Everything feels better in the sunshine.
Even if this summer’s plans won’t include a week on the white sands of a Greek island, with a bit of luck there’ll be ample opportunity to catch some rays on Cork’s gorgeous beaches.
Our travel plans may have been scuppered by Covid-19 but there will be garden barbecues, long walks and sneaky dips in hidden coves.
That means the annual skincare overhaul is as important as ever.
A decent sunscreen is a must (just ask anyone who has ever been burnt to a crisp on an Irish family holiday) and a spot of buffing and bronzing will make it easier to ditch the leggings for skirts and shorts while the weather warms up.
Here are five sun-centric products to buy now and enjoy all summer:
1. First things first…
We all know there’s no such thing as a safe natural tan, so if you like a bronzed glow during the warmer months, now is the time to settle on a reliable tanning brand. If you’ve ever had a spray tan, you might be familiar with White to Brown, but their at-home range is just as effective and you can get the same glowy result while the salons are closed.
The White to Brown Self Tanning Lotion has a lovely fresh, clean scent that doesn’t leave you smelling like a burnt biscuit while you wait a few hours for it to develop. If you check out their website now they’re doing some brilliant bundles where you can try a Body Cleanse, Body Polish and tanning formula from a bargain €32.48, including delivery.
White to Brown Self Tanning Lotion: €20.34 here.
2. Daily protection
Most of us are not as committed as we should be to applying a daily sunscreen. That’s because many formulas feel uncomfortable on the skin and leave a thick residue. Dermalogica’s Invisible Physical Defense SPF 30 is different.
Invisible on all skin tones, this is a weightless non-nano zinc oxide sunscreen that blends easily on all skin tones, helps defend against UVA/UVB and blue light, and soothes all skin types, including sensitive. It’s a proper crowd-pleaser and it even makes a great base for make-up.
Dermalogica Invisible Physical Defense SPF 30: €59 here.
3. Ace your base
If you like to keep things simple and you’d rather not faff about with too many products, Chanel’s Le Blanc Makeup Base is a one-step situation. Infused with comforting ume flower oil, the SPF 40 formula deeply hydrates the skin, giving it a balanced, brightened and evened-out glow with a pearly translucent finish.
It’s designed for use under foundation but we found we could skip it, using a swirl of bronzer instead for a pared-back summer look that took seconds to complete. Choose from three colour-correcting shades: Rosée, Orchidée and new Pêche.
Chanel’s Le Blanc Makeup Base is €60 here.
4. A little something for afterwards…
Try as we might, we rarely escape a scorching day with our skin completely unscathed. For sunburned noses and foreheads, keep a pot of Clarins’ excellent After Sun Mask handy. The cream-gel formula with sunflower and organic aloe vera extracts, shea oil and mimosa tenuiflora extract, has an instant cooling effect and moisturises intensely for 48 hours.
The brand also does a deliciously soothing After Sun Shampoo and Body Wash for face, body and hair, which cleans away UV filters, chlorine, salt, sand and pollution, even if you’ve only been lounging on a blanket in the garden.
Clarins has been busy during the lockdown, donating 1.3m hand sanitisers, one million masks to hospitals and intensive care units.
Clarins SOS Sunburn After Sun Mask: €22 here.
5. Pocket protector
Upgrading your lip balm is an easy way to keep your kisser protected in the warmer months. Bobbi Brown SPF15 Lip Balm contains wheat germ, avocado and olive oils that create a protective layer. Petrolatum rehydrates and provides immediate comfort, while beeswax hydrates lips.
Keep the cute tin in your bag and pop it on morning and night and as often as needed during the day.
The brand says that when you use the balm for the first time, apply firm pressure with your finger to break the surface layer so the ingredients can really get to work.
Bobbi Brown SPF15 Lip Balm: €22 here.