Fab Friday style tip: slap on the sunscreen sister

Nikki Parkinson Beauty 48 Comments

I’ve got on my sunscreen high horse before. And I’ll get on it again. And again. And again.

I’m going to sound like I have a pole firmly up my buttock cheeks here but most people when they meet me for the first time do not believe that I am 39 40 42 oh, ok, I’m 44.  There, I’ve said it. I’m not going to scan my birth certificate here and upload it for you. You’re just going to have to take my word for it.

And while you are perhaps thinking, geeze, she’s a bit up yourself, isn’t she?, I’m not.

I’m just a living, breathing, on-going, scientific, skin experiment. The simple fact my research has uncovered thus far is this:

If you wear sunscreen and resist baking your face as a teenager and 20-something, your skin will reward your due diligence by not resembling a face-shaped leather bag when you try to slip quietly and un-noticed into your 40s.

In my deluded mind my skin is as good as this Country Road model. I do love her hat ($49.95) but don't think I'll be ready for that bikini ($49.95) anytime soon.

In my deluded mind my skin is as good as this Country Road model. I do love her hat ($49.95) but don’t think I’ll be ready for that bikini ($49.95) anytime soon. If you are, you can find it at www.countryroad.com.au

It’s not all been smooth sailing in my sunscreen research laboratory.

At the risk of really sounding like an old chook terribly sensible mature woman, I have to say that, as a kid, sunscreens were limited at best, dodgy at worst.

I remember many a summer holiday being slathered in a clear gel that actually stung on contact. I was red before even being exposed to the sun. Our annual holiday to Surfers Paradise included driving past the Coppertone billboard that showed a dog biting down the swimsuit bottom to show off the suntan marks … of a toddler! My brothers and I wore t-shirts (none of those new-fangled lycra things) in the water but only after we’d already been in there for a couple of hours, were burned, had a rash on our stomachs from our surf mats and wanted to keep catching dumpers.

Mum was working with the resources she had at hand.

Thankfully those resources are much improved. So you and I have absolutely no excuse not to slap it on.

This video and post is dedicated to the big guns in my sunscreen arsenal. We live at the beach. I ain’t no beach bunny so you won’t find me reaching for anything but a 30+ for a morning at the beach.

(Oh, and if you’re reading this in your Google reader or iPad reader app, the video might not show up – clickety click over here if you’d like to hear me getting all evangelical about my fave sunscreens.)

Shopping suggestions (as mentioned in the video)

Styling You recommends these sunscreens

Styling You recommends these sunscreens


 1. Le Tan Sports Gel SPF 30+ (110ml) $10.99 | 2. Le Tan Coconut Oil SPF 30+ (125ml) $10.99 | 3. Invisible Zinc Tinted Daywear Anti-Ageing Facial Moisturising Sunscreen (50g) $32 | 4. Neutrogena Sport Face SPF 30+ (70ml) $14.99 | 5. NIVEA Swim & Play SPF 30+ (150ml) $13.95 | 6. Ella Bache Great 30+ Sportsbloc (130ml) $39

Do you have a favourite sunscreen that you always stock up on for summer? Did you suffer at the hands of dodgy sunscreen as a kid? And please tell me you’re no longer baking your face in the sun. Please?

 

Comments 48

  1. I never would have guessed your age. Never! I totally thought that we were around the same age.

    You’re a few years younger than my Mum, and she was a sunbaker. She’s had a facelift and many peels – but it just shows me what looking after your skin can do.

    AMAZING. x

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      Oh, Chantelle … that’s very kind of you to say. And yes, I’ve lived at or near the beach all my life so haven’t missed out on any of that. Protecting my skin has definitely helped as has good skincare. The only “extra” stuff I’ve had is some botox around my eyes (haven’t had any since March this year) but that won’t change the look of your skin’s texture, anyway. x

  2. I have spent many many hours in the dermatology clinic, sitting next to other dermatology patients. The one patient who has stuck in my mind was a 60 year old man I met a few years ago. He and I compared war stories about our skin. He had been a tradie all his life, since age 14. The backs of his hands needed skin grafts due to such severe melanomas. And then, when his grafts finally took to his hands, the cancer reappeared and he was sitting next to me at the hospital to see about getting new grafts. He wished he had taken more care in the sun.

    I can’t wear sunscreen, but i always cover up with long sleeves and pants and a hat.

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  3. Nikki, there is absolutely NO WAY you are only a couple of year younger than my mother.
    You are 33 if anyone asks. End of story. Ok?

    I am desperately worried about aging. Not that i’m scared to get older, but my mother looks about 10 years older than she is. Everyone is constantly telling me I look like her, and it’s really disheartening.
    I like a moisturiser/spf combo for the mornings regardless of what it looks like outside. What I’m wondering is, can I use a “normal” i.e. not specialised for the face, sunscreen without that possibly damaging my face? (I am thinking in the way of oilyness, for someone who still suffers regular breakouts).
    And is an SPF15+ enough for your face or should I really be looking into a 30+ or higher with bad genetics on my side?

