Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Best SPFs - Tried & Tested ft Ambre Solaire, L'Occitane, Nuxe, Shiseido & Vichy (Selfie Warning)

It's a well known fact (it is!) that I go through an awful lot of preparation and devote a lot of time to trialling products before a full review. When the summer launches, consisting mainly of new sun protection and SPF skincare began to roll around in April, I knew there was nothing for it than to gather up some Gorgebags and hop on a jet plane to the sun. It's not an easy job but someone has to do it, right? 

First up we had to find some sunshine - Aaah 33 degrees of Majorcan sunshine? 'at'll do!

Garnier Ambre Solaire Dry Mist: Factor 20 Brilliant for the beach!
A new one from the Garnier laboratories, Dry Mist is available in 3 Factors and what one might call 'a can of witchcraft'. The tiny spray nozzle dispenses a fine transparent, delicately scented, mist that feels dry to the touch almost immediately. 

Non sticky and formulated with mattifying powders that leave a satin finish on the skin, this invisible SPF soaked in within moments and left my poor Momma baffled. She's a big believer in SPF being alabaster white in order to be doing any sun protecting. Each time she sprayed it was echoed with 'Can't be, CAN'T be'. It can, it could and it's pretty bloomin' good!

Nuxe Sun Delicious Cream for Face
The new suncare range from luxury brand Nuxe is delicious by name and delicious by nature. My pick of the SPF crop for this sun holiday had to be the Delicious Cream for Face (yep, really). Formulated and scented with sunflower, water flower and carob oil, this rich SPF lotion is a joy to apply and reapply and reapply, which is handy at factor 30 as you'll need to do it quite a bit through the day. 

I found myself alternating this with Shiseido Factor 50 as I'm plagued with pigmentation but it never once left my mála and I now have a pretty decent sunkissed glow because of it. Alcohol and paraben free I found it didn't clog my pores or become too heavy on the skin like some facial SPFs can. It's a deliciously scented winner. 

Best SPFs, Jenipapo, Loccitane, Sunshine, Holiday Creams
L'Occitane's new Jenipapo Protecting Body Jelly Milk
Another new release, the L'Occitane Jenipapo Body Jelly Milk is an SPF 20 and available in their Made in Brazil collection. Designed for the women in Brazil, living in hot and humid climates, this nourishing body milk was a joy to use, the SPF was just a sunshiney plus. 

Formulated with shea butter and the Jenipapo extract from the sun worshiping Brazilian tree of the same name, it feels more like a body treatment than an SPF. It soaks in quickly, leaves no sticky residue and lightly scented the skin with the smell of bright florals. Having used a Piz Buin spray, Adam used this to cover a mole on his shoulder blade a second time, we could actually see the white ring of protection that evening as he changed for dinner. Jenipapo, you're a keeper. 

Vichy Suncare Oil
This beautifully scented oil from Vichy is another that you'd be hard pressed to believe is an SPF at all. It possesses all of the Vichy sun care goodness though, just in a silky soft oil solution.

Containing broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection, this oil is also fortified with Vichy Thermal Spring Water (another sunshine favourite that occupied our Mallorcan fridge for the week). This is the one that Momma threw in her mála more often than any other - her alabaster worries clearly abated after Ambre Solaire. 

Ambre Solaire Wet Skin
Another newbie from Garnier this year is Ambre Solaire's Wet Skin. This is pretty big news for those that love to swim on their holliers or those that like to sit with their legs in the pool trying not to gawp at the gorgeous girls on their own holidays *ahem*. 

Non greasy and almost as invisible as its Dry Mist compadre, Wet Skin is very water resistant and can be applied directly to wet skin (hence the name). While the scent on this one was too 'alcoholic' for me, the lads absolutely loved it. We didn't even get to the end of the week and it was all but used up. They spent a lot of time in and around the water. #vantagepoints

Shiseido Expert Sun Aging Protection Lotion Plus - Factor 50
So protective, it watches for sharks, while I sip sangria!
I hadn't realised Shisiedo were number one for sun care in the US, had you? Having used two of their products this week I have no notion why they aren't battling for the top spot on Irish soil too. This Protection Lotion was a manna for our skins this week and always the fall back when the sun was at it burniest. Like a protective, dependable veil for the skin. 

Whiter than any of our other picks, what with the higher SPF, this lotion took slightly more time to apply but felt nourishing and comforting while doing so. Light enough to be used as a make up base, this is one I'll be repurchasing for a long time to come. And see their complementing SPF foundation?! BLAHHDY LOVE IT, you'll have to wait for the SPF make up post for more on that though. Soz. 

SPF'd up but you'd never guess for our 'in the sea' selfie
Whether you're jetting off to sunshiney climates or catching your rays here on home soil, the importance of SPF can't be overstated but you don't need me to wag my finger and tell you that. These 6 iterations won't set you wrong if you're looking to make a purchase, it's just a shame* we had to go to so much trouble** to fully test the blighters out. 

Tell us, what's your SPF du jour? Do you have a brand you go back to again and again? 

* unbridled joy
**absolute feckin' pleasure 

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