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NOW CLOSED: Share your top stories and tips for applying sun lotion to yourself and your children with Garnier Ambre Solaire. You could win £100 worth of free Garnier products.

(111 Posts)
KatieBMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 27-Apr-12 17:40:51

You may recall we recently recruited three mumsnetters to to be filmed and learn all about applying the correct amount of sun lotion, on themselves and on their children . The video will be coming soon as well as a giveaway and lots of advice (including a Q&A with Ambre Solaire's expert) so please do keep your eyes peeled for this.

Garnier say "we are really excited to be working with MN to to take part in our sun care challenge to help mums enjoy their summer safely with their families."

In the meantime everyone is invited to share their tips for getting suncream on their children as well as their stories about how easy or difficult you find this...do you worry about your children being exposed to the sun at home or abroad or you confident you know how much cream to apply and how often?

Everyone who adds a tips, story or comment to this thread will be entered into a prize draw where one person will win a Garnier goody bag worth up to £100.

If you were one of the MNers who attended the day with your child, please share with the rest of the community your experiences of the day, what you learnt and if you were surprised by anything.

Please note comments added to this thread may be used on the forthcoming Ambre Solaire pages on MN.

Thanks MNHQ

FrankWippery Mon 30-Apr-12 14:31:27

I was one of the MNers who attended the day with my youngest DD (3) for the Ambre Solaire info wotnot and about 50 film/make-up/clothes crew

Well, let's say I could happily get used to that sort of day! We arrived first thing at the most lovely house in North London and were whisked straight through to the kitchen for a delicious breakfast and a talk through of the day's plans.

DD3 was taken off with her chaperone (get us grin) for the day to choose her Summer outfits - dress, hat and costume - while we (me and the other two MNers there) had our hair and make up done. Then we were shown the clothes options for us. Per Una... Oddly enough, we wore mostly our own garb!

The first part of the day involved our slathering sun cream into the children in their swimwear that had been mixed with a UV reacting powder, and we were told to apply as we would normally. They (the Ambre Solaire team) made a note of how much we applied which would be used later to show us where/if we went wrong...

Once applied the children were (individually) taken into a tent with UV lighting, instructed to twirl etc, while the camera chaps filmed and the Dermatologist discussed with us (the mothers) how we had applied, where we had missed bits or not put enough on - all this very apparent under the UV where DD, my hands, my lovely white jeans and just about anything I'd touched, glowed a nuclear green. DD absolutely loved this.

Mid morning Lorraine Kelly arrived. TBH I was expecting a mass entourage of her 'people', but it was her, her trusty stick (she has pretty recently had a horrendous accident involving a horse stamping on her leg - mean scar to show as well) and her lovely PA. She was absolutely delightful and spent the whole day happily chatting to us, the children and, somewhat amusingly, was in fits when DD3 shushed her rather enthusiastically during a silent filming moment.

We stopped for the most fabulous lunch (see how I can absolutely get used to this life) and then the children were ushered to change into their Summer clothes/hats etc. All of this day was meant to be shot out in the garden. However, of all the rain that could come in one day, that was THE day for it. So, they had to go off the original script plan (kids' party, running around in swimmies etc in the garden) and try and recreate something as best as could be done. The children were bribed given some little toys and were filmed on and off over the next hour or so as just themselves.

The bigger segment of the filming was to be me, the other two MNers, Lorraine Kelly and the Dermatologist (whose name escapes me, sorry) sitting round the 'party' table and chatting about everything and nothing, interspersed with the 'serious' bit about how well we did with our sun cream applications, how we should have done it and how much we should be using on the average pre-schooler/older child and ourselves.

This, in theory, would have been a relatively easy task. Or so I thought. Not only was there the massive temptation of all the Haribo, biscuits and pineapple cubes which I succumbed to with alarming speed there was also the problem of trying to keep a straight face, not snort with laughter and re take a gazillion times. At this point it was apparent that the children were much better behaved than their mothers. And it was noted.

The results for me and my DD showed that while my coverage was pretty good I had forgotten silly bits like the tips of her ears and the back of her neck (though she does have long hair). The recommended amount for her age is 4 teaspoons (20ml) and I had used half that. The dermatologist suggested that topping up every couple or three hours is about right - all depending on how much they're in and out of the pool/sea, getting hot and sweaty, towelling off etc, along with the usual blurb of staying out of the sun between noon and 3. Interestingly (and confirming what I had felt) she said that the once a day creams really are not once a day full protection if one is leaping in and out of the water all day (as my children and I do), and she said that even they need to be reapplied at least one more time.