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      30+ is always best but if you’re wearing SPF 15+ and it’s mostly incidental – not a beach visit, you’ll be ok. I tend to go for face specific for everyday but when we’re doing a beach visit and I’m swimming, I’ll use the tough guns – and just cleanse afterwards. The neutrogena and Ella Bache ones above are not too thick going on.

      And god love you, yes, I’m 33 if anyone asks 😉

  4. Nikki,
    I completely agree with you, you know I am totally pale face,biggest Le Tan fan ever! I love the oil-I can finally wear oil and smell wonderful and protect my skin.
    People always ask me about my skin,sunscreen since I was a kid and I swim in a hat!
    Keep getting on that ‘sunscreen high horse’!
    xx

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      It is possible to have a zinc sensitivity, Kim-Marie. It happened to me with an Ella Bache product on holidays a couple of years ago, breaking out in and itchy, red rash all over my face and decolletage so I’m always careful with zinc products. This one has been ok to date!

  5. I’ve just turned 38 but apparently I look younger. Even my beautician, who gets up close and personal with my pores, thought I was 32. I find this out when I talk about my Boyo who is now 7 and a half, and people comment that I must have been a young mum, thinking I had him in my 20s.

    I almost always wear a hat, and I always, always, always wear sunscreen. I don’t suntan and didn’t as a child either.

    I learnt from Zoe Foster recently via Amazing Face that my face stops at my boobs (that is a serious case of double chinnage!), so I’ve been much more careful about looking after my décolletage. Rosehip oil is a cheap way of keeping that delicate skin cared for. I swear by my Ultraceuticals SPF30+ moisturiser.

    I also like the aerosol spray version of the Neutrogena one, which is so easy for misting over my skin on the run, and the pump spray version of the Nivea Kids one. I think it is almost identical to the ALDI version too. Cheap enough to buy a roll on version for my son’s schoolbag and not care if he loses it (because he does!).

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  6. Gotta have that hat! Thanks for the great range of options Nikki. I use Inigo SPF30+ which is lovely and light, but very heavy on the wallet. I’m going to check out the Neutrogena Sports Face. I love the tips I find on your site. Thanks x

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  7. Want. That. Hat. (Oh, and the bikini too!)

    Looking after your skin is so important! And if I may add my two cents… a high antioxidant diet will do wonders protecting your skin from the sun too 🙂

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  8. Great and timely advice. We hit 33 degrees in Sydney this week (back in layers today) but it caught many of us by surprise.

    Neutrogena Sport Face has my dermatologists tick of approval so hence it sits on my dressing table so it gets applied every day as I moisturise other parts of the body.

    Totally agree Jacki re applying to the back of the hands – I can see the age spots slowly appearing as we speak. I’d add that make sure you use sunscreen on your decolletage – it’s another age-ing give away and an area that’s always exposed (unless you’re a wiggle!)

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  9. I’ve worn sunscreen & moisturizer since I was 16 and can notice the difference in my skin v’s my sun loving friends. Proud to say my kids have never had sunburn. I’m one of those cover up, wear your hat & sunglasses, put your sunscreen on kind of Mums. Hooray for spray tans!

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      Just back from having my pre-Melbourne Cup spray tan 😉 And yes, I’m that kind of mum too. My daughter’s skin is even paler than mine and so beautiful. I’d love her to realise that and keep it that way.

  10. The Coppertone billboard was near the “Pink Poodle” wasn’t it? Burleigh Heads was our family holiday and sunscreen was an afterthought. Then, in my teenage years Coconut Oil was the weapon of choice. Now I put sunscreen on my girls every day before they go to school, and at least an SPF 15 on my face and wipe any excess on the back of my hands. I agree with Jacki’s tip. When we are at the beach I go for the longest water resistant/time protection and the highest SPF. Hamiltons is generally great. There is an excellent high end price sunscreen called Actinica, it feels a bit sticky putting it on but absorbs into the skin immediately, has a pre-measued dose and is one of the highest UVA protections around.

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      I think it was in the main part of Surfers and you just drove a little further and saw the Pink Poodle. We holidayed at Mermaid Beach (in a dodgy shack on which now probably sits a mansion!) and then at the Florida Car-O-Tel at Miami. Boy did I think we’d moved up in the world 😉
      Thanks for your product tips too.

  11. My childhood was spent as a typical Aussie kid. Outside in the pool or at the river. But I do remember always being lathered in suncream. (Thanks Mum). And it was always Aquasun 15+. The smell of that one brings back my childhood. 🙂

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  12. Wasn’t Jodie Foster the Coppertone girl? I used to love seeing that sign as a little person coming down for our annual holiday at the beach from way out west. And the Pink Poodle sign too. I always wanted to stay there, but never have.
    My mother used to plaster some thick brown gunk that looked like heavy foundation from Elizabeth Arden all over my face any time I went outside, and at primary school I was always teased about wearing makeup. Plus she sent me to boarding school in Toowoomba as the climate was better for my skin than the harsh sun in Brisbane or Townsville (the quality of the education didn’t feature!). I can thank her now for having sufficiently good skin that people think I am 10 years younger than my real age.
    Now I routinely put on sunscreen in the morning – love the Danné Montague-King range and especially the trans dermal sunblock. At the beach I use roll-on kids milks on my face as the fumes don’t sting my eyes like most of the other ones do.
    Great post, Nikki. We all need to be reminded of the importance of sun protection in Australia.

