Listen to MNers talking about getting ready for summer on the Boots Feel Good Forum and tell us what you think - £200 voucher to be won

(152 Posts)
TheOtherHelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 19-Apr-13 12:19:23

We hope lots of you tuned in to the latest Boots Feel Good Forum but if you missed it, please listen to the podcast. The show discusses tips and advice on getting ready for summer, from travel health and sun safety to how to get your body beach-ready! MNers have been posting about this all week - please see their comments below.

The show features experts GP Dr Rob Hicks, Boots Skin Scientific Advisor Mike Bell and Michelle Mone, founder and CEO of Ultimo and creator of body sculpting skincare ranges Usculpt and Utan. Mike has answered some MNers' Qs that he didn't have time to cover on the show on this thread so please scroll down for those - there will be some answers from Dr Rob very soon too.

Please do listen to the podcast and then come back to this thread and tell us what you think.

As a thank you for taking part, Boots will be giving a £200 voucher to a poster picked at random from this thread.


Please note that your comments may be used by the Feel Good Forum in advertising but your MN nickname won't appear.
The views/content expressed within this forum are those of the participants and not those of Boots UK Limited or its agents.

Natalieandkids Mon 13-May-13 12:22:52

my tan on my legs never matches my body sad

Natalieandkids Mon 13-May-13 12:20:18

What's the best suncream brand and factor to protect my children from the summer sun?

Leafmould Wed 08-May-13 19:59:35

I am disappointed that my question about sun protection for people with darker skin has not been answered. I am really struggling to get a clear idea about what my dc need. I have looked for advice in various places, but I have never found any that explains in detail.

GPRobHicks Wed 08-May-13 16:05:21


My question: I heard somewhere that boosting your system with B vitamins before holidaying can work as a natural insect repellant? DS1 (7) and I are prone to bites, especially mosquito, and we always react badly. Can you tell me more about how to protect ourselves and if there's any truth about the b vitamins what do we need to take, when and what dosage?

There's no solid scientific evidence that B vitamins act as a natural insect repellent. Ask your pharmacist about a suitable product for children.

Mosquitoes are attracted to dark clothing and strong fragrances so it's best to avoid these. Cover up with sleeves, long trousers, and shoes, and consider sleeping under a mosquito net. Your pharmacist will also be able to advise on a suitable age appropriate insect repellent to use. Be prepared with something to soothe bites and relieve irritated skin such as calamine lotion, anti-histamine cream or medication, or Aloe Vera.

GPRobHicks Wed 08-May-13 16:03:38


I worry a lot about baby overheating - any tips would be appreciated. We have invested in 1 tog sleeping bags for the warmer months and we are very aware of room temperature but it can be so hard on holiday or when out and about to help them stay cool. She is just over a year old now. thank you.

In hot weather it's easy for babies and young children to overheat and develop heat exhaustion and the more serious condition heat stroke.

Try and avoid being out during the hottest part of the day (around 11am - 3pm), and during sunny days keep in the shade as much as possible. Wearing lose clothing helps and when indoors make sure the room is cool and a comfortable temperature. It's very important to give drinks regularly to avoid dehydration. Don't forget to use sun-protection too.

GPRobHicks Wed 08-May-13 16:02:50


Are there any foods that I should avoid, that I wouldn't need to in the uk, to avoid stomach upsets on holiday abroad?

Your travel agent and information sites about the country you're visiting will be able to advise you specifically about this.

It's important to follow certain precautions when travelling abroad such as drinking only sealed bottled water, only eating food that's been thoroughly cooked and is served very hot, and only eating fruit and vegetables that you can wash and peel yourself. Remember to wash your hands often, particularly if handling food and after using the toilet. Try not to fall into the trap of having ice in drinks. Many people let their guard down when at the airport on their way home and a good holiday is often spoiled as a consequence.

GPRobHicks Wed 08-May-13 16:02:01


Do you have any recommendations for different ways to deal with travel sickness? How come some people get it and some don't? More importantly, how come I get it now when I didn't as a child?

It's more common to have travel sickness as a child but it is also possible, but less common, to develop it for the first time as an adult. Travel sickness occurs when the messages the brain receives from the eyes are different to those it is receiving from the balance mechanisms in the ear.

