Praise the Sun
Francine Gacrama (The Philippine Star) - February 4, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – A holiday from the holidays sounds just about right after Christmas. At least that’s what I like to tell myself. The endless days of summer are fast approaching and who better to reintroduce to us the importance of keeping our skin protected from the inevitable UVA and UVBs this summer than Nivea? With all the high-tech and luxury skincare breakthroughs out there, Nivea has remained a personal go-to with its simple and effective skincare system — when under the sun, just remember to slap that sunscreen on.

Each year, the skincare brand welcomes the summer by inviting personalities, bloggers and editors to a retreat that involves the outdoors — where adventure is at everyone’s fingertips. Nivea’s destination of choice for 2016 is the pristine shores of Bohol. As we prepared to gracefully descend into paradise, we were first given an astounding view of its lush terrain, endless coastlines, and holiday-inducing blue waters — definitely a sight to see.

First up on our Nivea Sun Summer Kick-Off itinerary was a lunch buffet at the Bohol Bee Farm. It was a delectable feast with a holistic approach wherein our hosts served us their signature dishes infused with their homegrown organic produce. Highlighted in the restaurant were the ingredients featured in our dishes, which the Bohol Bee Farm sells to the public. It was a wide array of spreads, distinctly flavored ice cream (malunggay, spicy ginger and dragonfruit, to name a few), ice cream cones made from cassava, and their signature pure honey.

A plateful (or two; let’s be real) and mandatory pasalubong purchases later, we were soon whisked to the Pavilion of the Bellevue Hotel where a press presentation was waiting for us. The Nivea team had refreshments put together to warm us up from the cool weather that welcomed us all that day in Bohol. Dr. Liang Chen from Beiersdorf Research and Development’s Far East Hub gave an insightful talk about sun care protection and some facts that prove useful, whether you’re in or out of the water. It’s a no-brainer that protecting your skin from UV damage is an all year-round commitment, especially when you live in the tropics. A little-known fact is that on top of direct sun exposure, indirect radiation that reflects from grasslands, water, sand and snow can have damaging effects on your skin. Direct light hits you from a single angle; the reflected radiation on the other hand hits you from all angles. The Hamburg-based Nivea provides not only UVB protection but also covers UVA (this radiation penetrates more deeply than UVB). UVA has been known to play a major part in skin aging and wrinkling and contributes to the development of skin cancers. The extensive range caters to adults and kids and can cover specific sun care needs to ensure complete protection before, during and after sun exposure. The product presentation ended with a demonstration on the line’s impressive resistance to water compared to other brands and even the basics of how to apply the skincare line — which the majority of the group had no clue about doing.

It was a brilliant way to end Day 1 as we were sent off to our slumber, packed full of new knowledge. Just when we thought we ended the day on a high note, I entered my room to see my bed laid out with the complete range of Nivea’s Sun Protect line. The surprises just keep coming with Nivea and I was eager to recharge for the outdoor activities they had in store for us the next day.

6 a.m. was the call time and the groups were in for either a land or water adventure. Ballots were drawn and we got to do the obstacle courses by the seaside. The weather hadn’t much improved and the coastline greeted us with a cool breeze and light showers — enough to make us wrap ourselves with our towels a little tighter. Nivea had the Bohol Beach Club shoreline dressed in their signature blue color accompanied by beach flags and beach balls alike. Despite the overcast weather, I was adamant about applying my sunscreen as the suns rays still pierce through the clouds and continue to do damage. Since I still want to come home looking like I’ve been on holiday, I chose the Nivea Sun Protect & Bronze Spray to support my skin’s own natural tanning process by stimulating its melanin production for a natural bronzed glow. Not to leave the skin on my face out of the mix, I applied the Nivea Sun Protect & Moisture face cream with its advanced collagen protect to prevent any wrinkles from developing. I didn’t need worry about my sun protection slipping and sliding as it has an advanced formula that’s water-resistant and, best of all, non-greasy (I only had to wait five minutes before sun exposure). After getting our adrenaline pumping and completing all the beach events that morning, the sun started to blaze its way back — almost perfect timing. We had an hour to explore before heading back to our hotel so it was mandatory for me to lay out and absorb all that vitamin D without the nagging thought of premature aging and skin cancer at the back of my mind.

This city girl can only dream of living by the beach; however, sun protection follows me pretty much everywhere I go. Whether it’s on the crystal beaches of Bohol or the busy streets of Manila, I always make sure to equip my skin with the sun protection it needs. Load up on that sunscreen: you’ll thank yourself for it later.

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