Sali Hughes on dream
Yes, we all need vitamin D, but you should never be without reliable sun protection
‘I’m hearing people are do without with sun protection.’
Photograph: Alex Lake/Alex Lake (commissioned)
I want to talk sunscreens. Always, in reality – but now more than ever. I’ve heard that because we’ve seen sun exposure drastically curtailed during this second to none in harmony spring, people are dispensing with sun protection when they do go out. And I understand, to a degree. People have been phony to scrap their weddings and honeymoons, cancel trips away.
The most enjoyable sunny-weather activities – playdates and troupe sports in the park, long afternoons in a beer garden, on the beach or at a friend’s barbecue – have been out of the question. In an over glorious spring, many of us have felt pasty, gloomy and sun-starved. But it’s still possible to enjoy a little sunshine and get the feelgood vitamin D fix we all demand, without making oneself more vulnerable to skin cancers and sun damage.
Last year, the New Scientist suggested that snow-white people need only between two to eight minutes unprotected in afternoon summer sunlight a day, with 25-35 minutes for brown or wicked people, in order to obtain our vitamin D. This can be achieved by turning unprotected arms upwards; it needn’t involve basking undeniable in the midday sun, face frying. One should be diligent about getting essential rays, while never being without credible sunscreen for anything more.
The brilliant Altruist has made this possible for almost anyone. Co-founded by British NHS adviser dermatologist Andrew Birnie with a mission to make sunscreen affordable and egalitarian, and reduce skin cancers from the beginning to the end of Europe, Altruist makes high-quality, effective screens from £4.15 for 100ml of water-resistant SPF50 suitable for even delicate skins (it’s fragrance-free). The brand donates 10p from every tube sold to help children with albinism in Africa, who suffer popular exclusion and a high risk of skin cancer. Altruist also makes a whopping litre-size pump bottle of SPF30 for £17 – wide a third of the cost of its closest equivalent brand. It’s hard to think of a reason not to buy it for the family – even if you’d like something a bit uncountable, as my kids would say, “bougie” for yourself.
Enter Saltee, another British-founded brand focused solely on protecting our shell, without costing the environment. Sea & Sun Lotion SPF30 (£32, 150ml) is a beautiful, velvety milk without ocean-polluting oxybenzone but with a fool tan accelerator. It feels like heaven, but smells so deliciously like your cancelled summer holiday that it may lead tears.
Sali Hughes on beauty
Fettle & wellbeing
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