The feel of sand on your skin and salt in your hair is so wonderful. In just a matter of days a holiday gets you feeling like a sun-kissed goddess with a radiant glow and wavy locks; but exposure to the sun, sea salt and the continual lathering of SPF can leave your skin a little overwhelmed when it comes around to home time.
Summer isn't over yet, but lots of us have escaped the peak school holiday period and already returned from our summer breaks. If you're in that category, here's our guide to treating your skin post-vacation.
1. Gently exfoliate
The key to maintaining your tan and avoiding the snake-like shedding of the top layer of tanned skin cells is to gently exfoliate all over regularly on your return (it's actually a great idea to use a gentle exfoliator whilst on holiday as it builds a deeper tan - try this next time!)
Using a gentle exfoliator, i.e. one that doesn't have harsh grains or comes in a lotion-type base, is best as it doesn't rip at the delicate skin that's been exposed to the sun. Instead it gradually removes dying skin and leaves you soft and flake-free.
Try our Almond Nut Body Scrub
2. Use a light moisturiser
Whilst on holiday, your skin has been slathered with SPF every day and these tend to be on the greasier side, even those misty sprays. This means your skin has been somewhat smothered by product and not allowed to breathe or hydrate properly. Using a light moisturiser strikes the balance between delivering moisture without blocking the skin from air completely.
Try our Sweet Citrus Body Whip
3. Choose a multi-action day cream
Unless you're careful (or obsessed with over-sized floppy hats), your face takes a big hit of sun on holiday. It's always exposed to the sun, wind and salty sea spray all of which will tend to dry it out. When you get home, use a day cream that not only tackles redness and blemishes that come from sun damage but also one that gradually sinks in throughout the day to keep skin hydrated and prevent it drying out or flaking under make-up.
Try our Daily Face Cream
4. Treat post-SPF breakouts carefully
If you've got oily or combination skin you're more likely to suffer from breakouts after using SPF on your face. It's important not to be rough with any breakouts, but especially those that have resulted from using SPF as dirt and sweat builds up under the skin rather than on surface cells. We recommend giving a Konjac Sponge a go, they're gentle to skin and full of natural anti-oxidants that fight spots without damaging skin. We like this charcoal infused one from The Konjac Sponge Company.
5. Treat your feet
A combination of abrasion by sand and wearing sandals that your feet just aren't used to most of the year can result in some rough soles and delicate toes. You can whip up a simple remedy in your kitchen using a handful of oats, a spoonful of brown sugar, the juice of a lemon and a tablespoon of olive oil. Whizz them together in a blender and apply the mixture a couple of times a week before showering.
6. Repair your locks
Bedraggled by heat, salt and chlorine your post-holiday wavy locks tend to sag a bit when you get home. Luckily there's lots of natural ingredients that can repair hair from the scalp down. A new one we've come across is the Shea Butter Hair Mask from The Body Shop. Using Community Trade ingredients and being 100% vegan this has lots of lovely ingredients that moisturise the scalp, invigorate hair follicles and hydrate each strand of hair for a healthier look.
And finally, if there's one tip we can share that will help your skin - don't overdo it when you get back. Going on holiday tends to triple the to-do list you had before you left and it's easy to burnout when you get back. If you undo all the chill time you had whilst you were away your skin will be one of the first places it shows with spots, red marks and dark circles. So take it easy and rev yourself back up to full pace slowly!