Tuesday 30 August 2011

Lovea Natural Sunscreen SPF 15

So long ago when I was filming in Malta I promised I would write about natural sunscreen. However, as filming goes, my life fell by the wayside and suddenly it’s almost the end of the summer and the dawn of autumn and who cares about sunscreen! Especially when you’re in Glasgow which is where I have been for the past two weeks. However, I can’t go back on what I said so I’ll tell you my thoughts on the Lovea Natural Sunscreen SPF 15 for all it's worth!

Now then. First outing was, in short, a disaster. But I can safely say this was user-error as it definitely proved itself after this lobster-red event. Here's what happened.

Day off. Paradise Beach. A whole day on the beach was a tough first challenge but if it’s going to work, this will be where I notice it the most. So there I was, as pale as a sheet of A4 as my loving colleagues referred to me as. And I applied lashings and lashings and I baked and I baked and I re-applied time and again. I may have just  exaggerated how thorough I was here because I did indeed turn a sickening shade not unlike the colour of rage. And boy was it sore. I still have tan lines.

So what went wrong? The formula is nice, it’s easy and straightforward to use. All I can say is I think I just regrettably missed a fateful window when I was supposed to reapply and once your skin has burned, there is no going back…

Alas! I did not give up. I gave it another shot over the coming weeks and you know what. I didn’t burn once. But it didn't end there. See I’m a born and raised Brit so I am programmed to want to go charging outside as soon as the sun pokes through the clouds and although I’m definitely not obsessed with tanning, I want to go a nice golden brown. So maybe I’m the only one in the world but I thought that sunscreen allowed you to stay in the sun, whilst tanning, yet not get burned. The Lovea sunscreen, and I believe this to be the case with all natural sunscreens, does not actually allow you to tan. Now, I might be completely mistaken on this and I have tried to research it but with little success. So I can only go on what happened to me. Where everyone around me was turning into the deepest shade of bronze, I seemed to be getting paler (not referring to the burn which stayed a happy red for some time).

And you know why this is… that I wasn’t tanning AT ALL? Because natural sunscreen puts a barrier between your skin and the UV rays that cause skin to react to produce melanin (your tan). Titanium and Zinc oxide are most commonly used to block the sun’s rays, literally aligning themselves as pretty shaped little particles into a complete blanket over your skin. So you don’t even get a look in. Clever. But rubbish if you’re out to get brown!

Now. I’m not into chemical sunscreens either. And I’m not into burning. But given a choice of the two, I’d probably opt for the former - GULP! Did I just say that on here! What a traitor!

No! What I really think is this: I could cook myself all day if I wasn’t going to burn. But I do. So I think we should be sensible in the sun. Covering ourselves in chemical sunscreen is really just a fool’s answer to the problem, for the chemicals in sunscreen could well be more harmful and leave you more vulnerable to cancer than you would be put at risk of developing skin cancer without it. But’s it impossible to qualify what is more likely and what isn't. So I won't go into a debate about this. For me the bottom line in the cancer causing issue is limiting the factors that weaken our cellular health. There are many such factors and chemicals in products interfering where they are not wanted is only one. But I digress...

I think a little gentle sun exposure with nothing on (sunscreen, clothing, whatever!) is actually fine, enjoy it! Make some vitamin D! Just don’t go mad! So much of the time we are told how bad the sun is for you. But we all know how good it makes us feel so I think it's silly to deny ourselves a slice of sunshine. And after you’ve warmed up a bit and your skin is happy, then reach for the SPF and then make it natural. Gradual is good. So, I better take my own advice next time! 

Lovea Natural Sunscreen is anywhere between £10.75 and £11.99 so shop around. I bought mine in Whole Foods though.

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