scab and continued sun exposure only made it worse. After years and years of suffering he finally went to the doctors and soon after his diagnosis he started receiving treatment. He has been in remission for several years now but it still affects his life every day. The doctors treated him with too much radiation so his head has never properly healed. He still has to visit the doctor three times a week to get the dressing on his head changed and he has to wear a hat pretty much everywhere he goes. He travels to work every day in a suit and a baseball cap. So sadly this is something he will have to deal with for the rest of his life. Sorry for the horrid start to this post but I wanted to demonstrate what a horrible disease skin cancer is and how life altering it can be. I think it's pretty clear why I'm such a big advocate of products with SPF.

Skin cancer is obviously the most important reason to protect yourself from the sun but seeing as this is a beauty blog let's talk about how the sun can affect your looks. It is one of the main causes of premature ageing as it can give you liver spots and wrinkles. Too much sun exposure will give your skin a dry, leathery appearance and it increases sagging. The sun also causes the appearance of tiny blood vessels on your face. Once Summer finally rears it's head I never leave the house without slathering on the high SPF products. Don't get me wrong, I love going to the beach and sitting in the sun as much as the next person but I don't care if I never get a tan because I'd much rather be pale, look youthful and have healthy skin. There are four products that I know I can rely on to keep myself fully protected.

I first came across Alpha-H Daily Essential Moisturiser SPF 50+ when I started using Liquid Gold. AHAs found in chemical exfoliants increase your sensitivity to the sun so I decided look for face products with SPF 50. A lot of the ones I tried left my face feeling greasy, broke me out, smelled gross and gave me a white cast. I figured since Alpha-H invented Liquid Gold that their SPF moisturiser might be the perfect accompaniment to it. Luckily I was right and now I use this moisturiser every day, even during the Winter. It feels really nice on the skin, gives me the right amount of hydration and doesn't come with any of the problems of the other SPF products I've tried. The best sun protection product I've ever found for my body is the Nivea Sun Invisible Protection Transparent Spray SPF 50. I got so fed up of using messy lotions that stained all my clothes and were annoying to apply. I first heard about this product last year from a goth YouTuber called Synthetic Doll. If it's good enough for a goth, it's good enough for me! You just spray this all over and rub it in. It is quickly absorbed, non-greasy and water resistant. It's so easy to re-apply when you're out and about too. Due to my dad's problems I'm very conscious of protecting my head. If I'm not wearing a hat I use the Soltan Head & Hair Dry-Touch Transparent Suncare Spray SPF 30. I spray this liberally all over my scalp and hair. It doesn't make my hair greasy and it contains conditioner so it helps to protect my bleached hair. Finally I whack on a bit of my Balmi lip balm because it contains SPF 15 and feels fresh & minty on a hot day. These products never let me down and it's reassuring to know that I can enjoy the sun safely.

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  1. I've always worn sun screen but fist became really aware of the problems the sun can cause when I lived in NZ for a few months. Lots of Brits move there and do't wear any sunscreen so New Zealand has the highest incidence rate in the world.
    I hadn't thought about my scalp, I have very dark hair so will invest in some of that spray before I head out all weekend.

    I shared this post on stumble upon and tumblr because it's a really important x

  2. It's so important to wear sun protection! I'm glad to hear that your dad is in remission :) a great post, very important xo

  3. So glad you're spreading the word!! I worked in a skin cancer screening clinic in London and England actually has a higher rate of skin cancer than Australia just due to lack of knowledge!! Also, if you tanning on the beach or lying in the sun always put sun screen on the soles of the feet. They are sensitive to the sun due to lack of exposure and everyone always forgets about them. Thank you for the post!


    1. would never of thought to put sun cream on the soles of my feet. when thinking about it slightly obvious and surprised i've never thought to do this before. Thanks for the heads up!

      Katie-Louise xx

  4. So sorry to hear about the sad experience with your dad, glad to hear he is in remission! this post was perfect as am going on holiday soon and have been looking around for the best sun care products. Thanks for the informative post :)

    Katie-Louise xx

  5. I'm so pale that I have to wear sunscreen all the time. My dad and my sister and brother are able to tan so easily but for me, I've got to wear tons and tons of sun screen and even then I still get sunburnt if I'm in the sun for too long.
    xo, Maria

  6. I bought the Nivea sun spray a few days ago and I love it. I will admit that sometimes I spray it on indoors because the smell is so nice!

    Ellis xxx

  7. I'm obsessed with finding great sun care products! Nivea is what I would use the most, they are great! Very helpful post btw!


  8. its so important to raise awareness of this! my mum is really bad for trying to put me on a lower spf too early in the holiday and i end up burning, not good! this year i'm going for a much higher face spf, too worried about wrinkles!

    Chloe Witty

  9. So glad to hear your dad is in remission! I am all about the sunscreen too! I remember being on the beach when I was younger, watching a man put sunscreen everywhere apart from the bottoms of his feet and it looked so painful as he was trying to walk at the end of the day, so ever since then I've been a little obsessed with making sure to never forget to apply it!

    Jennie xo | sailorjennie.com

  10. I'm so glad you've written a post about this and thank you for sharing your dads story. My auntie used to go on holiday 3 times a year and never, ever wore sun cream. Sometimes she'd wear oil to speed up the tanning and she'd also go on sun beds too. She died at the young age of 58 with skin cancer which spread, and it was horrible though set something alight. I'm so glad to hear your dad is in remission, and that you're sharing some good advice!

    Lancaster do the best sun cream I've ever ever had, the one I've most recently tried is literally an aerosol mist, and I mean like a a water mist, nothing to rub in or anything, its just like spraying thermal water over yourself - Though obviously you've got to be careful to make sure you cover everything and GET ENOUGH ON. Does make it easier to get your own back though, love it so much!

    I'm just about to run out of my No7 spf, its been really good actually - I've tried the Avene one which is grey as hell. Might give your Alpha H one a go, is it stupidly expensive?! xx