In a car, having a good view of the road ahead helps, as do activities that don't involve looking down into your lap. Being the driver, if possible, will help. Drivers should avoid repeatedly speeding up and slowing down and not take corners too quickly. Stopping every hour or so for a break and some fresh air will help.

Whether travelling by car, train, or plane, travel sickness medication is available from the pharmacist and is usually best taken half an hour or so before setting off - check whether it is likely to make you feel sleepy. Acupressure wristbands can be very effective too. Speak to your pharmacist for advice on what products might suit you

GPRobHicks Wed 08-May-13 15:57:20


Is is true that there are certain food you can eat which deter midges and mozzies? Which products do you recommend to fend them off? And which are the best to soothe bites? My DCs suffer from infected bites as soon as they strike. Thanks.

There's no solid scientific evidence that eating certain foods will deter mosquitoes. Some people believe that vitamin B1 (thiamine) found in brewer's yeast, for example, may help, but again, scientific research doesn't support this.

Mosquitoes are attracted to a chemical called lactic acid that we make more of when we exercise and also when eating certain foods, such as salty foods. They're also attracted to carbon dioxide that we give off more of when we've been exercising or are hot, to strong fragrances, and to dark clothing, which is why wearing light clothing and covering up with sleeves and trousers is recommended. Your pharmacist will be able to advise on a suitable age appropriate insect repellent. Obviously it's important not to scratch bites so there's less chance of these becoming infected. Calamine lotion or anti-histamine cream or medication may help relieve itching. Aloe Vera is also very good for soothing irritated skin.

TheOtherHelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 08-May-13 15:10:12

Hi all - apologies for the delay but here are some As to your Qs for GP Dr Rob Hicks...

stephgr Sun 05-May-13 00:58:22

I thought the podcast was really helpful. I'm also delighted to read the extra answers above especially about how long sun creams can be used for. My husband thinks they should all be thrown away at the end of the summer whereas I always want to save the creams for the following summer!

emene Thu 02-May-13 14:52:01

Just listened to the pod cast and wow filled with some great info. What would be the best aftersun you would reccomended if you have burnt I've always used aloe Vera gel and didn't no if something would work even better. Plus how can I get that curly sea water effect to my hair? xxx

Longtallsally48 Thu 02-May-13 10:59:26

I don't understand why suncreams are so expensive. What is in them that warrants the price. I think that there should be an opportunity for families on benefits to pick up sun cream at a reasonable price. Also why don't they have to have best before dates. I know they lose protection with age and I never know whether to bin season to season. I am never sure whether I bin too soon and always play safe.

Leafmould Wed 01-May-13 07:35:25

With regard to sun protection for eczema sufferers..... Sunsense is recommended by eczema nurses. It is stocked in lloyd's pharmacies.

Leafmould Wed 01-May-13 07:32:25

I have just listened to the podcast and wonder why the daft comment about it being politically incorrect to say a tan looks nice? Some people prefer it. It is a preference, not a judgement. And if dark skin does look nice, PLEASE can we have some specific advice about how to protect it?

I feel that the whole sunscreen discussion is very white -skin based, and would love it if here on mumsnet it was more inclusive.

Woodfairy Tue 30-Apr-13 17:04:57

At 54 do I need to be using a regular moisturiser for mature skin? I never have and don't seem to suffer for it, if skin gets tight I use my sons' eczma moisturiser.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Mon 29-Apr-13 22:09:42

Thanks Helen

<Fingers crossed they can come up with a great way of keeping the mossies off!>

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

TheOtherHelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 29-Apr-13 12:42:16

IwishIwasmoreorganised - the experts are answering some questions they didn't have time to cover on the show - these are posted here (see above from Mike Bell who I forgot to introduce first - oops!) and there will be some coming from Dr Rob soon. Keep an eye on this thread for those. Thanks

MikeBell Mon 29-Apr-13 12:39:45


What is he best way to protect my face from the sun, I am worried about the ageing effect it can cause.

