To call my skin "pale" would be a huge understatement. Translucent? Ghostly? The Irish Girl Sunbathing Meme come to life? Those are all more accurate. While I'm fine with blinding everyone on the beach as soon as I take off my cover-up (click here and here for reference), I'm most definitely not okay with getting sunburned. Unfortunately for me, getting sunburned is as easy as standing in the sun unprotected for literally just five minutes. Five minutes, people.
My relationship with the sun has been a perilous one, to say the least. There was the time I thought an 8 SPF bottle of tanning oil would keep me safe during an all-day trip to the beach when I was 14 (I ended up in the hospital with sun poisoning). And I can't forget my many trips to the tanning salon when I was in college. I'd spray myself with sunscreen before I got in the beds . . . I was that clueless.
With my pale skin, auburn hair, and big freckles, my dermatologist was ready to kill me every time I walked into her office for my twice-yearly appointment with a tan, and I don't blame her. Luckily for both her sanity and my skin, my days chasing a sunkissed complexion (and a future melanoma diagnosis) ended, and my hunt for the perfect sunscreen began.
At this point I've tried almost every product in the book, and while I've seen some instances of success from brands like Dr. Jart and Blue Lizard, it wasn't until I tried Sun Bum's $15 Sunscreen Lotion in SPF 70 this June that I was finally able to go an entire day out at the beach with some friends without getting burned. When I got home later that night and realized the only marks on my skin were very minor tan lines, I nearly wept with excitement. I've never, ever in my life, been able to be at the beach without getting sunburned (unless I spend every single second I'm there under an umbrella, which gets really old, really fast). It was a Summer miracle!
Since then, Sun Bum's magical formula has kept me blissfully burn-free all day long, whether I was kicking it on a boat on the Fourth of July, or spending hours in the sun at Lollapalooza. I still make sure I wear a floppy hat and a long-sleeved cover-up when I can, but knowing I'm wearing a powerful sunscreen makes a huge difference.
The brand's motto, "Trust the Bum", is seriously no joke, and neither is what's inside the lotion. Not only does The Skin Cancer Foundation (SCF) officially recommend this Sun Bum product, but the sunscreen also enriches your skin with vitamin E (an antioxidant which helps to neutralize the free radicals that cause premature aging) and protects you from both UVA and UVB rays.
The sweatproof 70 SPF lotion is definitely on the thicker side, but it rubs in really well in my experience, and isn't greasy. The thicker quality also means it lasts a lot longer than others I've used. That said, you should still reapply every few hours, just to be safe. As an added bonus, it smells fantastic. My only criticism is that it might be a bit too heavy to wear on the face if it's going to be hot out. For those truly steamy days, I stick to Neutrogena's Ultra Sheer Dry Broad Spectrum Touch Sunscreen in 70 SPF for. Regardless, the Sun Bum doesn't leave my skin irritated or my pores clogged.
Whether you're pale like me, or simply in the market for a sunscreen that feels like silk but works like heavy-duty armor, I have no doubt this will be the answer to your Summer prayers — just ask my boyfriend, friends, and family members, who I attempt to get to use it anytime we step outside.