My Holiday Sunscreen wardrobe

I hate packing for holidays and find it particularly challenging when I am travelling to a climate that is the opposite to what we are experiencing at home.  It is really difficult to picture yourself wearing short sleeves, sunnies and a sunhat when you are currently dressed in boots, thick knits, scarves and beanies.

Such was my dilemma when I was packing for our recent trip to Italy and the UK.

What wasn’t difficult was knowing that I would have to be sunsmart.

I wear sunscreen all year round, but knew that I would have to be extra vigilant heading to Italy which was experiencing a very long and hot summer.

Temperatures in Rome and Florence in August/September are normally low to mid 20’s but we didn’t experience anything under 32 for the 2 1/2 weeks we were there.  It wasn’t just hot, it was humid.

I am really happy to report though that I did not get one hint of sunburn.

I am a huge advocate of layering my products and believe that this was the key.

So, what did I use?

FACIAL SUNSCREEN – Cetaphil – Suntivity SPF30 rrp $15.99

Cetaphil Suntivity SPF30

I am a HUGE fan of the Suntivity Hydrating Lotion.  I am really, really fussy when it comes to the sunscreen I put on my face as I find it difficult to find one that doesn’t leave me feeling greasy, smell strongly of sunscreen, or leave the tell-tale white mask.  I also like my sunscreen to play nicely with my foundation.

I was introduced to the Cetaphil Suntivity sunscreen at a National Pharmacies trial team event last year where we were asked to trial products ranging from sunscreen, skincare, perfume, body products – to name a few.

Since then I have incorporated it into my daily routine and my skin has been loving it.  It absorbs easily, has no tell tale sunscreen smell, doesn’t leave a greasy film or a white cast and works beautifully with my foundation.  I HIGHLY recommend it.

MOISTURISER – Elizabeth Arden Prevage  Ultra Protection Anti-aging Moisturiser with sunscreen rrp $170 50mL

Elizabeth Arden Prevage Moisturiser

I have been using this moisturiser on and off for the last 3 years after being introduced to it as part of a trial team for Beauty Heaven.  I have been through 4 or 5 bottles during this time and I am sure I will keep going back to it as my skin loves it.

Here is part of my review that I wrote in 2012

My skin has never looked as good as it does at the moment and I have had numerous people comment on how good it looks. That is great at the age of 43!!

It is an expensive habit to get into but I believe that it is well worth the investment as I don’t frequent beauty therapists (I don’t like sitting still for that long) and consider that what I save on treatments I can spend on this range of skin care.

Unfortunately I cannot find anywhere the exact SPF rating for this moisturiser, but I use this in conjunction with the Suntivity so consider it an added bonus that it does contain an SPF.  I would recommend that you never rely on your moisturiser as your only sunscreen.

LIQUID FOUNDATION – Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua, Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish Perfectly Satin and Maybelline Fit Me Dewy & Smooth

Never one to go away with just one foundation, I went away with 3!  There was reasoning in my madness though.  I wanted to make sure that I had different finishes for different looks and situations.

Beforeafter decantering

I didn’t take full bottles though.  I decantered my Elizabeth Arden and my Maybelline into little pots so that I didn’t need to carry the glass bottles and to also help reduce my luggage.

All three of the foundations contain some sunscreen.

Foundations with SPF

Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua has an SPF15 and is an ultra light foundation that applies beautifully with my fingers which makes it super easy to use when you are in a hurry and still want to look flawless.  I included this in my handluggage so I could apply it just before landing so I didn’t scare the other passengers Smile

Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish Perfectly Satin 24 hr makeup has an SPF15 and is my go-to when the weather heats up as it is a more matte finish but doesn’t leave me looking ‘flat’.  I get very little shine when wearing this and in the over 30 degrees we experienced every day in Italy I found this to be my perfect foundation.

Maybelline Fit Me Dewy and Smooth foundation with an SPF18 was my preferred foundation once we arrived in the cooler weather of the UK.  Temperatures were around the high teens and the weather overcast so I wanted a more ‘dewy’ finish.  I have also heard great things about the new matte & poreless version of this foundation and would be interested to try that one aswell.  If it is as good as the dewy and smooth option then it will be worth a try.

POWDER FOUNDATION – Laura Mercier Mineral Powder Foundation

Last in my facial sunscreen arsenal was my Mineral Foundation.

laura Mercier mineral powder foundation

The Laura Mercier Mineral Powder foundation has an SPF15 and was the last layer that I applied every day.  I used this as I would my normal powder and it helped ‘set’ my foundation whilst also giving an added layer of SPF.  It doesn’t matter which foundation I put this over, it leaves my skin poreless with a subtle glow.  It was also the perfect product to dust over my face to add a little more protection if we had been out in the sun for too long.

BODY SUNSCREEN – Neutrogena Beach Defence Water and Sun Barrier Lotion Sunscreen

Neutrogena Beach Defence

Last in my sunscreen wardrobe was our body sunscreen.

Both Mr SBB and I hate body sunscreens that are difficult to apply and that leave your skin sticky.  I recently discovered the Neutrogena Beach Defence Water and Sun barrier lotion with an SPF50 and not only does it absorb easily without leaving any telltale residue, it also smells lovely.  I have a super sensitive nose and can normally smell sunscreen all day, whereas with the Neutrogena Beach Defence once it is applied I don’t smell it at all.

Neither Mr SBB or I showed any signs of sunburn throughout the whole trip and I am convinced it was due to these great products, wearing hats and to our diligence in regularly reapplying during the day.

I would love to know what your favourite sunscreens are.  Do you use a foundation containing sunscreen?


  1. Trish Drinkwater says

    Fascinating reading, Kate. I am still coming to terms with not being able to use a moisturiser with sunscreen since my long standing allergy to alcohol went from food and liquid to include ALL my skin care and makeup!!!!! Not fun! I’ve been using L’Occitane BB Cream successfully with a dusting of powder with SPF over it.

    Really interesting that you always “set” your foundation with powder. I keep hearing how powder is ageing but that is something I disagree with totally – it depends on the application, in my opinion.

    I do hope you are finally having good health on a long term basis. Love,

    • says

      Thanks Trish. I am sorry to hear that you have allergies that have made things so difficult. I can only imagine how hard it would be having to change all of your skincare and makeup because of it. I am glad to hear that you are finding the L’Occitane BB cream a good option for you.

      I almost always ‘set’ my foundation and always use a light hand and haven’t had any issues with it going cakey which is great.

      My health is greatly improved thank you. All I need now is for my numb leg to come back to full feeling and things will be great 🙂 xx Kate

  2. lily says

    Cetaphil Suntivity Hydrating Lotion SPF 30 has been discontinued. It was too my HG face sunscreen. I noticed Priceline wasn’t restocking it at all which led me to email Cetaphil and yeah they discontinued. Why they decided to discontinue it, I have no idea, I’m greatly disappointed in their decision. I still have a stockpile which I hoarded when I found out. It was the only face sunscreen that allows me to apply makeup over. And plus, it contained some really good ingredients…new generation sunscreen actives, antioxidants…the only comparable one I found but is still really greasy is Cetaphil UVA/UVB Defence SPF 50 Mexoryl.

    • says

      This is such a huge disappointment to me Lily 🙁 I am currently trialling a couple of other sunscreens and so far they don’t live up to our favourite. I will continue the search as I am determined to not be defeated! I’ll let you know if I find anything x