Summer Essentials

Today I’m going to share with you some of my essential products for the summer whether I’m at home or away.  These are the products that I’m either using right now or am planning on taking away with me when I travel.  I’m going away to the sunshine soon and then I’m off on a girls holiday so I’ve been in need of some summer products to use.

As you can see, I’ve got some travel sizes of my favourite products here as well as some full size items that are so light weight they are perfect for use during the warmer months and that smell so good they take me back to memories of my holidays as soon as I smell them!

Bioderma Sebium H20 Purifying Micellar Solution

First up is the greatest find in travel sized history… just kidding but I really do love it.  When Bioderma came to the UK earlier this year I literally jumped for joy as I had heard so much about the French pharmacy brand and most specifically their micellar cleansing waters.

Bioderma Sebium H20 is a no fuss, no mess cleansing water- my favourite kind.  Simply apply to a cotton pad, sweep over the face and leave to air dry, once on a morning and once at night.  It removes all of my make up effortlessly, including stubborn eye make up, without making my pull and tug at my skin.  The cleansing water feels cooling and refreshing and leaves my skin looking and feeling clean without being tight and stripped of all of its natural oils.  After using this, I finish up with my Riosonicleanse to give my skin a thorough deep clean if I’ve been wearing a lot of heavy make up but other than that, this does the job of cleansing my skin expertly well.  Sebium H20 is specifically formulated for oily skin like mine as it contains purifying active ingredients that work to cleanse the skin gently without drying it out, meanwhile regulating the secretion of sebum on the skin.

The fact that this is available in a 100ml travel sized bottle really makes me happy as I hate for my skincare routine to suffer when I’m travelling abroad as the bottles are usually huge whereas this one is perfect for my hand luggage.

The 100ml bottle of Bioderma Sebium H20 is available for £4.50 from John Bell and Croyden, Zest Essentials and Escentual.  I will literally be repurchasing these every time I plan to travel!

Dirty Works Coconut Caress Body Wash

Next is the Coconut Caress Body Wash from Dirty Works that I had originally got to take away with Mr WLL and I when we go on holiday as I thought that the 200ml tube would be perfect for the two of us for two weeks… but then I ran out of shower gel to use at the gym and ended up popping this in my gym bag with the intention of using it once and picking up a new one on the way home but after one coconutty shower I was hooked.  Needless to say, I’m not onto my second tube of this and I’ve had to repurchase another for my holiday.  It just smells incredible and lathers up well when used on my shower puff.  Whenever I smell coconut, I instantly think of being abroad in a hot destination- I’m guessing its because many suntan lotions are given a coconut fragrance but either way, I love it.

The body wash itself does a good job at cleaning my body, no more so than other shower gels that I’ve used but the coconut fragrance that lasts faintly on the skin is what sets this apart and keeps me coming back for more!  Its a good job this body wash is affordable at £2.99 from Sainsburys.  It’s actually on offer at the moment at £1.99, so if you love it, stock up!

Nair Ultra Hair Removal Sensitive Cream

Another shower favourite of mine is the Nair hair removal cream.  I’ve been using Nair products for quite a few months now after first trying their Brazilian Spa Clay Shower Power Cream and Bikini and Underarm Glide On which I reviewed here.  I was so happy to have discovered those hair removal creams as I had used a competitor brand called Veet in the past which I didn’t have a good experience with- it burned my skin and left me feeling red raw- but so far I have nothing but great experiences with Nair.  Their hair removal cream is really effective without causing me pain and discomfort.  They also sell their Ultra Hair Removal Sensitive Cream in handy sachets that are perfect for travelling, not only because they come in 30ml packs suitable for doing your lower legs and underarms in one use but also because the cream is the sensitive formula which is definitely what you need when you’ve been sunbathing all day as your skin will be much more sensitive than usual.  Now don’t be thinking that because this is a sensitive cream that it isn’t as effective as the normal one as that it isn’t the case.  When applied in a thick even layer and left for 10 to 15 minutes, this cream removes the vast majority of hairs from the skin quickly and painlessly.  I’ll be taking these away with me for future trips as they’re great space savers and really light weight.  The Nair sachets are two for the price of one and are 99p from Boots.

