Thursday, 24 July 2014

Beauty: Top Ten Summer Essentials

1) Suncream, Sunscreen, Sunblock. Whatever you call it, you have to wear it. At least SPF 15, but preferably SPF 30. Most moisturisers and foundation will come with in-built SPF, but no higher than factor 15. As someone who’s Dad has suffered the effects of the sun in a very serious way (he was diagnosed with skin cancer 20 months ago and had to undergo surgery), I know first-hand how serious overexposure to the sun can be. Despite my love for lounging in the sun and getting a nice summer glow, if I know I’m going to be spending more than half an hour outside I’ll slather up (usually using it in place of my regular moisturiser). Plus, Emma Watson agrees with me, so I must be talking some sense.

2) Exfoliation. I know it’ll feel like you’re rubbing your tan off, but removing all the dead skin cells is actually the best way to maintain a summer glow. Also, you sweat a lot more in summer, which (whilst helpful for getting tanned quicker) also clogs up your pores. I'm currently looking for a cruelty free, micro bead free exfoliator, so any suggestions, tweet me or leave a comment!

3) Water. Sun dehydrates not only you but also your skin. And the general rule is, whats bad for your insides is bad for your outsides too, so too much sun + not enough water = heatstroke and dull skin. Drink up, your body will thank you for it.

4) MoonCup. As I said in my post about periods, I use a MoonCup when it gets to that time of the month. In summer it feels horrible to have a wedge of cotton on your crotch, not to mention the fact you can’t wear one with a bikini or when you go swimming. Although tampons are okay, being cotton you can’t really wear it in the sea (for absorbency reasons). The silicone MoonCup is (to my mind) the best alternative.

5) Waterproof mascara. If you are one of those people who likes to wear make-up at the beach (and I am), then waterproof mascara and/or eyeliner is a must. I’m currently on the lookout for a good, cheap, cruelty free brand, so if you have any suggestions, let me know (either tweet me @VickiMaitland or leave a comment).

6) Loose, comfortable, long clothing. As much as I’ve banged on about spending time in the sun, sometimes it’s nice to cover up for a day or two. Primark currently have a great range of loose culottes and trousers, which are both flattering and refreshing. Tops which cover up your shoulders are great as well, as it’s your shoulders which catch the sun the most. Maxi dresses are great to transition from day to evening. Comfortable sandals are also a must. Personally, I always avoid sandals which go between your toes, as they always rub, especially in the sand.

7) Sunglasses. When you pick ones, make sure you find ones which have a high UVA/B rating. If your skin can get burnt, so can your eyes!

8) Hat. I always get headaches if I’m out in the sun too long, so a nice little sunhat solves the problem. It also avoids the terrible parting burn. I’ve got a cute boating hat from Accessorise which I’ve had for the last couple of years.

9) Swimsuit. Whether it’s a bikini, tank-ini or all-in-one, so long as you feel comfortable in it, wear it. If you’re holidaying abroad, it’s often best to check that they allow your choice, as some countries don’t like bikinis, and others insist on the infamous budgie smugglers for men.

10) Moisturiser/ After Sun. After a long day outside, and a good exfoliation, you’ll want to soothe your skin with moisturiser or (if you didn’t apply enough suncream) after sun. Look for something with aloe vera in it to be extra soothing. I use Superdrug Vitamin E moisturiser.

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