Summer Daily Base (Light, Protective, and Easy!)

The sun has actually been making an appearance in London over the past few weeks (the British do have a summer – hooray!) and so my daily base routine has changed to adjust to that. If the sun is out, I am out and facing it. You can count on that. DSC08487.jpgThe very base of my base is the La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Ultra Light Fluid (approx. £17 but always on some kind of offer). It has an SPF of 50+ and protects against UVA and UVB rays. This “ultra-light” variant works fine on my combination skin while I’m here in the UK, but the Dry Touch Gel Cream would probably be better for me back home in the Philippines. It’s important to use sunscreen throughout the year, but when summer comes around I really bring out the big guns.

Everything else that goes into my base for the summer revolves around the good old less is more philosophy.

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What’s In My Beach Bag: Easter Weekend 2015

Hey hey, everyone! Where did you all spend your Easter weekend? My family went up to La Union to get a little R&R by the beach and… eat and sleep, pretty much. It was all sorts of awesome and I feel totally recharged. I never really liked the beach until around two years ago. Now I look forward to soaking in salt water and letting the sound of the waves clear my mind. Just don’t take me to out deep waters and I’m all good. Haha.
IMG_9549My perfectly-sized beach bag is this cute tote that Unilever sent my way with a bunch of goodies in it. I would have preferred an “M” for Mariana, but “I” is different from what I usually see on my personalised things so it’s all good! It really is the perfect size, so I was not going to cast it aside just because it has an I on it instead of an M.

Anyhoo. Deciding what to take in any sort of bag is an ever-evolving process on top of being quite personal. I suppose that’s why people love “What’s In My Bag” videos on YouTube (myself included). It’s just so interesting to see what a woman decides to lug around with her. This is my current selection of things: IMG_9551The most important thing in my beach bag is my jug of water. I have always been that girl who carries around a huge jug of water. From grade school (big-ass blue Coleman) to high school (foot-high steel Thermos with pink carrying case) to college (Lock & Lock plastic water vessel inside a geeky carrying case with adorable dogs printed all over it). No shame in being properly hydrated, my friends.

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New This Summer: Vaseline’s Water-Based Serum Sunblock SPF 30 PA+++

Have you stepped outside recently? It’s scorching hot. And I am loving it. I was totally born to live in a tropical country so I welcome the summer with open arms. There are days when it gets to be a bit much, but I’d much rather be battling the heat in a pair of shorts and a loose top than wearing layers in a colder country. If I can hit the beach and wear just a bathing suit and cover up, that’s even better.

With all that skin exposed, I do have to use a lot of sunblock, which can be uncomfortable and sticky. This summer there seems to be a new trend that addresses that discomfort: serum sunblocks. They’re a lot thinner in consistency that your usual lotions and they settle into the skin much quicker as a consequence. Just last week (absolute perfect timing) I was introduced to my very first one, by Vaseline.
P1180224The Vaseline Water-Based Whitening Serum* (Php 249.00 for 180mL) might have just an SPF of 30 PA +++, but that’s actually enough to block out 96% of harmful UVA and UVB rays. That’s a scientific fact (not just marketing bullshit), but you will have to reapply your sunblock more often if the SPF is lower. I’d say once every 2 hours is ok, but already stretching it. It stands to be a bit of a hassle, but the formula really isn’t sticky so you won’t be making yourself more uncomfortable.

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Review: Bioderma Photoderm Ultra-Fluid SPF 50+

P1150946My go-to face sunscreen for outdoor activities is VMV Hypoallergenics’ Armada Sport 70, but my huge bottle (which has seen me through many beach trips) expired recently and so I finally got to put the Bioderma Photoderm Ultra-Fluid SPF 50+ (1,316.00 Php) to the test.

I took it with me on a recent trip to Mt. Batulao in Batangas, where my view looked a little something like this:IMG_8270Photos really don’t do it justice (plus this one is overexposed), but you can tell just how much we were exposed to the sun as we walked along the ridge of the mountain for the majority of the climb. This was our view on the way up…IMG_8309… and this was the view from the top. It was my first mountain climbing experience and I loved every minute of it. I had planned on taking photos of the tube of sunblock while up there, but it completely slipped my mind. Blogger fail! I don’t know how others manage to do it. I was just trying not to fall off the mountain, haha. But anyway, I can still report about how the sunscreen performed. 

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L’Oreal Paris Dermo-Expertise UV PERFECT — Not Perfect, But Close!

Wearing sunscreen lotion every day is the most effective way to protect your skin from aging— we all (hopefully) already knew that. Finding the perfect facial sun screen to use on a daily basis is just not that easy. Aside from the skin on our faces being much more sensitive, there’s comfort and practicality to consider, too. Sunblock tends to be sticky, thick, and can leave a white cast on the face. Unless you shell out a lot of money for high end sunscreen, it’s difficult to find one that wears well both alone and under make-up without making you feel uncomfortable. I used to have my mom buy me the Lancome UV Expert SPF 50+++ sunblock because it was much too expensive for me to afford on my own. That stuff works wonderfully, but was way over my budget.

The L’Oreal Paris Dermo-Expertise UV PERFECT with SPF 50 UVB & UVA PA +++ is a much more affordable option at approximately 800php (**EDIT: This is under 600php!) for 30ml of product. There are three variants to choose from, a “transparent skin” type (mine), a brightening one, and one that supposedly evens out your complexion. I plan on trying the complexion one next time, but I’m perfectly happy with this transparent skin type for now! It has a slight scent to it, which is not a good thing in my opinion, but it fades after a while and I can put up with it.

This stuff sinks into my skin pretty quickly and doesn’t make me feel oily. It promises to last you 12 hours, which is more than enough, really! I would even use this at the beach since the SPF is so high, although I don’t think it is water resistant so I wouldn’t swim with it. For everyday use, this is more than enough!

If you’re reading all this hullabaloo, you’ll notice that it promises quite a lot. It’s enough for me that it wards off free radicals,but it’s another big plus for the product that it’s geared towards asian skin.

This sunblock is easy to find—anywhere where L’Oreal products are sold, really. In the Philippines, that means Watsons, major department stores, and groceries. The date of manufacture is clearly printed on the back of the tube. The picture of the pot on the lower left with the letters “12M” printed on it means that it is recommended that you use it up within 12 months from the time it is opened. With daily use, that should be easy to achieve!

Overall, I do like this sunblock very much. I highly recommend it if you’re out in the sun all the time, though I will warn you that wearing this into the night is not a good idea if you’re going to be photographed (even if you’ll be photographed in the morning, actually). No sunscreen is photo-friendly. :)

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