Back From Paradise

Last week I took time off to recharge batteries right before the Chinese Lunar New Year. Spent nearly a week in glorious Phuket, Thailand. A huge portion of the days were involved reading under an umbrella, hat, Ray Ban sunglasses, doing afternoon walks on the sand and feeling very grateful. While on vacation, I used lots of Clarins SPF 40 and 50, Clarins After Sun lotion, Ultra Swim Chlorine Removal shampoo and Aveda conditioner, the UVB rays were powerful. Every day I was like the sun police trying to keep my tribe protected, reminding them to re-apply sun lotion like a mantra. There were people around me literally baking, most were European folk.

The JW Marriott resort has a lovely spa called Mandara, of course I paid a visit to take advantage of the treatments (more on this later). On the day before our departure back to Singapore, I opted for a Zoya pedicure right on the beach (brought my own polish and top coat), it cost about $10 plus the tip. The hotel was one of the nicest places I’ve ever stayed in Asia, it was our first time away since April last year.

The image above is in the afternoon at the beach in Mai Khao, Phuket, I call it The Good Life.

In my beach bag

I love beach holidays. It is time to read books or magazines, unwind, and hopefully get some sunrays. Yet I am very conflicted with sun exposure, these days I avoid it. So, how do I deal with this debacle?

First, Clarins Spf 40 lotion is used in my face and hands, it applies very light and doesn’t clog my pores. Another essential is oversized SUNGLASSES with 100% UVB protection, this is coupled with a white hat  to reflect sunrays. When at the beach or pool, I am makeup free but double up on lip balm, like Kiehls and good old Carmex for protection. Next is the “hair” issue, generally speaking I avoid chlorine because I use colour plus straightening and this leaves my hair very dry and even more dry after being in the sun/ poolside.  For hair protection, I use either Redken UV protection oil or Phyto’s Sun Protection spray.  If I do end up in chlorined water which is rare, I’ll double up on conditioner and rinse with Kiehl’s All Sport solution. Last but not least, I use Paraben Free SPF 30 cream. I am specially careful of the decollagete/ neck area. Some of my all time favorites are European brands Lancaster , Garnier and Nivea – all trusted creams I’ve been using for years.