I am all for that gorgeous sun-kissed look, but not if it means sacrificing my skin. I am far to protective of my skin to resort to tanning beds or sitting out in the sun until I look like a little raisin. I thought now would be as good a time as any to talk about sun safety and tanning and all. I know that probably sounds a little boring, but I don't feel that it is discussed enough! 

Don't get me wrong, I do love sitting outside and getting some vitamin D on my cheeks and all, but only if I have protection on, which will normally be a high factor sun cream. I burn very easily, as I am very fair. But I am a firm believer that everyone should wear sun cream, even if you don't believe you burn. You have probably heard me banging on about UVA and UVB rays many times before but I really want to hit this home. Even if you don't burn (count yourself lucky...) you are still subject to these nasty rays. The thing about these is that they speed up ageing and can cause some nasty stuff later on in life, so please, please, please get into the habit of using one on a regular basis- especially this time of year! 

One thing I believe very few people are aware of is what the star rating on sun cream actually means. And even fewer people realise what the factor means. 
When it comes to star ratings, they have recently changed it from a five star to a four star rating system. What this system tells you is how good the sunscreen is at blocking out UVA/B rays. Personally, I would not go for any sun cream below a three star rating- stick to three and four stars! 

When it comes to the factor, this is how much extra protection the cream gives you, on to of your natural skin protection. For example, factor 15 is 15x more protection, which filters roughly 93% of UVA/B rays, 30 is 30x more protection and will filter roughly 97% of rays. 

HOWEVER, no sun cream will filter out 100% of rays, so don't be brought into the con of thinking you need to buy factor 100 (and yes, this does apparently exist...). Also, very few people realise that there is very little difference between factor 30 and factor 50. There is roughly 0.5/1% difference in the amount factor 50 filters out- some food for thought! 

Now we have suncream out of the way, let's move onto what we are all probably here for- Fake tan! 
Because I don't want to sit out in the sun for hours on end, I will normally fake tan just to give my natural colour a little boost. Trust me, I have tried a fair few in my time...

I feel you probably haven't REALLY fake tanned until you have tried at least one of St Tropez's many products. Lucky for you I have tried three! First off is my personal favourite, the Every Day, gradual tan in Medium/ Dark. I really like their gradual tan as, like all of their products, it gives a really deep, natural colour that doesn't smell too much like fake tan. 
Their newest product is another everyday lotion, but this time is tinted so gives you some form of colour straight away after application, unlike the normal gradual tan. This is also very similar to their Self tanning spray. Although I did find their spray a lot darker, most likely because I got the dark by accident! That being said, I don't have anything bad to say about the product or the brand at all. The only thing I would say, is that the quality of the product is reflected in the price and you can quite easily pay around £15/£20 for a bottle of one of their tans! 

In the mid range is have my all time favourite brand- Bondi Sands. I literally love everything about this brand. Having tried both the gradual, everyday tan and the foam tan in light/ medium, I would say that they are really good value for money. Normally, you can expect to pay around £11 for a 375 ml bottle, but quite often they do gift sets around Christmas time in Superdrug (UK) so keep your eyes peeled! I got a Light foam, face lotion, gradual tan and a mitt for £12- amazing value! I also just LOVE the scent of their products as they smell so fresh and a lot like coconut, its a win win ladies and gents! 

At the lower end of the spectrum I have the Garnier Summer Body Sun-kissed lotion. Out of all of them I would say that this one sinks in the quickest, so is great for if you're in a hurry. It also has apricot extract in it, which is really moisturising on the skin, which is great for me as I can easily suffer from dry skin. One thing I would say about this one is be careful around the ankles, knees and elbows, it does have a tenancy to go a little orange around these areas. But, for only £2.74, you really can't go wrong- just make sure you take extra care at exfoliating those pesky rough areas. 

Hopefully this little post has given you some insight into the world of sun creams and tans, let me know how you get on. 
If you're interested in finding out more about sun creams and taking care in the sun, the website I used to gather my info is linked below. Make sure you stay sun safe this summer. x

Sun protection Plan: http://www.onemedical.com/blog/live-well/spring-has-sprung-the-best-spf-protection-plan-for-rain-or-shine/  
As always, I was not payed to write about these products and the opinions are 100% my own. x


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