I'm so SO happy that the weather in the UK has finally got better and I've actually been able to go out without a coat on a few occasions this month! But with summer comes way more to think about - sun protection, hay fever, insect bites, actually having to get my paler than pale haven't-seen-a-razor-since-christmas legs out on show... So it was perfect timing when Holland & Barrett contacted me about getting involved with their Get Ready for Summer campaign, in line with Sun Awareness Week which runs until 16th May. They kindly sent me a box of beauty and health summer essentials which I want to share with you today.
First things first, as I'm sure we all know, the single most important thing you can do for your skin in summer is to remember to use sun protection. I used to be really bad with not remembering to apply sun cream apart from first thing in the morning, but now I'm older I'm so glad my mum did nag me all those times on holiday! It's definitely important to make the time to keep topping it up throughout the day, and to remember that even if it's quite cloudy your skin still needs to be protected from UV rays. I've been looking into more natural sun creams recently so I was really pleased when I saw Aloe Pura Aloe Vera Sun Lotion in SPF 25. It's packed full of organic herbal extracts and natural oils like Jojoba and Avocado and it felt more intensively moisturising than the high street brands I normally use. I also received a Lavera SPF10 lipbalm which has been super handy to throw in my bag as I often forget my lips when it comes with sun protection. Again, this is made from natural ingredients and is vegan, plus the formula is quite solid which means there's no problem with your lipstick just gliding on over the top!
The products I was most impressed with were definitely the ones from the Dr Organic Moroccan Glow tanning range, in particular the Medium Self Tan Mousse. It's instant, which makes it super handy as I am almost always too last minute to have the time to let my Xen-Tan develop and wash it off, but unlike other tanning mousses I've used it actually comes out of the bottle white and at first only gives a slight bronze to the skin just enough to see where you're applying - this meant zero streaks which is pretty much a miracle for my less than pro tanner self! It developed into the nicest non-real tan I've ever had, it barely smells biscuity (although I sometimes quite enjoy smelling like a rich tea... just me?) and is a lovely natural colour. I'm genuinely so excited to have found a tan that I love and which doesn't require much forward planning and will definitely be purchasing it again. I was also sent the Pre-tan Exfoliator Body Polish and the Tan Extender Body Lotion from the range, both of which I really liked. They're enriched with organ oil so they're really hydrating, and means that they smell great too. The body polish definitely helped my tan go on smoother than the exfoliator I was using previously, and while I can't comment yet on how much I think the body lotion has extended my tan it was definitely really moisturising and kept any dry patches free from streaks.
I also received some supplements for the summer months - Vitamin D3 which is essential if you're not getting enough sun (i.e. all the time in the UK - can we please have a heatwave that lasts longer than 48 hours for once?!), and Tan Tablets. At first glance these looked like a bit of a gimmick, but actually they are mainly copper which helps produce melanin, the pigment that contributes to your tan. I normally tan pretty slowly and these supplements have great reviews on the Holland and Barrett website, so I'm excited to see if they make a noticeable difference and will definitely report back if they do!
Holland & Barrett have a sale on at the moment too so it's definitely worth having a mooch around their website if you need some summer health and beauty products, and you can find out more about Sun Awareness week here. Have you tried any of these products?