'WEAR SUNSCREEN.' This is basically our mantra, here at Brides HQ. So long as you have SPF in that wee wash bag of yours, you can leave the country. From avoiding misery inducing sunburn to preventing wrinkles, dark spots and even skin cancer, wearing sun cream every day (let alone when in a hot and sunny climate!) has innumerable health benefits. And it won't STOP you from getting a tan – anyone who thinks that is silly. In fact, below we list a number of products that'll help you build and maintain a tan. Read on to find out how to optimise that golden glow, while also taking care of your poor old skin. Plus, we've rounded up some of our other favourite wash bag essentials for your honeymoon, so you'll be set and ready to jet.
A nice (big) wash bag
It's a great place to start. We love Liberty's joyfully printed numbers in larger sizes, but they have an array of lovely options online. The bigger the better, and it helps if it's lined with something waterproof (just in case of any leaks or spillages while travelling).
Votary has become one of our favourite beauty brands. This pretty little bag of goodies contains a mini-sized super-nourishing facial cleanser, day and night face oils and an intense night oil for your eyes. And it also comes with a soft flannel, which you use to remove the oil-based cleanser with warm water. Each of the products smell divine because their natural nourishing ingredients, such as rosehip and geranium, also scent them beautifully. Your face will literally drink these hydrating products up – and the great news is that they're very gentle, so they're effective on all skin types. Hand luggage-sized skincare heaven!
And for those of you who think your epidermis needs a little melanin boost, try applying Decléor's Sun Aromessence Tan Activator Serum to your body for a few days ahead of your trip. The product's blend of Camomile and Geranium essential oils repair skin’s natural defences, while Carrot and Buriti help stimulate melanin production and neutralise free radical damage. Trust us, it works. You can also apply it underneath your SPF 30. Do not dare to wear it on its own in the sun – unless you're planning to be a fried egg.
Sun protection for your face
Do not underestimate how pleased you'll be that you wore it in 20-30 years from now. When we asked Julianne Moore's facialist why she thinks the actor has such fabulous skin, she didn't just say, 'because of my incredible patented treatments' (though, obviously, that really helps), she said, 'she's a natural redhead, so she's always worn sun cream.' Boom. Just like that! Bioderm's Photoderm MAX SPF 50+ is an all-round winner. It's tinted (for a little coverage), water resistant, anti-shine and very affordable. What more could you want?
Sun protection for your body
You may as well look after your body, as well. Re-applying high-factor all day, every day (while on holiday), will leave you with a gradually built tan rather than that lovely lobster look lots of Brits tend to go for. 'It'll turn into tan!', they say. Yes, and then it'll disappear within a week because burnt skin peels. We think Institut Esthederm's Adaptasun products are brilliant. Their Global Cellular Protection technology, which is patented and runs across the entire brand, protects skin from the entire light spectrum (UVA, UVB, Visible Light and Infra-Red), while encouraging it to also develop colour. Win, win!
A cooling mist
Institut Esthederm's Cellular Water Mist has numerous magical powers. Perfect for every skin type, it can be used on the face and body daily to hydrate, cool and even set make-up. Packed with hyaluronic acid, the spray's patented hydra-booster, antioxidant and energising composition is, apparently, as powerful as a serum. So using it to cool your face and body (when you're melting on the beach) comes with serious benefits. And the best bit is that you'll get good use out of it while at home, too. It enhances the effectiveness of your other hydrating products and fits perfectly into any skincare routine. Win!
Always prepare for the worst. If the dastard sun gets to you even despite your meticulous preparations, you need a hero product to deal with the consequences. We recommend Pai's Rosehip Bioregenerate Oil. The best-selling product, currently touted as the must-have skin saviour, uses a special process called 'supercritical extraction' on its all-natural ingredients (Rosehip Fruit and Seed oil), which keeps them fresher than cold-pressing. The oil 'delivers skin-healing properties and protective antioxidants to defend against damaging environmental aggressors.' It also helps even skin tone, reduce scarring, fine lines and blemishes and improve firmness and elasticity. A miracle in a bottle.