With my children I have always applied their sun cream a good half an hour before leaving the house (when we lived in the sun) or hotel etc, and generally been pretty good about topping up every couple of hours or so. Having lived in Southern Spain for almost 8 years, I like to think that I am pretty savvy when it comes to the sun and we would rarely venture out in the direct sun during the middle of the day.

All in all we had a fabulous day, DD really enjoyed herself (as did I) and I learnt, quite simply, that we need to be applying more sunscreen than we think and, while protecting them from burning is paramount, they must have that exposure to the sun to get that all important Vit D - blocking out completely is a BAD thing, as we have learnt during recent studies - and that's just in this country and the somewhat erratic sun that we get here.

FrankWippery Mon 30-Apr-12 14:31:53

Bloody hell that was long...

AlmaMartyr Mon 30-Apr-12 17:47:13

I find it a real gaff to apply sunscreen because it just takes so long so I like to minimise how much skin needs to be covered. My DCs spend a lot of time in wetsuits in the summer! Personally, I use Ultrasun because I only need to apply it once. To get suncream on the DCs, I either make a game of it, let them squirt themselves with it etc, or I sit on them wink

lagoonhaze Tue 01-May-12 08:56:42

My only tip is the more you do it the wingeing lets shorter! Maybe I should apply it all year round!

this is an amended version of a blog post I wrote about the day:

I had a brush with a star. DS and I were in London to do a promotional video for Ambre Solaire suntan lotion for children. I say this like going to London and doing promotional videos is an everyday occurrence. It’s not and I was suitably boggle eyed at the experience. However back to the star. Lorraine Kelly. Being the horrible person I am I wanted to not like her, she’s a celebrity, she’s on TV, she is not one of us and I wanted her to act like a diva.

Lorraine Kelly is lovely. Truly. Friendly, warm and likeable. She was lovely to the children, she had a gossip and laugh with us. I was very disappointed in her. Next time (hah!) I would like my celebrities to be more diva-ish so I have something to bitch about on my blog.

So promotional video for Ambre Solaire?

If you are interested in how I ended up in a house in North London then you can read here:Are-you-are-applying-enough-sun-cream-on-yourself-your-kids-We-want-to-put-this-to-the-test-MNers-needed-to-attend-event-in-London

To cut to the chase the whole thing was about how important it is to apply suncream and how much and how often you should be applying it. It involved turning the children illuminous green so DS(3) was up for it and I’ll do most things for free food.

We were chosen, after a flurry of emails and phone calls we went to London. Breakfast on the train – very exciting.

We were deposited at a house in North London FULL OF PEOPLE all telling me if I had a problem at all then come to them. DS refused to say anything. Slightly worrying start. Luckily thanks to a pinball machine (broken but unimportant detail when you are 3) and a kitchen full of food he soon loosened up.

There were 2 other ladies and their children. Both great company and the children were lovely and well behaved (sorry don’t really like children so that’s the best I can do).

We were led to make up whilst the children were dressed. Apparently after 45 minutes under the brush and the removal of my glasses I looked “15 years younger”* as I looked about 36 at that point I am slightly worried that my anti-wrinkle cream is not doing it’s job.

It was the adults turn to be dressed. Now I had already thrown a diva strop (oh yes I was getting into the role even if Lorraine wasn’t) about the fact they wanted A to wear a vest top. I would never put A in a vest top, firstly because of the sun and secondly because I don’t like 3yr old boys in vest tops and this happened to be my 3 year old boy. A was on the costume mans side, we compromised, A wore the vest top UNDER a t-shirt. As I entered the room for clothes an array of dresses and tops were lain out on the bed. You are probably going to have to be a mumsnetter to get this but, most were from Per Una. It was not the costume guys fault, having to dress 3 women of various shapes and sizes with no photos to go on could not have been easy. Again we compromised, I wore what I bought with me so if I look like a bag of potatoes on camera it’s my own fault.

The children, looking adorable, had sunscreen applied. DS obviously thought his role was to mimic real life as much as possible and thus standing still required reward of sweets (yes it’s a reward not bribery!). They were then put in a tent and the parts that were adequately covered glowed green (which I have to admit was quite cool), whilst the bits we missed remained dark. This was all filmed. I found it quite interesting, the parts I knew I had covered weren't covered enough. I thought I am quite diligent about applying to ears and neck but apparently not.

The afternoon was spent filming a segment with the mums (I hate to use that word but in this context the best way to describe us) and Lorraine as we discussed the results with a dermatologist and she demonstrated how much we should use. The amount we were suppose to use was double what I was expecting (and sun tan cream isn't cheap).

