Wednesday, 27 July 2016

SunScream: Prickly Heat Do's & Don'ts


I haven’t updated this blog in a LONG time. Soz about that but I was planning a little thing called a wedding! I am now Mrs M and loving married life. And I now that wedding planning life has ceased, I have TIME. Time to write!

We’re currently on honeymoon in Ibiza, the White Isle, home to many an amazing sunset and many brilliant clubs. We haven’t been doing the latter of the two, preferring to basically eat great food and chill on our private balcony in the north of the island (BLISS). However, whilst we’ve been here, I’ve had to deal with a little unprecedented thing called prickly heat. I have been COVERED. Arms, legs, body. And it hasn’t been pretty.

I have suffered badly in the past (more so when I was a teenager) and it’s ruined a few holidays as I’ve been so damn uncomfortable. The last couple of excursions abroad have been fine and I’ve only suffered a little bit in the usual places (bit of redness in elbow creases...nothing to write home about), so I thought I’d be sorted for our honeymoon with my foolproof routine. Apparently not.

Over the past 5 years or so, I’ve hunted high and low for sunscreen solutions for my crazy, sensitive, sun-intolerant skin, trying everything from high-end to high street. For the last couple of sun-packed, relaxing holidays, my skin LOVED Green People’s Scent Free Sun Cream, which has no nasties, but then my body thought, NAH, don’t like you anymore.

At this point, I found beauty goddess’ Lisa Eldridge’s sun screen tips, which I have to say are brilliant, and she gives an informative run down of her top products, specifically focusing on different UVA/UVB filters (chemical and mineral) and which work best for different skin types. With these tips in mind, I started to use (long name alert) Institut Estherderm’s Sun Intolerance High Protection Body Spray, which for the past couple of years, has been doing the trick and my skin has been a-ok. So like, clockwork, my skin decided again to say a big FU to the French skincare brand, and have a complete change of heart.

I’ve done a lot of research the past few days. I hadn’t planned to be this productive on honeymoon (I hadn’t planned to be productive at all) but I’ve picked up some good tips, found some links and products which are helping me out of the mire of prickly heat so that I can ACTUALLY DO THINGS in the heat. If you suffer from prickly heat like me, hopefully these will help you out so you don’t feel like a scaly, spotty beast on holiday:

DO
Go to the chemist straight away.
This is something I failed to do this time around, only visiting 3 days into feeling insanely uncomfortable (“It’ll be fine…it’ll go in a couple of days if I stay out of the sun” *eye-roll AT MYSELF*) JUST GO TO THE CHEMIST.

They hooked me up with a steroid/calamine cream called Calmiox which is the shiz, and is like Hydrocortisone with added oomph. My skin is feeling so much calmer after just one day of use…just wish we had more time of honeymoon now to actually enjoy me being prickly-heat free. With all creams like this, the advice is to not use for longer than 3-5 days as steroid creams can cause the skin to thin. 

Keep cool and hydrate
A couple of things I swear by to keep you cool, prickly heat or not, are Avene’s Eau Thermale Water Spray (keep it in the fridge) which is a god send; spray it on hot skin and your body will thank you no end. Your next best friend? Calming Aloe Vera Gel. My favourite is Holland and Barrett’s own (which I’ve also kept in the fridge whilst we’ve been away). Luckily for us, our hotel grows actually aloe vera plants in their grounds, and the owner presented me with a big jar of the natural sap when she knew I was having some skin issues, and it’s been incredible. 

Pick-up some mineral-based suncream
For me, my honeymoon downfall has been my ‘foolproof’ Institut Estherderm sun protection. Don’t get me wrong, it works in some climates. However, it has not been my friend in Ibiza. Queue finding Get The Gloss’ brilliant articles on sun protection ingredients to avoid and a handy list of top sun creams for sensitive skin.

I managed to hunt down a couple of the products mentioned in a pharmacy, so will be testing these out in the last few days of our time in the sun.

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DON'T

Swim
Yes. Don’t swim. Whilst on holiday. Really it should say don’t swim too much. If your pool is chlorine based, IMO and in my experience, this will only aggravate a heat-rash further.  If you do want to swim, make sure it’s first thing in the morning or last thing at night when the sun is low and isn’t reflecting off the pool. 

Wear anything other than light clothing
Again, a massive fail from me on honeymoon. With being so utterly confident that my skin would be fine (again, insert eye-roll), I brought denim shorts more than light linen dresses. Don’t do it and don’t wear the denim if you have a sun sensivitity. It will only make your skin feel worse! So basically, I have loads of lovely new clothes, that I haven’t even worn…ridiculous. I’ve lived in a linen kaftan for the past week that I bought in a shop in Ibiza Town. Lesson. Firmly. Learned.

Eat processed foods
I eat pretty well most of the time. 80/20 rule and all that. I have however found that eating as well as I can has helped keep my skin cool. I’ve eaten loads of fresh and very hydrating fruits (melon, watermelon) and lots of skin-kind things/healthy fats - oily fish, almonds and avocado. Make sure what you’re eating is an close to it’s natural form as possible.

Exercise
Blocked sweat glands is what causes prickly heat, so to ensure it doesn’t get any worse, avoid excessive sweating. This has killed me whilst we’ve been away. I’ve had grand plans for HIIT workouts and early morning running which have been well and truly scuppered. It really does make things worse so just try and eat as well as you can and walk in the early morning and evenings. You can get back on the exercise train when you’re in in cooler climes. 

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Links which are worth a read for sun-sensitive skin:

Do you suffer from the dreaded prickly heat? Has it ruined your time in the sun? Let me know your top tips/products! I'm all ears. 
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