Your summer holiday beauty kit
Summer brings with it exotic travel, days spent at the beach, and, of course, Friday evenings sitting outdoors with a drink—be it Pimm’s or sparkling water—in hand. This sudden influx of sunlight means it's important to tailor your beauty routine to help better protect your hair and skincare from the rays. But with so many serums and oils on offer in your local beauty hall, it can be daunting to know where to start. To help, we spoke to influential names within the industry to find out exactly which products we should be using this summer, which to shelf, and which we should allocate precious space in our holiday luggage to.
Ensuring you have adequate SPF is essential for keeping your skin in check, wherever you summer. “UV rays are one of the leading causes of premature ageing, and can also lead to serious skin conditions”, stresses industry influencer and beauty editor, Chloe Burcham. “To combat this, I use a SPF50 on my face every day—even in the UK when it’s not exactly sunny.” After years spent trialling hundreds of SPF face creams, which gets Chloe’s vote? “I can’t live without The Body Shop Skin Defence SPF50. Its thin consistency is lightweight and a dream on your skin, plus I find that it’s really one of the only facial SPFs that doesn’t block pores. I layer it with IT Cosmetics’ CC+ Cream; the shades blend seamlessly with the complexion, while boasting SPF50 as standard. Keeping your face as protected as possible is paramount as far as I’m concerned.”
Sensitive skin isn’t, however, reserved for the face. In Britain, on overcast days, the skin on our bodies can be just as susceptible to harsh UV rays through the haze. “For my body, I always use NUXE suncream. Not only does it smell amazing, it hydrates the skin and makes it soft to the touch. The coverage is unrivalled and there’s zero sticky residue, so it's ideal for wearing underneath everyday clothing, as well as beachwear.”
Defence doesn’t stop with skincare, though. Few realise that our hair also requires protection from the sun—without it, prolonged sun exposure can cause irreversible damage to the follicles. “Not many people know this, but there is such a thing as SPF hair protecting spray, and most professionals can’t recommend it highly enough,” reveals editorial hairstylist Gary Lees. “Be sure to apply the first spritz at least 20 minutes before sun exposure, then reapply every few hours, or immediately after swimming or showering.” You needn’t have to visit a salon to find such a thing either—you can pick up Ultrasun’s UV Hair Protector in Marks & Spencer, or add it to your next Amazon order. Simply spritz throughout the lengths of your hair and you can bask in the sunshine confident in the knowledge your tresses are being looked after, too. Similarly, if your summer plans look set to involve spending as much time at the beach or by the pool as possible, you’ll also need to take into consideration the harsh effects of salt water and chlorine. “I always tell my clients to apply Philip Kingsley Swimcap Treatment to damp hair before they even leave their hotel room,” says Gary. "The water-resistant cream acts as a shield and seals each fibre with a protective veil. As a bonus, it’ll also leave your hair shiny, soothed and exceptionally soft when you wash it out at the end of the day.”
Indeed, when it comes to holiday packing it’s all too easy to get carried away with toiletries. We’re all guilty of overpacking when, in reality, we’ll only use a small percentage of the products we've devoted prime luggage space to. So, which hero products should make our edit? “I always pack my own sunscreen,” says Chloe. "Buying it at the airport or once you’re on holiday can be incredibly expensive and often, you can’t find the right factor or brand. Instead, ditch shampoo and conditioner to make room for your chosen SPF. I truly believe you can use any shampoo and conditioner when you reach your destination as long as you have a good hair oil in tow.” Gary also believes a good hair oil should be in every woman’s kit. "Mr. Smith Serum is my go-to. It acts as a heat protection spray as well as a finishing oil, and can even be used to soften dry skin and soothe cuticles.”
As for our vanity bags, Chloe suggests keeping the skincare quota high and the make-up ratio low. “Admittedly I find it hard to scrimp on skincare but, as you’ll spend more of your holiday without make-up on than with, it’s worth it. A cleanser is essential for tackling the build-up of SPF and sweat, and I’d also take a La Roche Posay moisturiser. Sheet masks are ideal for days when you feel like your skin needs a hydration hit. Plus, they don’t count as liquid so they’re a no-brainer for cabin bag trips.” As for make-up, Chloe insists products need to be versatile to make the cut. "I usually take one red lipstick and one Charlotte Tilbury brown eye pencil, which you can smoke out and use instead of eyeshadow. Then there’s my IT Cosmetics CC+ cream, Chanel's creamy bronzer (which doubles-up as an eyeshadow), a Jillian Dempsey cheek tint (which I’ll also slick across my lips), a brow gel, and a mascara.” We don’t know about you but we’re ready for that summer holiday…