As some of you know, I was on a long overdue sun holiday last week – rakes of emails, tweets and Instagram posts have been totally ignored. While I was posting pictures here and there, I did my best to just sit back, relax, and enjoy a little disconnection from the madness for a week.
Right away, I know a lot of you are probably thinking “sun holiday, wouldn’t that be a nightmare for someone with albinism?”. And in the past I would definitely have agreed. If you ask my parents, there wasn’t one family holiday I went on in the past where I didn’t get some form of sunburn. It always seemed that no matter how many times I got into the pool with a t-shirt on or lathered myself in Factor 50 suncream I would always end up roasted and as red as a lobster! Nearly every holiday – even the Staycations we had here in Ireland – I always got a burn, and bad one at that.
Obviously, I had learned how sore the burns could be and as a (somewhat) mature 24 year-old, I decided I would do everything in my power not to get roasted this time – but I was determined to do it in style. From my experience, people can often overlook the psychological effect something like this can have. For me, anytime I’m out in the sun and there are all these tanned people soaking up the sun, it just serves as a reminder that “I’m different – I can’t do this”. And so, being careful in the sun in style is a diversion tactic of mine.
First things first – a spray tan was my first port of call before heading off. The thinking behind this was twofold; I’ll look tanned when I get there so I’ll fit in, and also there is an SPF in the spray tan my local salon uses so it’ll protect my skin too. Of course, I’m not silly enough to think that this SPF will keep me completely protected…. And so I bought a bottle of Sally Hansen fake tan and a brand new tanning mitt to pack into my suitcase. After a little research, I figured that because I would be applying ‘Sally’ a few times a day, the SPF 20 in it would act in a similar way suncream does when you reapply it. So there, I was sorted – I could wear my bikinis, sun hat and sun dresses without looking pasty and – lets face it – standing out.
I forgot to pack the tan and mitt!!!!!
So I’m sitting by the pool wearing a dressing gown on the first day because my plan fell apart – and I had refused to pack any ‘just in case’ sunscreen so I was in double trouble!! Luckily, I kept entirely covered by either shade or light clothes while at the pool that day, and also had the wherewithal to take a few (completely staged!!) bikini photos. Later that night, I was on the search for fake tan – which is hilarious considering I was on holidays in Lanzarote. It even got to the stage where I was Googling ‘where can I buy Sally Hansen in Puerto Del Carmen?’.
As it was getting to the stage where I was resigning myself to having to lather pasty white sunscreen on myself I found what is probably the best sunscreen I’ve used. AND it has fake tan in it!! I HIT THE JACKPOT!!
The sunscreen I bought and used for the rest of the holiday is the Australian Gold sunscreen with a built in bronzer. Happy days – I was protected from the sun AND i was a little tanned looking too. I used this religiously for the rest of my holiday, and I didn’t have one burn. Not one – which is a first for me! As soon as I got home – sun burn free – I knew I had to let everyone else know about this little discovery I made. For me, its about convenience and ease of use – this sunscreen helped me to ‘fit in’ with a little bronzing and it wasn’t sticky or pasty on my skin. Everyone was a winner!