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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

FauxFox Fri 27-Apr-12 17:46:33

Sometimes I squirt a smiley face on their tummies then rub it in, I also chase them about shrieking that i'm going to make them all slimy grin

On hot days I always make sure I get a good coating on them before we leave the house as when you are out it's harder to do it properly!

On our first family holiday to spain we managed to liberally douse dd in suncream at every opportunity and were rather pleased with ourselves....

Until we noticed that we hadn't been doing her feet as they were mostly covered in sandals. She had little brown triangles all over her feet and brown toes!!!

Thank goodness we noticed when we did, we now whip sandals off and do feet too

We put it on in the apartment after our morning shower whilst naked. We make sure everywhere is covered thoroughly. I also use a factor 50 pen across DD's parting and on the tops of ears. We reapply after lunch. Both DCs wear hats, glasses and t-shirts when it's really hot.

We travel abroad a fair bit and I hate seeing little ones who are red or sore sad

weirdscience Fri 27-Apr-12 19:24:52

Top tip - Don't try to top up sun cream on the beach when your kids are a bit sandy, they will hate you as it apparently hurts although I preferred to think of it as exfoliating

mamij Fri 27-Apr-12 19:30:24

I usually spray the sun cream on myself at the same time too. "Look, you can be just like mummy" usually works grin. Although this doesn't apply for daddies. A bribe with an ice lolly does the trick hmm

CMOTDibbler Fri 27-Apr-12 20:23:32

I use an anywayup aerosol of once a day fac 50, and we all have a really good spray naked first thing, then dance around till dry. That way, nothing gets missed.
Hats (either with neck flap or big enough to shade all round) and tops with sleeves are de rigeur here - I am so pale and burn at a rate of knots that I have to be very careful. So ds thinks this is the only way to go.
We have hats and sunscreen that lives in the cars in case of suprise sun, and a small sunscreen lives in my handbag, so we are never caught out

NorbertDentressangle Fri 27-Apr-12 20:34:57

We've always found that its best to apply it before leaving home (and preferably whilst naked too) as otherwise there are just too many distractions. Trying to get your child to come and have suncream put on rather than paddle in the sea/play on the swings/feed the goats/go off and kick a ball around etc is nigh on impossible!

We usually keep a small bottle of cream in the glove-box of the car too as its there if you have a change of plan or the weather turns surprisingly sunny.

LaVitaBellissima Fri 27-Apr-12 20:48:31

I'll be watching this thread with interest. Last Summer we were in Italy and I was obsessed with putting factor 50 on my 7 month olds and keeping them out of the sun. DP who is Italian kept trying to put them in the sun and I was being ridiculously PFB about it all.
I found the factor 50 too thick and uncomfortable too <clueless>

LillianGish Fri 27-Apr-12 21:17:14

I find the clear spray ones are the easiest to apply - no rubbing in required and it doesn't matter if you spray clothes by mistake. Also the no rubbing in bit is especially useful on the beach when they might be covered with sand.

I chase them round at a gazillion miles around yelling 'come here you little bugger you are NOT GOING OUT TILL YOU HAVE THIS ONE' and when that doesn't work I bribe them with chocolate.

Wel it's honest at least grin

AliceInordnung Fri 27-Apr-12 21:34:30

I wonder if I've overdone the high spf with dd over the years - I've been careful as both dh and I burn very easily. But I think possibly dd is at risk of Vit D deficiency as she doesn't like being outside much and when she is, her skin isn't able to manufacture vit D as much as perhaps she should because of the sun cream. Her health has always been a bit fragile so I'm now encouraging her to "get some sun" (to a sensible degree), hoping it might buck up her immune system. I actually now think she isn't as sensitive to sun as we are, but I wasn't to know that as I've smothered her in cream all these years!

I did encourage her to wear it on the ski slopes this year and bought a very handy small bottle that was shaped flat to fit comfortably into a pocket for reapplication, and also a high spf lip protector, (having had a colleague who unfortunately has permanent goggle rings round her eyes as that was the only part of her face that wasn't severely burned while skiing. Lesson learned).

