Last year it was all about the Olympics here in London, and with all of the outdoor activities, it’s made me wonder what type of sunscreen these athletes wear. All of the beach volleyball players seem to have nice tans with very little burning, except for a really pale German guy. I have that type of skin, so I feel for him because it is hard to protect when you’re super pale and sweating. Now that it is crazy hot in London this summer, and everyone wants to spend as much time as they can in the sun while its there, it’s got me thinking about sunscreen again. But I’ve got the sunscreen answer for the German volleyball player or anyone else, super pale skin or not.
I found the best sunscreen a couple of years ago when we were going to Dubai. Dave and I went to Dubai for a couple of weeks to celebrate our wedding anniversary . We were looking for a place where we could laze around by the pool or ocean and just relax and soak up some sun. And of course, with the soaking up of the sun you want to make sure you are protected. We are far too pale (me especially) to be lounging around in the sun anywhere, especially someplace like Dubai, without decent sunscreen. We knew we needed something good that would last throughout the day and we certainly needed it to last after getting in and out of the pool. Luckily, we shop at Costco and saw this good deal on a sunscreen we hadn’t tried before, and hadn’t even heard of in the US, Riemann P20. Since there were lots of people buying it, we thought that was a good sign, and picked some up too. It turned out to be a great buy and has turned into my favourite sunscreen ever!
The Riemann sunscreen comes in either SPF10 or SPF20 with UVA and UVB protection; we chose the SPF20 (I did mention the paleness right). While that isn’t as high a factor as an SPF45 or something, if you are smart about your sun exposure it will keep you safe but still allow you to get a bit of a tan, in a slow and controlled fashion. What I really liked about this was that it doesn’t need constant thick reapplication every time you get in and out of the water or sweat a little. We found that was definitely true and made for a much more enjoyable holiday. It’s hard to enjoy your holiday lazing in the sun when you constantly have to be worried about reapplying your sunscreen. The only problem I had with it coming off at all was due to friction from the straps on my sandals when I applied it to my feet and then walked to the beach and it rubbed off. That lesson was learned in a day and I just added a bit to that area of my feet after we walked to the pool and I took my shoes off.
The Riemann sunscreen doesn’t have any added fragrance, colorants, or preservatives, so it doesn’t cause skin irritation like I sometimes get with the creamy sunscreens. It goes on clear in kind of what seems like a thick oil with a slight alcohol-like smell, which might make you worried for your skin, but it dries in no time and doesn’t leave your skin feeling like you have much of anything on it; it’s not oily, it’s not tight, and it isn’t irritated. All you end up with is this seemingly invisible layer of protection against all of the bad rays from the sun. We both find it very nice to have a sunscreen that dries so quickly without a yucky residue, white marks, or an unpleasant smell. It’s even safe to use on your face (though as always, test it on a small area first just to make sure) and light enough that you won’t mind it or even notice it is on there.
The protection also lasts for 10 hours! TEN HOURS! And just to make sure, they tested it on volunteers. We find that it truly does last all day even when in the pool for several hours or engaging in sweaty things like hiking or sports. That first time when we used it I was a little worried about how long it would actually last but after two days, one of which I fell asleep in the sun, I realised it really did last and last and last and I didn’t even get a little pink, just a bit of a light tan. If you knew me and my skin, you would know how monumental this is for me to end up with a tan. I have that skin that usually just burns and then fades back to super pale.
After we got back from our trip I had a lovely tan and hadn’t gotten the bad burns like I’ve had when I’ve used sunscreen with a higher SPF. Now I have noticed that there is a spray version of this sunscreen too available in SPF 15, SPF30, and SPF50. I haven’t tried these because I have had bad luck with the sprays before, so now I prefer to just slather it on with my hands. Of course, with my skin I probably should get the SPF30 spray. The prices for the P20 sunscreen can vary, of course, but lately it seems like the range is between £15.00 – £20.00 for a 200 ml bottle. I noticed that Costco had it on my most recent visit and they almost always have the best deals on stuff like this. They were selling a two pack of 200ml bottles of the P20 SPF20 for £29.98 with VAT. Or, you could get a single 20o ml bottle of the P20 SPF30 spray for £15.35. But no matter where you buy it, this is a great sunscreen and one that I will always have in our sun protection arsenal now.