Macadamia Natural Oil Deep Repair Masque

I love to pamper myself and when I’m using my hair removal cream on my legs, I like to take the opportunity to pop on a face mask or a hair treatment. One my favourites particularly to use in really hot countries is the Macadamia Natural Oil Deep Repair Masque.  This is a really intensive hair mask that is great for revitalising and reconstructing dry and damaged hair, making it particularly good to use on holiday after your hair has really been put through its paces.  I know my own hair is really put to the test when I’m abroad as I go from sunbathing in the baking heat to swimming in the sea, both of which dry out the hair incredibly!

Applying the mask is really simple- after shampooing my hair, I apply this all over my hair, right up to the root.  It is very thick and creamy so it really requires the hair to be quite wet when applying it so that it spreads throughout the hair.  I then comb it through with a wide tooth comb and leave it to sit on my hair for about five minutes before washing it out.  It takes a bit of work to get this out of my hair but it is SO worth it as it my hair feels incredibly soft after I’ve used this.

The only thing that I don’t like about this mask is the scent as it does smell quite soapy, a bit like washing up liquid but this doesn’t greatly offend me as the mask performs so well and the scent doesn’t stay on my hair after use.

The Macadamia Natural Oil Deep Repair Masque is available at discounted price from 123 Hair and Beauty and it comes in a 30ml sachet for £2.90, a 100ml tube like I have for £8.89, a 250ml tub for £17.95 and a 500ml tub for £24.05.

Caribbean Essentials Restore Massage and Bath Oil

During the Summer, when I’m looking for some intense hydration, I like to look to oils to feed my skin with the moisture it needs, particularly after I’ve been tanning.  The Caribbean Essentials Restore Massage and Bath Oil is simply perfect for this as it is a luxuriously divine, intensive oil that feels and smells incredible.

Caribbean Essentials are a holistic  vibrant and passionate brand that is full of life having been inspired by the energy and vitality of the Caribbean.  Their luxury spa ritual products focus on soothing the mind, body and spirit and there are many products that can be targeted for a specific purpose.

The Restore Oil is a healing blend of Grapeseed Oil, Papaya, Peppermint, Ginger, Patchouli, Lemongrass, Rosemary, Lemon and Sweet Orange which come together to heal the senses, rejuvenate and restore the body and provide a warming, anti-inflammatory and therapeutic effect.

It can be used a number of ways- a couple of capfuls can be added to the water of your bath to provide a really relaxing soak, it can be drizzled over the body directly after a shower in order to provide a really intense hydrating effect or it can be massaged into the body by your loved one to create a warming, romantic night in.

I cannot begin to describe how relaxing and soothing this oil is on the skin.  It has such a therapeutic effect, soothing away the aches and pains of the day and really relaxing the mind into a state of calm and peace.  I’d really recommend giving it a try if you’re someone who has a busy body or a busy mind as it will help you to relax.

The Massage and Bath Oil in Restore retails for £14.50 for 100ml from the Caribbean Essentials website.

Summer Essential Tanning Products

I like to have a bit of a base tan before I travel to sunnier climes, firstly because it means that I feel more confident in my outfits and secondly because I tend to tan better and more importantly, don’t burn, when I have a base tan.  Since the weather in the UK has been less than favourable this summer, I don’t have a tan at all so until I get a real tan- I’m going to have to fake it and for that I’m turning to two products…

Clarins Instant Smooth Self Tanning

First up is my pot of Instant Smooth Self Tanning from Clarins that I bought at Escentual as it had a fantastic offer on it.  This is essentially a face tanner that you apply after your usual skincare routine but before you have applied any make up.  It gives an immediate tint of colour to the skin but it is quite subtle and makes the skin look perfected.  Since I have pretty clear skin and usually wear semi permanent eyelash extensions and have my eyebrows tinted and shaped, I can usually get away with just applying this on summer days and slicking on a bit of lip balm or gloss and I’m good to go.  Its a really quick and easy look for the summer months.  With continuous use, after a few days, I find my skin has a natural looking tan.

For a full review, please head on over to this post.

Kiko Self Tanning Spray

My second summer tanning fake it essential is the Kiko Self Tanning Spray in Dark.  For a clear self tanner, this applies effortlessly and completely streak free for those used to false tan application.  It can either be sprayed on from a distance and left to dry or sprayed and buffed into the skin using the Kiko Self Tanning Applicator.  It dries really quickly and starts to develop into a gorgeous tan after only one hour.  There is no guide colour to be washed off so you can simply spray and go.

