If you're even remotely logged on, you've likely heard of Love Island, a reality dating show from across the pond that's recently become a cult favorite. It's available on Hulu in all its glory and it's been hailed as "the best thing on TV" by The Cut and called "better than The Bachelorette" by Refinery29. As a huge fan of the reality genre myself, I decided to start watching the series over the past two weeks and am already about 18 episodes deep. I can't disagree with these glowing recommendations - though one thing bothers me every damn time I tune in. Nobody in the villa seems to wear any sunscreen.
I've been watching season three of Love Island (yes, season three - I'm aware most folks are currently devouring season four) for nearly two weeks and I can count the number of times I've seen someone apply sunscreen on one hand. Early on in the season, one of the contestants (Montana) put some SPF on the apple of her eye (Dom) as a way to mark her territory, but she barely rubbed it in. Since then, I've seen an orange bottle that may or may not be sunscreen in the outside lounge area a few times, but no one else has applied it on camera. That hurts my soul.
Since I work in the beauty and wellness industry, I recognize that my affinity for sunscreen might seem a little excessive to some. I have a huge bottle of Supergoop on a table by my front door; I wear Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer every day on my face whether I'm going outside or not; I keep an emergency tube of Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Face and Body Stick in every bag, just in case I forgot to apply some before I left the house. While I don't expect everyone to be this extra about sunscreen application, I'd hope that a group of folks spending a full two months baking in the sun would remember to apply some SPF every few hours, or at the very least, once a day.
As a long-time fan of reality TV - I've watched everything from The Real World to Vanderpump Rules - I recognize that there's a lot of editing involved, and the most mundane moments likely hit the cutting room floor. However, it's important to note that each season of Love Island is between 40 to 50 episodes and chronicles about two months of the contestants' time in the villa, so unlike a season of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette, which is filmed over the same time period and boiled down to only 11 or so episodes, we get to see much more of their daily lives. In fact, it almost feels as though we're watching them in real-time sometimes, as we see them making lunch, having banal conversations, putting on makeup and lotion, smoking cigarettes, and using the outdoor shower.
And yet, no sunscreen. However, so far most of the islanders don't seem to be too sunburnt even after spending all day in the sun, so it's likely (and hopeful) that they're slathering on some high SPF off-camera. But it's a little annoying to me that it doesn't make it to the episodes, given the fact that nearly everything else does.
If you want to couple up with some of the best sunscreens of 2018 on your own private Love Island, check out the Environmental Working Group's most recent list of best sunscreens. In case you're wondering if you should go for a higher SPF, here are the reasons you definitely should, and this is how to treat a sunburn if you forget to put it on. Now go crack on with your mates and keep enjoying the summer. Cheers.
Read more about the importance of sunscreen, for the love of god:
Now, watch 100 years of sun care: