From instant body bronzers to the best SPFs, when packing to go on holiday it’s all too easy for half your suitcase to get filled up with beauty products.
But what skincare, body products and makeup must-haves do the experts themselves always take with them when they travel? Here to streamline your routine and help you pack like a pro, the OK! beauty team reveal their favorite hot weather hero products that they never go on holiday without, from a bargain body cream to a curl-enhancing hair mask.
Lynne Hyland, beauty director
Pigmentation is a huge summer pest to me, and about as welcome as wasps at a picnic. However, last year I managed to swat away the annual melasma outbreak using Nivea’s anti-pigmentation sun range, so this year I will definitely be popping this new Luminous630 Dark Spot Control SPF50, £10 herein my hand luggage.
Why, oh why, do so many hotels neglect to supply conditioner, just at the time when our poor parched hair needs it most? I take no chances and pack a super-sized pot to smother on my hair literally day and night (it’s a great pool/sea water blocker). My 2022 holiday companion of choice will be Garnier’s super-hydrating Ultimate Blends Plumping Hair Food Watermelon Hair Mask, currently on sale for £3.50 here.
Call me sentimental but I always assign a perfume to a sunshine holiday, knowing that one spritz will whisk me back when the colder days set in. I’ve already selected Jo Malone London Aqua Lemon Cologne, £56 hereto summon up memories yet to be made, but which I assume will heavily feature tapas, sangria, water parks and all-inclusive buffet breakfasts.
Laura Mulley, beauty editor
On holiday, I start my daily sun protection starkers in the bathroom, slapping on a thorough layer of lotion over every inch before getting dressed. (Okay, perhaps not every inch – I don’t sunbathe on THOSE sorts of beaches…) Once this base coat is in place, I’ll top it up throughout the day with a super-fine SPF mist. Garnier does a nice one for the body, and for the face, I’m chucking Ultrasun UV Face & Scalp Mist SPF50, £18 hereinto my beach bag.
Active ingredients aren’t invited into my holiday skincare routine – my strong vitamin Cs, retinols and exfoliating acids stay behind at home. Instead I pack a simple hyaluronic acid serum, one that hydrates and soothes parched skin without any risk of irritation, like Nip+Fab Hyaluronic Fix Extreme4 Hydrating Serum, currently on sale for £17.21 here, which comes in a travel-friendly plastic bottle and delivers an instant boost to the skin. It’s fuss-free enough for my boyfriend to use it, too, saving on sink-side clutter.
When it comes to dressing up for cocktail hour, I’ll pick a lip gloss over a matte lip formula any day of the week – but I’ve had many a makeup bag ruined by leaking lids spilling sticky gloop over its contents. Which is why I love the new Hourglass Phantom Glossy Balms, £34 each here, which truly are the nearest thing I’ve found to a gloss in a stick (and a very fancy-looking stick at that). The balmy bullet melts onto the skin, delivering a layer of nourishing, high-shine color that’ll last long after the sun goes down.
Zoe Cripps, deputy beauty editor
I don’t tend to wear much makeup when I go away, despite the fact I always seem to pack a very full bag of lipsticks and eyeshadows (hey, you never know what you’ll need, right?). One thing I do wear daily, without fail, is a lip and cheek tint – specifically Bobbi Brown’s Crushed Creamy Color for Lips and Cheeks, £22 here. The dewy color layers effortlessly, meaning I can wear it sheer during the day and go more punchy for evenings. There are four shades to suit all skin tones but my go-to is the midtone pink tulle. It’s my best no-makeup-makeup secret.
I first took Summer Fridays Overtime Mask, £39 here, with me when I went to the Caribbean last month, and it quickly became my favorite holiday skincare item. I don’t use retinol when I’m away as it can increase sensitivity, so I need something else to give my skin a more refined look after a long and sweaty day on the beach. This scrub/face mask hybrid offers the skin-smoothing grit of a physical scrub, and when left on for 10 minutes as a mask, the AHA formula also works to clear pores and brighten your base. A real holiday hero for me.
I like trying out new beauty products when I go away, but one product I will never switch out of my wash bag is Palmer’s Coconut Hydrate Body Lotion, £4.19 here. I have eczema-prone skin that has a tendency to flare up as soon as chemical sun creams and chlorine hits it, and this coconut oil-packed cream calms everything right down. I slug in it at night and I honestly swear by it – it’s been all over the world with me. Also, who doesn’t love smelling like coconut on holiday?
Lucy Abbersteen, beauty writer
As the beauty team’s resident pale-skinned ghost, my holiday suitcase is always crammed with bottles of factor 50+ (I have only been badly sunburned once in my life and vowed never to let it happen again). But it’s only recently that I’ve become more diligent about applying SPF to my lips as well. Before I hit any sun lounger this summer I’ll be slathering on Ultra Violette’s Sheen Screen Lip Balm SPF50 for a barely-there hint of colour. It has just launched in a new bright pink shade Flamingo, £16 heremeaning my usual nude beach lip may just get an upgrade this year.
My skin is prone to boots of dehydration when I’m in sunnier climes, so my holiday skincare routine is all about moisture. But because it’s also quite oily, I tend to stick to light gel formulas in the summer. Rose Inc. Hydration Replenish Microencapsulated Moisturiser, £53 here, is like a little jar of hydration heaven. It floods your complexion with moisture and is super cooling, plus it soaks in quicker than you can say “another frozen strawberry daiquiri, please”.
My hair gets dry very easily, which is only exacerbated by sun, sea, sweat (I said it) and chlorine. So a deep conditioner or mask is a must for my holiday bag, and this year I’ll be bringing Pacifica Pineapple Hydrate Curl Nourishing Mask, £18 here. Despite being rich in oils it quenches curls’ thirst without ever weighing them down, and comes with a holiday-appropriate pineapple scent.
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