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A pale girl’s guide to surviving a summer holiday


It’s not until recently that I have really enjoyed hot weather holidays. I could never get into the vibe of what makes a summer holiday feel great - lazing on the beach, strappy summer dresses, feeling like you don’t have a worry in the world.

Why? Because I do have worries - I have pale skin that burns and freckles easily. I mean reeeally easily. I blame my Irish heritage. I can burn within minutes of being out in the sun and even with UPF 50+ sunscreen on, my freckles still pop out like crazy! And despite what people without freckles think, freckles are NOT cute!

So why have things changed for me and why do I now love how a relaxed summer holiday feels?

Well, firstly I decided that my experience of summer holidays was never going to be like everyone else’s and that’s OK. And secondly, I put more effort into my preparation so that my summer holiday could still be every bit as enjoyable.

Where do I start on the pale girl’s guide to summer holidays? Where everyone should really start.

1. Sun protection. So important. Our life depends on it.

Get the best, highest protection sunscreen you can for all parts of your body and use them properly and frequently. There are so many fabulous sunscreens available there’s no excuse. Waterproof, sweat-proof, tinted, sunscreen makeup, even sunscreen tubes that show you the day’s UV rating.

I use a UPF50 + sunscreen that contains zinc oxide. On days where I want to look a little nicer, I apply sunscreen makeup on top of that and I always reapply my sunscreen more frequently than recommended especially when swimming.

2. Cover up in the sun.

It would be really nice to wear this season’s cutest bikini but that’s just not going to end well. Maybe at the indoor pool? Get yourself a curve-hugging long sleeve swimsuit for the beach that let’s you spend extra time doing the things you love; swimming, surfing, SUPing and hanging out on the beach.

3. Bring your own shade.

Get a great looking packable hat. You don’t want to find your new straw hat destroyed by the time you unpack your bag! Buy a hat that has wire in the brim so you can reshape it at the other end of your travels. Always have it with you in your bag no matter where you are going during the day.

4. Stay cool.

When you get out of the water, or when you are out and about sightseeing, you want to be protected but stay cool. Make sure you have a handful of long sleeve beach cover ups in a cool fabric that absorbs moisture and stops you heating up (nothing with any form of polyester or anything see through!!).

Ideally you need a beach dress or swimsuit cover up that takes you from the beach to the bar looking fabulous. In the daytime wear it over something strappy and when you are in the shade, take it off and you can show a bit more skin, safely!

5. Get your glow on.

Just because pale girls don’t tan naturally, doesn’t mean we can’t get that sun-kissed look. And let’s face it, a good tan can make us feel a few kilo’s lighter in our swimsuit. Pack your self tan so you can top up during your holiday, especially on your face which can start fading after a few cleanses.

Stay at the lighter end of the tanning range so as not to look too obvious when it starts to wear off. And sunscreen application – business as usual. Until some legend invents a fake tan sunscreen!

Happy Summer Holidays!

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