Katz Fri 27-Apr-12 22:00:51

We have one DD that can wear suncream and one that is just totally allergic. The one who can we put it on before clothes and let it dry and soak in before getting her fully dresses. My DD who can't wear the stuff we put long sleaved cotton tops, trousers and hats. I recommend buying these in the winter as long sleeved cotton tops are hard to come by in the summer.

FrankWippery Fri 27-Apr-12 22:12:06

Just plonking myself in here. Will report tomorrow on our day with Ambre Solaire et al.

ICutMyFootOnOccamsRazor Fri 27-Apr-12 22:28:24

I try always to get it on them before we leave the house, as I reckon it needs a bit of time to soak in and work properly. It's also easier to get them to stand still at home than it is during the wild excitement of a beach trip, for example.

I generally use more than I think I need to, although it does leave them looking a bit weird as I use a mineral block which tends to leave a white residue. Luckily they're not old enough to realise yet and I don't care much what they look like as long as they don't burn. <mean mummy>

zipzap Fri 27-Apr-12 22:55:37

I buy up sunhats and sunglasses for the dc at the end of the summer when they are going cheap so I have plenty to have in the cars/my handbag/by the back door/etc so there are always plenty around to use even if you forget to pick one as you race out of the door late for school again. Last couple of years, Sainsbury's have had some lovely sun glasses for kids that have neoprene bands to go around the head rather than being standard sun glasses. Both ds's loved them and found them much more comfortable to wear than sunglasses, which meant they wore them more.

DS2 has hardly any hair - and he's 4 now - so come the summer he tends to wear hats a lot - trick is to have several the same so he can't get fussy about which one he wants to wear and to find one that is comfy so he just tends to wear it all the time and forget about it.

Despite being very fair skinned, I do let the dc play in the garden with relatively low levels of suncream on - spf 15 or spf 30 - and first half of the morning I will let them go out without it or not top it up in the late afternoon, so they don't get caught out by not having enough vitamin D. We have several trees that shade the garden nicely with dappled shade though so it's not as bad as it sounds and they don't tend to be out in the heat of the midday sun (mostly because there wasn't any last summer).

I also make sure that I am wearing my sunglasses as I have one pair in particular that you can see that you are turning red before you actually can without them - so they act as a good early warning system in case the sun does come out and you find yourself in it unexpectedly.

My mother is a sun worshipper who has always used suntan oil - maybe spf 8 if she wants to protect herself or spf 2 if she wants to go a bit browner (or a splash of olive oil if she'd run out hmm[frazzled brown smiley]) who can't understand why we haven't cut all the trees right down so we could have a lovely sunny garden - but all of us are much happier having lots of dappled shade so we can play outdoors without having to worry so much about the sun.

stressheaderic Fri 27-Apr-12 23:27:34

My DP is of Greek heritage and DD has inherited his olive skin which seems to tan easily and never go red or burn.
Because of this, I'm never sure whether to slather her in the highest factor or let her get some sun.
Abroad, we are strict about wearing it all over, but at home in the rainy north of England when even our sunny days are a bit hazy we don't bother. Bad, I know, but we don't.

CheeryCherry Sat 28-Apr-12 00:10:57

I also keep suncream in the car, in my bag, along with a small bottle of mozzie spray. But I mainly use the long lasting creams now, they aim to last 7 hours so I smother my dcs before school so they are covered for the day. They also keep some at school. They all witnessed their cousin being burnt after a day in the sun together, so are happy to avoid it themselves.

HateBeingCantDoUpMyJeans Sat 28-Apr-12 05:29:50

I find the spray bottles the best as it can be spread out so much and it not too thick to rub in. Tge coloured ones are good.

My trick for getting it done? Sorry to admit but peppa pig - dd is a massive fan so I say we are having cream in just like peppa pig does. Then ask her all about what peppe pig does when she has the cream on extra.

