Product reviews · Uncategorized

Baking like Madge from Benidorm…

imageI’ve had a big red blotchy face on more than one occasion, have felt like well known sun cream brands were burning off the skin on my cheeks. I’m obviously a sensitive sort. Or at least the skin on my face thinks so. I’d finally found solice in a small tube of Clarins as the only way to smile in the shine without intense irritation. So you can understand why I was a little nervous about trying the Forever Aloe sun spray as an alternative to my usual Clarins product for the first time!

Applying it is was a pleasure as it is a smooth, silky cream dispensed from a spray bottle. It is easily rubbed on and into the skin and doesn’t leave any greasy residue. But did it work? I’m pleased to say I used it daily without any adverse reactions and it afforded great protection to my face. It’s quite a high factor for me at SPF 30 so I just used it for face and sensitive areas (like the lily white skin that no one normally sees and which makes me look like I’m still wearing shorts as I strip down to my bikini).

It is also great for kids if you use SPF 30…although I will admit that I stuck to an SPF 50 for my daughter on this very hot Mediterranean holiday. Maybe I’m overprotective as guidelines say SPF 30 keeps out 97% of harmful rays but while Im baking like Madge from Benidorm, Ill preserves H like Snow White!


So along with the blotchy face I’ve in recent years developed a tendency to get prickly heat on my neck, chest and arms. It drives me insane, leaving my skin red, bobbly and sore and makes me wonder why on earth I subject myself to such torture for the sake of a so called “healthy” glow. I’ve tried changing creams, antihistamines but no. It’s like this is my penance for sitting and enjoying the sunshine. Heaven forbid I should relax for a week or so each year!

To be honest I wasn’t sure if I was using it properly but I applied Forever Aloe First every day after going out in the sun. It comes in a big bottle with an almost industrial spray pump so is easily directed to wherever you need it…no help required. And it’s cold. Aftersun doesn’t feel like it’s working unless it’s cold enough to make you shiver and grimace like your almost in pain. And whilst normally it takes up half the much needed water (read beer) space in the tiny boxes they call fridges in hotel rooms, Aloe First stayed really cold simply in the bathroom. Depending on your mood you can choose whether to apply in spray or stream mode…I preferred to spray and found it really pleasant, like a “skin spritzer” which instantly cools and soothes. And prickly heat didn’t show its blotchy face once!

It also worked wonders when Hannah decided to run into a wall and grazed her leg. Containing bee propolis, a natural antiseptic as well as aloe it is great for minor scrapes and cuts…and easily applied without fuss. She runs or trips a lot in her rush to get everywhere yesterday so Im now glad it’s a big bottle!


Everyone tells you to keep hydrated and when it’s hot you drink a lot of water, but how many of us wait until we see the white flaky scales appear on our legs or arms before we think about hydrating our skin? It’s a good routine to moisturise daily but life gets busy and I bet I’m not the only one who has tried to get rid of the flake with a bit of spit while no one is watching…am I?

On holiday it’s easier to get into the routine as that’s all you have got to think about…right? (Said any parent…never!) I used Forever Aloe Lotion as an all over moisturiser this holiday as it has a high aloe content and doubles up as a soothing after sun. My nan would approve as it contains her favourite ingredient, lanolin, alongside nourishing jojoba oil, collagen and elastin.“No good buying a moisturiser without lanolin” my nan says, scooping up white goo from a blue tub like whipped cream, daubing it on her face and teasingly chasing H. My nan can’t walk so when I say chase, H jiggles about by her chair pretending to dodge the creamy pointer. Playing with limitations…and they both laugh in surprise when the dab of cream ends up on H’s button nose. “You can’t beat Astral”. She has very good skin for 85 I have to admit but as well as a daily slather of lanolin she also has never sat in the sun for more than 15 minutes either…which helps…a lot!

The Aloe lotion was good and kept my skin moisturised. I used it on my face too without any adverse reaction. I’m not sure if I would use this as my routine product at home as I prefer other face moisturisers but for holiday or sufferers of eczema and psoriasis it is a light textured product for daily use.


Did you ever suffer the plight of the dreaded “scabby face” playground jibes? The dreaded cold sores which scarred me as a teenager continued to haunt me into adulthood on summer holidays, seemingly triggered by the first sign of sun and R&R. I always carry Zovirax in my handbag and apply regularly at the slightest twitch, secretly squirrelling it away before anyone notices the “girl with the lurgy” by the bar.

Aloe Sun Lips allegedly can help keep cold sores at bay and has a SPF30 to offer water resistant protection for lips so this replaced the Zovirax in my purse. It has a tingly, very cooling mint taste and makes your lips feel plumper when you apply and I didn’t have an outbreak of sores. Phew! It’s also handy to rub onto little faces or difficult places (like ears) that don’t want to have more cream on…but can be convinced to try Mummy’s “make up”! It’s a really good value lip protection balm and emergency sun care stick.


And then I burnt! H was at kids club, it was overcast and the wind was fierce but determined to get out on deck I found a sheltered nook at the back of the boat. As people walked the promenade in coats and battled against the gale as they headed down the starboard side, they all smiled when they saw me in my bikini top and shorts. Some laughing in a derisory manner, others seeing how I’d bagged the best seat in the house. Two ladies quickly stripped off their North Face jackets, rolled up trouser legs and joined me. Pulled their loungers as close as they could to mine…nodding in acknowledgement at my sun trap spotting skills.

Music on. Comfortable and warm. I fell asleep. I awoke over an hour later to bright intense sunshine and a much larger crowd of sun bathers now having joined the party. I’d not put on enough cream and I was a bit sore in the patches I had missed. The Aloe First and lotion is good to immediately soothe but my skin was hot and stinging within a short time. So I tried the 100% pure Aloe Vera Gelly…with a G. And it works. It really works. This transparent gelly with a green tinge stemmed the burning sensation and with a number of applications it stopped completely. By the morning any soreness had gone and I was able to sit in the sun again. This tube of gel is comparable to taking an aloe leaf, breaking it and rubbing the gel from the centre (hence the G) on your skin and I can see why it’s been revered as a natural remedy for over 4000 years.

A fellow passenger saw my sun cream and told me how Forever aloe gelly had been her saviour  after burning on day 2 of the cruise. How have I never known about this product before? Sitting in Spanish bars with legs on fire…scooping the ice out of my drink to rub on my skin…hiding under the shade or covering them with a towel for days on the beach until the burn subsides. And the after sun just melts when you apply it. If only I’d had know about gelly…I could have saved myself from warm vodka lemo’s and too many euros spent on yet another Mallorcean map towel.

You may already have a favourite brand of suncare but whatever your choice of cream or moisturiser, lip balm or “skin spritzer” my advise or product of choice would be…do not go on your summer break without a tube of Aloe Vera Gelly…with a G!





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