'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.
1. 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).
2. SPF 50
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. We love La Roche-Posay's 50+ anthelios face protection. With no perfume, soothing properties for sensitive skin, as well as the brand's signature Thermal Spring Water ingredient, which is super hydrating and replenishing, it's an all-round winner. It's also affordable, water resistant and non-greasy. What more could you want?
3. SPF 30
You may as well look after your body, as well. Re-applying Factor 30 all day, every day (while on holiday), will leave you with a gradually built tan rather than that lovely lobster look that lots of Brits tend to go for. 'It'll turn into tan!', they say. Yes, and then it'll disappear within a week because your skin will shed like a snake. We promise you: maintaining colour is all about taking things slow. We think La Roche Posay's antihelios body lotion, which contains lots of ingredients that protect skin from sun-damaging UVA and UVB rays, does just the trick. And, once again, it won't break the bank!
4. Sun-prep oil
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.
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 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!
8. Don't forget your hair
Your luscious locks might struggle under all that sunny duress, salt-water and perhaps even humidity. Philip Kingsley's Smooth and Shiny Jet Set travel pack covers all bases. The brand, whose original founder was one of the UK's most successful trichologists (hair and scalp specialist), produces all sorts of highly effective shampoos, conditioners and hair treatments. You really can't go wrong choosing any one of them. We love their travel sets for hand luggage, but also for trying out new products before committing to the massive 1000ml bottles! Once you've tried Philip Kingsley, you'll never go back.
9. A sheet mask
A sheet mask is super easy, quick and simple to use. Simply stick it on there, 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.
10. 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!