I do DHs sun cream at the same time as the DCs' as he's the most likely to burngrin
I work in a day nursery, so apply a lot of sun cream over a season.
I like the squeezy ones over the sprays, as you can control where it goes (I always end up spraying clothes, myself or other children!), but do not like them too runny. The cream needs to remain on my hand until applied to the child.

heliumballoon Sat 28-Apr-12 10:13:50

I always keep a bottle of suncream in the pocket of the buggy, and woe betide anyone who moves it. This helps with the UK's erm... changeable weather... Cold and overcast in the morning (so I wouldn't have thought to pack sunscreen) but roasting in the afternoon.
Not at the moment obviously. <packs umbrella>

Backinthebox Sat 28-Apr-12 10:15:18

I use the highest factor once-a-day stuff I can as a base - my safety back up (for me I like to use P20,) put it on whilst naked before leaving the house. Then I periodically top up with factor 50 clear spray. The spray is also good for reaching the bits you can't rub on, like the middle of your back.

DD and I and white skinned redheads, and frazzle in the sun, and I work a lot in East Africa. I'm trying to make sure for me I don't add to the damage done over years of burning when I was small, and that DCs don't have years of burning when they are small!

SkinnyVanillaLatte Sat 28-Apr-12 10:19:13

I do my kids sun cream with no problems,but I let them do under their chins themselves as they're so tickly there!

SkinnyVanillaLatte Sat 28-Apr-12 10:20:06

Oh,and I always have some suncream wipes in my handbag.

ListenToYourHeart Sat 28-Apr-12 11:33:17

I find it easier to apply a good layer of a factor 50 liquid sun cream all over DD before she gets dressed, then once dressed top up her face, arms (any areas without clothing) then keep a spray factor 50 with me throughout the day to top up smile

asuwere Sat 28-Apr-12 11:52:42

I usually use clear spray stuff that doesn't need rubbed in as quicker and easier. None of my kids mind getting it on and they assume it's just normal before leaving the house. Always have hats on too, again, my kids never go out without a hat (either cosy hat in winter or sun hat in summer!)

I have used the coloured cream in the past which the kids did enjoy rubbing in but still find the spray on stuff much easier and I know that they are fully covered and haven't missed any bits.

I also have an extra bottle of suncream in car, one in the pram basket and small one in my bag just in case! smile

I am petrified of wasps and tend to stay in in the summer, or at least close to home. I use a wasp repellent sun lotion in Factor 50 for us all and it helps to get me out and about, even if it is just psychological, I like that feature in my sun cream.

The kids adore the coloured stuff they can see to rub in. I'd like something that combines both. In an easy action pump spray for arthritic hands.

It would be the perfect sun cream.

Fenouille Sat 28-Apr-12 14:51:42

We apply cream all over before getting dressed and then I have small tubes for when we're out and about. Hats are derigeur here too as are sunglasses (as I have very sensitive eyes) although I can't get DS to keep his sunglasses on for more than 10 seconds at a time.

I've also got some t-shirts and bathing costumes with anti-uv protection built in for the summer.

Kristina2 Sat 28-Apr-12 14:57:48

Our kids love the lipstick sized tubes of thick coloured sunblock . They paint them on tneir cheeks, noses and lips when they are swimming and pretend tbey are surfers or lifeguards

CarryOnMatron Sat 28-Apr-12 15:56:03

I always get them covered in sun screen before we leave for the beach with a high factor cream. Once out and about I tend to top them up using a spray, we tend to get more cooperation if we buy a coloured spray. The boys seem to really like having sun screen put on if it is coloured.

Over time we've learnt not to neglect areas like tops of ears and scalp as these tend to be really sore and easy to miss. Also I let the boys choose their own sun hates and glasses which also contribute to avoiding getting burnt.

r3dh3d Sat 28-Apr-12 18:35:11

I label each bottle when I buy it with the year it was bought. We end up with quite a few bottles kicking around over the year (in school bags for both DDs, in the house, in the buggy, in the holiday house, in the car...) and it's easy to lose track of which goes out of date when.

In summer, both DDs wear a single big French plait* - means I don't have to worry about a hair parting getting burnt, but still keeps it all out of their faces.

*I mean one French plait each. Not that I plait their heads together - though now I come to think of it, the idea has its merits... grin

hairypotter Sat 28-Apr-12 19:21:42

We plaster children straight from the shower. Let them prance around in the nip for a bit to dry off afterwards. During the day we top up with the dry aerosol ones so no need to rub in, followed by a good dollop of cream on faces, ears, neck and scalp.

