So, the Sun is out and the good people of Ireland are smiling. That is of course until the novelty wears off. I find it is a novelty that we fast grow tired of in Ireland. I believe it is in the main part because we are not equipped to handle this kind of heat and we are even less prepared! By day 3 the sunburn has gotten sunburnt, the summer dresses and short sleeved shirts suitable for work attire are now all in the wash and we are facing into yet another day of beautiful heat. This blog was inspired by my Facebook timeline a few weeks back when we had our mini heatwave. Many of my friends suddenly turned agin the sun with pictues of Tangle Twisters in the park at lunch and 99’s on the beach being replaced instead with pictures of sunburn and insect bites. I have quite a few sun essentials in fact maybe double this but here are my current top 5 for active outdoor exercise….

 

1.  La Roche-Posay – Smooth Lotion for Sun Allergies

Factor 50 Sensitive Skin SPF

With my fair Irish skin I really struggle in the sun. If I do sit in it its for the Vitamin D and relaxation not for a tan! I have suffered from prickly heat or “sun allergy” for as long as I can remember and it’s been getting progressively worse with it not only ruining my holidays but sunny days at home too! That was until last year when my local pharmacist suggested this sun cream that is specifically designed for people with sun allergies. I have tried plenty of other sensitive care and high factor products but none have worked as effectively as this. Since using La Roche-Posay I have been able to enjoy the sun rash free and even workout and sweat (which is the key culprit in prickly heat) in the sun. It lives in my kit bag all year round now.

 

2. Solait – Mattifying Face Fluid

Solait SPF

 

I find most sun creams clog up my facial pores, even the lovely La Roche-Posay above. I just find it too heavy on my face which thankfully has escaped the prickly heat episodes. Therefore, I decided to try this Superdrug own brand lighter lotion which promised a mattifying effect. I’ll be honest I think matte is perhaps a bit ambitious for my already oily skin but after a run in the sun I return home much less shiny than before and I don’t suffer from the post exercise spots that I used to when using other lotions.

 

3. Soltan – Head & Hair SPF

 Hair & Scalp Mist

This is another staple that I like to keep in my kit bag and hand bag alike. If you have thick hair you may never hae experience the feeling of a sunburnt scalp and let me assure you that makes you very lucky indeed. There is nothing worse than running a brush through hair with sunburn underneath not to mention the “dandruff” issues when it starts to peel. A quick mist of this over the hair does the trick every time. Perfect for outdoor yoga, sports or runs where wearing a hat may not be an option!

 

4. Piz Buin – In Sun Lipstick

Perfect for outdoor runs

Another sun essential for me has to be lip balm. Actually for me its a year round essential but once the brighter weather comes about I like to switch to a brand with SPF in it for ultimate protection. This little pocket sized stick from Piz Buin is absolutely perfect with a nice creamy texture to boot. As they are so cheap it’s easy to pick up a few and throw them in your handbag, kitbag, car etc. I put mine in the tiny zip portion on the back of most Nike Running bottoms so I can top up as I need while out on a long walk/run.

5. Opia  – Citronella Scented Candle

Pennys Citronella Candle

So admittedly this is not a very portable option but works wonders and is great for just sitting out in the sun or if doing yoga practise or an outdoor activity in a set space. Insects hate the smell of citronella and thus tend not to land within proximity of it. I like this as it is a non-toxic way of avoiding bites and doesn’t affect my kitties if they are sitting out with me. If you want a more portable option you can get wrist bands rich with citronella buttons on them or citronella bug repellant wipes but you skin may not love them! Also, it is wort noting that it is believed people with low B12 levels have much tastier blood so tend to be more susceptible to bites. If you get bitten regularly perhaps an uptake in your B12 or a supplement may help – check with your pharmacist or doctor first of course!