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      Thea, mums were always doing stuff we were embarrassed about but mostly they new best I realised when I became a mum! And yes, I always wanted to stay at the Pink Poodle – it always looked fancy. Closest we got was the motel next door but I could see the sign 😉

  13. Sunscreen has absolutely SAVED my skin, no doubt about it. I’ve been wearing it every day for the last 20 years & rarely get picked at having been around the sun 35 times. I’ve also spent most of my life living in outback NSW & some on the coast – AND I have very fair skin.
    It is the Number 1 anti-ageing product in my book!
    Am using Sothy’s tinted moisturiser with 30+ at the moment, but have always love Ella Bache’s sunscreens, very easy to wear.

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  14. The Cancer Council ones are great too. I am high risk for skin cancer. Pale as well. Dad had a melanoma at age 25 and Mum has had three plastic surgeries on her face because of large skin cancers that had to be taken off her face and left such huge craters (to be brutal about it). She’s fine, but every year has a peel that burns all the surface cancers out of her face and she can’t go outdoors for a week. I am also married to a redhead with freckles and our kids are borderline transluscent, so sunscreen is second nature for us.

    I even used to put it on my baps when I lived in Spain! 😉

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  15. Most people say I have good skin too Nikki (for a 47 year old) but I put it down to European genes. I was forever suffering from a sunburnt nose, arms and decolletage for about 16 years when I played softball every summer here in Brisbane. I was covered in zinc cream too. The B Collection by Bloom products I won from you have a SPF 15 pure mineral foundation powder which is just brilliant. I love it.

    And you look fabulous for your age!

    Anne xx

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      Thanks Anne … and yes, growing up in Queensland it was impossible not to get a dose of sunburn (especially as the sunscreens were not as effective back then). Glad the product’s working out for you!

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  16. Sunscreen EVERYDAY!!

    The australian sun is so harsh, my whole family don’t have sun spots or freckles and they don’t wear sunscreen, they look super young (gahhh haattee!!) and are in the sun everyday, in Malaysia.

    Since I came to Australia I have noticed little freckle like things on my shoulders, went to a dermatologist who said they were the beginnings of sun spots.
    DAMN YOU AUSTRALIAN SUN AND SKY WITH NO OZONE LAYER!!!!

    People who don’t use sunscreen are asking for a burning (geddit geddit?? :D)

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  17. My clients used to call me the sunscreen Nazi because I would harp on at them about having to use it daily and REAPPLY! They’d happily spend thousands of dollars on facials and IPL to improve their skin then go out and sunbake!! A lot of dollars and not much sense sometimes.

    What I found the most annoying was the UVB only sunscreens that were available in the UK that people would bring back here thinking they were getting a “safe tan” because they spent hours in the sun to look tanned but didn’t burn. No such thing as a safe tan and it’s the UVA that damages skin more.

    See what I mean, when I get talking about sunscreen I go overboard 😛

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  18. Hi Nikki, thanks for the timely reminder for applying sunscreen. I got into the pool yesterday afternoon with the kids before realising that I had not applied sunscreen. I really noticed how my face especially felt without protection. BB Cream is my “go to” for everyday with spf 15.
    My kids have quite olive skin (a gift from their father) and I use the Invisible Zinc tinted daywear – medium when they are riding their horses. This is great for my 14 year old son who suffers from acne as it seems to cover the redness without looking like makeup.

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      BB cream is my go-to day cream too (and I’ve usually got a mineral powder over the top). It’s our love of the beach that I have to be really careful of.
      Great tip about Invisible zinc tinted daywear being great for over the redness of acne!

  19. Never in a gazillion years would I have guessed your age, I had you pegged for SEVERAL years younger. You are living proof that taking preventative measures works a treat! I hope my diligence pays off too. Not only do I slap on sunscreen for extended outdoor time, I also use a daily face moisturiser containing sunscreen.

    My tip: Apply a daily dollop of sunscreen to the back of your hands. It’s often one of the first places where the tell-tale signs of ageing start to appear.

    JJ x

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      Thanks Jacki … straight to the top of my Christmas card list for you! And yes, you’re spot on on the sunscreen on the hands thing. It’s something I’ve only done in recent years and really wish I’d done since I started driving a car!

  20. Great post on raising awareness of skin cancer prevention Nikki. As you say there is no excuse not to Slip, Slap, Slop, Seek and Slide.

    Thought your readers might like to know of another great resource to help with skin protection – The SunSmart App – includes Vit D Tracker, SunSmart UV Alert and also soon to be added a Sunscreen Calculator – http://bit.ly/tlbDrx

    Pale is the new tan!

    Ann
    Cancer Council Victoria (SunSmart)

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