Sometimes it feels like all we do is apply sunscreen so I have decided to invent a machine to do it for me. grin it's like an automatic spray tan machine but with sunscreen! Genius idea if I may say so. Coming soon to all beaches and other hot sunny places. Pay a quid and pop your dc in and voila!!

HazeltheMcWitch Sat 28-Apr-12 20:11:57

Agree with all the posters above who just get the suncream applied before going out.

I tend to let each DC rub suncream into one of my arms after they have had theirs applied. For some unknown reason it makes them more compliant.

WitchOfEndor Sat 28-Apr-12 21:13:32

I make sure DS is covered in cream before I put his clothes on as it's easier and less messy to do that than slathering it on when he is dressed. He has Maltese heritage though so despite the factor 50 / sun hats and being out of the sun between 12:30 and 14:30 for a nap he still managed to get some colour!

KenDoddsDadsDog Sun 29-Apr-12 07:59:57

I use the spray straight out of the shower. Have been known to dry DD with a hairdryer when we are in a rush blush

Keep your suncream in the bathroom and apply it straight after the shower, just like moisturiser. Then you can forget about it for the rest of the day (assuming it's an all day one). And make sure you use enough.

Lilyloo Sun 29-Apr-12 13:22:41

When we are abroad everyone is done naked when we get up before we put our swimsuits on.
Oddly we never do that at home but I do like the coloured cream that helps you see where you have covered.
Watching this thread for tips as slip slop slapping 20 children at nursery is never easy!

Lilyloo Sun 29-Apr-12 13:25:20

Always remember the parting in your hair too, had a painful experience when I missed that spot.

Kveta Sun 29-Apr-12 14:32:37

we tend to have to wrestle DS to the ground, then use one hand to apply sun lotion, and one hand to stop him wiping it straight off.

also, we try not to be outside in the peak sunshine hours (so basically, March this year...), as DS will absolutely not wear a hat. Although we've recently had some success with a fez, but it looks a bit ridiculous being out and about in suburban England, with a blond toddler in wellies, a raincoat, and a fez. confused

I burned badly, and often, as a child, in the West of Scotland, so am not complacent about the power of the sun in the UK!

aristocat Sun 29-Apr-12 15:35:03

Another here who creams the DCs when abroad before getting dressed. DS has sensitive skin and his sun-cream at the moment is a roll-on.
This has been a huge success for both DCs as they love the novelty of it instead of normal sun lotion bottle. Very easy to carry around and will definitely buy it again!

Indith Sun 29-Apr-12 19:39:01

I keep my dcs covered really and use very little sunscreen. We spend a lot of time outside so they build up exposure. They wear proper hats and long shorts/t-shirts, we steer clear of strappy dresses. If we are at the beach or walking or otherwise out all day with little chance to seek shade then we apply sunscreen but for normal garden or park play I just make sure they come in for a bit fairly regularly (bribed with ice lollies or juice, also good for making ure they drink!).I've never had trouble getting it on them when it is needed and we know to use plenty. Neither child has had sunburn and nor do they get a deep tan, just not quite so pale as in winter so I figure I must be getting exposure about right.

mckenzie Sun 29-Apr-12 21:18:22

We all use the lotions that last 6 hours or more so that application is minimal. When on holiday we tend to go from pjs to swim suits via suntan lotion application, it's just part of the routine. When we top up later, it's after lunch while we're chilling in the shade so DC can be reading or playing cards while we apply. DD is good at doing it herself, having watched us but DS, although older, is pants at it!! We don't like the sprays - one bit of wind and it goes everywhere.

ratflavouredjelly Mon 30-Apr-12 00:20:30

I always put sun cream on before the tinies are dressed (unlike DH who tries to poke it around under their collars). I also have a stash located conveniently around the house - at least one tube in one of the kids bedrooms, one in the kitchen and one in the car.
There is a sun cream which is blue so you can see where you have applied previously that's rather handy.
I avoid the spray on creams as there have been claims of nano technology etc etc adding chemicals deep into the skin. Prefer old school sun cream.

EllenParsons Mon 30-Apr-12 02:22:37

Don't forget the less obvious spots like back of the neck, ears, feet!

