Top 7 tips for a PMLE Free beach vacation

Top 7 tips for a PMLE Free beach vacation

Painful and annoying PMLE rash is past history for me now. It’s been more than 6 years since I first tried my demo batch of Shirudo AGR+E as a Polymorphous Light Eruption treatment and I am glad to say it is still totally effective on me. A life-changing lotion.

So far I tested the lotion of multiple occasions: Cape Cod, Florida multiple times, the first rays of sun in Montreal every year,  Republican Dominica, Mexico four times, Portugal, Corsica, Costa Rica, Vietnam, Cambodia. All these occasions would have triggered a painful rash in the past, usually after day 2, but not since I use Shirudo AGR+E lotion. It’s been a great success every time.

But using the lotion is not the only thing I do to prevent a sun rash.

Based on my own experience as a longtime PMLE sufferer, and feedback from hundreds of members of our community,  here are the top 7 recommendations for a PMLE free vacation:

1. Skin and body in optimal condition

With winter conditions and inside heating, people living in the northern regions can have a very hard time keeping the skin moisturized. Dry skin will be unpredictable and more likely to get irritated by elements (water, cosmetics, wind, sun, etc). A couple of weeks prior to your vacation, take very special care of your skin. Hydrate well every day and at bedtime with your favorite moisturizing lotion or cream.

Don’t confuse dry skin and dead skin cells! If you have to (you probably do) exfoliate with a cellulose glove after a long shower. 
Exfoliation is crucial to keeping the skin hydrated and smooth. It clears away dead surface cells allowing any moisturizer to work more effectively. You really don’t want to waste precious lotion on dead skin cells! Try to avoid too hot water as it tends to dry the skin even more. Drink plenty of water. Try to treat any dry spots, eczema patches or inflamed areas before you leave. 


2. Test all lotions prior to departure

When you suffer from Polymorphous Light Eruption (PMLE) and have sensitive skin, the first day of vacation is the worst time to try a new lotion. If you bought a new sunscreen, after-sun lotion, oil or any moisturizing lotion including Shirudo AGR+E, TRY IT BEFORE YOU LEAVE! Make sure any new product does not trig a rash or some kind of irritation while you are not sun-exposed. Obviously, if you are sensitive to a particular ingredient, you must know before you expose yourself to the sun otherwise you might confuse a PMLE rash with a simple contact dermatitis rash.  It’s also a good idea to learn how to apply the lotion well.  


3. Read and follow instructions carefully

Shirudo AGR+E lotion and broad-spectrum sunscreen must be used together every two hours of sun exposure in order to prevent PMLE sun rash. We have a detailed post on how to get the most out of your product. Make sure that:  - You get the timing right and you understand how to apply lotion, you follow the schedule and you don't get lazy, you use it sparingly and massage well. Read our complete application instructions here


4. Don't ever think you are cured

After day 1, 2, 3, or whatever moment you would usually start to feel the burning rash... if nothing happens then - HURRAY!  You are part of the 80% of PMLE sufferers who react well to this formulation containing alpha-glucosylrutin and vitamin E. After a few days without a rash, or on your next vacation, you might start to think you are cured… that you don’t have PMLE anymore, that you could just skip applying lotion and it won’t hurt. You are wrong. PMLE cannot be cured. It can only be prevented. So don’t get lazy and keep applying the lotion every two hours of sun exposure or more often if you go swimming. Keep in mind if you are in a tropical destination the sun is far more powerful than in northern regions. Have a look at the UV index of the region to get an idea. Simply be smart and careful from the beginning and keep using lotions until the last day of your trip.


5. When the sun goes down...

I took great care of my skin prior to vacation, so it’s not the moment to stop! If I spent a day at the beach and I know I got plenty of sun exposure, I apply Shirudo AGR+E Intensive Night Lotion after night shower and before going to bed. It’s a great after-sun lotion with a cooling effect. It contains even more AGR than the regular lotion. For any PMLE sufferer, night time is the moment to heal. 12 hours without any exposure, with lots of lotion, can help you heal a small rash.

While at the beach, some areas are more difficult to protect than others. I noticed I usually get a small rash on my feet on day 3 or 4.  It’s kind of difficult to apply lotion when your feet are covered in sand. Hands are a sensitive region as well since we wash hands so many times in a day. Difficult to keep lotion on. Applying AGR+E Intensive Night Lotion on my feet (on any sensitive areas) prior to bed seems to calm the rash until the next morning. I still get a small rash but it can’t compare with the kind of painful rash I got before using AGR+E, it’s only minor discomfort I can totally live with. Our customers seeing the best overall results make sure they use all night time to replenish on antioxidants and moisturizing. In fact, the regular body lotion and the Intensive Night Lotion is our most popular combo and the best way to get 24h protection.


6. Don't fall in one of these common pitfalls

Even if you think of everything, sometimes a tiny detail can ruin everything. Here is a list of the most common errors I and other customers make/made:

  • Wearing  light-colored clothing

Did you know white or pale cotton is only the equivalent of an FPS 7 or 8? When wet it’s as low as 4. So if you want to wear a light color you better put Shirudo AGR+E and sunscreen lotions everywhere first and on schedule, or invest in UPF clothing.

  • Underestimating sun reflection

Even if you sit under a large umbrella, the sun can reflect on white sands or the pool deck. Make sure you keep the application on schedule even if you sit in the shadow.

  • Not being aware of friction 
Some elements might remove Shirudo and sunscreen from your skin: the pool towel sit on or you use after swimming, the sand on your feet when you walk, washing hands after a visit to the bathroom. Make sure you re-apply lotion more frequently on those spots. 


7. Be smart

I had so many ruined vacations in the past… Painful PMLE rash on my entire body after 2 days of sun exposure. Now that I use Shirudo AGR+E, I spend more time at the beach wearing a bikini. But I must be careful, and you should too. Too much sun is no good for anyone. Exposure at peak hours between 11 am and 2 pm is not recommended. Sun exposure dehydrates the skin, age it prematurely, it can cause sunburns, it can cause one of the most life-threatening forms of cancer. It’s no surprise Dermatologists simply recommend avoiding unprotected sun exposure not only to PMLE sufferers but to the general population. It makes sense and it can only prevent a lot of other skin problems.

So please be smart, and expose yourself gradually. Don’t spend 12 hours at the beach without an umbrella, especially not on your first day. Put a hat and shades, cover at lunchtime, try to avoid the peak hours. Do like normal people do. The fact you didn’t enjoy a single sun vacation for the past 20 years is not a reason to act stupid. If like me you now found a PMLE treatment and it changed your life, be smart and you will have plenty of other sun vacations to enjoy.

I wish you the best of luck on your next sunny vacation!


Warm regards,


Shirudo Cosmetics

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