I'm trying to teach myself about skincare and what ingredients do what, what our skin needs and what it really doesn't and as you can imagine, this is a huge field and therefore a slow process. One whole massive, huge aspect of it is sun protection. It is such a confusing and in-depth subject that I tend to avoid it all together and wear as high a factor as possible on my face (for vanity's sake, sun = wrinkles) and then slap on whatever I can when I remember the rest of the time with a low level terror of skin cancer constantly niggling away at me.
For the past couple of years I have been a devotee of Protect and Bronze and will resolutely buy this in factor 20 and 10 for every summer holiday and then use it til it's empty whenever that may be. This is not very safe - SPF does deteriorate over time so you should buy just enough for your needs and chuck it out when the summer/holiday is over. You should apply sun lotion at least every two hours if not more even if it says you just need to apply it once. But if you are like me and have only two levels of skin, pasty and burnt, then it's particularly difficult to get a tan if you are basting yourself in a high factor every couple of hours. Yes you are protected from skin cancer and that is the most important thing. But I would be lying if I said I didn't want to get a bit of a tan, I do, I'm practically see-through by the end of winter.
Thank god that this problem is now no more, it absolutely is possible to be safe in the sun and get a tan. And not just any tan, a lovely natural one that lasts for ages and it is all thanks to Institut Esthederm who do a whole range of amazing safe-sun products from self-tan to anti-brown patch protection to the famous Adaptasun which is what I now use every single time I venture into the sun.
Now this is £42.50 a bottle which is not cheap but I don't think you can really put a price on sun safety and this works so well that it should be the only sun protection you take on holiday (you can get Adaptasun for the face as well but I've been using the normal one with no adverse affects) and I think most people usually end up buying two or three different SPF's when they go on holiday which if you think about it would probably cost the same, if not more than one bottle of Adaptasun.
So how does it work? Well rather than having an SPF Adaptasun trains the skin to work at a cellular level to protect itself against the sun encouraging the production of melanin while UV Incellium filters out harmful UVA and UVB rays. Rather than getting an SPF you choose according to skin type and strength of sun so either normal to strong sun (so suitable for Europe) or strong to extreme sun. Adaptasun also contains glycerin which keeps your skin really hydrated and smooth.
What you need to know - Adaptasun Body Milk by Institut Esthederm