I have to say filming is tedious, repeating yourself again and again. And having to smile. Lots. My offer of a rap mid film was turned down, and my attempt at hand modelling the suncream was met with a raised eyebrow. Personally I blame FrankWippery and the amount of sugar (for some reason the table was set for a kids party full of cake and sweeties, which of course we were eating). It took several takes and had the crew wishing they were working with the children again. If you do ever see the video watch how the plates slowly deplete.

Once that was done, and the producers blood pressure had returned to normal we were individually filmed applying suncream to our children and then that was a wrap and we were back in a taxi to the station.

The producer, director, crew, costume guy, make-up ladies, sound man, camera men etc were fantastic, lovely and welcoming. It was slightly disconcerting seeing so many men’s underwear on display. Being of a ‘certain age’ (sorry) I only usually see my husbands. I had an overwhelming urge to go round and pull up all their jeans and buckle their belts more tightly. I resisted (despite the fact I think if I had done that Lorraine would have joined in). There was also a slight hat issue going on, director person you are a nice looking lad, take that stupid hat off. Again, age.

Thank you to Mumsnet/Ambre Solaire for organising this, it was fun to do something different for the day. I met Jennifer and Olivia the intern. Jennifer was lovely, but needs to stop worrying about wearing a bikini.

The only hiccup for me in the whole day was the absence of mention of vitamin D. It IS important to put sun cream on, it IS important to apply enough and re-apply. It is also important to get adequate Vitamin D, our main source being sunlight. I thought it could be mentioned that it was important that your children did get some sunlight (not a lot is needed) outside the ‘danger’ times of 11-3 whilst not being covered in sun cream.

As well behaved as the children were I think Boots may sell out of condoms in the North London area this week.

After the day I will be applying sun cream more thoroughly, but I am also a big fan of the cover up method which with children can be easier (or my child at least) than getting them to stand still long enough to apply the sun cream well enough.

This post wasn’t sponsored, written by or contain any thoughts of any Ambre Solaire or Mumsnet people (however I think we would all agree that Lorraine was lovely). They are all my own thoughts about life and sun cream. Personally I don’t care what brand you use, as long as you use it.

* that was NOT said by the make up artist.

FrankWippery Tue 01-May-12 11:31:03

grin Queen. Yep, was all my fault.

Jolyonsmummy Tue 01-May-12 14:49:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TitanicMoviesAlwaysGoDownWell Tue 01-May-12 15:08:29

My children mainly dislike suncream application though are accepting of it. However therefore I'm always trying to go quickly and they're saying "are you done yet?". So I imagine that I don't put enough on .

We do it just prior to leaving the house/going in to the garden etc, and I only do it on really/quite sunny days.

I'm aware I don't sound as good as some on this thread, I'm probably not! But I do put extra on my fairskinned blond child and I do always do tips of ears etc for the shorthaired boys.

milk Tue 01-May-12 17:34:29

Apply while they are zombies in front of the television smile

missorinoco Tue 01-May-12 18:06:33

My children like putting coloured lotion on themselves. I also let them put it on me afterwards, not sure I thought that part out for the long haul.

Put it on before you leave the house, or if it's hot the sweat stops it forming a barrier on your skin.

BenedictsCumberbitch Tue 01-May-12 21:45:40

Apply when naked first thing, make a game of it, draw funny faces and let them rub it in. Sing a song about cream getting everywhere relating to each part of the body. Ahem. I realise the above makes me sound like a complete goon. Hey it works!

Labootin Wed 02-May-12 09:27:29

We live in Dubai so it's pretty much constant sun

Kids wear rash vests when swimming and I use a spray on arms and legs and a solid stick on faces and necks.

Hats in full sun ( the school applies
this rule during lunchtimes and breaks so it's pretty much just accepted.

They do have an outdoor lifestyle though at the moment they're in the pool everyday and ds spends hours playing cricket and dd playing golf so despite all The covering up there torso's are lily White and everything else is brown.

ProfCoxWouldGetIt Wed 02-May-12 10:08:24

In the peak of summer we apply DD's suntan lotion on before she gets dressed, that way you get decent starting layer (and she loves the running around naked while it soaks in)

I got her to help by rubbing it on my back - where silly old mummy's arms can't reach - she doesn't always do the best job, but she really enjoys it.

We also have done drawing animals on her belly before rubbing it in. which she says is very tickly

Roseformeplease Wed 02-May-12 10:34:57

We buy the all day stuff and really go for it in the morning so that we don't have to do it again. We have also had the sunsuits which help a lot but found that the PizBuin Once a day does a lovely job. Ambre Solaire is good too and, I have to say, with sun cream, I have found that you get what you pay for and it is worth buying the good stuff. We lurk in Tesco during September and buy up cream when it is on offer as we sometimes go away in October. Also, getting the children to do the easy bits themselves (they are 10 and 11) saves a huge amount of time and effort.

maples Wed 02-May-12 12:29:17

Plenty on is my top tip! I was teased as a child by dsis for my liberal applications - I burn really easily.

