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If there is one thing you do not want to forget just before you go on a weeks ski-ing holiday it is most definitely sun lotion. I'm fair skinned and I burn easily so I will usually stick with branded factor 50 and to hell with the extra expense. I don't particularly care if I don't look tanned by the end of the holiday, the important thing is that I don't look like a rather large lobster. This year however, bright spark that I am, I forgot mine which meant that I had to rely on what Dad had brought with him, which is never as high factor or for that matter high quality as I would have bought.
Honestly, my heart sank when I saw the simple white bottle with a white and orange sticker proclaiming loudly to the world that it was Sainsbury's basics. Usually in skin care I am lazy as hell, sun lotion is the one exception and I will always buy the top range products. This therefore made me cringe right from the offset as it screams 'Cheap!' at the top of its non existent lungs. But to be fair it's easy to carry, easy to open and comes out in sensible quantities when you squeeze it so despite its appearance there can be no complaints in terms of ease of use.
Does it work?
Thereís no point in going over the claims and expectations you may have from or about this sun cream as it doesnít boast any moisturising, age defying or wrinkle reducing properties; it is simply there to protect. And in all honesty, it does. I was ski-ing for seven days at altitudes of between 1000 and 3200 feet and I came away with little more than a slight sun blush. If I was using my typical factor 50 I wouldnít even have had that, but considering my low expectations this stuff really does work. Iíve found from experience that even ski-ing in the minus temperatures can give you a nasty sunburn despite how stupid that sounds; itís something to do with the altitude that you are at so even if you have a cold and biting wind at you the enture time you are still really exposed to the sun. The problem was multiplied on this holiday by the fact that we were ski-ing in temperatures of 20 degrees C; belting sun from the top of the mountain to the bottom and if you stayed still for more than a couple of minutes you started roasting. And I still only look sun kissed, nothing more. That has to be a measure of success.
The main downside that I have found is that the stuff is greasy. Really, really greasy. I donít have greasy skin and even two hours after applying it I could literally feel how greasy my skin had become. I donít suffer from spots on a usual basis either and yet after a week of using this I gained an impressive selection of small but noticeable and irritating spots across my face and upper chest are; needless to say this is where I was using the sun cream. My brother found the same problem on the bottom area of his tattoo that was uncovered and therefore required sun cream; like me he found he gained a large number of spots. Granted itís much better than sun burn but still irritating.The other potential issue is that the stuff is very sweet smelling and therefore a potential draw for flying critters like wasps and other nasties. Now I canít say this for certain as I have no scientific backing for my claims, but both me and my brothers girlfriend found that we had suddenly become insect magnetsÖand it canít be that we smelled sweet after a day on the mountains. Finally the lotion does claim that it is water resistant but I would be slightly unsure of that as the stuff seemed to run with a simple runny eye!
If I had the option I would not buy this stuff for myself and would still prefer to rely on the more expensive, high factor, branded products that donít leave my skin feeling clogged and greasy. However, if you are looking for a bargain sun lotion that does exactly what it says on the tin and no more this may well be for you. At £2.48 a bottle this is a lot cheaper that the £14.50 odd that I will usually shell out, and to be fair it does work. At the end of the day it depends on what you are looking for, and although this isnít quite up my street it will suit others perfectly for the price alone.
I have to admit I did chuckle at the recommendations on the back Ė not because itís not sensible advice but because of the way they were worded:
ĎDonít expose children and babies to direct sunlightí Now, I donít know if this is just me but Iím used to seeing that warning on medicines and chemicals that are likely to explode or do other funny things. This automatically caused the image of a child reacting to sunlight in a similar fashion to stick in my head and gave me a fair amount of hilarity.