I know, I know – it’s the end of July and I’m only just putting a summer post up. But time got away from me recently and with London temperatures still reaching well into the high 20°s and even 30°s right now (!), it feels totally acceptable.
There’s some items I just can’t live without in these hotter months. From skincare to lifestyle products, I’ve rounded up my faves to share with you.
1. Sun Protection
My absolute Number One essential item for summer is sunscreen. There’s a few cruelty-free options around but I was kindly sent the Green People Scent Free Sun Lotion SPF 30+* for review.
The sunscreen contains soothing organic aloe vera, green tea and edelweiss, however it’s unscented and free from any harsh chemicals; not only is it great for sensitive skin but it’s not harmful to the ocean as there’s no chemical run-off. The cream is not greasy and it absorbs easily.
As someone who reacts to many scented items (either itchy skin, or asthma flare-ups), the scent-free cream was perfect for me. It’s also recommended for people who suffer from prickly heat, eczema, or psoriasis. It apparently helps in retaining a tan but as someone with lily-white skin that does not tan, I can’t really comment on this!
Green People don’t test on animals and as a bonus, 30p from every sale of this sunscreen goes towards the Marine Conservation Society.
The only negative I found with the sunscreen is that the SPF 30 contains beeswax, meaning it’s not vegan-friendly. With my fair skin I can’t use anything under SPF 30, so it’s disappointing that the SPF 15 lotion is vegan but not the SPF 30. Why, Green People, why?!
2. Rich Moisturiser
If you do end up getting a little too much sun, or you’re just showing a little more skin than usual, you’ll need a good moisturiser to slather on. I’ve fallen for The Body Shop® Body Yogurt in Mango*.
The scent of mango screams summer to me. This body yogurt seriously smells edible and reminds me of sweet mango sorbet.
Thinner than a body butter, the yogurt absorbs quickly and isn’t at all sticky, yet still leaves skin beautifully soft and moisturised. It’s 100% vegan and 100% delicious.
Buy Here: The Body Shop®* – £8.95 (GET 25% OFF with code 14672!)
3. Hair Reducer
Though I’m not one to show my legs if I can help it, this summer has been one in which bare legs have been impossible to avoid. This inevitably means more frequent shaving. Dammit!
In my quest to find something that helped my smooth legs last longer, I discovered the Laidbare Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow! Hair Minimising Moisturiser*.
The cream slows down hair growth (so lazy folk like me don’t have to shave every day) and also reduces razor bumps and ingrown hairs. It’s made with natural ingredients like liquorice extract, caffeine, and horse chestnut seed extract and has a light, lemony scent.
Buy Here: Nature’s Healthbox* – £6.99
4. Natural-Looking Fake Tan
For the most part, I have made peace with my aforementioned lily-white skin. However, on occasion, I like my legs to be slightly less reflective and that’s where Bondi Sands Everday Gradual Tanning Milk comes in.
The moisturiser doesn’t have that harsh chemical smell synonymous with self-tanning and as it’s a gradual tan, you can build up the level of colour without fear of orange skin or streaks! Plus, it contains cocoa butter to moisturise and SPF 15 to help protect against the summer rays.
Buy Here: Bondi Sands – £11.99
5. Lip Balm with SPF
I suffer from dry, chapped lips year-round so a good lip balm is never far out of my reach. However, in summer I like to ensure that my lip balm also includes SPF to give my lips sun protection, as well as keep them hydrated.
6. A Fresh Summer Scent
When it comes to summer scents, I want something light and fruity. Pacifica offer a whole range of edible-smelling perfumes in sprays, roll-ons and solid perfumes.
As I can’t handle most spray perfumes due to asthma and allergies, the Pacifica Solid Perfumes are a lifesaver. I love them all but my faves are Island Vanilla and Indian Coconut Nectar, both of which make me think of cocktails by the beach.
The perfumes are made from vegetable wax and natural oils and they’re free from parabens and other nasties. They come in a little lip balm-eque tin so they’re perfect for travel, or to throw in your handbag for a little top-up.
As a bonus, a portion of all Island Vanilla sales go towards the Ocean Futures Society.
Buy Here: Bodykind* – £10.00
7. Itch Relief
I’ve raved about paw paw balm a couple of times before on this blog. It’s my go-to cure-all! Not only is it a handy lip balm substitute, it’s also great for insect bites or itchy, dry skin.
Right now I’m using the Sukin Paw Paw Ointment*, which is not only vegan-friendly (many paw paw balms contain beeswax) but it’s also free from nasty petro-chemicals.
I always have a tube in my handbag during the summer months, just in case! I’m lucky that mozzies don’t seem to find my blood too appetising but for the occasional itchy bug bite, this stuff is amazing.
Seriously, get some. It’s lasts forever and it’s worth every penny.
Buy Here: Bodykind* – £6.99
8. Insect Repellent
With the summer heat comes summer insects. And though I won’t kill the little critters, I don’t want them in my flat either, so I find deterrents the best solution.
Again with the whole asthma and allergies thing, it can be hard to find insect-repellent products that I don’t react to. But I recently discovered Incognito Mosquito Incense Sticks* and I’m a fan! They’re 100% natural, non-toxic, free from irritants and chemicals, and they’re Vegan Society approved!
Though they are safe to burn indoors and the lemony smell isn’t too overpowering, I’ve stuck to burning them on my balcony. So far, I’ve had no adverse reaction at all and mozzies and flies seem a little less interested in our flat.
Each stick burns for over an hour so a pack of 10 will last you a good while!
Buy Here: Bodykind* – £4.99
9. Reusable Water Bottles
I basically don’t go anywhere without a water bottle! Switching to reusable water bottles (along with coffee cups) was one of the easiest plastic swaps to make.
I now have a 500 ml S’Well bottle in Neptune*, which is oh-so pretty and handbag-friendly, as well a 750 ml Chilly’s bottle in Pastel Green*, which is perfect to carry on a day out. And it can hold an entire bottle of wine… just sayin’!
Both brands offer an awesome range of colours and designs, though Chilly’s are that little bit more purse-friendly.
10. Plastic-Free Straws
Whether your summer drink of choice is a smoothie or a soft drink, a cold brew coffee or a cocktail, it will most likely come with a straw (or two. Cringe). Like many others, I’ve been really upping my efforts to reduce my plastic use this year and straws were one thing I really wanted to make an effort to change.
Though I’m happy to drink some beverages like soft drinks or juices sans straw, others like frappes, or crushed ice cocktails can be trickier to drink straight from a cup.
I recently invested in an Ethical Active Stainless Steel Straw Set and it’s brilliant.
The set comes with four metal straws and a pipe-cleaner in a little canvas bag. Cute and convenient. No more plastic straws in my frappucino, thanks!
Buy Here: Ethical Active – £10.00
What are your must-have items for the summer months?