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I bought this product before going on honeymoon in Cyprus, after receiving some excellent recommendations of No 7 products from fellow reviewer, "Graygirl" (thanks Julia!). I usually just use the same sun lotion on my face that I use on my body, but I find they tend to be a bit sticky and greasy, and I hate the smell of them. I also feel like sun products which aren't designed specifically for your face can block your pores, which in turn leads to spots. As we were going away for two weeks, I thought I'd treat myself.
This facial protection cream is from the Boots No 7 range, and is currently priced at £12 for a 50ml tube. I bought mine during a 3-for-2 promotion which brought the price down. It comes in a small tube with a flip top lid, and although the tube isn't transparent I could get an idea of how much was remaining in the tube by holding it up to the light. I got the 50 SPF as I'm fair skinned and dark haired, so tend to burn extremely easily. It is also available in factor 30 and 15.
Boots claim that this product provides anti-ageing protection from the damaging effects caused by the sun. It is designed to be light, easily absorbed, and leave a shine free finish. The skin brightening complex helps to improve the appearance of skin tone and colour, whilst helping to prevent dark spots and hyper-pigmentation caused by the sun. (Product details taken from http://www.boots.com)
Using the cream is very easy, you just apply liberally to your face and wait for it to sink in. it is suitable to be used as a base before applying make-up, but to be honest when I'm on holiday I don't tend to bother with make-up as it just ends up sliding down my face in the sweltering heat.
The packaging recommends that you apply this 15 minutes before going out in the sun, to give it chance to be absorbed, and also to re-apply every 1 to 2 hours, and after swimming and towelling.
During the two weeks I spent in Cyprus, I used this product daily. I used to apply it before leaving the apartment, and then when I remembered, I would reapply after swimming or if we'd been out for hours. During the holiday, my face developed a nice glow to it, and had a lot more colour to it but without burning or going bright red like it usually does. The odd occasion I forgot to reapply this didn't seem to have any effect, so I think it must protect your face for quite a while.
The consistency of this cream is quite thin, it's not really like moisturiser or body cream but instead is very runny. It is easy to rub into the face, but the only problem I had with it was that it took quite a while to sink in. This wasn't really a problem in terms of waiting to apply make-up (as I said before, I didn't bother with make-up except for a little concealer under the eyes), but it did leave a little bit of a shine to my face. I wasn't overly bothered about this because as I was on holiday my face had a healthy coloured glow, so it just looked like "holiday skin". It didn't feel greasy or sticky on the face though, it just felt like I'd applied too much moisturiser and was waiting for it to sink in. It also had a much more subtle smell than sun cream usually has.
The packaging states that you should be able to get 20 applications out of this tube, but I would say I got more out of it. Maybe I wasn't using enough to begin with, but I used this for two weeks, including re-applying throughout the day, and still brought a tiny bit home with me. I might have been a bit stingy with my application as I didn't want to run out, so if I bought this again I would probably apply it more generously.
Psychologically, I felt that this was much better for my skin than the usual body sun lotion I would use. It seemed to be more moisturising, and my mind was at ease that it was doing my skin some good. It doesn't feel too heavy on the skin and allowed my skin to breathe rather than clogging the pores and ending up with spots or a heat rash.
Overall, I feel it's well worth paying for a product which is designed especially to protect your face, especially when you are exposing it to extreme heat. This product gives peace of mind that you are protecting your face from sun damage and hopefully this will pay off in future years.
(This review is also posted on Ciao under the username Gingerkitty)
Anti Age / Face Care