Crikey, it’s hot out there! The kind of weather that has fair-skinned types like me scuttling for the shade like a gecko running under a rock. And out on the river, with no shade to be seen and the water reflecting the sun back at you, rowing becomes a pretty hazardous experience for a red head. All of which explains why I was pretty interested when I heard that at last Ride Skincare had launched their sunscreen and aftersun.

I’ve been following Ride for a while now as they developed their range and prepared for their launch. What piqued my interest was their promise of a very water resistant product (great if you row with splashy people or go out in one of those sunshine-and-showers days so beloved of the British summer) combined with natural ingredients.

Commercial sunscreens, with their crazy list of unpronounceable ingredients, worry me a bit. Yes, they offer amazing sun protection, and of course that matters, but at a cost. There are fears that oxybenzone, a common sunscreen ingredient, may contribute to the bleaching of coral reefs (and remember, people, once they’re gone, they’re gone for good) and could also be a hormone disruptor. Retinyl palmitate, found in many sunscreens, has thrown up some alarming results in animal tests, reacting to the sun and increasing the risk of skin cancer.

I’ve experimented with different natural suncreams over the years but have rarely been satisfied (although they’re getting better all the time). Most of them don’t stay on in the water, and if you’re surfing, swimming or even rowing that’s not ideal. Ride Skincare sunscreen is a broad spectrum organic sunscreen offering UVA and UVB protection, contains no parabens or phenoxyethanol and is very water (and wind) resistant so it ticks all the boxes.

Its base is titanium dioxide (the non nano type, for anyone concerned about nano particles) and like any mineral sunscreen this has its pros and cons. The main pro (environmental issues aside) is that it doesn’t have that familiar sunscreen fragrance; it just smells pleasantly chalky. It’s also effective as soon as you apply it – none of that unrealistic waiting for 20 minutes before you go in the sun (because, let’s face it, who ever manages that?) The disadvantage is that it’s a bit sticky and gives you a slightly ghostly sheen. It’s definitely a sports sunscreen rather than a nice-clothes-for-a-summer-party product, but so long as you understand this it’s fine.

In common with many sunscreens of all types, it does stain white clothing but – and here’s where it wins out over most of them – the staining it caused to both a white t-shirt and a bra strap washed out in a regular 30 degree wash.

The aftersun (Recover Moisturiser, they call it) is lovely – lightly scented (a little bit minty), non-sticky and very effective, containing the obligatory soothing aloe vera. It helped beautifully with a small patch of sunburn I got rowing at the weekend where I missed a couple of spots on my back and leg.

The products aren’t cheap – the sunscreen and moisturiser cost £11.99 and £8.99 respectively for a 50ml tube – but it’s a small start-up and you can consider this your gift to the coral reefs.

You can buy Ride Skincare direct from their website here.

Note: I was given the sunscreen and moisturiser for review purposes but received no payment for this review. As always my opinion is honest and independent.

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