Little heroes: The Best Summer Skincare Essentials
Keep it simple this summer with these multitasking holiday essentials for face, hair and body—all 100 per cent natural.
The sunburn soother
Neal's Yard Remedies
Organic Chamomile & Aloe Vera After Sun Spray, £6.50 (50 mL)
www.nealsyardremedies.com; tel: 0845 262 3145
A soothing mix of aloe vera juice, nettle leaf extract, and chamomile and lavender flower oils, this handy spray—made with 98 per cent organic ingredients—is designed to calm and cool the skin following sun exposure. For the face, first spray the product onto the fingertips, then smooth it over the skin; for the body, spray it directly onto your skin and massage in.
The Green Balm, £12.50 (50 mL)
www.moa.london; tel: 01753 759 720
If you're short on precious suitcase space, this family-friendly, multitasking balm is ideal. You can use it to soothe dry and itchy skin, to help heal bites, cuts and blisters, and to treat chapped lips and cold sores; it even works as a face cleanser or moisturizer. Hero ingredients include antibacterial tea tree oil, soothing sweet almond oil and calming extract of yarrow (Achillea millefolium)—a herb well known for its skin-healing properties.
The dry-skin saver
Cold Pressed MuruMuru Butter, £6.75 (60 mL)
www.handmadenaturals.co.uk; tel: 01270 877 516
MuruMuru butter is the yellowish fat extracted from the seeds of the Amazonian Astrocaryum murumuru palm tree. And this product contains just that—there's nothing added whatsoever. Highly emollient and moisturizing, the butter is great for dry, dehydrated skin, especially if you've been out all day in the sun. It also works as a nourishing intensive hair treatment.
The bug blocker
Insect Repellent Spray, £9.95 (100 mL)
www.lessmosquito.com; tel: 0207 792 8687
Despite being free of DEET, a powerful chemical used in most insect repellents, this 100 per cent natural spray is claimed to be "one of the strongest repellents in the world", protecting against all mosquitoes and other biting insects. The active ingredient is Citrepel 75 (Eucalyptus maculata citriodora, or lemon-scented gum), clinically proven to protect against malaria when used in conjunction with an impregnated mosquito net. One application is effective for up to five hours.
The sun-damage defender
30 SPF High Protection Sunscreen, £15.99 (50 mL)
www.eq-love.com; tel: +33 (0)5 59 43 86 00
Instead of using chemical sunscreens that can be harmful to human health and the environment, this sun cream relies on the natural, yet effective, sun-blocking agents titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which provide broad-spectrum UV protection. Other ingredients include moisturizing shea butter and sunflower oil, plus antioxidant-rich nyamplung oil (also known as tamanu oil), said to protect and repair the skin from UV-induced damage.
The all-purpose oil
Wild Andiroba Oil, £16 (100 mL)
www.fushi.co.uk; tel: 020 8742 2000
Harvested from the andiroba trees that populate the tropical rainforests of the South and Central Americas, this unrefined cold-pressed oil—which comes in a travel-friendly-sized bottle—has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, making it a great topical treatment for acne, sunburn, sore muscles, cuts and scrapes. It's also said to be a fantastic moisturizer for dry hair, and has even been used traditionally as an insect repellent.
The two-in-one moisturizer
Ultra Light Organic Facial Moisturizer SPF 30, £26.50 (120 mL)
www.lovelula.com; tel: 0800 731 1256
A facial moisturizer and sunscreen in one, this lightweight lotion combines skin-soothing and softening ingredients, like aloe vera leaf juice and jojoba seed oil, with the natural sun-blocking minerals zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. It's especially good for oily and acne-prone skin, as it's designed to protect delicate facial skin without clogging pores and causing breakouts. Plus it absorbs easily and doesn't leave the skin looking greasy.
The bug-blocking perfume
Smart Armor Perfume Serum, £28 (30 mL)
www.intelligentnutrients.co.uk; tel: 01737 222 563
This three-in-one perfume, moisturizer and insect repellent is a gorgeous-smelling blend of bug-blocking essential oils—including lemongrass, citronella, peppermint, thyme and clove—in a base of soybean, sesame seed and castor oils. The alcohol-free, certified organic formula, which comes in a dinky bottle that's great for when you're on the go, is said to keep biting, stinging and scourging bugs at bay, but is nice enough to wear even if you don't need its insect-repelling properties.
The three-in-one soap
Pure-Castile Bar Soap - Almond, £4.49 (140 g)
www.drbronner.co.uk; tel: 020 8123 0289
This three-in-one gentle bar soap is made from organic plant oils, including hemp, coconut and jojoba, and can be used for washing the face, body and hair—so no need for separate products. Unlike standard soaps, this one is non-drying and free of skin-stripping ingredients and artificial fragrances. The lovely marzipan scent is courtesy of the natural almond fragrance.
The space-saving beauty balm
Beauty Balm, £12.95 (55 mL)
www.lyonsleaf.co.uk; tel: 01761 221 267
A brilliant suitcase space-saver, this rich, water-free balm can be used as a cleanser (massage into the face, then wipe off with a hot wet flannel), moisturizer or intensive treatment for dry, cracked skin. Star ingredients include hydrating babassu oil, healing Calendula extract and regenerative rosemary essential oil. It also comes in an 8-mL trial size—which should last about a week—if you want to save even more space.
The skin-soothing spray
Chamomile Floral Water Soothing Baby Mist, £12.50 (100 mL)
www.balmbalm.com; tel: 01606 837 058
Not just for babies, this handy spray can be used by all ages to relieve rashes, soothe sunburn, ease itchiness and calm inflamed skin. It contains just one ingredient: chamomile flower distillate, created by distilling chamomile flowers, which are known for their soothing, anti-inflammatory effects. Pop it in your hold or hand luggage (don't worry, it passes the 100-mL liquids rule), and keep it on hand for any skin-related holiday emergencies.