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Sun protection is a subject close to my heart. My sister, who has only ever lived in the UK and who holidayed in Cornwall rather than the Caribbean as a child, had the most aggressive form of skin cancer, melanoma, in her early thirties. Thankfully, due to her own persistence, and despite a GP and a dermatologist who told her they thought it wasn’t cancer, she had it removed in the early stages and luckily survived.
Having lived in Australia for ten years in my thirties, I knew many, many people in their 30s and 40s with skin cancer as a result of too much sun in childhood, so I know that this isn’t something that happens to other people- it’s something that can happen to any of us, even if we only see the sun for a couple of months a year.
People in Australia are extremely vigilant about the sun, because they see people all around them with cancer. In fact, 2 in 3 Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by age 70. If that sounds like a scary figure, what is even scarier is that because we in the UK aren’t as sun aware as Australians, more people die from skin cancer in the UK than Australia.
Whilst melanoma, the most deadly skin cancer, is now one of the most common cancers in young adults aged 15-34 in the UK, there are things you can do to help prevent getting it- 80% of skin cancers are preventable. Australians have dramatically reduced their skin cancer death rates through taking simple steps to protect themselves in the sun: wearing high factor sun cream every day, wearing a hat and wearing sun glasses. We in the UK now need to do the same for ourselves and our children.
Aware of these figures and the lack of sun awareness in the UK, Andrew Birnie, a consultant dermatologist, and a group of top skin cancer doctors decided to develop a high quality, low cost, not for profit sun cream named Altruist, so that as many people as possible in the UK could afford to protect themselves and their families from the sun. Traditionally, good quality sun cream has been too expensive for many people, whilst cheaper products can be too sticky and too heavily scented for everyday use.
I’m something of a sun cream connoisseur having lived in Australia, and I have to tell you that despite the budget price Altruist is not just the best budget sun cream, it’s the best sun cream I’ve ever tried of any price. Not only due to the 5 star, ultra UVA, SPF 30 protection that it offers, but because within approximately a minute of application it completely disappears and leaves skin feeling totally dry. Unlike most sun creams that leave a stickiness to the skin, Altruist completely absorbs within seconds so that you can apply makeup directly over it immediately. At the same time, you can get dressed without fearing that you’ll stain your clothes as there is simply no residue whatsoever left on your skin. If you’ve had as many white T shirts and shirts stained with sun cream as I have, you’ll know this is a huge advantage!
Equally, I’m extremely sensitive when it comes to sun cream and can’t tolerate any product with Oxybenzone or a host of other cheaper ingredients. This sun cream, which has almost no scent whatsoever, leaves my skin perfectly unaffected by any sensitivity whatsoever.
Best Budget Sun Cream: Altruist Details:
• Broad spectrum 5 star UVA and UVB protection.
• SPF 30 which is the minimum dermatologists recommend.
• Fabulous cosmetic feel – easily absorbed, non-sticky and no residue.
• Hypoallergenic formulation – even those sensitive to ordinary sun cream can use it.
• Fragrance and paraben free and safe for children.
• Water resistant.
• Altruist supports Under The Same Sun: a charity supporting children with albinism in Africa. With each purchase they donate 10p. (20p with 2 tubes)
One of the best features about Altruist, apart from its exceptionally high quality ingredients, is the price. At £4 for 200ml and £14 for a full litre bottle it puts good quality sun cream within the reach of many more people. The one litre bottle is perfect to keep by the door, ready to apply before you or your family leave the house each day, or for schools or sports clubs, whereas the 200ml tubes are perfect to pop into a handbag or beach bag before heading out or to throw in your makeup bag when heading to a festival.
Find Altruist sun cream to buy in both sizes here
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