With the annual wrangle of whether or not the British summer will arrive, we know what readers of this piece are thinking: what possible need could there be for sun care, when the forecasts dictate otherwise? In theory, overhanging clouds and ominous greys don’t generally tend to signal a boost to the sun-centred sector of the grooming industry – and we’d wager that you’ve spent less time sunbathing this year than you have on your recently resurrected commute. The Riviera, the UK is not.
Yet, that shouldn’t mean the sun can’t peak out with barely a second to discard the Burberry mac, unfold the Persols and unsheathe the factor 30. So, this summer, to ensure that you finally circumvent any blistered shoulders; blotchy, unflattering lobster-hued sheens; dry complexions; and a general feeling of being oppressed from any hot and heady days, here are some of the best grooming items to store in your to-go bag right now…
Create a base layer with a proper SPF
Ah, the aforementioned lobster sheen. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there, in all that red-hued discomfort; after all, the ancient Greeks, that group of thinkers and boundary-breakers, used to top up the tan with a healthy slathering of olive oil, before realising it was a certified way to speed up the skin-cooking process. To take preventative action against any pain and redness, we’ve rounded up a handful of the most premium SPF blocks you can buy now.
You could start by liberally slathering a layer of Malin+Goetz’s SPF30 High Protection sunscreen, which is vegan-friendly, works on all skin types, and is water-resistant – we’re also drawn to the pared-back packaging whose orange typography speaks of brighter days. In an equally sleek bottle is Chanel’s UV Essential, which has a higher SPF, at 50, and is a concoction that blends the featherweight feel of a gel with the lusciousness of a cream. Perhaps the most luxe option you can opt for, though, comes courtesy of skincare doyen La Mer – its Protecting Fluid keeps your skin hydrated while working to prevent any future discolouration.
Malin + Goetz SPF30 High Protection sunscreen
Chanel UV Essentiel
La Mer The SPF 50 UV Protecting Fluid
Scrub off the day with a easygoing exfoliator
After you’ve spent all day working on that golden glow, perspiring in the balmy heat, letting your sunblock trickle across your skin, it’s time to get rid of the detritus when you head back home. In this case, we’d nudge you towards an exfoliator – but with your skin in a delicate place, opt for something gentle and don’t scrub away the day’s debris with too much vigour.
Boutique Margate label Haeckels proffers a Salicylic Powder that mixes dried seaweed with walnut shell and willow bark, which aids the removal of dead and fatigued skin cells with minimal irritation. Dr Barbara Sturm’s Enzyme Cleanser is aimed for those with oily and combination skin, and when lathered with water, the fine-grained powder turns into a gentle foam to rid of impurities that have gathered in your pores over the course of the day. For those giving their hands a workout in the sun by toggling on their smartphones for the better part of an afternoon, Diptyque’s exfoliating hand wash, fragranced by ground olive stones, will soften out your palms and fingers.
Haeckels Salicylic Powder
Dr Barbara Sturm Enzyme Cleanser
Diptyque Exfoliating Hand Wash
Wash away any final remnants
Like with your normal grooming routine, follow a soothing exfoliation with a face wash that will clear away those remaining impurities. With your skin probably having had plenty of moisture and energy sapped away after a few hours exposed to the sun, opt for a wash with hydrating, reviving properties.
A perennially popular item is Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Energizing Face Wash, which features lemon-and-orange extracts that awaken the skin and leave it feeling cool and crisp, and we’d also recommend Heath’s Face Wash as it eschews parabens and sulphates in favour of black lava and activated charcoal. Centred around pumice, Acqua di Parma’s wash is a fuss-free, easygoing addition to your grooming cabinet as it’s designed to not create a foam or a froth.
Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Energizing Face Wash
Heath Face Wash
Acqua di Parma Barbiere
Add some hydration back in with a new line of defence
If you’re poolside or taking a dip in the Med, a day in the sun, when combined with the drying properties of chlorine or saltwater, can leave things feeling (and looking) parched. Once you’ve done your scrubbing and cleansing, start the reparative process by pumping some hydration and skin-boosting ingredients, such as collagen, back into your look.
Aesop, the go-to grooming label for globetrotters and trendsetters the world over, offers myriad ways to nourish your body; a favourite of ours is the Rejuvenate Intensive Body Balm, a viscous but easily absorbent concoction that is flavoured with macadamia nut, sandalwood oils and vanilla (we’d also suggest the label’s Exalted Eye Serum, which is pumped with vitamins B, C, and E that help enrich the areas surrounding the eyes, a perfect remedy following tiring hours of summer play). Dr Sebagh, a cosmetic expert that uses cutting-edge technology, has a Skin Perfecting Mask said to regulate your oil production while softening the skin and tightening pores. And finally, Clinique’s After Sun Rescue draws upon aloe to both calm any areas affected by overexposure and minimise peeling – just the thing for a hot, dry day.
Aesop Rejuvenate Intensive Body Balm
Dr Sebagh Skin Perfecting Mask
Clinique After Sun Rescue with Aloe