Ah suncare, where to start? The younger version of me would often dread this drawn-out step but I've since realised its importance against slowing up lines, wrinkles and all those ageing dangers. Being fair haired and light eyed I seriously have to slap the stuff on and my daily face now gets some sort of shield in the form of a moisturiser or base, then when the real rays come out to play I bring out the big guns, body and all - though it may still be an effort, this bunch make application a breeze, offer both UVA and UVB protection, and pass the test for the prevention of pinky limbs ...
A Summer month staple is La Roche Posay's Anthelios XL Melt-in Cream SPF 50 (£20.95), a broad-spectrum, high protection for dry and sun sensitive skins in particular. Now even past factor fifties have left me red-raw faced - oh yes, things don't get much more pasty pale than me - and broken out in blemishes, but not with this number, note the paraben and perfume free formula. Lightweight, water resistant and a moisturising, melt-in texture, this far from greasy cream does exactly what it says on the tube whilst preventing future sun-induced dark spots at the same time.
Clinique's City Block Sheer SPF 25 (£16) can be used alone or as a primer for further face bases, there's a slight hint of tint upon application but blends out into more of a dewy glow. Not only does it shield the from the sun, its oil-free formula also takes care of smog, smut, smoke and all that city crud *chucks in case for NY*.
There's some serious science behind Institut Esthderm's suncare but to simplify, they skip the SPF ratings and encourage your skin to do the work, building up protection from the inside by strengthening its self defense system and the outside by filtering rays - even for my frazzle-prone flesh it really works. A quick all-over spritz of their speedily absorbed Adaptasun Tanning Spray (£37) protects in normal to extreme heat - sprayed on daily in the lead up to jetting off gets the melanin going and preps skin to adapt naturally.
Nothing does the job quite like Riemann's P20 (£13.99), my beach bag companion for the past few Summers. Liquidy in consistency, quick drying and 10 hours of proven protection - slapped on once morning time and a day spent in the sea with no need for top ups leaves me with slightly sunkissed skin which gradually builds up to a natural looking tan minus the beetroot hue burns.