Aside from my oversized beach bag and a large towel, my poolside essentials are relatively minimal. I am not one for wearing much makeup on the beach or poolside anymore, mainly because it all ends up melting down my face (or in my bag) anyway, plus I want to actually get a tan on my face….and it just feels nicer in the sun when you are makeup-free.
It’s different if you are doing Ibiza, Miami, Vegas etc….it’s absolutely normal to wear doublewear, contour, highlight, 3 pairs of lashes and your 5 inch heels, but on *normal* warm weather holidays, I save them makeup and lashes for the evenings.
First up ; the obvious….Suncare.
I always start off with my trusty Institut Esthederm to begin the holiday. Towards then end, if I am trying to get a tan (sorry, yes I DO like to tan), then I will drop to a slightly lower SPF and I love an oil as I find it hydrates and nourishes the skin better and it makes you look glowing. One of my favourite SPF oils is the good ol’ classic Hawaiian Tropic SPF20 Body Oil which not only is quick and pain-free to apply, but it is infused with the scent of coconut & guava so it has that gorgeous beachy holiday smell.
I am never without my Institut Esthederm suncare and I have used this for many, many years. I always travel with one of these orange bottles on holiday and it’s simply the best, albeit pricey. Institut Estherderm suncare if often confused and misunderstood, as it doesn’t use SPF. Let me try and explain.
* In bullet points
*Because I think it’s easier
*SPF is a TEST not a protective ingredient.
*SPF tests can be regarded as inaccurate due to measuring the risk of sunburn without taking in account photo-aging or photo-sensitivity.
*Institut Esthederm (IE) fully PROTECTS your skin from the sun, as other sun lotions do ; against UVA & UVB rays. They also stimulate, enhance and intensify your tan.
*It’s just getting your head around the fact these bottles do not have the SPF & number that we have been inclined to see since forever & think that if it doesn’t say it on the bottle it doesn’t protect…which is incorrect.
* Instead of the SPF rating, IE use a ‘sun rating’ ; (which is what you see on the front of the bottle) ; The sun’s rays/ UV index are variable depending on where you are in the world. They use 1 sun /2 sun/ 3 sun which translates to = Low sun/ UV index 1-3 , Normal to Strong sun/ UV index 4-7 and Extreme Sun / UV index 8-10. An easy way to remember is basically the closer to the equator you get the higher the UV index and level of protection needed. I usally opt for the 2 sun lotion.
*IE also caters for the 4 different types of ‘sun’ skintypes – Normal skin, Sensitive skin, Intolerant skin & Highly reactive skin.
* IE lotions/sprays & oils, once applied, start to boost your skin’s own protection (melanin) so you not only get a great protection, but your tan will go lovely and deep (more quickly) AND your tan will last longer than normal (For reals).
* IE sun lotions are best used a week or so BEFORE your holiday (& obvs during) as this will start to trigger your melanin (skin’s protection) BEFORE holiday, usually it will just be activated when you hit the sun on day 1, but with prior use and melanin activation & pre-sun preparation, your skin will be perfectly ‘sun-ready’ on day 1 therefore your skin will be better protected.
* It uses cellular water (not the standard, inactive ‘Aqua’ that is in every single other sun cream) so the product you are applying is active / readily absorbed and accepted by your body. The cellular water mimics your own body’s water. This energises the skin & your skin cells.
* I hope that makes a bit more sense
* Let’s move on.
Something I can’t reccomend enough is the La Roche Posay Anthelios XL SPF50+ Compact Cream. This is SO good and I have had it for ages but only started using it
properly on my holidays a few weeks ago. A perfect product for those who want their face
to have a higher protection than elsewhere (kinda should) AND it gives a
bit of coverage and a tint of colour. It also doesn’t feel like makeup
at all and you don’t get that greasy feel with it – one of my favourite
products for the holiday! Fragrance free, paraben free & water-resistant.
Hair up and bandana or headband on is how you can usually find me by the pool. I hate sweaty hair in my face or down my back plus I like to keep it covered because of the bleach that is within. I picked up these Invisibobble hair bands from Boots in the airport which I found really good and they don’t snag my hair. They are made from water-repellant material so they are perfect for beaches & swimming and don’t pull your scalp or give you headaches = a win.
I tend to take a small selection of sunglasses on holidays ; usually 1 fancy pair and a few cheaper ones. Quay Australia are super reasonably priced (from £25) and are perfect fpr poolside perusing and people watching. Not so expensive that you can’t just chuck them in your beach bag without the fear of scatching or breaking , plus they have the best styles and shapes so you will always find a pair that are suitable for you & your style.
Hours of chill time by the pool can’t be filled with simply listening to other people’s convos, pretending to snooze and checking out the DILFS ; I always have to have a good pile of books for my holidays and I literally spend 5 hours a day reading. I have moved on from the hardbacks , but haven’t *yet* lept into kindle territitory, so I just upload books onto my Ipad via IBooks so I have a great selection and just a thin sliver of metal to take in my bag. This holiday I read a few different crime/thrillers, including Girl On A Train,which is worth a read (I can’t wait for the film later on this year….Emily Blunt is playing the lead role…swoon!)
Do you use any of these products? What’s your favourite suncare? Book suggestions?!