Summer holiday beauty

Caroline Cassidy

You've got your buff beach body ready to go, and a summer wardrobe to die for. But remember, warmer climes call for an altogether different hair, skin and makeup regime. Keep your washbag from bulging with these summer holiday beauty essentials.

summer holiday beauty
summer holiday beauty

Pic: Getty

It's common sense to take a quality sun block with you if you're heading to the beach, but even your moisturiser should contain SPF protection if you're to keep your visage in tip top condition.

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For a pricey option, Olay Regenerist Flawless Skin Cream has an SPF factor of 30, giving you excellent protection against the sun, and guards against UVA/UVB rays for an anti-sun damage boost. At the more affordable end of the scale, Superdrug's Naturally Radiant SPF 15 Moisturiser protects you from the sun, and gives you a gloriously dewy, fresh complexion.

A gentle cleanser and exfoliant are also a must, as the combination of all that sun block and the heat and humidity can cause your skin to product more oils which may block pores.

Hair removal
An absolute pre-holiday essential, which method of hair removal you choose depends on time, money and pain threshold. If price is not a barrier, a course of either electrolysis, which uses a tiny needle to destroy the cells that cause hair follicles to grow, or laser hair removal are the way to go. Both take multiple sessions and will cost you a pretty penny, but the advantage is permanent hair-free loveliness.

Waxing is perhaps the most popular pre-holiday choice, as it gives instant results that last between two and four weeks. It does, however, come with a certain degree of discomfort, and our advice is to leave the home waxing kits well alone and go to a professional who will make the experience as painless and quick as possible.

While shaving is quick and cheap, its biggest downfall is that the more you do it, the quicker the hair grows back, and it can end up being a daily bind when you're heading out to the beach. Instead, why not try and epilator? Much like using tweezers to pluck out the hairs (but at high speed), it's not entirely pain free, but the more you use one, the finer the hair grows back, which means you don't have to be a slave to the razor. How long it lasts varies from person to person, but expect to be free of hair worries for at least a few days initially.

Gradual tanning
No doubt you'll be catching a few rays while away, and hoping to come home with a beautiful sun-kissed glow. But if you can't face stepping out with lily-white pins on those first few days abroad, a gradual tanning moisturiser will give you a little head start.

The pharmacy shelves are heaving with these kinds of products at this time of year, but if you're likely to be indulging in a bit of sunbathing while you're away, you probably don't want the full St Tropez skin.

Instead, opt for something light and natural, like Melvita's Pro-Sun moisturising gel-cream (£20), which goes on like a dream, is free from DHAs (none of that nasty smell) and is suitable for sensitive skin so you can even apply it to the face. Dove Summer Glow is a cheaper and more readily available alternative, and despite its thickness, applies evenly, giving you a tan (after one application) roughly one or two shades darker than your natural skin colour.

Of course, the advantage of gradual tanners is that you can simply apply more if you're not happy with the colour. And it goes without saying to wear sun protection on the beach.

Hours in the hot sun will inevitably take their toll on your luscious locks when you're on your hols, and just like your skin, your hair will require a little extra care to look its best in the sunshine.

It's an idea to indulge in a regime of deep conditioning once of twice a week for a couple of weeks before you go, to keep your hair beautifully moisturised right from the start.

Once you've arrived at your destination, it's all about maintenance and protection. Your hair can be sun damaged just like your skin, so opt for a shampoo that includes UV protection, like Charles Worthington's Takeaways Sun-Shine UV Protection Shampoo. If humidity leaves you with unwanted frizz, John Frieda's Frizz-Ease range now provides a Thermal Protection Serum, which will give you smooth locks with added UV filters.

And for those of you with colour to look after, try Redken's Colour Extend After Sun Mask, to give your hair a little TLC after a day at the beach.

With that healthy glow on the cards, you may not want to go the whole makeup hog when it comes to your holiday. A lighter, more natural approach to your makeup bag will allow you to feel confident without being weighed down with foundation.

Bobbi Brown's BB Cream SPF35 (£28) gives great coverage with a light, soft glow, and contains UVA/UVB protection, while the Body Shop's Vitamin E Cool BB Cream is a creamy, moisturising alternative that really provides that fresh, dewy look for just £10.

If you're after something altogether lighter, however, try a tinted moisturiser like Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser SPF30 (£27), or opt for the very reasonably-priced Nivea Daily Essentials Tinted Moisturising Day Cream SPF8, just £3.66.
Another essential if you plan on taking a dip is waterproof mascara. Maybelline's Great Lash Waterproof Mascara is highly affordable at just £3.99, and promises fuller, defined lashes without the panda eyes. Team it with Rimmel's Exaggerate Waterproof Eye Definer if you feel naked without a little eyeliner.

Remember, there's really no need to take an entire suitcase full of beauty products - the right few will ensure you stay beautiful throughout, giving you more room for all the gorgeous purchases you make while on your hols.

What are your must-have holiday beauty products? Let us know below...