Blatherskite Mon 30-Apr-12 10:20:12

The anyway up spray cans are by far the easiest way of applying lotion ime. I give mine a good dousing before getting dressed in the morning to make sure we've got everywhere and then top it up as thoroughly as I can around lunchtime when the sun is strongest. - always trying to remember that sleeves and short legs can ride up when children are playing.

The pump sprays are the worst. Once you've done one child and rubbed it in, your hands are too slippy to pump the bottle for the second child!

I also always keep a spare bottle of cream in the baby bag and by the back door. No excuse for forgetting then smile

ShatnersBassoon Mon 30-Apr-12 11:38:08

Oh yes, children's ears burn very easily when the sun hat of choice is a baseball cap and they're outside on a school trip all day. I did their face and neck, but forgot their tabs grinops:.

ShatnersBassoon Mon 30-Apr-12 11:39:25

That should be a blush, not a grin. I'm not insanely proud of my parental shortcomings.

TheRhubarb Mon 30-Apr-12 11:46:34

I didn't realise that children's sunscreen was not to be used on babies. I think if you look on the instructions they have to be over a year old.

Therefore when mine were very little I would seek out sunscreen made with zinc oxide as apparently this cream is not absorbed into the skin but creates a layer on the skin to protect against the sun. However by far the better method is just to keep children covered with long sleeved t-shirts and hats and where possible, provide shade for them to play under.

Some of the high factor sunscreens can be really greasy and heavy, but I find the sprays are good for even coverage. I don't use a very strong factor as children do also need to absorb some of the suns rays to get essential vitamin D (as do we), so I generally go for factor 25 or 30.

Also, every summer check your sunscreen as they do go out of date which can make them less effective. On hot days keep them in the fridge as not only is that lovely and cooling when you spray it on, but it also stops it again from going off.

Tamoo Mon 30-Apr-12 12:49:57

I always use the spray-on for DS; easier to apply, less mess, more fun. The only annoyance is that mix of water, sand and suncream that you have to deal with later in the day when you're out at the beach.

I remember going on holiday as a child and burning terribly; we'd go back to our apartment and my mum would peel the skin off my back and shoulders (don't know whether people just didn't care as much in those days or whether it was just her hmm)

ScorpionQueen Mon 30-Apr-12 13:34:56

Might be TMI but we always start the day by applying it naked in the hotel room. We reapply frequently. We get through a lot of sun lotion on holiday and I favour higher factors, as a tan is not the reason we go abroad. I also make sure we have access to shade and books/toys/games etc. to encourage the kids to spend time out of direct sunlight.

As the girls are getting older I have to nag them more but the message seems to be getting through to them. I show them pics of the nan in Benidorm as a cautionary tale.

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!

lumbago Wed 02-May-12 22:48:30

I just don't find sun cream an issue.
You lot are taking avoutvit as if it's a great parenting issue.

lumbago Wed 02-May-12 22:48:51

The only think I like are handbag size ones.

ImaginateMum Thu 03-May-12 01:11:41

I am a Kiwi, so therefore a suncream obsessive.

My top tip is that it is worth buying UV suits and floppy hats so that there is hardly any left sticking out which needs cream.

Brockle Thu 03-May-12 08:31:07

The spray lotions are so much easier and last year on holiday the boys enjoyed squirting it on themselves. They had one bottle they could squirt and I had another to cover them comprehensively. I used to cover them from head to toe before breakfast so that by the time we were ready to head out it was all absorbed. Ears could never be forgotten and kids water resistant was fantastic.

Brockle Thu 03-May-12 08:31:10

The spray lotions are so much easier and last year on holiday the boys enjoyed squirting it on themselves. They had one bottle they could squirt and I had another to cover them comprehensively. I used to cover them from head to toe before breakfast so that by the time we were ready to head out it was all absorbed. Ears could never be forgotten and kids water resistant was fantastic.

CaptainHetty Thu 03-May-12 10:24:53

Probably because our children's health is a great issue, lumbago hmm

disparatefishwife Thu 03-May-12 12:01:28

i love making my little babies all wriggly and giggly when slip sliding the suncream all over their chubby little bodies. there's nothing better than seeing them play unencumbered by all their thick wintery clobber!

