I want to tell you guys the story about that time I went to Mexico and I didn’t bring any sunscreen with me.
A friend had convinced me that it would be better to just buy a container of sunscreen when I got there, instead of worrying about trying to find the right travel sized container that would be okay to bring in my carry-on luggage. However, once I got to Puerta Vallarta I looked at the sunscreen for sale in the hotel gift shop, saw the price, and just about fainted. I didn’t buy it, thinking I’d pick up some somewhere else along the way. Then the entire trip slid by without me ever actually buying any sunscreen.
I survived (and no I didn’t get a sunburn).
The first day I borrowed sunscreen from a friend who was along on the trip, thinking later I’d end up buying some sunscreen and return the favour. However, that night, looking through my travel kit, I realized I had my favourite moisturizer along, Olay Complete with SPF 30.
This is one of my all time favourite products and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention it to you folks. Over the years I have used this as sunscreen while hiking trails at Blue Mountain, or while spending a day walking downtown in Toronto, and it’s always done the job, so why not Mexico? I was a bit hesitant because it was very hot and very sunny in Puerto Vallarta that July, and this stuff is only an SPF 30. Normally I’d grab something water proof with the highest SPF I could find. However this was what I had on hand, so I figured I’d go with it, and if I started to feel like I was getting too much sun I’d change up my plan.
Shockingly I never had to resort to finding “real” sunscreen. Normally I refer to Olay Complete as my “special face sunscreen”, but this trip I ended up using Olay Complete from head to toe. My little 75 ml bottle lasted me fine for the four days I was there, and I didn’t end up with a sunburn. Not so much as a pink or itchy spot.
Now I should mention I was reapplying it frequently. Which leads to a bit of a funny story. The one day I was out on a boat for this all day excursion and a well meaning little old lady saw me rubbing myself down with moisturizer. “You can’t do that!”, she said, and my first thought was, “What, put sunscreen on my legs while I’m sitting on the boat? Oh, I so can!” I quickly realized she wasn’t upset that I was showing skin, or reapplying my sunscreen, she thought I was putting on some sort of tanning lotion instead of sunscreen.
The look of utter horror on her face was almost comical. She warned me I was going to get a horrible sunburn and insisted I needed real sunscreen. Nothing I said could convince her otherwise. The next day another two strangers came up to me and each time I had pretty much the same conversation. So I guess that was the only downside to using Olay Complete as my vacation sunscreen, having to chat with random strangers who thought I was out of my mind and out to burn myself to a crisp.
Of course, I don’t recommend going on a beach vacation and only using an SPF 30 moisturizer in lieu of your regular sunscreen. Though I do still giggle a bit when I think of how horrified people were to see me slathering moisturizer on myself instead of sunscreen. I was actually quite surprised this worked for me as well as it did, and as I mentioned I was applying it generously and often.
Overall, as an every day “just for your face” moisturizer/sunscreen I give Olay Complete a hearty two thumbs up, and as an emergency back up to my all day all over sunscreen, it definitely gets a passing grade. (Okay, if you’re looking for this on store shelves the full and proper name is Olay Complete SPF 30 Defense All Day Moisturizer For Sensitive Skin. Whew. That’s a mouthful to say!)
What about you folks? Have any of you ever tried this magical SPF moisturizer stuff out?
CL Chin says
I am currently using the same moisturizer with SPF. I’ve heard that you should still apply a regular sunscreen under your moisturizer. It’s great that you reapplied many times during your outing because that’s what they recommend that you do.
That’s funny! I cannot believe it worked – I’ll definitely try it the next time I need to replace my current moisturizer.
I’d much rather apply this to my face than a regular thick sunscreen. I do use at least a 60 SPF when I’m on vacation, I’ve even purchased an 80. And the prices are expensive on the resorts. I was mortified when my sister paid $8.00 for a bag of potato chips for her daughter.
Julie-Lynne McCann says
Sunscreen is so important in our everyday uses now…please everyone take care of your skin its so very important
Lushka Smith says
Great story and sunscreen hack. I’ll have to remember this.
Linda H says
I never would have thought the moisturier would have been enough as a sunscreen but I forget that it is SPF 30 rated so it should help.
Darren Scrubb says
Mexico truly is on my list of places I have to visit in the world.