A dry brush
A little body brush never went amiss. It may seem counter-intuitive to exfoliate while you're trying to build up a tan, but getting rid of dead skin cells from the outset of your holiday – even every day – means that the colour will penetrate deeper into your epidermis. And thus, when all those dead skin cells come off your un-exfoliated friend, you'll be laughing and glowing all at once! Start at the feet and brush gently upwards, towards your heart. This also stimulates circulation, which is fantastic for your health and, apparently, reduces cellulite while firming skin. Perfect when you're wearing a swimsuit. You should actually do this every day, to be honest, because it's SO GOOD FOR YOU.
You should moisturise your body after every evening shower on holiday. It takes effort, but this is a sure way to prolong your sun-kissed aesthetic. Dry skin comes off quickly, so locking in moisture will stop your colour fading. This 'genderless' body oil (pictured) by Neighbourhood Botanicals (on sale from 4th June) is everything. From its fresh, Italianate scent to the (recyclable) bottle's awesome graphics and 100% natural ingredients inside, it's ideal for anyone. Packed with Rice Bran Oil, Wheatgerm Oil and Oat Lipids, all of which are high in Phytosterols, The Body seriously soothes and prolongs your skin's hydration. It also contains Ferulic Acid, which has been suggested to reduce dark spots and soothe inflammation. And, seeing as everyone can use this, it keeps your liquid count down if you share!
Travel-sized hair heroes
Your hair and scalp may struggle on a hot holiday. Particularly because it's difficult to moisterise beneath your hair – even though it really needs it after being in a chlorine pool or salt water. Sun exposure can also lead to dry skin and dandruff. Sachajuan's Away Scalp Care Collection covers all bases (and smells rally good). The scalp shampoo elminates dandruff and smooths irritation, while the normalising shampoo and conditioner keep your scalp healthy, while boosting volume and detangling. The three miniature-sized bottles also come in a handy pouch. Perfect for your suitcase.
Sun protection for your hair
The brand, whose original founder was one of the UK's most successful trichologists (hair and scalp specialist), produces all sorts of highly effective products. You really can't go wrong with any one of them. We love Philip Kingsley's Sun Shield spray, which protects the hair from island life's hair aggressors (salt, chlorine and sun damage). If your hair is dyed, it'll prevent your colour from fading and, if you're prone to frizz, it is amazingly smoothing. A perfect honeymoon companion.
A travel-sized hairbrush
Michael Van Clarke's award-winning No. 1 Brush packs a punch. It's pins are made from a Japanese nylon, which minimise any damage to the hair shaft by brushing. The bristles are flexible and soft, meaning detangling becomes easier and avoids tugging, snapping and breaking knotted hair. This helps your hair remain fuller and thicker in the long-run. And it's small size can easily fit in your wash bag, so that's one less thing rocking around your suitcase.
A sheet mask
A sheet mask is super easy, quick and simple to use. Simply stick it on, close your eyes and relax for a few minutes. We love Joanna Vargas' super-hydrating sheet masks for a post-flight (or an on-flight) moisture injection. The Eden Instant Lift Mask is fabulous for firming and nourishing. Aeroplanes and air conditioning are notoriously drying, so feeding your face Olive Leaf and Cherry Blossom Extracts will soothe redness, while also hydrating and brightening your skin.
A discovery set
These little fragrance sets beat the 100ml liquid limit, while also allowing you to try out different scents on holiday. Match each one to your mood, play around with wearing a 'day scent' and 'evening scent', wear the same one every time you visit your favourite beach and create an associative olfactory memory! The possibilities are endless. Le Labo's discovery set is actually a best-seller on Net-A-Porter, and we can understand why. The brand's perfumes are, quite simply, sensational!