My poor mum unfortunately then got skin cancer (even though she'd used cream religiously) and the dermatologist told her most people simply don't put enough on.

Now there is no mocking in our family and everyone slathers it on! grin

Crumpets Wed 02-May-12 14:14:52

I am waiting for someone to invent a sun cream that will dissolve in water so you could have, for example, an SPF 15 swimming pool. Or even bath. Are you listening Ambre Solaire?

Firawla Wed 02-May-12 14:15:08

interesting to read the comments from the ppl who did the filming!

have to admit i am quite lax with suncream, my dc are half asian and they never burn.. so only when it is really really hot would it even cross my mind, but thinking of buying the spray on ones as dses school said we have to send them in with sunscrean in the hot weather and that the spray ones are easier for them to apply

Pinot Wed 02-May-12 14:17:59

My DS2 burns v easily (we are a family of gingers) and I have to say I've found the sprays so much easier than the gloopy bottles. I get the kids to stand in front of me and I spray each of them everywhere and them rub in.

It's like a factory production line but it works!

My top tip would be to not forget lips. Use the sticks and even with little babies, apply lip sun protection.

CaptainHetty Wed 02-May-12 14:18:33

I find spray bottles easier with the kids, and far less messy. I cover them (and I mean, literally cover) about 30 minutes before they leave the house and reapply it to uncovered skin frequently throughout the day. I find squirting a small amount of cream onto their hand to apply themselves keeps them busy enough while I stick the rest of it on. Also, I use a sun cream stick instead of spray or lotion on their faces, causes less fuss and less likely to get in their eyes.

My son is of Greek heritage and doesn't burn - but that doesn't mean the UV rays aren't harmful to his skin. They're all covered from head to toe, hats on, and if they won't put them on they aren't going out.

Also as schools generally refuse to apply suncream (fair enough, don't think they'd have time to do all the children!) I use a formula which supposedly lasts all day and give the boys a Factor 30 stick to reapply to their faces before they go outside.

FreePeaceSweet Wed 02-May-12 14:26:08

We apply it each morning before breakfast during the height of summer. This gives it chance to soak in while they eat. We then apply a bit more just before leaving the house paying special attention to noses, cheeks, nape of neck and ear tops. We reapply religiously if on a day out and they get a small treat at home if they keep hats and shades on and remember to reapply(I have memories of sunstroke as a child and I was hospitalised for fluids and pain relief). I also rub some on their toes if they have sandals on or are playing barefoot in the garden. After a tepid shower I use Aloe Vera after sun lotion instead of body lotion. I'm very pale and go very pink even with high SPF, a hat and shades. I dread to think how I'd look if I didn't take precautions. My kids are mixed race and never go red but I still smother them in lotion. Its not worth the risk.

Selyna Wed 02-May-12 15:08:42

Watching this thread too to get advice for when I take my will be one year old away on her first holiday smile

SmallShips Wed 02-May-12 17:10:58

We use a dry oil spray on the body and scalp and a factor 30 stick on the face. There is no way my 3 are going to stand still long enough for me to apply a cream. We get through the spray much quicker than the cream but it's worth it, the sprays are MUCH easier to apply.

chrisrobin Wed 02-May-12 18:42:55

When we are on holiday we apply once a day sun cream before getting dressed, then top up if it is very sunny later in the day. This makes sure that they get all the coverage they need rather than pushing up clothes to apply it or rushing because we spent too much time eating breakfast and have to dash out the door.The boys rub sun cream onto DH while I apply it to them, it stops them trying to swat me away and complaining it it is tickling them (it is also a sneaky way of getting sun cream onto DH).

avelte Wed 02-May-12 19:56:27

there is no risk here with this kind of weather but on holiday i make sure to put a good amount before leaving house,a few times after in the beach,is very important the first week to take care more than second week

GreyGardens Wed 02-May-12 20:13:13

Always apply sun cream BEFORE the beach (voice of sandy experience).

Put it on at least half an hour before going in the sun - if possible, straight after the shower.
Coloured creams/sprays seem to elicit a positive response from my 5 year old daughter. She's quite vain like her mother so if she sees me doing it, she's more likely to put it on too. In fact now she'll do it herself.

We both like separate products for face/lips.
I tend to apply every hour or so and always after swimming.
I worry more about the sun abroad but because she's fair skinned I do apply it in moderation on sunny days in the UK, but not in winter, that would be nuts. Vitamin D is good too smile.
I'm probably an old bit of leather so it would be nice if she could maintain her fair and unlined skin for years to come!

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