Friday, 9 August 2013

The truth about SPF Protection

Hi beauties, 

So I went on holiday earlier in July and have now been back for 3 weeks! I still have the holiday blues :( Anyway, I was given some superb SPF creams and spray to take away with me and test. Last time I went on holiday I didn't really pay much attention to SPFs and just used whatever was there, but this year I was determined to find my favourite type of sun protection, especially as it was 46 degrees when we arrived :O 

I didn't actually know that the factors on SPF protection meant the time they protect you from sun. To be honest I had no idea what else they could stand for BUT at least now I know, so it was helpful to have factors 15, 20, 30 and 50! 

Ultrasun SPF20 Cream*:

Ultrasun claims to work deep into the skin to deliver long lasting protection in just one application. It also contains Superoxide Dismutase which is an enzyme that helps reduce free radical activity and tiny golden glimmers which deflect the sun's rays.  

My thoughts:
This was the first empty SPF. My boyfriend hogged it like there was no tomorrow because he loved its silky consistency yet thick application. This was a great SPF cream, it was really easy to rub because of its light texture, yet it was extremely thick to use as a 'build-up' cream. My boyfriend used it mostly on his shoulders and back and applied it in a thick white layer before going swimming as this claims to be water-resistant. I can say that Ultrasun did what it said on the tin, when he got out of the water the thick layer was still on and working efficiently. 

Ultrasun is perservative, emulsifier and perfume-free to avoid irritation and reduce the risk of allergy. 
I would definitely recommend this whether you want long-lasting or short protection, this cream will definitely give you excellent protection and I will definitely be trying the spray version next time. 

RRP: £23.00. Available from Waitrose, John Lewis, QVC and Debenhams. Alternatively buy online at Ultrasun

Piz Buin Wet Skin SPF15 Spray*:
The Piz Buin wet skin spray claims to offer instant protection to wet and dry skin meaning that you can apply it when your skin is wet from the pool or sea without having to towel-dry yourself first. Piz Buin technology does not mix with water but it cuts through it instead, this is due to the 'golden ratio' between UV filters, oil and alcohol. This forms a barrier between the spray and the water droplets. 

My thoughts:
This was my personal favourite. It was also the first spray SPF I've ever tried and I much prefer it to creams. It was a lot easier to apply and a lot less fuss-free. I don't generally like rubbing creams on myself as I find it a faff and especially when you're in the sand and it's getting everywhere - on your hands, body etc, it makes it more of a task to have to cream yourself. The spray definitely lived up to my expectations and was gone in the blink of an eye. It protected well and helped me get a very nice, even tan. Sprays are also much more long-lasting as creams as you don't find yourself applying so much of it. I only wish I had chosen a higher factor, but there's always next time as I'll definitely be buying Piz Buin on my next holiday in the sun. 

RRP: £17.99. Available from Boots, Superdrug, Tesco and Sainsbury's. 

La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Dry Touch SPF50 Gel Cream*:
This high factor cream claims to be perfect for the face as it's white mark, shine free without constricting pores. The dry touch basically means that due to the creams fast-absorption, the finish on the skin is dry, matte looking rather than shiny. This makes this the perfect partner for those who suffer from oily skin and skin that tends to sweat and become shiny.  This cream contains a blend of perlite, silica, corn starch and zinc gluconate to achieve the dry finish and high protection! 

My thoughts:
My boyfriend used this a fair bit on his face as he is far more likely to burn on his face than I am and he liked the silky, very light feel to this cream. He even applied to of it to his shoulders as well from time to time. This gel cream lived up to the expectations, it did leave skin dry and comfortable whilst protecting for a very long time. This is particularly handy because it's nice to not have to re-apply SPF to the face every 20 minutes. 

RRP: £16.50. Available from Boots nationwide or online at LaRoche-Posay.

