I’ve just returned from a week away in sunny Tunisia and thought I would share with you a few beauty essentials I took with me – perfect for soothing sun kissed skin, taming beach hair and providing protection from those harmful UV rays.
First up, before going into the sun I made sure I was covered head to toe in Lavera Family Sun Spray SPF15. I’ve reviewed this mineral sunscreen before (see here) so I won’t go into too much detail again, but I do have to sing its praises once again. When I tried this product before it was in the fairly tame English sunshine… but in Tunisia with 30-degree-plus weather, barely a cloud in the sky, and plenty of lying around on the beach/by the pool in a bikini, I definitely put it to the test this time. And it was fantastic!
I was concerned that SPF15 wouldn’t be high enough, but I didn’t burn at all the whole week. Plus, what is so great about this sunscreen is that, being mineral based, it is waterproof – so even after coming out of the sea I could see that it was still applied and I didn’t need to reapply too much during the day. I felt much safer and more protected than with regular sun cream.
In fact one day I did a little test – using Lavera on my lower half of body and regular Nivea sunscreen on my top half to compare how they performed. With the regular sunscreen I found I was sweating a lot immediately and felt paranoid that it was washing off and becoming ineffective within minutes. Whereas with the Lavera, I hardly sweated at all and was confident that the cream was staying put and working properly. This is due to the contrasting ways in which the two types of cream work: mineral sunscreen contains minuscule particles of minerals like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which sit on the surface of your skin, reflecting UVA and B rays, therefore bouncing some of that thermal heat off your body; whereas regular chemical-based sunscreen actually increases your body temperature because they absorb UVA/B rays then convert them into thermal energy. I definitely saw this science proven when I put it to the test.
Just a note that usually I’d recommend an SPF higher than 15 (at least 25), especially for anyone with fair skin (my skin has always tanned pretty well and is light olive toned.)
Next on my holiday survival essentials list is the Gel and emu oil. Again, I’ve reviewed both of these before, so take a look at those reviews to learn all the uses of these amazing products. They are absolute holiday essentials for me. They both help soothe and hydrate your skin after sun exposure. The Gel is amazing on sunburn (although I didn’t actually have any). I mix a pea-sized amount of Gel and the same of emu oil together in my hands and use on my face, neck and décolleté. The combination is so nourishing and healing. I decanted enough for the week into little squeezy travel sized bottles I bought at Muji – perfect for travel, and meant I could take them on the flight with me too and refresh my skin before landing.
I also used the emu oil on my hair. Usually I’d do this as an overnight treatment, but saw a perfect opportunity in wetting my hair before the beach and rubbing some emu oil through the ends. Leaving it on my hair for a good few hours during the day gave it an incredible treatment and when I washed it off that evening it felt silky soft.
To tame my hair after drying it (I couldn’t be bothered to use my straighteners), I used Naked Bodycare’s Naked Style Extra Shiny Finishing Serum. This was sent to me by a PR to try and I love it. It’s 97% natural, silicone-free and not tested on animals. The serum contains botanical extracts including nettle and rosemary. It smells divine and really works to tame fly-away hairs and calm frizz. You rub a little between your hands then smooth onto dry hair.
Next on the list is my trusty Aveeno Skin Relief Moisturising Lotion. I love this; with its shea butter and oatmeal, it’s really rich and nourishing. It might not be for you generally if you like a lighter moisturiser, but after sun exposure when your skin needs extra moisture, it’s great.
Last but not least, I took myroo skincare’s Peppermint Lip Balm (£3) with me everywhere I went. This little pot of gorgeousness was sent to me by the creator of the MyRoo line and I love it. Her products are handmade and use only natural ingredients. In this lovely lip balm is shea butter, beeswax, Vitamin E and sweet almond oil which gives a nourishing lip treatment and a glistening sheen. The peppermint makes it smell delicious and it tastes good too!
So lovelies, those were my holiday essentials. What are yours?