PartOfAWednesday Thu 03-May-12 12:26:37

When they were small, I used to make a game of it, and always used a coloured cream because it's easier to see (at speed!) where it's gone. The fact that it's coloured used to cause great amusement, which also helped.

I prefer a cream bottle than a pump spray because it gets too slippery on your hands to pump the bottle, as another poster has mentioned.

These days, as they're more independent, I've explained to them what it's for and "let them apply it themselves". Older children need to understand the reasons because you're not always around when cream needs to go on. But I always give them a once-over to make sure they've done a proper job, on the pretext of doing the hard-to-reach places.

gingercat12 Thu 03-May-12 12:50:11

My DS does not mind. He loves going out and the nursery is very strict. He cannot play with his friends outside with no suncream on. As a result he always volunteers to get his suncream first. (He is very fair-skinned as well.)

cario Thu 03-May-12 14:06:58

When my boy was a toddler, I just used to tell him it was the law....

JS06 Thu 03-May-12 14:58:58

I tell them (girl 13 and boy 15) that they'll never get a girl/boy friend if they're frazzled to a crisp!

Kristina2 Thu 03-May-12 18:40:12

LOL at JS. We use a similar anti smoking message for DD, as she can see that of all her aunts, the ones who smoke look much older sad

QOD Thu 03-May-12 18:45:02

Always have a mirror to hand, small compact sized. Put blobs on the child's face, hand them the mirror and do their trunk and legs whilst they are distracted!
Factor 50 stick to swipe across cheek bones and nose, tops of ears and parting.

RainQueen Thu 03-May-12 18:48:40

I hate putting suncream on but I have found that it is easiest to do in the morning when they are naked so you can cover everywhere and you don't ruin clothes.

maples Thu 03-May-12 19:21:41

Lumbago did you read my post about my mum's skin cancer sad ?

telsa Thu 03-May-12 23:01:58

Coloured sunsticks that look like war paint go on very easily!

And I too like the sprays.

Always worried about the ingredients though - and am still seeking the perfect non-carcinogenic one.

SuziP Fri 04-May-12 07:29:59

We call it magic fairy cream in our house!! With two girls, adding magic and fairy to anything seems to help!! smile

Mondaybaby Fri 04-May-12 09:54:59

For applying suncream to my dd's face I rub it into my palms and then pat it onto her face rather than rubbing it with my fingers, if you see what I mean! It is quicker and I can apply it even before she has seen me coming! And also it is really important to put the sun cream on 30 mins or so before you go out and then reapply it as you are in the sun.

Puppypoppet Fri 04-May-12 20:03:23

I love the clear spray ones - not keen on the thick white cream types as no matter how much you rub them in they never seem to absorb and they leave a greasy top layer (yuck). When DD was a toddler used to sing Head, Shoulders, Knees and toes whilst applying.

WhoremoaneeGrainger Sat 05-May-12 19:30:36

When DD was smaller i used the liquid sun creams, then we moved on to one in a roller bottle (think MUM roll-on), which was fab as we used to make her all stripey and then rub it in, now we use a colored spray one. Have never had a problem getting it on her as we used to say no cream = no playing outside. She was always in and out of her paddling pool, so we used to reapply every hour or so, and come in for lunch when it got really hot. She is 10 now, and carries a handbag sized sun lotion in her school bag all the time. She is the most popular girl on impromptu walks to the field.

katiesobol Mon 07-May-12 08:41:11

I tend to use the sprays, as these are so much easier on wriggly children. I encourage them to get involved in rubbing the suncream in. We always leave the spray under the chin till a wonderful tickly treat at the end!

lorisparkle Mon 07-May-12 21:48:17

I find that speed is the important thing. I use sprays then quickly do arms, legs, neck, etc then spray my own hand, put dots on their faces then quickly rub it in.

Two tips - firstly don't forget the feet if they take their shoes/socks off mid way through the day

secondly avoid putting cream on near the car because if anyone touches the cars paintwork with sun cream on their hands the marks are a nightmare to remove.

LovelyJubilee Tue 08-May-12 10:47:43

We use a spray aerosol which I find gives a nice quick even coverage which doesn't need too much rubbing in (the bit my kids hate).

