When it comes to the British summer, the sun doesn’t always make an appearance, but there’s usually enough of a temperature uplift to warrant some de-frizzing serum and skin-protecting SPF. For anyone who’s experienced Hampstead bathing ponds’ bracing temperatures or a full immersion in the British sea, it can be a bit of a contrast to holidays abroad that spell clear blue skies, full on heat and warm swimming pools. And then once every so often the scorching temperatures come to our shores and all bets are off, the flip flops and sunbathing-in-the-park bikinis are out. The key to appreciating the unpredictability of this weather is to have a beauty arsenal to adapt to all situations. So here’s an edit of the beauty tools I’m reaching out for throughout this season to beat the summer heat (well, when it makes an appearance).
I hope my dermatologist will be proud of me for starting with THE most important skincare tool of the summer: a strong SPF. Even with my Italian roots, my skin has inherited more from the English side of the genes and will inevitably turn red in the sun if left unprotected. I remember a particular summer when I spent most weekends in Regents Park, forgoing sun cream because ‘it’s only for a few hours’ or ‘we’re in the city, the UV rays can’t break through the smog’ (I know, I know). But when I got home that evening and finally took my sunglasses off, I was greeted with bright red patches above my eyebrows and on my cheeks. The sun had hit those raised parts of my face and left a very clear untouched area around my eyes where my large sunglasses had protected me. Of course the following day I was visiting my family-in-law. I’ve only got myself to blame and I’ve certainly learned my lesson. So when Caudalie gifted me their Anti-Wrinkle Face Suncare SPF50 I couldn’t wait to try it. Finding a non-oily sun cream for my blemish-prone face can be tricky, but this light and non-sticky texture doesn’t feel heavy and skins into skin without leaving a greasy residue. I’m not usually a fan of fragranced skincare but I admit sun cream can smell a little off putting, or overly beachy (hello coconut) which isn’t the vibe I’m going for when heading into the office. The scent of frangipani flowers in this cream is light and pleasant, not at all overpowering. I apply the cream in the morning instead of my usual moisturiser, and that keeps me sunburn-free for a day of sun exposure (but not sunbathing, when I would definitely re-apply a couple more times). And ready for the next time we visit my husband’s family. 50ml RRP £19.00
I haven’t used a suncare oil in years. The last time was when visiting a friend in California, she lent me her SPF6 tanning oil while we were lounging by the pool trying to sleep off a very large sushi lunch. I can’t imagine that SPF6 had much effect on our skin other than give it a greasy sheen. Luckily Caudalie’s Beautifying Suncare Oil SPF30 offers genuine protection without the dreaded greasy residue. Thanks to grape seed and sesame oil my skin feels nourished and the formula sinks quickly into skin for what the brand calls a ‘satin-like finish’ and I can’t think of a better way to describe it. This oil has been formulated to be biodegradable and non-toxic for the marine ecosystem, meaning that when you bathe in the sea or wash it off in the shower, the residue won’t damage the marine environment. 150ml RRP £21.00
I’m partial to a little misting during the summer months. Botanicals’ Nourish Hydrating Mist has found a permanent – well until the end of August – space on my bedside table and gets used whenever it’s in sight (or when my toddler brings me the bottle – he knows my addictions). Similar to the toner, this is the kind of beauty product that can often be greeted with a ‘but what is its purpose?’ I use it to feel refreshed and to set freshly applied makeup, but it can also be used in the morning instead of a cleanser, or in the evening on a cotton pad after cleansing to remove any last trace of makeup. This mist is certified by The Soil Association as 100% natural and organic, and smells beautifully floral thanks to rose, lavender, green tea and geranium. 100ml RRP £20.00 Product photographed is a sample.
I was instantly attracted to this product thanks to its bright yellow and flowery packaging, it gave me such a summery feeling. Umberto Giannini’s Super Serum for hair looks and feels like a skincare serum: a light gel-like texture that doesn’t weigh hair down. I apply 8 drops to the ends of clean damp hair and comb through with my fingers. I would then usually blow dry my hair but in the summer just let it dry naturally, so the serum just helps to tame those frizzy bits where my highlighted hair is a little dry. Vegan, cruelty-free and 97% natural, the formula is packed full of oils including cocoa, sunflower, lemon and bergamot. With all these lovely oils I’m surprised that the brand felt the need to add fragrance, but regardless it smells delicious. 50ml RRP £5.40
As one of Clinique’s bestselling ranges, Moisture Surge no doubt features in many bathroom cabinets, mine included as I recently shared in my post Clinique Moisture Surge: the secret to glowing skin. The CC Cream SPF 30 extends the skincare range into the realms of makeup, and what a great addition it is. Available in 4 shades, I pick the Universal Light one which works well with the hint of tan I’ve developed these last couple of months. The formula offers exactly what I look for during the warmer months: light coverage that softly evens out skin tone, a glowy finish and of course sun protection. My skin can have a tendency to look sallow due to yellow undertones, but this colour-correcting CC Cream brightens it to look more radiant. After applying it I just add concealer under my eyes and on blemishes, and finish off with cream blusher, brown mascara and a tinted lipbalm. 30ml RRP £30.00
What beauty products do you rely on to beat the summer heat? Check out my post from last summer Top 5 Summer Beauty Essentials for further inspiration!
Features gifted product.