Monday, 19 July 2010

The perils of sun cream

Summer is well and truly here. The shades are on, the layers are off, and everyone is in a decidedly better mood – or they were until England was knocked out of the World Cup anyway. The parks are packed and the beer gardens are bursting. Happy days.

But, yes, I’m afraid I have something to be grumpy about. No, I’m not going to complain that it’s too hot – if the sun were to suddenly disappear it would no doubt be all my fault. I’m not even going to moan about summer telly – even without the footie we now have Channel Four and its sister channels going Big Brother bonkers, thankfully for the last time.

What I truly hate about summer – or more specifically, sunny weather – is sun cream. I hate it. But I can’t live without it. You see, without a decent amount of SPF I would shrivel up like a rasher of streaky bacon that’s been left under the grill for too long. At this time of year, I truly envy those around me will lovely dark skin who can get away without protection, or at least get by with a light coating of factor 15. Not me. I’m slathering it on every morning before work, again in the middle of the day if I am out of the office, and topping it up before making my way home. So by the time I get home I resemble one of those triple-cooked chips. So sexy!

Then, being a resident of lovely London, I have to put up with the layer of grime that sticks to my tacky limbs whenever I step outdoors. So whenever I re-apply I am basically massaging dirt into my skin. Not any old triple-cooked chip, you see, but one liberally seasoned with muck. Lovely! And yes, I have seen the adverts for all these wonderful sunscreens that are invisible, non-sticky, non-greasy. And yes, I have tried some of them. The verdict? So far I have failed to see any difference. Maybe more of a roast potato than a chip, but still not quite the look I was after. I did try those one-application-a-day versions a couple of years ago too. All very well and good, but you still need to re-apply every six hours or so, and they are even thicker and gloopier than their counterparts. Yummy.

I’m sure someone reading this will tell me about a super brand that does exactly what it says on the tin. I’m also sure that the said product, if it actually does live up to its reputation, has a hefty price tag to match. So if you are fair like me and want to stay looking fresh and frisky rather than frazzled and filthy this summer, you’ll have to put paying off your summer holiday on hold. Or just stay indoors and watch crap telly. Read more by Shelly.