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Best sun screens for summer 2017

After a run of soggy summers the bottles of Piz Buin have cluttered our bathroom shelves and are now out of date. As many of us start packing for holidays, or indeed even those of us who are having staycations (*sob*, not jealous at all) with the scorching summer weather we’ve been having we all need to think about sun protection.

The recent headlines about the health benefits of catching a few rays have left many confused (oh, just me?).  Having been warned that sunbathing was damaging to our skin – we’re now informed that too much and you risk skin cancer and too little and you’ll lack vitamin D and increase the risk of rickets.

So let’s talk sun cream and hot weather with nutrional, lifestyle and fitness guru Lisa Colquhoun from Refine Fitness, to find out exactly how much sun we should have and the best products on the market to manage it – because they all say that.

Over to Lisa…

Stay young in the sun

Skin cannot be replaced – no amount of facials, microdermabrasions and so on can restore skin when it’s covered with age spots and wrinkles. So if you want to blag being 20 years younger than you are, you’re going to have to take preventative steps.

Seek shade

Be safe in the sun

Clockwise from top left: Nina Ricci pink preppy sunglasses, TKmaxx £49.99; Harper Scout Beach, The Eden £145.00; Crosslow hats, £60; Julianne Moore isn’t seen out in the sun without her sunglasses and fedora.

There are some cool fedoras on the market that’ll keep your face in the shade. I love the colours of the Crosslow hats – they come in various colours and are fantastic for travelling – they’re totally packable and bounce back into shape easily.

Celebrities never leave home without their shades and neither should you. It’s worth investing in some that have UVA and UVB protection. Sunscreen is great, but the skin around your eyes is extra delicate, which means it needs more protection than the rest of your face. My go to place for sunglasses is TKMax, they have some great bargains and as I always end up sitting on them or using them as a hair band I’m never too stresed when they only last a season.  They have a great selection at the moment whether you want to experiment with some colour or opt for traditional aviators or black out shades.

It’s always worth having a light kaftan in your day bag so that if you find yourself sitting having a drink in the midday sun you can ensure that you’re covered up. There are many on the market that travel well and are ultra light like the luxury beachwear brand Harper Scout Beach – kaftans come in a range of styles to suit all shapes and won’t take up much room in your suitcase. They have spot sales at this time of year so it’s worth checking in with them to see what’s on offer.

Perfect Moments

If you’re wanting to be really cautious, or actually quite hip and cool then the rash guard is all the rage these days. It looks super sporty and works with a pair of bikini bottoms. My fave this year has to be Perfect Moments with an emphasis on style and functionality. A word of warning, they don’t come cheap but since when has looking good ever come without a cost. The cropped neo rash guard is £160 but whilst you pick your jaw up from the floor it does provide some warmth, similar to a thin wetsuit.

How much time in the sun


Some doctors prescribe a spell of 10 mins in the early morning sun before greasing up to let the Vitamin D soak into the skin. Whether you opt for factor 15 or 50 the key is to avoid prolonged periods as the rays can still damage our DNA without sunburn.

Most of us don’t put enough sun cream on and don’t reapply frequently enough. One professional suggested that if you’re on holiday somewhere hot, and in the sun all day, then a family of two adults and two children would need 21 bottles of sun cream! It sounds extreme doesn’t it (excess luggage here we come) but it’s certainly food for thought.

Slip, Slap, Slop it on

Sun cream

So what products should we be buying this summer? Don’t be put off by price, we’re talking about keeping yourself and your family healthy and you can’t put a price on that, but then again don’t just buy because it’s pricey – it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good.

MUD – no I’m not kidding but totally unrealistic for westernised life! Although you’d hardly slather yourself in it on your sun bed in Puerto Pollensa it’s the best 100% sunblock you can get – vegan and au natural.

Jason Sun SPF 45

This can be picked up at any Holland and Barrett shop. Jason is a very well known brand and they have been around long enough for their research to be legit and credited. Best of all, its eco friendly and vegan so no testing on animals and it’s also free from parabens and SLS. Holland and Barrett are often dishing out the deals so it’s worth keeping an eye out. (£11.99, the facial sunblock is £9.99)

Badger SPF 30  

This 100% chem-free sun cream is eco friendly and the majority of the ingredients are organic. Due to it being hypoallergenic and waterproof it’s great for all the family, including babies. It’s not vegan, however there’s no animal testing and if sustainability is important to you the packaging is 100% biodegradable. It’s available through amazon, prices range from £15.30 – £17.38 – prime is available if you’re leaving er, like in 48hrs.)

Clarins SPF 30

A well-known and well researched brand and as they specialise in facial products, they know a thing or two about skin. The sun creams contain anti aging properties so if you’re looking for a higher factor for the face it’s worth splashing a little more cash to get something that’s going to work on making you look younger as well. The Clarins Sun Wrinkle Control Cream For Face Very High Protection UVB 50+ is currently on offer at £18.45. If you prefer more of oil then check out the Clarins Sun Care Oil Spray UVB 30 also £18.45, both are available from Escentual.

 Clinique SPF 30

Another well-researched brand with a specialisation in facial products. If you’re not keen on being greased up like a roast chicken then the Clinique ‘Virtu-Oil’ SPF 30 body mist is a lightweight, oil free sunscreen formula which sprays on easily and absorbs quickly. As well as delivering high-level UVA/UVB protection it also has a pleasant cooling sensation on application. It leaves no sticky or greasy after feel and is non-acnegenic too. A convenient spray makes full body application quick and easy. For sensitive skin there’s the gentle 100% ‘Mineral Sunscreen’ which is comfortable, even for sensitive skins. Both are currently on offer at Debenhams at £22.50.

Green People SPF 30

These products have more of a lean towards being eco-friendly and they’re suitable for sensitive skin and those prone to prickly heat. They’re water repellent but are non-pore clogging and rich in natural antioxidants to protect delicate skin. Better still you can get them delivered in your Ocado shop – the Green People Scent Free Sun Lotion SPF30 200ml is currently on offer for £17.60 – winner!


Sun cream face

I’ve struggled for a long time on mastering the correct routine for cream application. Is it sunscreen then face cream, or the other way around? So, I’ll take you through my skin routine – and if it works for you, then great. If not, we’re all different and you just do what works best for you:

1st – wash face and rinse with cold water or tone (rarely)

2nd – apply eye cream

3rd – apply face cream

4th – apply suncreen

5th – make up if I feel like it which is mostly never lol

I’m a SPF 30 girl all the way! I wouldn’t bother going anywhere lower when it comes to the skin on the face and the neck area. Do like the French say ‘the face starts at the neck!’ and I agree.

If you’d like further advice on lifestyle, nutrition and fitness then contact Lisa for a chat.

Lisa Colquhoun at Refine Fitness

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