We do it before swimsuits go on so all covered then quick top ups throughout the day.

I did have a allured spray which the kids loved when they were smaller, and we'd spray a little face on their tummies before rubbing in.

LovelyJubilee Tue 08-May-12 10:48:09

*coloured not allured!

cakeismysaviour Tue 08-May-12 10:57:18

As a pale redhead, with a pale redhead baby, this is v.important to me! I find that nothing under factor 50 is adequate. It must be reapplied every 1-2 hours if outdoors on sunny days and the sprays are much easier to work with (not as messy/greasy).

Also if I get wet/clammy I have to reapply straight away to avoid burning.

I would also love to know if there are sun lotions available that are above factor 50, because even that is only just adequate if constantly reapplied. I burn very easily!

cakeismysaviour Tue 08-May-12 11:01:15

Oh and what I have said above about me also applies to my baby (also v.pale-skinned). He is too young to struggle too much when I apply sun cream to him grin, but as I said above - nothing less than factor 50 and re-applying every 1-2 hours is key.

I don't tend to let him catch the sun too much though. He has a nice hat collection and a parasol on the pushchair. smile

Always done while naked. It is too much of a faff to try and do it around clothes. The spray is so much easier than the lotion I think. I also used to rub it into their scalp, especially the parting as they can burn easily there, and around the ears (especially the edge of the ears). Unfortuantely due to some mistakes when I was younger I know all the areas that seem to get missed with cream!

VikingVagine Tue 08-May-12 17:20:17

In the summer it's a daily routine before the kids get dressed, they get slathered in cream, then topped up during the day on the bits that are exposed.

jennywren123 Tue 08-May-12 20:33:25

Don't forget the tips of your ears!

VikingVagine Tue 08-May-12 21:35:18

If my two are reluctant I let them dab some on our cats' ears and noses in exchange!

ilovecats Wed 09-May-12 06:47:10

We all put suncream on first thing in the morning before getting dressed. DD who is 3 sees it as part of our morning routine and will remind me (not that I forget). I'm so pale I burn easily, so wouldn't want to put DDs through it.
I also have mini bottles in the car, my hand bag, changing bag etc for top ups. I always buy new bottles every year because I am not really sure how long its effectiveness lasts, so want to make sure.

escape Wed 09-May-12 18:48:20

What Frank & Queenof said smile
But seriously - I was the 3rd MN'er on the day along with my 5 year old son. As described the team were lovely, the food was lovely, the rain was diabolical and Lorraine Kelly is a genuinely nice woman - the kids loved her and she is a really 'magnetic' lady - smily, friendly and very very nice.

Right, Sun Tan lotion - I lathered and lathered DS , and probably used more lotion than I normally would if I am really honest before he went into the UV tent, even though, with 3 kids and having lived abroad I am quite aware of the suns evils and my kid propensity to burning etc..

But, it wasn't enough.. in admittedly those 'harder to reach' places , but malignly on his face, as I am always conscious of poking them in the eye, or getting the lotion in places it shouldn't be.. The UV tent taught me to be really careful around the face/neck and ears...

The dermatologists reckoning of the amount that should be used was enlightening too - when measuring out the recommended usage - more is more it seems !

As a parent, I think the 'do it before you go out' is the most practical way to ensure it can be applied properly and without added struggle or distraction of pools etc..
It's the re-application part that can get forgotten but mustn't.

vixo Thu 10-May-12 07:47:55

From what I'm reading here I definitely don't think I apply enough, but my daughter has never burnt. We never go on holidays to sunny places so maybe that helps, as the summers here haven't been all that hot here. I just hold on to her and put it on, and she knows that we don't go out until it's done no matter how much she yells. The baby is too little to have an opinion, and easier to hold on to - and she just didn't go in the sun last summer!

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 11-May-12 11:23:13

Thanks for all your comments. Am pleased to say Kveta wins the Garnier goodies...well done!

Pinot Fri 11-May-12 11:28:33

Congrats Kveta!

I am about to dock in Madeira and have slathered my 2 in the Ambre Solaire suntan lotion for an afternoon in the sun!!!

Congratulations Kveta.

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