Goodness it’s been a long time hasn’t it? I feel neglectful and woefully lazy but my time away from the computer was well spent – I’ve been in the Algarve enjoying the sun and sea and feel well and truly rejuvenated now. I am also a little browner/more toned thanks to the sea and multiple walks I went on along the cliffs. So, onto the products – what I took & what I’ll buy again. Let’s start with beach products, shall we?…
Beach Bag //
I packed Institut Esthederm Photo Regul for my face and their Bronz Repair lotion for my body. These were probably my favourites – the face cream doesn’t block pores and helps pigmented skin even out a little in the sun and the body lotion was a joy to use.
As an alternative, I used The Organic Pharmacy Cellular Protection SPF 25. I loved the scent of this and that it was organic/fortified the skin but wasn’t overly keen on the texture – while I can get to grips with slightly less ‘smooth’ textures in organic products, it took a while to rub in and was just make me feel a bit frustrated and flustered.
I also took Sisley Super Stick Solaire SPF 30 to dot on my cheekbones and nose when I had been in the water. The stick is brilliant and I liked the idea of ensuring that parts of my face that are starting to show fine lines had a little extra layer of protection (this went straight into my handbag when I got back to London so I can continue to ensure I have adequate protection on while I’m out and about). For my hair, I brought Phytoplage Protective Sun Veil, which I spritzed on every time I reapplied my suncream.
I only packed one product that is officially an ‘aftersun’: Phyto aftersun oil. It is dreamy: smells of chocolate, leaves skin less dry and can be put on the ends of damp hair.
While that would more than do most, I also brought a couple of options to use in the morning or once I’d got in from a night out to really pack my skin with moisture (I loathe nothing more than the sensation of having tight skin): Sol de Janoeiro Coconut Water Gel (cooling, soothing, instantly absorbed and currently sold out – have a look on ebay if you’d like some); Biona Coconut Oil (a multitasker that I use to moisturise, cleanse, deep condition hair and rub on frayed cuticles) and Dr. Organic Virgin Coconut Oil Moisture Melt, which I am a little unhealthily obsessed with – it is cheaper than the rest, uplifting (lots of lovely citrusy additions) and extremely hydrating.
Aside from the aforementioned hair protectant, I had to keep adding moisture and protection to my hair as it has been coloured. During the early evening, I’d apply a spritz of Kerastase Soleil Lait Richesse. I washed it with Phytoplage Shampoo, conditioned with a Tommy Guns Bergamot, Inula and Manuka Conditioner and followed with Unite 7 Seconds Condition once out the shower to make my hair easier to brush.
As I like to tie it back on the beach (how some wear their hair coiffed perfectly in such extreme conditions is beyond me – hair sticking to my shoulders gives me a touch of the crazies), I packed Invisibobbles for the beach as they are plastic and don’t get grotty or end up tangled in salty hair.
I always take my own supplements and herbal teabags abroad (slightly princessy? Perhaps. But I need good tea so). This time I took an assortment of Pukka’s teas and individually wrapped supplements sachets – their Fibre Plus, Vitality and Juicy Wheat Grass mixtures, to be specific. These are ideal for holiday as they can simply be mixed into water or juice and don’t taste anywhere near as bad as some supplements I’ve tried.
I also took the Advanced Nutrition Programme’s Travel Pack which contains a probiotic powder for digestive health and Skin Vitality and Vitamin C to keep skin, hair and nails all cared for. I also popped my Rude Health 5 Grains 5 Seeds cereal into my suitcase as healthy eating practises tend to fall to the wayside unless I have a good breakfast.
My focus was gentle cleansing and rehydration so as not to do any further damage after days in the sun. I cleansed with Green People’s Cleanse & Make-Up Remover which I’d highly recommend if you have sensitive skin. As it didn’t irritate my eyes I stuck with that to remove all the grime and suncream, using it twice to make sure I’d taken all the grease and make-up off my face.
I followed up with my BRYT Boost Serum Tired & Dehydrated Skin, Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream, Bee Good Vanilla & Honey Lip Balm and, at night, Colbert MD Heal & Soothe Night. All were very soothing and didn’t make my sensitive, slightly sun-battered skin angry.
Tweezers: vital. Mine are Tweezerman Slant Tweezers which are, in my opinion, the best on the market. I also packed Eve Lom Hand Cream which contains an SPF 10 to protect out in the sun (though I tended to use this during the early evening and just popped sun cream on my hands during the day – I’m looking forward to using this in London as feel it’ll be of better use there).
I bought a single nail polish – Korres, Coral Hibiscus – as I am of the belief that nails should ‘breathe’ on holiday and get the benefits of the salt water and sun. My Catseye London make-up bag once again proved itself to be a winner: as it’s plastic, no make-up stained the interior and it housed a pretty hefty collection easily.
To swim in, I took an assortment of apparel but none as beautiful as my Melissa Odabash Antibes Bandeau one piece – instead of feeling exposed and inelegant (as I often do when waddling around the beach), I felt this structured costume pulled me in in all the right places and made me feel rather glamorous indeed.