Looking good in the sun!

Hey there,

How’s everyone? I received ¬†lots of messages last week from ladies asking about holiday fashion and tanning ideas. Wow, is it that time of the year already? I’m not too jealous of ye ladies heading away to warmer climates! ūüėé

So this evening I’ll answer the ladies who asked about tanning and prepping your skin for the sun.


January 2015 in Ko Phi Phi, Thailand…no filter! #amazingmemories

I am going to be very honest first and admit to using sun-beds in the past before I went away on holidays. When I say ‘using them’, ¬†I mean only a few times before holidays and only to get the very ‘pastey look’ off my skin. The last time I used a sun-bed was before my wedding in 2013 for 2 reasons…I didn’t want to wear tan on my wedding day (to avoid getting my dress stained) and I didn’t want to be pale as a ghost as I was heading away on honeymoon 2 days later. Now I want to be clear and let you know that I am certainly not advocating the use of sun-beds as they have very high potential to cause skin cancer and can accelerate the effects of ageing, such as wrinkling, sagging and broken blood vessels. ¬†It was a personal choice I made at the time.¬†Similar to cigarettes¬†and alcohol and all the other bad things we are told not to do, they are freely available –¬†¬†it’s up to each individual if they choose to use them, and of course I do regret it but that was something I chose to do at the time. My blog-posts are honest and transparent so there is no point telling you about all the products I’ve been using since I started going on sun holidays. I probably need a slap on the back of the hand for my boldness…but I’m thinking I’m not the only one who used them.

I am fortunate though that I do tan quickly when I am in the sun but unfortunate to find that tan leaves my skin very quickly on my return home…I can practically see it washing down the plug-hole after each shower! ūüôą

Nowadays (not that I am older, wiser and wrinklier!), I opt for a gradual self-tanning moisturiser¬†before I go away. I know alot of people choose a spray-tan before they head to the sun. I got one a couple of years ago before a sun holiday to Portugal, but never again. Between the heat of the sun and the chlorine of the pool and the sea salt, you can only imagine what I looked like after a few days – streak city! I would have relatively dry skin though, so if you have normal skin you won’t end up looking like me!

A few weeks before you head on holidays, I would recommend you use a body brush before you shower. This is used on dry skin. Brush in upward strokes towards the heart to circulate the blood flow. This will remove any old flaky skin too. When you jump into the shower use an exfoliator scrub which removes dead skin cells and any little lumps and bumps and will prep your skin. After your shower lash on lots of your favourite body moisturiser.

My scrub of choice is Tough Stuff Scrub by Cocoa Brown…I swear by this! Available in most pharmacies, supermarkets and Penneys.


Tough Stuff Scrub & Body Brush

My favourite gradual tanning product is: Cocoa Brown Gentle Bronze.

You apply a thin layer each night for about 3 days before your holiday¬† – you won’t be mega brown but you won’t be the obvious white Irish person on the beach either. You will have a lovely sun-kissed glow!


My fave gradual tanning product – Gentle Bronze by Cocoa Brown

Again similar to the body, I tan my face a few days before holidays too – I like to add a few drops of Clarins Radiance Golden Glow Booster to my normal moisturiser and that gives my skin a nice glow. Again, you’re not gonna look like an oompa loompa with this! Just remember one thing with body and face gradual tans…wash your hands after applying. Nothing worse than orange palms!


Add 2 drops to your normal moisturiser.

While on holidays I always use Factor 50 on my face in the sun РI already have sun spots on my skin from my years of baking in the sun (and from the sun-beds too) so the damage is already done, but I guess I am trying to prevent more. AS2

I use the Garnier Ambre Solaire BB Cream, Factor 50…I don’t wear make up during the day on holidays but I do like to cover all the imperfections and¬†believe me there’s a fair few! So while you are protecting your face with factor 50 you also feel like you have some coverage.

A floppy hat and a good pair of sunglasses are a necessity – Of course these will protect your eyes and your face from the UV rays…but also hide your tired eyes after a few too many late nights and cocktails!

I am prone to cold-sore break outs too when I’m in the sun or when stressed or tired. I have been using Clinique Broad Spectrum SPF 45 for the past few years when on holiday on my lips. I also take Lysine supplements before holidays too, which you can pick up in any health shop.


My favourite suncream is Piz Buin – it’s very moisturising and some bottles have built in a tan pro-longing agent in it too. It’s a little bit more expensive than the¬† other suncreams but definitely worth the investment. Sometimes they run offers on this brand in supermarkets and chemists – 2 for 1 etc. so keep your eyes open. Regarding which factor to use, it really depends how fair/dark your skin is, so if you are unsure ask the pharmacist in the chemist.


Last year I thought we would be clever heading to Thailand and I would buy our sun-cream out there.¬† After our luggage remained in Abu Dhabi for 2 days (not too stressful!!) we headed to the open air market to buy our suncream and some towels…not one of my better ideas – take it from me…never again. Let’s just say we weren’t the two ‘Pastey Paddies’, we were the two reddened lobsters! I’d honestly say there was zero factor in it! We spent 2 days putting pure Aloe Vera gel on each other and before you think ‘ooooh very sexy’, I can assure you it wasn’t!! haha

Anyway lesson learned there…stick to what you know and buy the branded sun-cream you are familiar with.

I hope this helps and if anyone has room in their suitcase for a little one…I’m ready for off!

Tanya x