Murad Oil-Free SPF30*:
This Murad cream contains pomegranate to prevent free radical damage to age-proof skin while the broad spectrum protection shields skin from both UVA and UVB rays. A lot of sunscreens don’t provide protection against UVA rays, which are the rays that age you. Also, it’s specially designed for the face; being oil-free means that shine is under control!

My thoughts:
I did like this cream. It was very rich and silky but not overly enriching. I used it mostly on my sensitive body areas such as shoulders and chest as my face wasn't in as much need of protection. The factor was perfect for me as a starting holiday factor; 30 is what I would recommend to most people to start with before moving down to 20 and 15. Murad did what it said on the tin, it protected and delivered shine-free applications. The only downside for me is that I believe it's a little overpriced so I probably wouldn't re-purchase, unless I was a lot older and needed all the anti-ageing protection I could get ;)

RRP: £27.00. Available from Murad

Piz Buin After-Sun Cream*:
This after-sun claims to offer immediate and lasting cooling relief from the heat thanks to its mint extract. It claims to be fast-absorbing, non-greasy and provide 24 hour moisture to help restore moisture to sun stressed skin.

My thoughts:
I agree with everything above. The Aloe Vera extracts were extremely soothing and moisturizing to the skin whereas the mint had a positively nice refreshing feel to the skin which helped with the itching that came with too much sun exposure. My skin felt super hot all the time, even when out of the sun and a few strokes of this really did help me feel cooler and helped my skin feel a lot less tight. I was impressed with this product and it's something I would definitely re-purchase. Unfortunately it ran out too quickly! Thanks a lot boyfriend!! 

RRP: £10.20. Available from Boots, Superdrug, Tesco and Sainsbury's. 

Garnier Ambre Solaire Golden Touch After Sun:
Sadly as I mentioned above, I had to buy this one in Portugal as I was out of Piz Buin by the end of the first week. This cream claims to illuminate and enhance your tan while soothing and hydrating the skin. It also has a slight shimmer to it.

My thoughts:
It definitely did make my tan more prominent and it had little speckles of golden glitter which looked nice in the sun. Most importantly, this worked wonders on our skin when we got burnt and the skin started to peel in some areas. I would always reach for this and cream a layer of it on top of the dry skin which was instantly moisturized enough to stop flaking. A big thumbs up from me on this one as not only did it really help my dry, flaking skin, but it also preserved my tan nicely. For only £4.99 I would repurchase in a heartbeat.

RRP: £4.99. Available from Boots

Have you ever tried any of the above? What did you think? 


  1. Oh I loved this post! I just seem to buy any old one, definitely going to pay more attention now :) xx

    1. That's what I used to do Georgina! It's so much more fun when you actually look at lots of different ones and compare though x

  2. I love the La Roche Posay one, I use that on my face here and abroad!

    1. Oh that's great! Have you reviewed it yet? x

  3. I always struggle with knowing what sun creams to get!
    I'm a massive fan of Piz Buin too.

    Hannah x

    1. Yeah it's hard with so many around!
      Piz Buin is great! x

  4. I love such reviews with multiple items listed for asimilar purpose! Very helpful! :) x

    Jasmine Catches Butterflies ʚϊɞ

  5. Great post darling, very informative and great for summer! I never normally give my skin protection much thought,I always use it, but just grab the nearest bottle in the shop and use that one, but now have some that I will be trying after reading your review :D


    1. Thank you Cat! That's fantastic, glad I could help! :D x

  6. Wht a great post! Loved the review (though I think none of these brands are in the US lol!) But I love hearing others' thoughts and opinions on different items.
    I follow you!

  7. I don't ever seem to burn so I don't personally have any need for suntan lotion but I do use the Piz Buin aftersun, it's really great x

  8. I use the Piz Buin too! Awesome stuff!

  9. Thanks for the information. I just got back from a weekend at the beach and my kids got pretty bad sunburn after multiple applications of lotion. So, I've been researching different methods of sun protection and sunscreen for kids online. They are very fair skinned, so it's always a battle to protect them from sunburn.


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