Summer skin can go either one of two ways; you might find yourself all golden, glowy, and glistening – you know, just like how all the beauty adverts suggest how you should look post vacay – or, as the heat and humidity rise you’ll be struck by blotches, breakouts and blemishes – not quite as sexy of a marketing sell.
Regardless of what camp you usually find yourself in your beauty bag should be adapted to protect and revive your skin from the sun, sweat, and, let’s be real, the cheeky glasses of wine out that become all the more numerous during the long summer evenings.
To help you curate a covetable collection of beauty heroes that will give you a much better chance of transforming into a golden goddess I’m sharing with you some seasonal skincare saviours.
Consider this your summer skincare checklist. Read on for the 10 essentials you need to pack before holidays and keep stocked up on all season long, because just as this year has proven, we might just get a summer on home soil too…
1. Body Wash
While every hotel worth it’s weight in crisp white sheets will have complimentary body wash and soap in the bathroom, it shouldn’t be something you should automatically tick off your to-pack list…
The Aloe Vera version will certain soothe sun-kissed skin after a day at the beach but for me the Mocca Exfoliating Peel Soap & Sponge is compulsory shower apparatus.
It’s two-in-one design featuring a foaming sponge and exfoliating scrub filled with a cream cleaner means you scrub away every last bit of sand, and keep your skin smooth and prepped for post-shower moisturising.
2. Facial SPF
This is a skincare non negotiable for me 365 days a year, rain, sun or shine. So of course it comes with me wherever I travel too.
Is it really necessary? Definitely. As the skin on your face is much more delicate, thin and sensitive than your body and it’s really important to invest in a separate SPF that’s face specific and provides UVA and UVB protection.
Neither will turn your skin into an oil slick and both work really well under makeup too.
3. Facial Moisuriser
Just because you’re slathering on SPF on your face every hour (necessary when you’re sweating and/or in and out of the water throughout the day) doesn’t necessarily mean you’re moisturising your skin.
An SPF is designed primarily to protect and not to hydrate, so don’t skimp on putting on a light facial moisturiser too.
Nivea’s Daily Essentials Oil Free Moisturising Day Cream For Oily to Combination Skin (€6.49, Boots) does exactly what it says on the tube and is perfect for layering SPF over while not clogging your pores.
Avene’s A Oxitive Water Cream (€29, Boots) is another winner in their range. It’s light, quickly absorbs plus it’s enriched with antioxidants to protect against free radicals/sun damage.
4. Lip SPF
If you’re any thing like me a regular lip balm alone will just not cut it on holidays. Just like with your face, your usual go-to balm will hydrate but you need one that has added SPF to hydrate, and most will do both things.
Others might see this as an excessive addition to their beauty bag, but I have such sensitive lips that if I don’t look after them I will 100% end up with a sunburned, peeling pout which will usually be followed up by a cold sore when I get home.
Nivea’s Sun Protect Lip Balm (€5, Boots) in it’s ubiquitous little yellow tube is a mainstay in my holiday handbag.
5. Body SPF
One last SPF recommendation I promise – though a hair SPF is definitely something you should consider – bit this one’s an obvious one.
You all know the drill here, to avoid being fried by the sun and and all its skin damaging side effects, you will need a body SPF (a broad spectrum SPF30 preferably). There are three I’ve used and really rate.
Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Protective Sun Lotion SPF 30 (€10, Boots) is the first and only protective sun Lotion with moisturising ribbons so it protect and hydrates – plus it smells amazing. Win-win-win.
Boots own brand Soltan range is affordable, comes highly recommended by the British Association of Dermatologists and always available in airports when you get through security and realise you’ve forgotten to pack sun cream.
Riemann’s P20 Once A Day 10 Hours Sun Protection (€12.95, lookfantastic.com) is a particularly good if you’re doing a lot of swimming or water sports and don’t want to have to keep applying all day long.
Remember that your suncream is only as good as your application – so apply it generously and often.
6. After Sun
Even after the most fastidious of SPF applications it’s so easy for your skin to feel the effects of a day lying prone on a poolside lounger or walking the streets under the baking sun.
Nivea’s Sun Moisturising After Sun Lotion With Aloe Vera (€5, Boots) is easy find in the shops and is an imperative should you want to maintain soft, supple, hydrated skin (and a healthy tan).
Garnier’s Ambre Solaire After Sun Tan Maintainer (€6.50, Boots) is a favourite of mine, however, thanks to the addition of a low-level of self-tanning ingredient, that subtly enhances and deepens your tan. I apply with a tanning mitt after a day in the sun and wake up more glowing.
7. Multitasking Balm
A multi-tasking balm that you can use on cracked lips, dry elbows, burns, nails and more is an essential item in your holiday cosmetics kit.
The main ingredient in Dr Paw Paw Multipurpose Soothing Balm (€7.95, cloud10beauty.com) is fermented Pawpaw, which has natural healing properties – believe me your skin will crave this stuff.
Another classic, and for good reason, is Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant (€34, Brown Thomas). The smell is iconic too, if you’re a fellow fan be mindful not to pick up the unscented version – a mistake I’ve somehow made far too many times.
Whether you’re jetting off to hotter climates or slogging it out in the humidity of the city a good cleanser is absolutely essential. It will help to remove sweat, sunscreen, and makeup causing that build-up of bacteria in your pores which can lead to blemishes.
If you’re prone to oily skin try Urban Veda Daily Purifying Facial Wash (€17.95, urbanveda.com). It contains a blend of 100% natural radiance boosting and oil zapping ingredients. It glides onto skin removing pollution particles, excess sebum and dust leaving your skin feeling hydrated.
Those who suffer from redness can bank on Dr. Hauschka Soothing Cleansing Milk (€26.95, drh.ie) to calm sensitivity while maintaining the skin’s natural moisture balance.
9. Jade Roller
‘Here she goes again…,’ those of you who follow me on Instagram might sigh upon reading that subtitle. But bear with me.
A Jade Roller (£22, cultbeauty.co.uk) is a vital component of my skincare regime all year round, but this cooling, sculpting implement comes into its own in summer.
Rolling on your skin after you’ve applied your serum/moisturiser morning and evening will instantly decrease puffiness and water retention. Say welcome back to those cheekbones that had temporarily disappeared on the plane or sweat pit of a bus to work.
10. Teeth Care & Whitening
Okay this one’s not a skincare product but the Spotlight Teeth White Travel Kit (€9.99, Boots) deserves a shout out and space in your carry on.
A new addition to the Irish brand’s portfolio, the handy set contains a toothbrush (plus a traveling cap), a mini Spotlight toothpaste and 4 Spotlight Teeth White Strips all in one tube.
Created by two dentists and sisters, Vanessa and Lisa Creaven, they products are designed with hydrogen peroxide to effectively and safely whiten your teeth with minimal tooth sensitivity.
Main image credit: @avene_uki on Instagram