UV light is the major cause of skin ageing so it is correct to protect your face from the effects of the sun. UVA rays are particularly responsible for premature skin ageing as they penetrate more deeply into the skin than UVB rays. First and foremost, ensure that your day cream contains a minimum of SPF15 and a 5 star UVA rating. For more prolonged, deliberate sun exposure, use a higher factor than you normally use on your body, at least SPF 30 if not SPF 50. Many face sun products also contain extra ingredients such as antioxidants to help protect against the signs of ageing. No 7 day creams are all SPF 15 and have 5 star UVA rating in addition to all of the anti-ageing ingredients typically used in the range. It is also very sensible to minimise the exposure on your face by wearing a hat whenever possible and sunglasses to protect eyes. Finally don't forget lips, these are extremely vulnerable to burning and quickly betray your age if not careful, use a lip screen to protect against the sun and reapply it frequently.

MikeBell Mon 29-Apr-13 12:38:17


My daughter has sensitive skin and struggles to find a sun cream that doesn't irritate her skin. Any suggestions ?

In the majority of cases the sensitivity is due to the UV light rather than the actual product. Many rashes are triggered by exposure to the UVA light in sunlight. The best way to try and minimise rashes and allergies is to ensure that the highest possible protection against UV is achieved so always use SPF 50+, 5 star UVA rated products and ideally products that are hypoallergenic and suitable for sensitive skin. Soltan have just launched a Kids sensitive lotion and spray to protect against this very issue.

MikeBell Mon 29-Apr-13 12:37:31


Is it safe to use the sun cream I bought for the kids last summer (and didn't get the chance to use) this summer or do I really need to buy new ones each year?

As long as a product has been stored correctly in a cool dry place and when opened has a good appearance, smells OK and looks OK, it should be safe to use for two summers but should then be discarded. However if a product has been opened and there is any possibility of it being contaminated by sand and sea water it is best to be discarded.

MikeBell Mon 29-Apr-13 12:36:49


What is a good sun cream for toddlers, last years bought a factor 50 children's cream, but it was thicker than sudocream!

Also I always burn my parting (scalp) when on the beach & in/out of the sea, is there a scalp product that's easy to apply, and doesn't result in nasty greasy hair?

There are some excellent high factor sprays available for children with SPFs of 50+. The spray format allows easy application to a wriggling toddler and tend to be a lighter texture than lotions. There is also a Kids water play product available this season in Soltan that protects for up to 6 hours including 3 hours in the water which is easy to apply and provides long-lasting protection.

MikeBell Mon 29-Apr-13 12:35:52


I keep reading and being told not to put any creams on my newborn babies skin (he's 3 weeks now) but I want to protect him from the sun (I'm fair skinned & red-haired so very sun sensitive myself) - can I use sun cream on him?

New born babies' skin is extremely sensitive and ideally until the baby is around 6 months old and the skin barrier forms fully, the fewer products applied to the skin the better for the baby. Babies under 6 months old should never be exposed to direct sunlight and they are extremely vulnerable to overheating. Best practice is to use light clothing to completely cover the baby and a hat to shade their face and keep them in the shade at all times. There is no safety reason associated with our baby products, they can be used from birth if necessary but as a last resort.

MikeBell Mon 29-Apr-13 12:33:56


Two questions from me!

How much difference is there between, say, an SPF 30 suncream costing £4 and another SPF 30 costing £15? Is one actually affording much better protection than the other or is it just branding?

Why aren't UVA ratings on the front of bottles just like SPFs? Are they not as important?

In terms of the SPF labelled on the pack an SPF 30 is an SPF 30 regardless of whether it is under £5 or over £20. The SPF rating has to be proven by European standard protocols or otherwise the company are risking challenge and litigation from contravening the cosmetics directive. However there are many differences in terms of textures, additional active ingredients and the amount of research and development carried out by the brand as well as very important additional claims such as UVA star rating and degree of water resistance. My advice is to always choose a reputable brand that you trust to protect your skin and always choose the right SPF for your skin type as well as a Five star UVA rated product.

Soltan products do label the UVA protection on the front of pack alongside the SPF. Protection against UVA rays is equally as important as UVB protection. Historically the UVA labelling was on the back of the pack but there is no reason for this to still be the case.

MikeBell Mon 29-Apr-13 12:32:49


Do once a day suncreams provide enough protection? They're much more convenient but I'm not sure if they really work.

Brands with "Once a day" claims on their sunscreens need to provide evidence of the length of protection that their products provide. Soltan Once for adults with its up to 8 hours protection was launched after five years of research and development and extremely rigorous testing in real life conditions. Initially, customers were sceptical but once they have tried the products have loved the convenience and are converted. We have a loyal following for longer-lasting sunscreen products.

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