I love the sun kissed golden glow that this gives as it is very natural and not dark like name would suggest which makes it perfect to use at the beginning of a holiday abroad until you develop a real permanent tan, or throughout the summer if you’re not going on holiday.  I never thought I’d like a false tan that is clear but this one has really turned my head.

The Self Tanning Spray itself is available for £5.90 on special offer at the moment and the Self Tanning Applicator is £1.90 on special offer on the Kiko website.  For a full review of the Kiko Self Tanning Spray, please check out this post.

Hawaiian Tropic Protective Dry Spray Oil SPF 15

When I’m on holiday I can more or less guarantee that it wont take me long at all to get a tan and I know that is down to the sun protection products that I use.  Every year I use the same types of products that I know work with my skin and I get a gorgeous sun kissed golden glow every time.

In my opinion, Hawaiian Tropic are one of the best sun tan protection brands. Every product that I have used from them has enabled me to develop a deep and beautiful tan without burning.  I opt for the dry spray oil formula every time because it works the best for my skin.  I find that cream formulas from other brands tend to sit on the surface of my skin a provide a false hydration.  I don’t tan as well when using a cream, my pores become clogged and I tend to still burn so when I first tried a Hawaiian Tropic Dry Spray Oil on holiday after running out of sun cream and found that I had this gorgeous tan without all of the negatives that the creams had given me, then I have stuck to this brand and never looked back.

The Hawaiian Tropic Dry Spray Oil is completely clear and comes in a variety of SPF’s.  Since I tan really well and don’t tend to burn, I opt for the factor 15, which is a medium SPF, to use for the first week of my holiday.  I then either stick to the 15 or switch to the 8 which is a low SPF.  If I’m going to a REALLY hot destination like when I visited the Maldives for Christmas one year then I will increase the factor that I use but otherwise, I find that these work fine for me.  I apply my first coating of this on a morning as I’m getting dressed by spraying it onto my body and running my hand over it to ensure an even application and then I top it up frequently throughout the day just by spraying it all over me in any particular fashion.  That’s the great thing about the spray being clear as I don’t have to worry about having the white creamy cast over my body that a sun tan cream gives me.  I can even apply this oil to my face without it breaking me out.  I spritz it into my hands first and then apply it to my face.  When I’m on holiday, I love to float on the water on a lilo and I love to buy the ones that are like a chair with a cup holder in them.  I tend to take my sun tan oil out onto the water with me so that I can reapply after dipping in and out of the water but it isn’t as frequently needed as other sun tan protectors as it is pretty water resistant.

Whilst I can feel it on my skin, it doesn’t feel greasy, it just keeps my skin moisturised and hydrated, feeling soft and smooth.  This protective sunscreen smells gorgeous too as it has the signature Hawaiian Tropic scent of exotic flowers and fruit like coconut as well as natural ingredients like mango, papaya and passion fruit.  It is also enriched with aloe vera which keeps the skin hydrated and stops it from burning and turning red.

I find that the Chemist Direct website has some great offers on the Hawaiian Tropic range, the one that I have here is £12.59 for a 200ml bottle which is a great price for such good quality sun care.

Bioderma Photoderm After Sun

Of course, after I’ve been in the sun all day, I need to ensure that my skin is hydrated, moisturised and soothed.  To put some hydration back into my skin, I opt for the Bioderma Photoderm Refreshing After Sun Milk.  On its own, this is really cooling but when used after its been in the fridge is simply heaven on sun kissed skin.

When I have been sunbathing, I pop back to my room as the sun sets, grab a quick shower and then I apply this all over my face and body.  It doesn’t clog the pores on my face or break me out as it is very gentle and suitable for sensitive skin.  It is a fast absorbing milk that doesn’t feel greasy or tacky after application.  It really cools down the skin, softens it and hydrates it which helps to stop the skin from becoming dry and peeling as a result.

The Photoderm After Sun has a light, refreshing scent that does stay on the skin for an hour or two after application which I really like as well as the lasting feeling of softness on the skin.  It can also be used after your holiday to help to prolong the life of your suntan.  I absolutely love it!

Photoderm is £10.90 for a huge 200ml tube from John Bell and Croyden, Zest Essentials and Escentual.

What are your summer essentials?


  1. Beth May
    July 8, 2013 / 10:40 am

    Great picks! I really want to try bioderma and the macadamia mask as everybody raves about them!

    • WhatLauraLoves
      July 24, 2013 / 10:57 pm

      Go for it hun. They're well worth it xxx

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