This summer’s bursts of decent weather have proved one thing about Irish people and it’s that we can’t be trusted in the sun.
These days, we all should know better, but we still get scalded. With that in mind, then, and conscious that, despite all the sage advice, great protection products and good intentions, sunburn still happens, we have some salves for your skin.
Some of the reasons we get silly in the Irish sunshine are obvious. We see it rarely, and the sunburn often happens while we’re trying to decide if the sun will be hanging around long enough for it to be worth slathering on the sun cream. Daft, sure, but understandable, though the same cannot be said for the scaldings we suffer in foreign climes. We know the sun is there for the day, for the week, or for the fortnight when we go on holiday, yet so many of us get burnt to a crisp.
It can happen to anyone, though our sympathy is scant for the repeat offenders, but the holiday can be saved. If the sun protection has been skipped, then slap on these salves for body, face, lips and hair and, please, learn a lesson.
BEST OVERALL La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5, €7.50, pharmacies nationwide
This balm has proved such a hit that they have launched this travel size this summer, a 40ml tube that is sufficient for any epidermal emergency. With shea butter, glycerine, anti-inflammatory panthenol and also an antibacterial ingredient, it can be used even on burnt or broken skin and it will cover the adults and the kids alike. “Sadly, we had some sunburn, on which this proved effective recently,” said one panellist. “It’s soothing without being greasy, which meant that all my family tolerated it.”
BEST FACE SAVER Trilogy Very Gentle Calming Serum, €29.95, Arnotts; selected pharmacies and health stores nationwide
This serum is not designed for sunburnt skin, but it works well on it. It contains soothing aloe vera and sweet almond oil, but also poria cocos extract, which is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and lends the product its white, milky appearance. A little goes a long way. “The serum’s ability to reduce redness is remarkable,” a panellist said. “It not only soothes, but also seems to create a barrier to further aggravation.”
BEST HAIR HELPER Aveda sun care after-sun hair masque, €24.50, Brown Thomas; House of Fraser, Dundrum Town Centre, D16; selected spas and salons nationwide
You’ll need to be fast to catch the limited seasonal supply of this hair mask in a travel-size tube (€6.50), but the full-size tube will cover a break of a week or a fortnight’s duration. The sun can play havoc with your hair and wreck a salon colour, but this is full of nourishing oils to replenish tresses. “The pineapple-ish fragrance is lovely,” said a panellist. “My hair was smooth on holiday and didn’t need a blow-dry to banish frazzled frizz.”
BEST LIP LOVER Lanolips Lip Ointment With Colour SPF 15 in Sunshine, €9.95, see www.lanolips.com
Lips — like nipples, you should be warned — are highly susceptible to sunburn, and if you burn either, it’s extra uncomfortable. Sun protection should be applied to your lips; something that’s easily done when you’re applying sun cream to your face, but a post-sun product will help, too. This lanolin-based product is soothing and healing and the cute coral colour is a winner. “Between a balm and a lip gloss, this is a brilliant all-rounder in terms of before and after the sun,” said one panellist.
There’s no denying that this is an expensive indulgence. With extract of camellia and Madagascan blue ginger — which Chanel says will help the skin to build its moisture reserves and flood it with antioxidants. It feels cool and fresh but, more than other facial sprays, there is a perceptible moisturising action, too. “Oh, this is lovely, with its silky sensation and the fresh scent,” said a panellist. “A pep for my parched skin.