Sun’s Out!

The crazy weather apocalypse left Belgium yesterday, the sun is out and it’s June in two days! Almost nothing else (positive – as the negative news do keep pouring in) newsworthy has happened, except maybe for the Friends-reunion, which has meant a lot of bingeing the last days.

I started collecting a stash of SPF well before the weather finally turned reasonable. Despite barely stepping outside some days, I still wear at least SPF30 on my face at all times. Now that summer has arrived, I’ve switched to SPF50. It’s been trial and error to find a cream that doesn’t stink, block or leave a white film, but I’ve narrowed down to a couple of brands I find to be doing a decent job.

Starting with error, let’s go with Dennis Gross DRx SPF50 that’s designed to prevent dark spots. It’s a great cream to use on the beach (haha, what beach) I’m sure, but in the more domestic situations ie. work, it leaves a slightly white film and pills under makeup. So it’s a bit on the high-maintenance side for a daily suncream, but on the other hand it does a great job with protecting the skin. Therefore I’ve taken to apply it on my neck and décolletage, which for me are very sun-sensitive areas.

For a fraction of the price of the above, Nuxe has a beautiful Crème Fondante SPF50 that has the signature Nuxe-scent, is great alone or under makeup and is an excellent all-round SPF. A very warm recommendation. It also says it will protect the skin from dark spots, but given the sun has only been out for like 15 minutes at the time of writing, I don’t have empirical evidence of that yet.

Caroline Hirons has provided excellent public service on Instagram by reviewing high-SPF creams this month. Hankering to try something new and based on her raves, I ordered the Australian brand Ultraviolette SPF50 for face, and promptly fell in love. The cream almost has a kind of pearly sheen, glides on like a dream, is surprisingly moisturising, and really does an overall good job. In addition the smell is pleasant, ie. not Hawaiian Tropic. Given that the summer has only just arrived, I believe I’ll try out the other creams in the range as well.

I also ordered their lip balm – it’s SPF50 and really has me wonder why there are so few such products available. Traditional suncream brands often include chapstick-style lip protection (remember those chalky, yellow sticks that came in a tube attached to a turquoise cord so that the whole thing could be carried around one’s neck?), but it’s far less common among other cosmetics labels. Same with hand creams.

My Ultraviolette-lipbalm is the tinted version (in Rose), and again, nothing negative to comment. It says on the tube that the cream won’t make one’s hair sticky when windy, which I suppose is targeted information for surfer-babes who reside on Bondi Beach. I suppose it can also be applied to the frequent Belgian gale-force winds. (The texture is very nice as it’s sheen without indeed being gloopy/glossy, which, if one were to channel the celebrities du jour ie. Jennifers Aniston and Lopez circa 2000, is of course required, enter Lancome Juicy Tubes RIP.)

Then I also got a spray-can by Vichy, which I suppose can be very handy for daily protecting delicate body parts frequently exposed to sun, such as wrists/hands, back of the neck and ankles.

With SPF50 being reapplied multiple times daily, it basically has meant the return of the double-cleansing. There was a bit when I slipped out of manically scrubbing my face, especially when I wasn’t wearing any makeup (which makes it most of the past year). I do find oil to be most effective with SPFs, with oil-to-milk- type of hybrids being favourites.

Other than marvelling at the sun (from the shade), I’ve taken much delight on how the early aughts are back – what with Rachel & Ross being an international conversation topic again, and, I can barely contain my excitement, it seems that J.Lo and Ben Affleck are an item again, and that’s honestly the only news I care about right now. It’s almost as good as the desperate gossip about Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt last year but better, because it might be actually true.
So yeah, hot middle-aged summer, bring it on.

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