June 11, 2012

Summer Lovin' ~ Sun Protection

This post is part of my Summer Lovin' series. I'll be posting every Monday in the run-up to my own holidays in August and will be covering some of my own summer favourites!

Ahhh summer. Long evenings, warmer weather, BBQs and, if we're lucky, blazing sunshine. The weather here in Ireland has been quite enjoyable in recent weeks. Usually we're plagued by rain and the country always seems consumed by a generally grey and miserable aura but, lately, we've had some great periods of genuinely hot weather with bright blue skies and a scorching sun!

I've always maintained I should have been born closer to the equator as I love hot, sunny weather and my massive boost in energy and general productivity these last few weeks just further compounds that theory! However, I am from Ireland and I am quite fair-skinned so, I do need to be careful that I don't get burnt! I've rounded up some new sun care releases and put them to the test so we can all enjoy the sunshine safely!

Vichy ~ Capital Soleil

Sun Protection Oil SPF 40 ( RRP €17.50) - Despite being very pale, I absolutely love sun protection oil, Hawaiian Tropic in particular. However, the issue with oils is that they only usually go up to around SPF 25 which, in very intense sun, isn't really high enough for me. So, you can imagine that I was thrilled to discover that Vichy are the first brand to release a high-factor suncare oil and even more thrilled to realise that it's actually really nice, nicer than my beloved Hawaiian Tropic if I'm honest! 

It smells amazing, just like holidays, and soaks into the skin quickly, leaving just a slight glowy sheen which I like. As it is a clear-ish oil however, it can be difficult to see where you put it so, there is an increased risk of missing some spots. One thing to note about SPF oils is that, in general, they are not compatible with fake tan. The oils can cause the tan on you skin to separate, resulting in that patchy, reptile "scale" effect I'm sure we're all aware of. 

Mattifying Face Fluid Dry Touch SPF 50 (RRP €14.50) - This super high factor sun protection from face is all kinds of wonderful. As with all of the products in the Capital Soleil range, this works with all skin types and protects against UVA and UVB rays. However, the real gem for me is that this product, as the name would suggest, mattifys on application and leaves skin shine-free and dry to the touch. 

This is so unlike any sun protection I have ever used before. It's entirely non-greasy and non-sticky and is an absolute pleasure to apply as it works into the skin really easily and flawlessly. I would say that this would be beautiful under make-up though, I haven't tried it in this way as my current moisturiser already contains SPF 25. I used this during the recent sunny spell when I was just laying out or walking around and not bothering with make-up and I can definitely say that this will be coming with me on holiday in August!

La Roche-Posay ~ Anthelios

AC Extreme Matte Fluid SPF 30 (RRP €17.50) - This is another high-protection sun care formula that is intended to leave skin with a matte, non-shiny finish thanks to a unique complex of zinc and perlite. It's aimed particularly at young teens with oily, acne-prone skin who want long-lasting sun protection with a dry touch finish.

Now, sadly I'm not a teen and I don't have oily or acne prone skin so, this would most suit the likes of my young sister and I may give it to her for her trip to the Gaeltacht. However, I did try it on Kev's skin during a particularly hot day recently. While he is even further from a teen than I am, he is, as most men seem to be, awful at applying sun protection and he suffers a lot with oily, congested skin in the summer heat. It definitely  dried matte and stayed matte throughout the day, despite the fact that he was in the heat for long periods of time. He also found that, if he sweated, it didn't get into his eyes as happens with almost all sun creams.

XL Extreme Fluid SPF 50+ (RRP €19.50) - Even the name of this SPF sounds like it would kick sunburn's ass! Offering the highest possible protection against UVA and UVB rays on the market today, XL Extreme Fluid is formulated especially for skin or areas of skin that are sensitive or prone to sun allergies. This is particularly appropriate for me as I always seem to get heat rash when I go abroad. I haven't yet had an opportunity to try this baby out but, it seems like it was made precisely for the 35C Caribbean heat I will be experiencing in August! Oh, and it also comes in a slightly tinted version to give skin an extra glow!

Eau Thermale Avène ~ Très Haute Protection

Very High Protection Emulsion SPF 50+ (RRP €20.33) - Another super high SPF product that protects against UVA and UVB rays, Avène have hit the nail on the head with this product. Coming in a handy, squeeze tube with hygienic pump dispenser, I find this the perfect for chucking in my bag and reapplying on-the-go. It is the most expensive sun cream of the bunch but, it does the job brilliantly. It doesn't smell as nice as the Vichy products and it is a much denser cream making it slightly harder to rub in but, I always feel really confident that my ultra-white skin is totally protected when wearing this! There is also a solid stick version of the emulsion for small and/or sensitive areas which costs €17.28 and, I would imagine, will last forever! 

If you have any suncream recommendations for me for my holiday, please let me know! Also, any tips on how to prevent sun allergies would be much appreciated! 


  1. Ah a girl after my own heart! I love these brands, pretty much all my skincare now consists 90% of them. I have nearly all of the above products too. Brilliant ay staving off the unwanted freckles!

    1. I'm the same Siobhán, they make the most simple yet brilliant products!

  2. Great post Sinead. I love Avene in particular for their sunscreen heavy formulas. Have you tried any of the Institut Esthederm sensitive/sun intolerant range? It's very very good x

    1. Thanks Simone! Yeah have really been impressed with Avene as a brand of late. Haven't tried the Institut Esthederm range but, it's on my list as have seen it cropping up a few times now! Need to source it here! x

  3. I need to move where you live haha, its been horrible in Kerry. Got only one hot day in the last few weeks! :( I need to get better at applying suncream, think I'll try the Vichy one! :)


    1. Haha well last week in Dublin was awful but, we had about 10 days straight before of 18C+ weather and it's lovely again today! Vichy is a great brand x

  4. I got a sample of the Ultrasun a few years ago and really like it for my face. I have oily skin and hate sunscreen, it's so oily! But this one was good, I am able to use it on normal days, just like a moisturizer.


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